I ❤️ ☕️
I can’t drink a lot of coffee, which pains me. I’m one of those ‘one cup gives me palpitations’ guys and I’m not proud of it. The taste, the heady aroma, the range of ‘textures’ and flavours from acidic to smooth and earthy to chocolatey. I love it all and I like my coffee strong. Edinburgh is a great city for a coffee lover to explore with cafés everywhere. As with any city there are more Starbucks’ than there are people, but if ‘proper’ coffee is your thing then have a read of my favourite coffee stops in Scotland’s capital city, the place I’m lucky enough to call home:
This rustic haven is on West Port, near the pubic triangle and Edinburgh College of Art. It’s a hipster paradise, but even if you recoil in disgust at the idea of the bearded ones, don’t be put off. I visited it on a friend’s recommendation and can say it’s one of the nicest flat whites I’ve ever had. Lots of delicious cakes decorate the countertop and they serve hot food until five. Do what I did and get cosy in the window box and watch the world go by while you top up your caffeine levels, flip open your book and let the bustle of city life fall away around you.
I don’t venture onto George Street very often, mainly because I have no reason to do so. Sure it’s got a load of nice places to eat, but the nightlife is very TOWIE meets Edinburgh University meets Rich Kids of Beverly Hills. So when I walked along to catch a bus one snowy evening last year, Burr & Co caught my attention. It’s chic but has a rustic charm and some serious French café vibes going on. The coffee is great but if you’re a caffeine lightweight ask for one less shot because you could dry that stuff out, bleach it and run lines down your table. Coffee heavyweights will enjoy the potent brew and it’s a great place to people watch. Oh, and the food is delicious, like seriously good; try their lemon meringue pie.
Brew Lab serves up a good coffee. The atmosphere is right and the decor is a perfect reflection of New York hipster cafés you fantasise about when you’re rich, cool and strutting around Williamsburg or Brooklyn. If, like me, you like your coffee with a splash of milk, prepare for the same disdain laden reaction I received for requesting a small jug of milk on the side. Coffee nuts will love that though.
I have a soft spot for this relatively new player on the Edinburgh café scene. I first came across their baking at the Stockbridge Market (post here) where they had a small, understated table laid out with tempting cakes and desserts to lure you in. Their shtick is that they’re Edinburgh’s first naked café, so basically they don’t add any nonsense to their ‘baked’ goods and as raw suggests, nothing is actually baked. The café itself is across from Haymarket station. Small, minimalist, cute. I recommend the raw snickers (again, no added sugar!) and I challenge you to finish a whole on by yourself. I managed to once, only once, possibly never again. Oh and their coffee is lovely. I’m a flat white lover and theirs is a good’n.
This is another of George Street’s caffeine lovers haunts and is a great place to meet your bff for a brew and a bitch. The only issue is that it’s tiny, I mean even a hobbit would struggle, so make sure you avoid peak times and hit it mid morning or mid afternoon. The coffee is strong and delicious, the scones are magnificent and the service is always pleasant. They’ve provided outdoor seating too, which is nice if you want to feel like your privileged and continental for just a moment, but that’s only viable occasionally with unpredictable Scottish weather.