Updated August 2023
Let’s be honest: we all love a good cafe!
Finding some where that consistently serves up good coffee and has a mouthwatering selection of savoury and sweet treats!
Or when if on a health kick a choice of something a little bit healthier.
We know it's not always easy to pick a place for some exceptional brunch or just a quick coffee, which is why we’ve put togther this list of the best cafes Edinburgher has to offer in 2023.
Home to Edinburgh's first ever Ube cake and... Ube Coffee! Opened in 2023 by Loui and Greg, The Haymarket Cafe is already a local favourite!
Trip Advisor is already full of glowing reviews about exceptional customer service. Not to mention the vast selection of cakes and sweet treats on offer.
Coffee lovers are in for a good time too...
The smiles all round cafe
It's not unusual to see a crowd assembled outside The Pantry on weekends, queuing up for some homemade Belgian waffles or exceptional avocado toast. Tapping into the brunch craze, this Stockbridge cafe has become a favourite amongst locals and visitors alike, serving up an array of breakfast options that we can only dream of.
Launching the business in 2012, this local sensation was started by Charlotte and Chris Thompson, a husband and wife duo with a passion for unforgettable food and incredible coffee.
In addition, they’ve also opened up another cafe by the same name right in the centre of Edinburgh, making it a perfect place to start your day if you are a visitor in our beautiful city.
The “we don't joke about brunch” people
If there's a cafe to go to for endless brunch options - its Blue Bear Cafe. With an extensive range of breakfast options to suit every taste, including five (yes, five) types of Eggs Benedict, this family orientated brunch hub is worth a visit.
Offering up classic breakfasts, as well as indulgent delights that will leave you fuelled up for the entire day, they also offer vegan options and a kids menu. It's an environment the whole family can enjoy, including any furry friends!
If you prefer a more boozy cafe outing with friends however, Blue Bear goes a long way to whip up some outstanding alcoholic beverages to spice up a Sunday, including a mocha martini, Chambord white hot chocolate and a personal favourite: a Baileys hot chocolate.
Don't worry - we're drooling too.
The sweet tooth hot spot
With its mismatched furniture and quirky style, Lovecrumbs has become a sugar filled haven satisfying students and locals alike. From their rose and raspberry cake, to freshly baked cinnabuns and mouth-wateringly gooey brownies, you're sure to find something that tickesl your fancy. This hidden gem is housed in the historic West Port region, a stone's throw from the Grassmarket and Edinburgh castle.
Occasionally hosting a poetry, cake and wine night, this enticing cafe is the perfect city centre spot to reunite with your friends. Or if you're looking for a cosy space to celebrate your birthday with some seriously good cake, Lovecrumbs is the place for you.
Check out Nice Times Bakery (Lovecrumbs Cake HQ) for their delicious treats delivered straight to your door!
The one for the coffee lovers
With its delightful selection of sweet treats, exceptional coffee and tasty sandwiches, Machina Espresso is our go to for coffee and food on the go. Located in Tollcross, this superb cafe keeps the locals awake and thriving. Their energising coffee is perfectly balanced with minimal interior design. A true art if you ask us.
Stop in for some of Edinburgh's best coffee, or take it to go whilst you walk the streets with a fresh haggis roll!
The new girl (cafe) in town (Morningside)
Residing in the beloved area of Morningside, Salt Cafe has recently been taken over by new owners. They're serving up fresh coffee and divine cakes as well as an all-day Sunday brunch menu. Sign me up.
Within the comfort of its exposed brick walls and rustic outlay, customers can enjoy Instagram worthy dishes whilst reading the newspaper or catching up with friends.
The one that's your best alternative to actually going to France right now...
If, like us, you're searching for a bit of escapism and yearning for a weekend away à Paris, this charming French cafe fits the bill. Established almost 25 years ago and settled into the cobbled streets of Stockbridge, Patisserie Florentin allows you to enjoy exquisite pastries and waffles while taking in the beauty of the city. The beauty of Edinburgh that is, not Paris...
Vibrantly painted yellow and blue, this loveable spot exhibits a number of local painters artworks, illustrating its desire to be close to the community. It also possesses a delightful back room, suitable for regular meetings such as books clubs and knitting groups.
The Cool Guy
Established in vivid blue on the corner of East Preston Street and Newington Road, Southpour is another cafe that has taken a hold of the exposed brick look. They've created an atmosphere that we can only describe as coolness: relaxed and casual yet impressive and tasteful.
You'll be spoilt for choice over their endless brunch, lunch and dinner options. This remarkable joint nestled in Newington creates dishes that are perfect for any occasion, from easy lunches with friends, to professional meetings with clients.
Southpour also happen to have a local loyalty program, including benefits such as 20% off food Monday through to Thursday, a free glass of Prosecco with afternoon tea, free meals for children and free function area availability. Just head on in and ask for a locals card!
More good news? After closing their doors due to COVID restrictions, they'll be opening back up on 6th May.
The Leith Addition
If you happen to find yourself in the popular Shore district of Leith, head down to the award winning Scottish inspired Ostara.
Voted one of the country's best cafes by The Skinny, this family friendly joint is just a ten minute stroll from the Royal Yacht Britannia. Making it the perfect spot for a bite to eat after a day of exploring.
Gaining first place on Trip Advisors tally of Edinburgh's best cafes, Ostara is praised for its exquisite food and relaxing ambiance. It's a cherished local hotspot and firm favourite on our brunch bucket list.
Check out their “Boozy Brunch” menu, consisting of various spiced up hot chocolates.
The tucked away gem
Tucked away just off the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Larder conjures up organic, seasonal recipes using local, ethical ingredients. They creating mouth watering dishes that put our homemade scrambled eggs to shame.
Established over ten years ago, this hidden gem has won several awards and been featured in many guidebooks, leading both locals and tourists into its warm and cosy atmosphere.
Crowd favourites include the homemade waffles spiced with cinnamon and drenched in syrup. Sign us up.
The Crowd Pleaser
Beautifully decorated with overhanging fuchsia tinted flowers, Fortuna Coffee Bar is conveniently located on Queen Street. Surrounded by an abundance of history and culture, they advertise 'Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch All Day'.
Family owned with a comfortable and cosy interior, this cafe is the perfect place to take any visitors. Serving scrumptious pastries and excellent coffee to fuel your next lockdown walk.
In addition, Fortuna opens up into a wine bar after lunch, which is a big win if you're not quite ready for brunch to end.
The place that appreciates the Arts (and cinnamon rolls)
For a unique experience in the heart of the city, Rose Theatre Cafe offers a delightful array of breakfast and lunch options. They have a range of speciality lattes such as the butterfly pea latte, and the rose latte with accompanied rose petals.
In legacy of the famous Danish ballet dancer, Peter Schaufuss, this cafe offers up more of an experience rather than a simple grab and go. They provide a peaceful sanctuary on rainy days and arguably the best cinnamon rolls in town.
Serving up brunch favourites such as Eggs Benedict and Smashed Avocado Toast, this charming spot can also whip up a heavenly hot chocolate. Salted Caramel popcorn is our go to.
Let us know if you visit any of these amazing local businesses soon and if we have missed your favourite cafe fire us a message to tell us!
Edinburgh has some truly amazing cafes.
Whether you want cookies or cakes, donuts or pie, we hope that our list of the best local cafes in Edinburgh.
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