11 of the best pavement cafes for sunny days in Edinburgh

When the weather is good, grab a table at one of these inviting pavement cafes and you'll feel a million miles away.

Published 7th May 2018
Updated 12 th Sep 2023

Summer in Edinburgh if often so fleeting that we want to enjoy every last second of it - and what better way to soak up the sun than with a freshly made coffee in hand?

Baba Budan

Housed inside the striking Waverley Arches (close to the railway station), Baba Budan is a stylish cafe, specialising in freshly made coffee and doughnuts.

Sit outside on a nice day for lovely views of Calton Hill, and to enjoy the leisurely bustle of the street itself.

 Visit: Arch 12, 17 East Market Street, EH8 8FS - bababudan.co.uk


Just off the beaten track, Loudons is a family-friendly cafe with plenty of space inside, as well as quite a few tables outside for warmer days.

Visit: 94B Fountainbridge, EH3 9QA - loudons.co.uk

Peter's Yard

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Looking across the pedestrianised Quartermile close to the Meadows, Swedish cafe Peter's Yard has plenty of outdoor seating and is a great place to do some sun worshipping.

As well as coffee and tea, there are lots of treats to tuck into from the bakery here, including cinnamon buns and sourdough pizza.

Visit: 27 Simpson Loan, EH3 9GG - petersyard.com

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Machina Espresso

Located between Tollcross and the Meadows, this cool coffee shop has some comfortable outdoor seating which is ideal for sunny days.

Visit: 2 Brougham Place, EH3 9HW - machina-coffee.co.uk

Castello Coffee Co

Independent coffee shop, Castello Coffee, serves up top quality speciality coffees along with homemade cakes and snacks.

While the shop itself is pretty compact, there’s plenty of room outside to sit and sip your coffee al fresco - not to mention an incredible view of Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle.

Visit: 7A Castle Street, EH2 3AH - facebook.com/CastelloCoffee

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Finn & Bear

Still fairly new to Leith's Shore, Finn & Bear is a cafe, bar and restaurant all in one, with a large front patio that gets a lot of sun on summer days and has a great view of the Water of Leith.

Visit: 58 The Shore, EH6 6RB - finnandbear.co.uk


While not technically on a pavement, the roomy outdoor area at Akva sits right next to the busy thoroughfare of the Union Canal towpath, and provides plenty of opportunities for people watching.

Serving everything from coffee and breakfast to cocktails and beer, there's something for everyone on a sunny day.

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Visit: 129 Fountainbridge, EH3 9QG - bodabar.com/akva

The Counter on the Canal

Further down the same towpath you'll find one of the city's most unusual coffee shops. The Counter (who also operate out of three former police boxes dotted around Edinburgh) serve coffee, tea and cakes out of a converted canal barge floating on the water.

On sunny days, you can sit at the tables and chairs next to the boat and watch the world go by.

Visit: Union Canal, EH3 9PD - facebook.com/TheCountered

Victor Hugo Delicatessen

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Tucked away on a primarily residential street in Marchmont, deli and cafe Victor Hugo serves up food and drinks to eat in or take away.

Pull up a chair outside and take in views of the nearby Meadows as you fuel up or wind down.

Visit: 26/29 Melville Terrace, EH9 1LP - facebook.com/victorhugodeli

Pumpkin Brown

During summer, the entire Grassmarket is a sun trap, and the seating outside healthy cafe Pumpkin Brown is a great place to soak up some rays.

Visit: 16 Grassmarket, EH1 2JU - pumpkinbrown.com

Wellington Coffee

Take a pause on one of the city's busiest shopping streets, George Street, and sip an expertly made brew outside Wellington Coffee.

With views of both the nearby Firth of Forth and the bustling city centre, you'll be spoiled for entertainment on a sunny day here.

Visit: 33A George Street, EH2 2HN

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