Independent Scottish coffee shops to look out for in 2017

The team behind the Scottish Independent Coffee Guide take a look at 12 of the best indy coffee shops to check out in 2017

Published 31st Mar 2017
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

1. It All Started Here

(Pop-up, Glasgow)

Coffee fans will want to check out William Heenan’s mobile speciality stall, a regular Glasgow fixture at Partick Farmers’ Market and bakery47.

You’ll also find the popular pop-up at events as diverse as Piping Live (the world bagpipe championships) and Eaglesham Beer Festival (where he’s now a legend for a mean coffee cocktail created with a natural yirgacheffe).

2. Spitfire

(127 Candleriggs, Glasgow, G1 1NP)

Owner (and Kiwi) Danny’s cheerful vibe permeates this diner-style cafe as buzzily as the rare 1950s rockabilly tunes and the hiss of the La Marzocco coffee machine.

Glasgow’s Avenue Coffee has hand-crafted Spitfire’s bespoke Gunnerbeans blend and at breakfast the wartime theme continues with dishes such as the Hawker Hurricane of homemade beans and mushrooms on whole wheat.

3. Foodstory

(13-15 Thistle Steet, Aberdeen)

With a passion for good grub and a drive to support the local community, the team at Foodstory strives to offer locally sourced, organic, homemade and vegan food at this neighbourhood cafe.

Just like the coffee bar, most of the furniture here is handmade from recycled materials.

4. McCune Smith

(3-5 Duke St, Glasgow G4 0UL)

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History runs deep in this coffee enterprise, which is named after James McCune Smith, the first African American man to be awarded a medical degree.

You’ll find sandwiches named after Scottish enlightenment figures and a killer collection of freshly baked cakes.

5. The Bach

(20 Exchange Court, off Exchange Street, Dundee DD1 3DE)

A bach is a Kiwi holiday home in which to escape for a long weekend, eat food and hang out with mates.

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And while it’s unlikely that the New Zealand owners will let you stay for the whole weekend at The Bach, you are invited to visit, get stuck into the food, imbibe a coffee or two and lose track of time with friends.

6. Pacamara Food and Drink

(302 Perth Rd, Dundee DD2 1AU)

The soft background clatter of china, wafts of freshly ground coffee and plates stacked high with poached eggs and avo; forget the somewhat cooler climate of Dundee and you could be chilling in one of Melbourne’s famous brunch spots at this Aussie inspired hangout.

7. Fortitude Coffee

(3C York Pl, Edinburgh EH1 3EB)

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With rad tunes through the speakers, rustic reclaimed flooring and a choice of four rotating single origin brews on the go, Fortitude Coffee may be one of the smallest speciality bars in Edinburgh, yet it’s built a huge reputation for its consistent coffee, character and chatty staff.

8. Castello Coffee Co.

(7A Castle St, Edinburgh EH2 3AH)

They say good things come in small packages and that’s certainly the case at Castello Coffee Co. in Edinburgh. The miniature coffee shop is just off Princes Street, right in the centre of the city, and can probably boast the best view of the castle of any coffee shop in Edinburgh.

So on sunny days the outside seating area is always busy.

9. Thomas J Walls

(Forrest Rd, Edinburgh EH1 2QN)

Huge picture windows with antique gold lettering, a cosy fireplace with 1930s tiles, gleaming, original dark wood panelling and marble topped tables create charismatic elegance at this former opticians, while the coffee and food are equally alluring.

10. Cult Espresso

(104 Buccleuch St, Edinburgh EH8 9NG)

It’s easy to pass by Cult Espresso and assume that it’s nothing more than a tiny hole in the wall. Step inside though and you’ll instantly get the TARDIS effect, as the cavernous space stretches way back.

Grab yourself one of the comfy spots and hide away for the afternoon with a brew, avo toast and Lego – yep Lego. There’s quite a collection of Star Wars characters who’ve taken up residence here.

11. Century General Store and Cafe

(Montrose House, 1-7 Montrose Terrace, Edinburgh EH7 5DJ)

Launching in January 2016, with its collection of artisan crafts and unusual publications, Century General Store and Cafe is rather like being at the home of an extremely stylish friend – who’s also a whizz on the La Marzocco espresso machine.

12. Steampunk

(49A Kirk Ports, North Berwick EH39 4HL)

A funky old steel-framed warehouse in the charming seaside town of North Berwick provides Steampunk Coffee with its industrial-style HQ.

Originally built as a joinery workshop, owner Catherine Franks has given it a new lease of life as a vibrant coffee roastery and cafe.

• Find more speciality coffee inspiration in the second edition of the Scottish Independent Coffee Guide, get your's at

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