There are many reasons why travellers come to Scotland, from the historical sites that are dotted throughout ‘Auld Reekie’ to the nearby Loch Ness. When visiting Edinburgh, what goes under the radar for many is the extraordinary cultural communities that are passionate about cheeses, whiskies, and coffee.
Throughout Edinburgh, independent coffee shops, roasteries, and people passionate about coffee are waiting for you to pop by and try some truly authentic Scottish specialty coffee. Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or want a caffeine fix while exploring Edinburgh’s many attractions, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are the best coffee shops in Edinburgh for those mornings and afternoons when you want nothing more than a bold coffee with tons of flavour.
In This Post
Artisan Roast Coffee Roasters
Artisan Roast is a beloved independent coffee shop in Edinburgh that’s been around since 2007. Throughout its lifetime, Artisan Roast has kept the motto that coffee is more than just a drink but an experience that brings people together.
When you’re visiting this beautiful coffee roaster in the heart of Scotland, make sure to try their unique blends of coffee, which include bold flavours of honey, citrus notes, chocolate, and so much more that won’t fit in this article. Artisan Roasts sources coffee beans from all over the world with their years of experience and local twists.
You can buy bags of their featured blends and the equipment that master artisanal roasters use to create the coffee you can taste.
Mr Eion Coffee Roasters
Contemporary coffee shops need to remember how they make their delicious coffee and where they source the coffee beans from. Mr Eion Coffee Roasters are masters of roasting sustainable and ethically sourced coffee beans to produce specialty coffee Edinburgh loves.
You can find these coffee roasters in Stockbridge and Trinity, Edinburgh, and peruse a wide range of excellent coffees within their store. They serve coffee for any time of day, and all flavours, from rich and creamy blends that excel in the mouthfeel department to bold and rich flavours that dance along your tongue. It may be overwhelming, so ask the local artisans what blend will suit you best.
Williams & Johnson Coffee Co.
Sipping a delicious cup of coffee while overlooking a waterfront harbour as the sun is streak with purples and oranges during sunset is one of the pinnacle experiences you can enjoy during your vacation – so why not fulfil them by indulging in a delicious coffee at the Williams & Johnson Coffee Co. in Leith, Edinburgh.
Williams & Johnson Coffee offers an incredible range of coffee worldwide and regularly changes its seasonally curated coffees. Summer might bring delicious smells of green apple and black currant with Costa Rica Natural, while Autumn may bring cranberry and white chocolate with the roaster’s Iyenda-washed Tanzanian. Whatever flavours you’re looking for, Williams & Johnson Coffee Co. is an outstanding coffee shop in Edinburgh’s beautiful harbour port.
Obadiah Coffee Roasters
Simple, minimal, and perfected words come to mind when you see the packaging of Obadiah Coffee Roasters. But beneath the stark white packaging of Obadiah Coffee is a gorgeous blend of Scottish coffee that draws inspiration from the most prominent coffee beans worldwide.
Beans from Guatemala, Bolivia, Kenya, and much more dance along your tongue with wondrous Scottish flavours. Although Obadiah Coffee Roasters doesn’t offer a cafe to try their range of blends, you can always purchase their stock online or from one of the many wholesalers that dot the city centre.
Machina Coffee Roasters
Another speciality coffee roaster in the heart of Edinburgh, Machine Coffee Roasters, takes a grounded approach to making coffee (quite literally). They’re one of Edinburgh’s leading coffee roasters and an active part of the Scottish coffee scene.
Machine sources coffee beans from all over the world and ensures they are ethically sourced. From there, the beans are roasted locally in Edinburgh to make a wide range of excellent artisanal produce. If you want to enjoy a Machina Espresso, check out their website!
Haymarket Station is an excellent way to explore Edinburgh and the rest of Scotland, and while you’re booking your next train trip, check out Luckie Beans – a hot coffee roaster that provides great brews to try within Haymarket Station.
And while Luckie Beans roasts their coffee beans in Galashiels, there’s a mobile market you can purchase their great coffee from as you enter and exit the Station. So, if you’re looking for the freshest coffee before a long train journey, stop by Luckie Beans for some on-the-go artisan roast coffee.
