best independent coffee shops in edinburgh - cappuccino coffee
Edinburgh,  Food & Drink,  Scotland

The 5 Best Independent Coffee Shops In Edinburgh

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Last Updated On 9th September 2021 By Lauren | Wild Lovely World

Edinburgh has a great coffee scene and some of the best independent coffee shops in Scotland.

I love coffee! But where do I like to get my caffeine fix? There are so many great coffee shops in Edinburgh and I am still exploring them all. But I do have some favourites.

I prefer to go to independent coffee shops rather than chain cafes. Each independent coffee shop is different and lovable in their own unique way. They have wonderfully cosy atmospheres, tasty treats and, of course, amazingly tasty coffee.

As an Edinburgh local of 4 years, I can recommend you the best independent coffee shops around. These coffee shops can be found all over the city. Discover where they are, when they’re open and why I love them.

Here are my top 5 best independent coffee shops in Edinburgh.

The 5 Best Independent Coffee Shops In Edinburgh

5. Nomad

nomad coffee edinburgh best independent coffee shops
Nomad, Edinburgh

Where? – Opposite Haymarket train station and tram stop on the corner of Haymarket Terrace and Roseberry Crescent.

When? – Open from 8am – 4pm everyday, but Sunday opening at 9am.

Why? – Perhaps I am bias as I live in the West End, but this cafe has a great location. If you’re just off the train or just about to go, Nomad is the perfect place to stop for a quick brew or a bite to eat on your way from Haymarket.

I also love the decor of this place. It’s wooden, old, quirky and antique, plus it has lots of lovely plants. I love that the main bar is from an old fence or bench or something – it’s gorgeous, and blue (my favourite colour)! The windows are big and the window seats are perfect for people watching.

They have a delicious array of freshly made sandwiches and cakes, and they do bigger hot meals too for breakfast and lunch.


4. Chapter One

chapter one coffee shop dalry edinburgh
Chapter One in Dalry, Edinburgh

Where? – On the corner of Orwell Place and Dalry Road in Dalry.

When? – Open from 8am – 5pm everyday, but the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) opening at 9am.

Why? – Another local of mine! The truth is, they do great coffee – plain and simple.

They have a cute little shop, so it feels intimate, and it’s usually quieter than others as it is “in the ‘burbs”. That said, it can get really busy on the weekends and early in the morning!

They have cute wooden tables and chairs, and their drinks come in lovely rounded bright coloured mugs.

Latte art is spot on here – your coffee will almost look too good to drink!

They also have a great selection of sandwiches, breakfast rolls, pastries and cakes. The staff here are brilliant. And there’s really fast free wifi!


3. Brew Lab

brew lab coffee shop edinburgh best independent coffee shops
Brew Lab, Edinburgh

Where? – On South College Street in the Old Town, just off South Bridge.

When? – Open from 8am – 8pm everyday, but closes at 6pm on Monday and opens at 9am on the weekend (Saturday and Sunday).

Why? – Located just off South Bridge, this cafe is in a perfect location if you’re in the need for a caffeine top-up or a spot of lunch in the city.

This place is quite big so there’s a lot of table space, some of which are long and shared with others, so it has a cosy homey feel. However, being close to the university, this place is always full of students on their laptops so don’t be surprised if all the cosy armchairs and couches are taken up by them for the entire day!

The decor is a bit like they couldn’t be bothered with open, exposed brick work and old stickers/painted lines on the floor – but of course it is supposed to be like that!

The staff here are really nice and service is speedy despite often being busy.

They have a great food selection too and it changes daily with the specials, but I definitely recommend trying the soup and baguettes! The coffee is delicious and they have a wider selection including cold brew and specialty filter coffee.

Brew Lab also host coffee events and barista training if you want to step up your game. They have become something of a coffee institution in Edinburgh!


2. Lovecrumbs

lovecrumbs coffee shop west port edinburgh best independent coffee shops
Lovecrumbs, West Port, Edinburgh

Where? – On West Port, between Lothian Road and the Grassmarket.

When? – Open from 9am – 6pm everyday, but Saturday opening at 9:30am and Sunday opening at 12noon.

Why? – Lovecrumbs is the cutest and cosiest cafe you might ever be to in your life. This quirky place is fully of mismatched wooden furniture, including a piano part-living it’s life as a table, fairy lights, dressers, plants and neon signs.

There’s cosy seats in the window as well, full of cushions to snuggle into and curl up with a good book (perhaps from one of the many amazing second-hand book stores nearby?).

Their signature is cake, and lots of it! Just looking at their Instagram feed makes me drooooool.

Lots of vegan options here too. And their staff are really friendly! I love going to Lovecrumbs when I’m near this part of town.


1. Cairngorm Coffee

Cairngorm Coffee, March 2018

Where? – On the corner of Melville Place and Queensferry Street in the West End.

When? – Open from 9am – 6pm everyday, but Saturday opening at 9:30am and Sunday opening at 12noon.

Why? – Cairngorm is bright, fresh and fabulous. Minimal in design, it oozes sophistication. It’s colour scheme is white and grey, with a hint of yellow (from the coffee cups) and green (from the plants)… I told you it was minimal.

The staff are super friendly and service is solid. Being based on a corner, they have large bright windows for you to gaze out of from almost every seat (apart from the cosy corner at the back!), and long wooden tables and high top chairs, offering you the perfect spot to people watch out in the busy West End.

Their coffee is delicious, and they have a selection of coffee and art books available for you to flick through while you drink.

Their cakes and bakes are also superb, plus lots of vegan and gluten free options too. I recommend the raspberry and orange slice!

This is the perfect place to be productive too, and often there are people working, as they have a bright and friendly atmosphere, and lots of charging points for your devices. They also have free built-in iPads for you to use and free wifi!


The Best Independent Coffee Shops In Edinburgh

What do you think of these independent coffee shops? Have you been to any of these cafes? Got another independent coffee shop you love? Please recommend it in the comments!

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Looking for more awesome stuff to do in Edinburgh? Check out these posts:

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Lauren is a coffee and cat obsessed travel writer from the U.K., specialising in solo female, couple travel and budget backpacking. She has previously lived in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, England and Scotland. Follow her adventures around the world on her blog

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