Needing some inspiration for a caffeine kick this weekend? Or perhaps a little pit stop for a quiet brunch? Look no further as we have pulled together a list of some of our favourite coffee houses on Edinburgh’s glorious independent coffee bean scene.
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Situated just opposite Haymarket station and tram stop, this new kid on the block is already making an impression on the Edinburgh coffee scene. The interior of Nomad gives off definite Victoriana vibes with characteristic white tiled walls, dark wooden counter-tops, artfully mismatched chairs, and a coffee bar with intricate fretwork detailing, which is a piece of art in itself. Nomad promises good coffee and real food, both on which it delivers, but it also has the added bonus of a really pleasant environment to relax in too. We would definitely recommend trying their Vegan millet pancakes with roasted vegetables!
Address: 15 Rosebery Cres, Edinburgh EH12 5JY
It was always going to be a challenge to place a modern coffee shop in the centre of the Old Town without making it stand out like a sore thumb, but The Milkman has done just that. The buildings façade has been left relatively unadulterated hinting at it’s past uses, whilst the interior boasts beautiful exposed stone-work and a refreshing lack of modern features. Not only does The Milkman successfully integrate into it’s historically significant surroundings, but it serves up a cracking cup of joe too, using beans from Glasgow roasters ‘Dear Green’.
Address: Toddle In, 7 Cockburn St, Edinburgh EH1 1BP
The second Cairngorm Coffee to open in the city, we actually think the West End store trumps the original outlet on Frederick Street. Cairngorm coffee claim to ‘Take inspiration from The Highlands’ but when you step into the bright space on Melville Place, it feels more Copenhagen than Caledonia. A simple interior with pale wood sharing benches, cement lighting fixtures and sporadically scattered plant pots set against off-white walls, Cairngorm Coffee is the epitome of Scandinavian style. They are equally stylish in their presentation (some drinks are served in science beakers on rustic wooden boards), but don’t let that put you off, Cairngorm are serious about their coffee.
Address: 1 Melville Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7PR
Just off the bustling Leith Walk, this coffee shop may be compact in size but it certainly packs a sugar-filled punch. The Twelve Triangles serves up delicious coffee from the North-Berwick based Steampunk coffee, but they are primarily known for their knock-out artisan baking. From the minds behind the Lovecrumbs café in West Port, this compact café has a loyal and local customer base, who return often to enjoy these amazing bakes! The menu changes everyday but if you visit you can expect fresh crossiants, plaited loaves, sumptuous sourdoughs, focaccias, brownies, and of course their much-touted doughnuts in an array of ingenious flavours! We couldn’t pick just one favourite but we can definitely recommend maple pecan custard, chocolate peanut butter, passionfruit ricotta, and apple cinnamon (plus all the others).
Address: 90 Brunswick Street, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Filament Coffee is minimalist in appearance, with an industrial-chic feel, perfect for any hipster coffee whiz. With concrete flooring, wooden and metal benches set against plain white walls, you would be forgiven for thinking you had been transported to Scandinavia but despite the sparse décor, this coffee shop is anything but characterless. A mainstay for many of the caffeine fuelled students of the nearby Edinburgh University, Filament Coffee offers brilliant specialty coffee without any fuss and the boutique price tag. Beans are supplied from a variety of great roasters including Has Bean, Square Mile and Edinburgh-locals, Williams and Johnson. The food options are kept simple but high quality with their range of tasty bagels, and baking from local home-baker, Suki Bakes.
Address: 38 Clerk Steet, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Initially just one police box in Morningside, The Counter has now expanded to include 2 more police boxes at the Tollcross junction and outside the Usher Hall, and a floating coffee shop on the Union canal! Their most recent addition is the newly refurbished stationary barge, serving coffee from the canal straight onto the towpath. Their coffee serving is a bespoke nutty roast called ‘The Counter’, created exclusively by Edinburgh-roaster Mr Eion, which is complemented by the rustic home baking also on offer. The various incarnations of The Counter, prove that you don’t need a lot of space to create a brilliant stop for coffee! Our tip? Try their salt caramel brownie bites with that coffee to go!
Addresses: Police Boxes @ Tollcross , the Usher Hall & Morningside. Narrow boat @ Union canal.