Great coffee comes from a love that’s been fostered for a long time. Robi Lambie, the creator of Cairngorm Coffee, created this coffee roaster in 2014 to cultivate his coffee obsession since he was a young boy. The result is a thriving online business, several cafes in Edinburgh, and excellent single-origin beans coffee.
Those coming to Edinburgh for a culture trip should visit these notable coffee shops, with two being in the immediate area around Edinburgh Castle – perfect for a quick caffeine fix before you explore the rest of what the capital city has to offer.
Tea & Sympathy
Scottish comfort food is one of the best ways to wind down a day of eventful travel in and around Edinburgh, preferably with a piping good coffee and maybe even afternoon tea. Luckily, Tea & Sympathy can offer both mouth-watering treats, including baked goods, toasted sandwiches, and sweet treats.
Coffee and hot chocolate are readily available, but the true star of Tea & Sympathy is their loose-leaf tea selection, in addition to great filter coffees. Spanning a menagerie of flavours from apples, raspberry, vanilla, and several herbal teas, guests are spoilt for choice. Pair their coffee and tea with the cafe’s delicious cakes; we bet this will quickly become one of your favourite spots to visit for something different.
Black Medicine Coffee Co.
Right in Edinburgh’s Old Town, you can find Black Medicine Coffee Co., a vibrant green coffee shop distinctly recognisable as you walk through this ancient part of the Scottish capital. Named after the term Native American used for coffee, Black Medicine Coffee is a splendid place for a quick pick-me-up for a hot brew and maybe some light bites.
If you find yourself on Nicolson Street in Edinburgh about to hit attractions like the National Museum of Scotland or Holyrood Park, Black Medicine Coffee is the place for some Edinburgh roast.
Thomas J. Walls Coffee
The ever-hustling and bustling Thomas J. Walls Coffee is a must-see coffee shop in Edinburgh if you’re looking for a place just outside Old Town to energise yourself. The classy aesthetic of this establishment is exceptionally inviting, with a sprawling menu that includes several great dishes to taste as you sit your coffee, including poached eggs, toasted sandwiches, and other lunch options.
Thomas J. Walls Coffee is a great way to have a quick coffee before returning to Edinburgh’s Old Town, so remember to stop by!
Lowdown Coffee is located on George Street and serves exceptional speciality coffee for the coffee-loving consumer who wants nothing more than excellent single-origin coffee and maybe a light snack. The cafe is a modern, almost minimal space with plenty of works of art to look upon and enjoy, including the store’s stunning packaging.
Lowdown Coffee embraces the urbane setting they’re placed in, and you can certainly tell in the design and taste of its coffee, which is packed with flavour and experimental touches to surprise even the most experienced coffee drinker.
Fortitude Coffee Roasters
You can find Fortitude Coffee Roasters in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town open all days of the week, making it a reliable coffee roaster and cafe to enjoy while enjoying your holiday in the city. No matter when you arrive, Fortitude Coffee has unique seasonal blends and a signature range to spice things up for that time of the year.
And if you find their coffee irresistible, you can always purchase a subscription to regularly receive a rich blend that will sate your coffee addiction.
The Elephant House
Voted one of the best coffee shops in Edinburgh, The Elephant House has an open secret that makes it an attraction. Harry Potter fans may already know that this illustrious cafe is said, and confirmed, to be the location where infamous author J.K Rowling wrote the series.
But aside from its famous clientele, The Elephant House is a flagship café in Edinburgh with plenty of options for coffee, light meals, and desserts that are to die for.
Union Brew Lab
Welcome to Union Brew Lab, Edinburgh’s home for speciality coffee with an abundance of fantastic panini sandwiches, cakes, and croissants to complement it. If you want to learn how to make the tremendous coffee the Union Brew Lab offers, you can always book their barista courses to learn everything you need for the ultimate coffee.
And once you’ve mastered the Union Brew, why not pick up your own coffee equipment to recreate it at home?