When you think of Edinburgh, the first thing that springs to mind may be the amazing festivals in August, or perhaps the incredible architecture of the Old Town, the castle sat on the hill, or even the wide assortment of incredible cocktail bars throughout the city. Once you have spent a little time wandering its cobbled streets however, you soon discover Edinburgh has a flourishing coffee scene. Catherine from Hidden Edinburgh selects some of her favourite independent coffee shops that the city has to offer.
Somewhat of an Edinburgh coffee institution, the original Artisan Roast on Broughton Street has been open since 2007. It was the first speciality coffee shop in Scotland, creating their own unique coffee blends, and was so popular, Artisan Roast has now expanded exponentially. There are now Artisan Roast cafes in Bruntsfield, Stockbridge and even Glasgow, serving up the same signature deep flavoured coffee, whilst still retaining their own unique character. Despite their expansion, Artisan Roast has retained its home-grown feel and is still a local favourite for the requisite morning cup of joe. (FYI, their Broughton Street shop is worth visiting even just to check out the wonderfully eclectic interior).
The mecca for any baking lover, Twelve Triangles is known for its bread, cakes and pastries, as much as its coffee. Located just off Leith Walk, this bustling coffee shop is compact in size but more than makes up for this in quality. Twelve Triangles serve up local Steampunk coffee from North Berwick, the perfect accompaniment to their impressive selection of artisan baking including home-made wonders such as doughnuts, focaccias, sourdoughs and fresh plaited loaves. The menu changes everyday so there will always be some new baked delights to sample, just don’t blame us when you come back from a visit a couple of pounds heavier.
Filament Coffee on Clerk Street may be slap bang in the middle of student land, but this coffee shop is anything but juvenile. Fans of minimalism will love the industrial-chic décor with concrete flooring and metal benches set against plain white walls. The rustic wooden coffee bar serves up a whole host of great roasts including coffee from Has Bean, Square Mile and Edinburgh-locals Williams and Johnson. Food is simple but good value for money with a whole range of tasty bagels plus sweet goodies from local home-baker, Suki Bakes.
A husband and wife duo run this compact and quirky coffee joint on the bustling York Place. Great coffee plus great cakes in a suitably ‘cool’ little store – this a fantastic option for a short pit stop or a pick me up on your way to work. Their main coffee is from Workshop Coffee, a small artisan roaster in London, but they also have plenty of guest coffees from other small operations from around the world. They often offer beans you won’t find anywhere else in the city! When you visit you will be forgiven for thinking you have travelled to hipster Berlin or ultra-cool Gothenburg.
This is another small but perfectly formed coffee shop that offers great options for those with specific dietary requirements. They always have a fabulous selection of gluten-free and dairy-free bakes, as well as creative breakfast options perfect for sitting in or a delicious takeaway. They serve up Steampunk coffee, Anteaques loose leaf teas, and have various Root’s sodas on offer too. Fieldwork is cool without being intimidating; menus are displayed on clipboards on the walls, the daily bakes are laid out on an old cabinet (probably picked up at a flea market), and the exposed brickwork and rustic wood benches will satisfy your inner hipster. Don’t let this put you off though, this cosy café is definitely worth a look in if you find yourself along Lothian Road.