5 of the best coffee shops in Edinburgh to take shelter in this winter

With its own annual coffee festival, more coffee shops than any other city in the UK (outside of London) and a selection of some of the best independent coffee vendors and roasters that the country has to offer, Edinburgh truly is a coffee fan's dream location.

Published 30th Oct 2017
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

With no shortage of choices, we've picked out some of the best places to escape the cold weather and Christmas shoppers this winter.

Cairngorm Coffee

(41a Frederick St, Edinburgh, EH2 1EP -  1 Melville Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7PR)

Coffee Shops Edinburgh

Picture: Cairngorm Coffee

Taking their inspiration - and their name - from the highlands, Cairngorm coffee have two excellent venues in the city, the first on Frederick Street has a warm and rustic interior with a cosy atmosphere.

However, it's the spacious, bright and accommodating second shop at Melville Place that is our go to hideout. With free wi-fi, built-in ipads for customer use, as well as the freshly baked snacks and light lunches on offer, it's the perfect bolthole to escape the festive madness.

Fortitude Coffee

(3C York Pl, Edinburgh EH1 3EB)

Picture: Fortitude Coffee

Picture: Fortitude Coffee

Comfortably situated between the National Portrait Gallery and The Stand Comedy Club in the New Town, Fortitude is all white walls and wooden chic.

Enjoy a selection of excellent coffees (as well as loose leaf teas, hot chocolate and gourmet cold drinks) and partner them up with a side of stromboli, soup, salad, chilli, quiche and cakes.

There is also free WiFi and if the fancy takes you, buy some of their seasonal blends to enjoy at home (or to give to someone as a welcome Christmas present).

Cult Espresso

(104 Buccleuch St, Edinburgh EH8 9NG)


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Situated on the South side of Old Town, this is not only a fantastic little coffee shop but it’s also close enough to Edinburgh University to make it a great hide away not only for students, but also those craving a full flavoured caffeine kick.

Cult uses Round Hill Roastery beans, as well as a few other guest coffees, to create their almost perfect brew and are always looking to source the best ingredients for their coffee.

The store looks quite small from the outside, but there’s plenty of seating in the long and narrow building, should you wish to while away a few hours on a cold winter afternoon.

Sandwiches, salads, soups and cakes are also on offer should you be needing to re-fuel before heading back out once more into the breach.


(155 West Port, Edinburgh, EH£ 9DP)

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Coffee Shops Edinburgh

Picture: LoveCrumbs Facebook

What can be better than great coffee? Great coffee with a delicious slice of cake.

Famed for its baked goods, LoveCrumbs also does a mean cup of coffee with North Berwick's steampunk providing the house roast and plenty of guest roasters on hand to offer some new and exciting each time you visit.

The interior is as quirky and endearing as you'd imagine with a name like LoveCrumbs, featuring stunning wooden fittings including a sideboard used as a display case for the day's delightful bakes - which are so inventive they'd make Willy Wonka sigh with envy (custard cream cake, smoked salt rye brownies and bacon chocolate cake are some of our favourite examples) - and loads of comfortable upcycled furniture to give you the perfect place to relax and unwind after a busy morning of Christmas shopping.

The Milkman

(7 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1BP)

Coffee Shop Edinburgh

Picture: The Milkman Coffee Shop

Those who enjoy their surroundings a little more on the stylish side will adore The Milkman coffee and espresso bar.

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From the stunning ghost sign out the front to the exposed brick work and classic look of the interior, this is one of the best looking coffee shops in the Old Town.

Those fearing style over substance needn't worry, the coffee is every bit as good as the shop's look would have you believe. Glasgow's Dear Green have created the house blend and there's plenty of guest roasters on rotation to keep even the most finickity of javaheads happy.

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