Finding Edinburgh’s best independent coffee shops was top priority when moving from London to Scotland.
No matter where I am in the world hunting down coffee is first on my list of things to do. Not just to fuel my borderline caffeine addiction but because the humble coffee shop is my hub outside the house, it’s where I socialise, work and refuel. Also, is it just me, or do baristas always know the coolest local spots?
What do I look for in a coffee shop?
I’m gonna preface this post by letting you that I’m not pretending I’m a coffee connoisseur of any kind but I know what I like and that’s:
— Great tasting coffee
— Cool, but welcoming atmosphere
— Coffee from an indie roaster
— Dairy free milk
— (bonus if they have wifi and vegan snacks).
If that sounds like your kinda coffee shop then keep scrolling;
* Slight sidebar – This is a new style of blog post for me, it’s going to be a working list meaning that when I come across a new coffee shop I think is worth shouting about I’ll add it this list. Also, I’ve incorporated my illustrations to add a little more of my creative life which I think is a fun new addition.
Anyway let me know what you think and add your faves below or hit me up with your recommendations on Instagram.
Brew’d by The Source Coffee Co
Small batch Edinburgh based roastery, Source, have a coffee bar serving their own single origin, speciality coffee as well as the best locally made vegan baked goods, sandwiches and alternative drinks.
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll already know Brew’d is one of my most visited Edinburgh coffee shops. Firstly for the coffee but a close second for the vegan baked goods from Vgn Bakery co and Kilted Donut. My personal favourites are the pistachio donuts and brookie.
Coffee not your vibe? Brew’d also stock fellow local businesses Rapscallion Soda, Pour Hot Chocolate, Shibui tea and Leftfield Kombucha.
The coffee shop has just had a makeover making the small space open and even more welcoming!
My advice; sit in for the great chat and atmosphere or grab a takeaway and go explore the surrounding area as it’s right in the middle of gorgeous Old Town. If it’s a nice day I usually take my coffee and baked treat of the day to Grannies Green and watch the world go by in the shadow of the Castle looking down on The Grassmarket.
Not from Edinburgh, or wanna take a bit of the coffee shop home? You can also purchase coffee from their online store.
Little Fitzroy Coffee
When I asked for coffee shops in Edinburgh on Instagram Little Fitzroy was the top recommendation.
Named after the street art covered hip Melbourne neighbourhood this Little Fitzroy brings Aussie cool and passion for coffee to Scotland’s capital.
Providing a cracking cup of coffee, as well as an exciting selection of vegan friendly sandwiches, salads, baked goods and fresh in house made juice, it’s always worth joining the queue along Easter Road.
This Edinburgh coffee shop doesn’t just sell beverages but has an awesome retail store stocking some of the best indie roaster from around the UK on rotation. These include; Obadiah Collective, Girls Who Grind, I Will Kill Again, Casa Espresso, Figment Coffee, Fortitude, Tin Donkey, Hard Lines, Dear Green and so many more. They also sell coffee equipment so you can play barista at home.
Little Fitzroy are passionate about coffee but without the pretence, and is my favourite place to try new brews.
Little Fitz have also just recently expanded into a new coffee hatch at Haymarket taking over from Stag Espresso so you can get your caffeine kicks at either side of town.
Instagram – @littlefitzroy
William and Johnston
A small batch Edinburgh based roastery that specialise in seasonally curated, single origin coffees, each with its own unique flavour.
The cafe is located in the same space as where the coffee is roasted so it couldn’t be more freshl!
You’ll often find me in William and Johnsons’ Custom Lane coffee shop with my laptop or grabbing a takeaway on a tough day in the studio. I love the atmosphere in this space; inside it is spacious, calm and airy whereas outside you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of Leith life with views of the water and vibrant shore area so is perfect for every mood.
Depending on the day there is usually something else going on near-by whether it’s a market, pop-up shop or exhibition it’s an awesome place to hangout and see what’s going on.
If you love a good cup of coffee but don’t know much about it the staff at William and Johnston are super knowledgable and always happy to chat through their coffee. They also have little postcards with the story behind the bean which is such a cool little touch.
You can purchase coffee and accessories via their website if you are not in Edinburgh
The Milkman Coffee
With two locations right in the middle of Edinburgh’s Old Town, The Milkman is a great spot to relax after exploring the city’s historical sites.
Selling espresso from local indie roasters Obadiah Collective as well as offering rotating filter options including those from Girls Who Grind and The Brew Project.
Need more fuel than just coffee? The Milkman have a range of baked goods catering for most dietary needs, I can personally recommend the banana bread and, my absolute favourite, vegan chocolate chip cookie.
This spot is always one I recommend to visitors due to it proximity to so many of Edinburgh’s main attractions and because it’s such a lovely space to unwind.
Cool neighbourhood coffee shop, serving hot pies, tuck-shop style snacks and an awesome array baked goods.
Chums has created a nostalgic places with a cool modern spin. This might be a small spot but it’s filled with style and personality.
You can often spot me in Chums picking up a vegan Karma Bakes pie, delicious baon bakery empire biscuit with a William and Johnson coffee.
Chums has only been around a year but feels like such a Leith staple.
Instagram – @Chums_Lieth
If my favourite coffee shops in Edinburgh still aren’t enough of a caffeine fix, you might like my post on creating a coffee shop at home which includes some of my favourite coffee shops in London.
If you found this useful and want to support my coffee habit and work then you can shout me an oat latte at Ko-Fi
Let me know your favourite independent coffee shop in Edinburgh, and beyond.