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The best independent cafes and bakeries in Scotland to get a coffee and pastry

From Glasgow to Skye, we round up our favourite venues for a croissant and espresso combo

Published: October 29, 2021
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At this time of year, we’re constantly craving the perfect caffeine and sugar hit that only a coffee and a pastry can provide.

Here are our favourite independent places in Scotland to offer a quality roast along with a buttery pastry, some of which are baked in-house.

Do like the French do, and dunk your croissant into your drink, or go Ecossais style and order deux.

As well as the below places, everyone loves Twelve Triangles, especially for their almond croissants, and the Bearded Baker, both in Edinburgh, as well as Mhor84 in Balquhidder.

No Greggs included.

The Temple, 22 Northton, Harris, www.templeharris.com

Storyteller Lara Winnington-Ingram says; “I was on Harris last week and discovered Temple Cafe. Ordered pastries and coffee for a weekend treat. Tin Donkey Coffee with a view - the best”. Pastry-wise, we’re talking pain au chocolat and jammy cruffins, alongside the rest of the botanically-inspired food and drinks menu. 

The Temple

Velocity Cafe & Bike Workshop, 1 Crown Avenue, Inverness, www.velocitylove.co.uk

A dozen from Scotland's larder

We’ve had a couple of tip offs about this cycling cafe, which will fuel your pedal power with its combination of Glasgow’s Papercup coffee and almond croissants.

Blackwater Bakehouse, Blackwaterfoot Instagram @blackwaterbakehouse

No visit to the Isle of Arran is complete without a trip to this sourdough bakery, which is along a lane beside the Kinloch Hotel. Along with the excellent bread, their pastries are legendary, and might include such exotic creations as the peanut salted caramel croissant swirl with peanut butter craquelin. The coffee is courtesy of the Bakehouse blend by the Isle of Arran Coffee Co. 

Partenope, 75 Hector Road, Shawlands, Glasgow Instagram @partenope.glasgow

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If you’re a fan of Italian pastries, try this place. Bloggers, Foodie Explorers, recommend you order the cafe’s “Kimbo coffee and a sfogliatella”. We also have our eye on their cornetto filled with coffee mascarpone cream, as it’s a hybrid of both our biggest weaknesses.

Bakhoos, 85 High Street, Fortrose, www.bakhoosbakery.com

Since law enforcement officers are considered the ultimate fans of coffee and pastries, it’s apt that this takeaway bakery and cafe has opened in an old police station. Delights include morello cherry and creme patisserie buns, cinnamon buns or croissants made with Mungoswells Flour. The people behind gift shop The Modern Croft in Oban say, “I think the best croissant I’ve ever had was from Bakhoos”. As well as excellent coffee, this bakery offers hot chocolate made from Glasgow’s Bare Bones Chocolate.

Bakhoos

The Palmerston, 1 Palmerston Place, Edinburgh (0131 220 17964, www.thepalmerstonedinburgh.co.uk)

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We love this new restaurant, but often forget that it’s not just about lunches and dinners. They’re also a bakery and open Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to serve coffee and pastries. They’re also a bakery and open Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to serve Obadiah coffee and pastries, which might include a plum and rye crumble Danish, cardamom kouign-amann (Breton cake) or pain Suisse.

Birch, Bayfield Road, Portree, Skye, www.birch-skye.co

This beautiful and minimal looking cafe roasts its own coffee, and tells us it currently has a Tanzanian on espresso and Kenyan filter. As well as cakes including brioche doughnuts and vegan muffins, owner Niall Munro’s mum bakes some of the pastries and they also stock wares from The Skye Bakehouse, who are known for their sourdough cardamom knots.

Birch

Bostock Bakery, 42 High Street, North Berwick and Dunbar Road, East Linton, www.bostockbakery.co.uk

We never miss an opportunity to rave about these bakeries, where the coffee is always sweet and smooth and you can rack up pastel de nata, cruffins and twice-baked almond croissants.

Chums Pies & Coffee, 18 Henderson Street, Edinburgh Instagram @chums_leith

Pie and cake takeaway, Chums, from the people behind Solas Neon, offers locally roasted William and Johnson coffee and you can have yours with Minor Figures oat milk for no extra charge. They’ve also got Fife-based bakers Fisher & Donaldson to make them an exclusive Chumyum - aka a yumyum with rainbow sprinkles. Genius.

Broken Clock, 10 Park Road, Glasgow and Bonnie & Wild, St James Quarter, Edinburgh, www.brokenclockcafe.co.uk

If you want your pastry to last more than two bites, this place does whoppers, which may require more than one cuppa to wash them down. They serve Square Mile Coffee, and for the biggest pastry selection try the original Glasgow cafe, where they serve pistachio and cinnamon buns, cruffins and Danish.

The Newport Bakery, 7 Cupar Road, Newport-on-Tay, Fife Instagram @thenewportbakery

MasterChef: The Professionals 2014 winner, Jamie Scott, is building something of a foodie empire. As well as his well established restaurant, The Newport, he’s just opened Wrecking Ball Doughnuts and has the Daily Grind Coffee Co in Arbroath and Dundee. There’s also this lovely bakery, which offers Daily Grind coffee and currently has seasonal pastries including an apple crumble Danish, chamomile choux, and passionfruit meringue tart (shortcrust counts).

Aran Bakery, 2 Atholl Street, Dunkeld, www.aran-bakery.com

We just couldn’t miss former Great British Bake Off contestant Flora Shedden’s bakery out of our round up. Next time we’re in Dunkeld, we plan to order a flat white and a seasonal fig and cinnamon bun. Sausage rolls count as pastries, so we’ll take a couple of those too.

Bad Girl Bakery, Muir of Ord, www.badgirlsbakery.co.uk

Owner of Bad Girl Bakery, Jeni Iannetta, has just written a cookbook, also called Bad Girl Bakery, out November 2, so you could always buy it and make some of her recipes at home. However, true gannets might want to make the trip to her lovely cafe to order a pre-made cardamom and white chocolate and maple sticky bun, and a decent cappuccino.

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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