Edinburgh Europe Food Scotland

Edinburgh Eats: My Favourite Cafes

Oct 02

Wellington Coffee EdinburghI’ve been spending a fair amount of time in Edinburgh cafes as of late; I now finish work at 1pm every Friday (which is pretty much the best thing ever, by the way), and I use these free afternoons as an opportunity to eat and drink my way around the city. After weeks of cafe-hopping, I’ve found a few that are standouts in my mind – most of which seem to have a common theme of quality coffee, artisan baked-goods, and/or locally-sourced food.

In no particular order, here are a few of my favourite cafes in Edinburgh.

Cairngorm

Tucked just below street level on Frederick Street, Cairngorm is an inviting little cafe with a charming mix of rustic and modern decor – burlap coffee bags line the ceiling and iPads are stationed at some of the seats. I’ve heard they have excellent coffee, but I visited for a different reason entirely: food, of course. Their cheese toastie – a blend of three cheeses and chilli jam between two slices of fresh sourdough bread – is cheesy, gooey deliciousness. If you stop in for a cup of coffee, don’t leave without trying that sandwich!

Cairngorm Coffee Edinburgh
Wellington Coffee 

If you’re looking for a cafe to linger, Wellington wouldn’t be my first choice – the interior is tiny, although there is ample outdoor seating, on and below street level. If a good takeaway coffee is what you’re after, Wellington is perfect. Quality coffee is the main focus here – there’s no food menu, and only a handful of pastries and scones on offer.

Wellington Coffee 2
Brew Lab

I love everything about Brew Lab – from the shabby chic furnishings, to the degree of precision and meticulousness that goes into their coffee-making process, and the mouthwatering array of breads, cakes and pastries supplied by local, artisan bakeries.

I’m not a big coffee drinker to be honest, but I love Brew Lab’s Cold Brew Coffee. Not to be confused with iced coffee – it’s brewed overnight in water and triple filtered, but never heated. They have cold brew and nitro cold brew (cold brew infused with nitrous oxide) on draught at the cafe, served black, or as a latte.

The nitro cold brew is more similar to a pint of stout than coffee; it’s smooth and creamy with a sweet finish, and noticeably lacks the acidity and bitterness you’d normally find in a regular cup of coffee. Delicious!

Brew Lab Edinburgh Brew Lab Edinburgh 2
Salt Cafe

Located in the Morningside neighbourhood, Salt is a great little spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The food is really reasonably priced – most mains cost less than £10 – and the menu features local and seasonal food.

I recommend their Moules Frites – a generous portion of mussels in a white wine and parsley broth, with perfectly crisp, salted fries on the side. And at only £8.75, I’d say it’s a steal!

Salt Cafe Edinburgh
Filament 

I’m not sure if it’s the friendly staff, the simple decor, or the location, but Filament instantly felt like a ‘local’ spot. Their bagels are freshly made and supplied from a local baker – served plain or filled with toppings like marmite and smashed avocado, or pear, gorgonzola and rocket. They also make fresh juices and smoothies, and have a small selection of cakes and sweet treats.

Filament Coffee Edinburgh

Have you been to any of these cafes? What are your favourite cafes in Edinburgh?

8 Comments

  • Reply LC Oct 03 at 7:50 am

    Will be sure to check some of these out next time I’m in town. Last time I just went to the Elephant House for obvious touristy reasons!

    • Reply ashleywanders Oct 04 at 4:31 pm

      That’s one cafe I still need to visit actually!

  • Reply Edna Oct 03 at 8:34 am

    The cheese toastie and nitro brew have me sold! Will definitely check them out when I’m in Edinburgh at the end of December!

    • Reply ashleywanders Oct 04 at 4:35 pm

      Good choices 😉 I’m sure you’ll love them as well!

  • Reply Valerie Oct 10 at 5:10 pm

    Ah Edinburgh, such a stunning city! I went once a few years ago to visit a friend. I remember going to a few cafes but I really can’t remember the names now. I’m currently considering going on a road trip around Scotland next year and I’d love to spend a couple of nights in Edinburgh again. I’ll have to try the places you mentioned. They all look great!

    • Reply ashleywanders Oct 11 at 6:28 pm

      A road trip around Scotland sounds fantastic! Hopefully you’ll make it back to Edinburgh, and definitely check out these cafes – they’re great 🙂

  • Reply Amanda - Lesson Plans & Layovers Oct 17 at 11:09 am

    We didn’t stop at any cafes when we were in Edinburgh, but we had originally planned to stop at a tea room but never made it. Have you ever been to one? Are the worth checking out?

    • Reply ashleywanders Oct 17 at 3:33 pm

      I haven’t been to one yet, but planning to soon! My flatmate said the afternoon tea at Prestonfield House Hotel is amazing!

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