Edinburgh Eats: My Favourite Cafes

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time in Edinburgh cafes lately. Since I finish work at 1pm every Friday (which is pretty much the best thing ever, by the way), I’ve been using 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 locally-sourced ingredients.

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


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).

That said, if a good takeaway coffee is what you’re after, Wellington is perfect. Quality coffee is the main focus here, but they also offer a small selection of cakes, pastries, and scones.

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 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 offer cold brew and nitro cold brew (cold brew infused with nitrous oxide) 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. So delicious!

Brew Lab Edinburgh Brew Lab Edinburgh 2
Salt Cafe

Located in Morningside, Salt is a great little spot for breakfast, brunch, or lunch. The food is really reasonably priced, the menu features local and seasonal food, and they make just about everything in-house.

I had moules frites the first time I visited, but I don’t think that dish is on their menu anymore. A dish that’s definitely on the menu now that I’d highly recommend is their Butcher’s Breakfast.

This drool-worthy dish comes with dry-cured bacon, sausage, fried eggs, Sriracha-baked beans, black and white pudding, and cultured butter (which was, quite possibly, my favourite part of this meal). It’s easily one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in Edinburgh.

Salt Cafe Edinburgh

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 along with 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?


  1. 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!

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

  3. 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!

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

    1. 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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