10 of the best coffee shops in Edinburgh

The majority of us rely on coffee to get us through morose Mondays, the odd woeful Wednesday and even sore Sundays after the night before.

Lucky for all you Edinburgh coffee lovers, the city is packed with cosy coffee shops who are experts on their craft.

Don’t waste your precious time and money on inferior coffee – instead head to one (or all) of these unique and passionate local providers for your caffeine fix.

See also: 10 more of the best coffee shops in Edinburgh

Artisan Roast

Artisan Roast Stockbridge
Facebook / Artisan Roast Stockbridge

Slowly but surely taking over Edinburgh (and Glasgow) one expertly poured latte at a time, Artisan Roast take their coffee very seriously. Not only do they brew a mean cup of coffee, they also roast their own beans three times a week and create speciality blends in-house. With locations in Bruntsfield, Stockbridge and the city centre you don’t have to go far to kick back and relax in an Artisan Roast café, but – even better – quite a few other Edinburgh shops and eateries stock and serve their coffee too.

57 Broughton Street, EH1 3RJ / 138 Bruntsfield Place, EH10 4ER / 100a Raeburn Place, EH4 1HH – more info

Kilimanjaro Coffee

This cosy café on Nicolson Street has many strengths, but – whether you’re swinging by for a quick takeaway cup or spending your whole Sunday sipping cappuccinos at a window table – their coffee is consistently top notch. Kilimanjaro Coffee is always busy and their tasty espresso and fabulous froth (if that’s your thing) is one of the main reasons why.

104 Nicolson Street, EH8 9EJ – more info

The Caffeine Drip

South African café and bakery The Caffeine Drip in the West End is coffee heaven for nearby commuters during the week, and a welcoming spot for casual weekend coffee dates. Their special offer on weekdays (£1.95 for any coffee of any size) makes this one of the city’s most reasonably priced cups of joe, especially considering how good it tastes. The baristas here use sweet and fruity Darwin coffee and serve up a few curveballs alongside the usual flat whites and iced lattes. Try their caffeine hot shot – a double shot espresso poured over melted chocolate – for the ultimate caffeine-fuelled pick-me-up.

10 Melville Place, EH3 7PR – more info

Stag Espresso

Providing much needed sustenance to artists and appreciators of art since 2011, Stag Espresso runs the Dovecot Café at Dovecot tapestry studios as well as a pop-up espresso bar at Warburton Gallery that will be open until July. Of course anyone can pop in for a brew and admire the beautiful minimalist surroundings of Stag as they savour a perfectly made cup of J Atkinson & Co coffee, or a guest roast. Although we’re sad that the Stag Espresso pop-up will be closing this summer, Dovecot Café is here for good, only a ten minute walk away and definitely worth a visit.

Dovecot Studios, 10 Infirmary Street, EH1 1LT / Warburton Gallery, India Buildings, 1 Victoria Street, EH1 2EX – more info

The Counter

The Counter
Facebook / The Counter

Small but mighty, The Counter in Morningside set up shop in a former police box last August and quickly became a hit with the locals. Serving a bespoke roast created by Mr Eion (another big player on the Edinburgh coffee scene) alongside home-made cakes and soup, The Counter proves that you don’t need much space to be a brilliant coffee shop. Their simple yet colourful design aesthetic is so Pinterest and Instagram-worthy it makes our hearts ache, and the coffee is so good that regulars will brave sun, rain and snow (otherwise known as Scottish summer time) to get their hands on it.

Police Box, 216a Morningside Road, EH10 4QQ – more info

Brew Lab

Another established Edinburgh coffee institution, Brew Lab opened in September 2012 after four years of planning, research and development. Safe to say, they know their stuff when it comes to java. In a society obsessed with milky lattes and cappuccinos, Brew Lab are teaching Edinburgh to love and appreciate simple black filter coffee as the best way to fully experience the taste and aroma. That being said, they also serve a mean espresso blend designed to taste great with milk, which means superior lattes and flat whites for all. More like a fascinating science fair than your average coffee shop, a visit here is always guaranteed to be an experience for coffee fans.

6-8 South College Street, EH8 9AA – more info

Project Coffee

With friendly staff, a relaxed atmosphere and (obviously) fantastic coffee, Project Coffee in Bruntsfield is the ideal location to spend a few hours studying, catching up with friends or just people watching. The combination of modern, industrial and traditional decor and furnishings would make anyone feel at home, and on a sunny day you can sit at an outdoor table with a highly recommended cappuccino and pretend Edinburgh is a pavement café kind of city.

196 Bruntsfield Place, EH10 4DF – more info

Cult Espresso

Cult Espresso
Facebook / Cult Espresso

Effortlessly cool with great staff that are just the right amount of silly, Cult Espresso is one of the most laid-back and fun coffee shops in the city. They’ve even named their coffee machine. (She’s called Flo, if you were wondering.) A combination of regularly changing guest coffee roasts and creative baristas means that there will always be something new and exciting to try here, from coffee infused earl grey iced tea, to cherry-vanilla-chocolate espresso. Their skilled latte art alone is worth seeing in person, but you’ll almost certainly be back for the great coffee.

104 Buccleuch Street, EH8 9NG – more info

Castello Coffee Co.

Slap-bang in the city centre with big chains on all sides, the independent Castello Coffee is holding its own and serving some fine coffee. You can sit outside here (weather permitting) and simultaneously enjoy a breathtaking view of the Castle and a cup of the current delicious guest espresso.

7 Castle Street, EH2 3AH – more info

Steampunk Coffee

Steampunk Coffee
Facebook / Steampunk Coffee

Providing coffee to many Edinburgh cafés and takeaways (including Madmoiselle Macaron) coffee roasters Steampunk are well known and loved around the city. If you’re willing to travel to North Berwick – just under an hour’s journey by car or train – to see where the magic happens, Steampunk have incorporated a café into their coffee roastery. All of Steampunk’s coffee is roasted on the ground floor of this shabby chic warehouse and you can drink a cup straight from the source, or take it upstairs to relax by the open fire. If you can’t make it out to North Berwick, Steampunk are regulars at Stockbridge Market on Sundays, where they make and serve their coffee from their 1976 orange VW campervan, Mavis.

49a Kirk Ports, North Berwick, EH39 4HL / Stockbridge Market, 1 Saunders Street, EH3 6TQ – more info

Have we missed your favourite cup of coffee in Edinburgh? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

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Main image: Getty Images