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Best places for coffee at the Edinburgh festival

With so much going on in the capital during August you'll need the occasional hit of caffeine, here are the best places to grab a coffee during the Festival.

Published: August 15, 2017

Thankfully, the capital has no shortage of cracking little coffee shops and we've selected five of our favourite to grab yourself a cappucino, flat white or whatever else takes your fancy.

Cairngorm Coffee

(41a Frederick St, Edinburgh, EH2 1EP)


Taking their inspiration - and their name - from the highlands, Cairngorm's Frederick Street shop (they also have a second one on Melville Place) has a wonderfully warm and rustic interior with a cosy atmosphere.

The free wifi and built-in ipads for customer use, as well as the freshly baked snacks and light lunches on offer, make it the perfect bolthole to escape the Festival madness.

Artisan Roast

(57 Broughton St, Edinburgh EH1 3RJ)

Picture: Brewlab

Picture: Artisan Roast

Described as the "mothership" of Artisan Roast's excellent independent coffee collective, the Broughton Street store has been home to dedicated coffee drinkers and aficionados since 2007.

With exposed brick work, wooden furnishings and Hessian coffee sacks, the interior design is stripped back and effortlessly cool, providing a minimalist space that is almost designed to help clear your mind of all that Festival stress.

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Using their own gourmet roasted blends – with a choice of around ten – Artisan Roast are well versed on the best brew methods for your choice drink.

Brew Lab Coffee

(6-8 S College St, Edinburgh EH8 9AA)

Picture: Brew Lab Coffee

Picture: Brew Lab Coffee

One of the most prominent names in Edinburgh's speciality coffee scene, Brew Lab was opened in 2012 after University of Edinburgh graduates, Tom Hyde and David Law spent four years planning, researching and developing what they wanted to be Edinburgh’s first artisan coffee bar.

A hub for students throughout the day, the laid back atmosphere and stripped back aesthetic complements their pioneering coffee menu which features four rotating single-origin coffees: two brewed on their brew bar as pour-overs, and two on their espresso bar.

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Brew Lab also provide some delightful lunch snacks like sourdough baguettes and soups from the always excellent Union of Genius.

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.

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There is also free WiFi and if the fancy takes you, buy some of their seasonal blends to enjoy at home (post-Festival).

• READ MORE: Edinburgh Coffee Festival set to return to the capital this autumn

Cult Espresso

(104 Buccleuch St, Edinburgh EH8 9NG)


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.

• READ MORE: Edinburgh Fringe pop-up coffee shack pokes fun at Trump gaffe


(George Square Gardens, Edinburgh EH8)


A pop-up coffee shop at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the hilariously named Covfefe is a great place to grab a quick coffee if you are heading to Underbelly at George Square or the Gilded Balloon at Teviot Square.

It's no nonsense coffee is great value, and it just so happens to sit close to the Mimi's Bake House Cake Cabin pop-up if you are in the mood for some of the city's most popular baked goods.

Let us know what you think


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