Whatever you study, you’re likely to need caffeine. Whether it’s long days in the library, 9 am lectures or a boost before a presentation, we all need our fix: tea, coffee, hot chocolate and snacks. In Edinburgh, it’s easier than ever to get a good cup, and you won’t have to take a step into Starbucks or another mainstream coffee house. Instead, try out one of these local businesses for some of the nicest drinks and snacks you’ll find in the ‘Burgh. Here are some of the best cafes in Edinburgh.

Soderberg on the Meadows

Swedish bakery and coffee shop, Soderberg is ideal for anyone based in central. Sat just behind George Square with views of the meadows out of ceiling-high windows, this place is just as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the mouth. Being a Swedish bakery, their pastries and selections of breads are more delicious than you could even imagine. Try out their classic Levian bread or if you fancy something sweet, a lovely Chokladbollar.

Waterstones Prince’s Street

Waterstones Prince’s Street
Source: Waterstones Edinburgh West End Instagram

Views alone, this place is beautiful. Ideal for if you have been browsing the shops along Prince’s Street or if you’re after somewhere a little bit further from campus where you’re not going to find so many pupils. Good luck getting any work done with stellar views of Edinburgh Castle and one of Edinburgh’s biggest booksellers beneath you.

The Chocolate Box

Ran by everyone’s university gran Belinda, Edinburgh Chocolate Box is the place to go if hot chocolate is your thing. With endless combinations, there is something for everyone. The box also has a range of Rocky Road bars and the occasional sweet treat too and is situated right by the library, perfect for a quick pick me up between lectures.

Maison De Moggy

Nestled into Edinburgh’s Grassmarket lies Maison De Moggy, the only cat cafe in the city. Book in for an hour at a reduced student’s price to escape the library or for a wind down after a day of lectures. The drinks and cakes are fabulous, but the real showstoppers are the ten furry feline residents of the cafe. A coffee experience like no other.

Elephant and Bagels


Elephant and Bagels
Source: Elephants and Bagels Facebook

Right outside the university music school sits the lovely Elephants and Bagels. A super chilled environment perfect for some study or a bite of lunch, these guys do some of the best-filled bagels in Edinburgh. Choose from a whole range of fillings or the always delicious soup of the week. 


Opposite the Old College on the second floor, Spoon has great window views of North Bridge. Being both a cafe and a bistro, the food is excellent and often sourced locally. Occasionally they will hold evening events too, inviting in groups and speakers. A lovely spot for a pre-tutorial study session or a nice dinner.

Black Medicine Coffee

You’ll know this place is great by the number of people always sat inside. Getting a table is often somewhat of a lottery, but the drinks and cakes are worth the gamble. Look inside for a super cool rustic interior with log benches and long group tables. If you’re a tea drinker, this is one you need to check out.

The Edinburgh Press Club

Tucked away on Cockburn Street, this cafe is somewhat of a hidden gem. The interior will wow any bibliophile, with antique books and typewriters decorating the seating area. Their selection of vegan and gluten-free treats is one of the better ones in Edinburgh, and they have a range of speciality teas which are all delicious. 

Coffee Angel

Coffee Angel
Source: Coffee Angel Edinburgh Instagram

One of the many coffee shops in Newington, this one takes the cake-quite literally. They always have a selection of baked goodies; the apple crumble pie is a popular favourite. Comfy chairs, booths and ceiling-high windows looking out to Clerk Street, this is a lovely spot for brunch or a catch up after a lecture.

Brew Lab Coffee

Always busy, Brew Lab is the place to go if good coffee is your thing. Often filled with students, this cafe just along from Old College brings a scientific expertise to coffee roasting and brewing. With some great bites to eat too, its a popular favourite for many.


lovecrumbs is for the sweet tooths among us. Their drinks selection is great but they’re best known for their cakes. Try out a slice or two with some coffee after a morning of lectures or as a cute afternoon date.

Thomas J Walls

With marbled floors and lush grand windows, this coffee shop is one for your Instagram feed. Sat on Forrest Road very close to central campus this spot is always bustling with students and locals alike. Perfect for a light brunch or for a chat with classmates over a pot of tea.

Smoov Gelato Coffee

Who knew coffee and desert was such a winning combination? Smoov Gelato combines the two worlds in an experience for the tastebuds, with some of the nicest syrup coffees and icecreams in the city. A need to try is their waffles, served with fresh fruit, ice cream and hot chocolate sauce. One for your Instagram feed!

Artisan Roast Bruntsfield

Artisan Roast Bruntsfield
Source: Artisan Roast Bruntsfield Instagram

Bruntsfield and Morningside are full of little boutique coffee roasters, but this is one of the best. Though tiny inside, each cup packs a punch and if you get there early enough, they often will have a lovely selection of cakes, pastries and treats. Lesser-known by students, this is a spot if you want coffee roasted and prepared with care and expertise.

La Barantine

French bakery in Bruntsfield, La Barantine is tiny inside, but the sweet treats are out of this world. Traditional patisserie snacks and delightful homemade macarons and bread, this one is a spot if you’re feeling a little more sophisticated and luxurious. They have a selection of lovely drinks and often experiment with monthly special mixes. Always a treat.

Last Updated on June 14, 2024