6 Places To Get A Good Cup Of Coffee In Edinburgh
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Something I’ve noticed about Edinburgh recently, both on the street and via social media, is that it’s becoming quite the place to grab a good cup of coffee. While I’m not exactly an expert connoisseur on the finest ground beans I do appreciate anything that’s not your typical Costa Coffee or Starbucks. In-keeping with the sightseeing theme of this blog I suppose it should also be noted that many of the independent coffee houses in Edinburgh occupy beautiful listed buildings, be they Georgian or Gothic.
So if you are planning a sightseeing trip in the near future (and do love a good sip of the black stuff) then here’s my list of recommendations on where to pull up a stool. You could visit them in-between your journey around the attractions, or even make them ‘the’ attraction.
1) Artisan Roast Edinburgh (57 Broughton Street):
Say you’ve been spending some time up Calton Hill to see the National Monument of Scotland and Old City Observatory. You admire the spectacular view, load up on panoramic snaps, then descend down the north slope of the Regent Gardens. This path leads onto Blenheim Place, towards the bottom of which a notion strikes that says you could really go a good cup of coffee. Don’t trek back up onto Princes Street, instead, wander in the direction of Broughton Street and pitch up at Artisan Roast.
First opened in 2007 this ambient purveyor of freshly brewed java has grown to become one of Edinburgh’s most renowned coffee houses. It’s a place that has built a firmly established reputation based on the stable quality of its product, friendly service and vintage ambience.
Take leave of your senses upon entry (not in the crazy way) and savour the amazing aromas, If you’re not sure what to order then the professional baristas can point you right. I’d personally order up a strong espresso. Artisan Coffee also have a hangout in Stockbridge if you find yourself exploring there.
2) Lowdown Coffee (40 George Street):
Something you’ll notice while walking along George Street (besides the beautiful architecture) is that many enticing establishments lie just below street level in the basement sections of the town houses. As its name suggests, Lowdown Coffee is one such place, and a recently established one at that. It benefits from all the class of its upscale surroundings, while remaining reassuringly low-key and welcoming. For the peckish they also do an assortment of cakes, pastries and soups of the day.
3) The Milkman (7 Cockburn Street):
The Milkman on Cockburn Street is a definite go-to place if you’ve spent hours tramping around the winding Old Town, being terrified in the Edinburgh Dungeon, or deprived of all sense of passing time in the Scottish National Gallery. It’s ideally located around all three and having just opened in October 2015 should have plenty to offer over the coming 12 months.
4) Obadiah Coffee (16 Grassmarket):
Obadiah takes us round the back of Edinburgh Castle and onto the Grassmarket. Their speciality roaster and bar serves up a wide variety of cups using beans sourced from local producers in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Rwanda and Kenya. If you happen to be about this area then you can’t go wrong with pulling up a seat at Obadiah. The wide open, communal cobbles of the historic Grassmarket form an ideal visual backdrop that compliments the aromatic steam from a good brew.
5) Project Coffee (196 Bruntsfield Pl):
The southern portion of Edinburgh city centre is dominated by the capital’s prestigious educational institutions, along with the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links. If the need for a caffeine fix arises while you’re discovering this sector of the city then haul your depleted frame over to Project Coffee on Bruntsfield Place. It’s a quaint, unpretentious building with a good supply of local regulars and outdoor seating. The coffee itself gets solid approval, as does its hearty food/cakes menu.
6) Wellington Coffee (33A George Street):
Back to George Street for this one, and another joint sitting just below street level. It’s one of the most harped about establishments of its kind in Edinburgh and the sheer quality of its coffee makes this plain to see why. With a humble wood and tile interior plus outdoor terrace it’s one for kicking back with a flat white and scone while the hustle and bustle of passing traffic rolls by.
Wellington Coffee Edinburgh | Photo Credit: Lisa Dussault.