You asked and we listened. Edinburgh’s independent coffee scene is a powerhouse and new – but more importantly great – coffee shops have been opening left, right and centre all across the city since we published our first guide to 10 of the best coffee shops in Edinburgh last year.
Not all of the places on our follow up list are new, but every single one is serving up some tasty coffee and is well worth a visit.
Cairngorm Coffee Co
Hidden in plain sight in the city centre, Cairngorm Coffee is almost as famous for its mouthwatering cheese toasties as it is for its top notch coffee. The team here serve up blends from local roaster Mr Eion as well as guests to keep things interesting for regulars. Cosy and dog-friendly with a menu of tempting snacks, this is the perfect pit stop during a busy weekend shopping trip. Avoid the neighbouring coffee chains and make a beeline for Cairngorm’s safe haven.
41a Frederick Street, EH2 1EP – more info
Chapter One Coffee Shop
Ushering Dalry into the specialist coffee shop era, recently opened Chapter One offers a choice of blends from Glaswegian roasters Matthew Algie or Dear Green. Minimalist and modern yet still cosy, the cafe itself is a perfect place to while away an afternoon if you’re in the area. With a strong menu of lunchtime treats and a clear dedication to all things coffee, Chapter One is definitely one to watch in the coming months.
107-109 Dalry Road, EH11 2DR – more info
Filament cafe in Edinburgh: stark, bare, bur uber trendy and awesome coffee. And the staff are friendly! pic.twitter.com/Ia2JJqP1IS
— David Maitland (@davetheguide) July 4, 2014
Opened last year on Clerk Street, they like to keep things simple at Filament Coffee – which is usually a good sign for a coffee shop. They specialise in AeroPress coffee here, but will let you choose your preferred brewing method. Great news if you’re a serious coffee nerd and – if not – you can always ask for recommendations from the knowledgeable staff. Their beans (usually sourced from Square Mile or Has Bean) change seasonally but the resulting cups of joe are consistently brilliant. Fuel up on locally baked cakes, brownies and bagels as you sip and enjoy the deliciously hipster atmosphere.
38 Clerk Street, EH8 9HX – more info
— Cobolt Coffee (@CoboltCoffee) April 1, 2015
Following in the footsteps of The Counter, Cobolt Coffee set up shop last Spring in a former police box in Marchmont, painting it – as you might have already guessed – an eye-catching cobalt blue. Despite their tiny premises, Cobolt are known for serving top notch coffee that rivals that of much larger cafes. Here they offer artisan coffees from all over Scotland, as well as the odd tasty sweet treat. If you’re heading for a wander in the Meadows or just live in or around Marchmont then you should make Cobolt Coffee the top of your caffeine fix list.
18 Marchmont Crescent, EH9 1HD – more info
Essentially a one stop shop for local coffee addicts, especially those who live in the Tollcross area. As well as recommending the perfect bean and brewing method to suit your mood, the knowledgeable baristas here can sell you your dream coffee maker to take home and enjoy in your pyjamas. If you’re curious to learn more about your favourite hot drink or are just feeling adventurous then be sure to put Machina Espresso at the top of your ‘to visit’ list.
2 Brougham Place, EH3 9HW – more info
In Edinburgh, my friend and I also hit up Wellington Coffee, a lovely corner basement location using Square Mile. pic.twitter.com/OmSkJNczYA
— ManSeekingCoffee (@ManSkngCoffee) May 17, 2014
A firm and well established favourite for many Edinburgh coffee lovers is Wellington Coffee, hidden downstairs on George Street. Here they serve Square Mile as well as a guest roast and a recommended decaf blend – a rarity in caffeine obsessed Edinburgh. On a dry day you can grab a table outside the cafe on street level and take in both bustling George Street and a view of the Forth in the distance – the closest thing you’ll find to a Paris pavement cafe in town.
33a George Street, EH2 2HN – more info
Brass & Copper Coffee
You might struggle to stumble upon Brass & Copper Coffee (off the beaten track on William Street in the West End) but it’s an unpretentious hidden gem worth knowing about if you’re in need of decent java. Small but still a fairly well kept secret, you should be able to bag a table and indulge in a mind-blowing cup of coffee and a fresh pastry as you flick through their impressive collection of local and international magazines.
18 William Street, EH3 7NH – more info
Black Medicine Coffee Co
— john west (@JohnPolorl32) December 6, 2014
Independent but with two branches – one in Bruntsfield and one in Newington – Black Medicine is a wonderfully quirky organisation, a world away from those huge coffee corporations. Laidback and somewhat bohemian, student types flock to both Black Medicine Coffee shops – but don’t let that put you off visiting. The cafes may be busy, but the mochas they serve are to die for and you can always take yours to go and enjoy some of Edinburgh’s great outdoors.
2 Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH / 7 Barclay Terrace, EH10 4HP – more info
You may have walked past twenty times or more without spotting it, but the small yet perfectly formed Fortitude Coffee will have been tucked between the National Portrait Gallery and The Stand Comedy Club for two years this Spring. Selling steaming cups of London-roasted Workshop coffee as well as AeroPresses and other coffee-related gadgets, it’s obvious that Fortitude know their stuff. Enjoy a coffee in the light and airy cafe (with a slice of Lovecrumbs cake, of course) or buy a bag of beans and whip up a brew at home. Don’t worry if you’re a coffee newbie – the staff here will be more than happy to give you some helpful advice.
3c York Place, EH1 3EB – more info
Leo and Ted
— Oliver Gunn (@OlivetreeBro) November 11, 2015
An offshoot of much loved cafe Leo’s Beanery, Leo and Ted opened in October last year in the Tollcross area. Already famous for their cakes and tray bakes, the great minds behind Leo’s Beanery have branched out to explore their passion for coffee. Their house roast is the highly acclaimed East blend by Nude Espresso, with regularly changing guest beans from various roasters. Petite but welcoming inside, it feels like Leo and Ted has been around much longer than just three months and – if you live in the area – the place is guaranteed to become your regular coffee haunt before you know it.
36 Leven Street, EH3 9LJ – more info
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Main image: surtr / Flickr / CC