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Places to visit in Edinburgh: Cafés

Two friends of mine are going to Edinburgh this spring, and always eager to have my opinions confirmed, I've decided to suggest some things to do and places to visit, so that they can agree with me that these were indeed interesting things and nice places. Starting with the most important, please find attached a list of cafés to visit, in prioritised order from very awsome indeed to quite awsome. I might have neglected to include some which should have had a place on the list, either from ignorance or forgetfulness, so please feel free to educate me. And watch out for future articles highlighting places to eat, places to have a drink and things to see.

Artisan Roast - Bruntsfield is the second branch of Artisan Roast, opened around 2011 I would guess. They sometimes have slightly too loud and annoying music, which is normally a dealbreaker for me, but they always have excellent coffee, good atmosphere and friendly baristas, so I'm willing to make an exception. Bring a book, ask them to make you some drip coffee and buy a croissant, and you're set for a simultaneously relaxing and cool time. They're located in 138 Bruntsfield place, and I recommend walking there if the weather permits. If not, buses 11, 15, 16, 23 and 45 will take you there. And while you're in the area, I recommend walking around a bit, especially further south along Bruntsfield Place and Morningside Road. Quite a nice area.

Artisan Roast - Broughton Street is the first branch of Artisan Roast, and much of what was said above goes for this one as well. I find it's slightly less likely to find a space, though, and the atmosphere is slightly different, so I prefer the Bruntsfield branch. The coffee is of course excellent here as well. It's located in 57 Broughton Street, and you simply have to visit Broughton Street in any case, since it's home to Crombies of Edinburgh.

Spoon doesn't have the awsomest coffee, but they have pretty decent food, a reasonable wine list if you want a bottle of white with your lunch, and they have free WiFi and lots of tables. All in all a very nice place to relax and regroup, or perhaps get some work done. It's located in 6 Nicolson Street, on the first floor (i.e., one floor up from street level), so it's easy to miss. Also, while you're in the area, pay a visit to Blackwell's at the corner where Nicolson Street becomes South Bridge, and make sure to cross the road an have a look inside the courtyard of Old College.

Peter's Yard is a Swedish café and bakery, where you can get good coffee and amazing bread. Being something of a traditionalist, this is my faviourite place for breakfast in Edinburgh. Their breakfast basket is quite good, but you can also get just a few slices of brown bread and some jam for about £2.50 or so. And they make an excellent pizza as well. I recommend starting the day here at least once. Sights in the area include The Meadows, immediately to the south, and George Square just across the road to the east.

Kilimanjaro, at 104 Nicolson Street, has reasonably good coffee, pretty good lunches and decent scones. Nothing super amazing, but very solid. You always know what you get at Kilimanjaro. If I had discovered it today, it probably wouldn't have been on my list, but since we've been going there regularly since our first extended stay in Edinburgh in 2006, I feel a certain affection for the place. I imagine Camilla wrote large chunks of her thesis here, so she probably rates it higher. Although I sat there once, reading a book on quantum field theory, and the waiter recognized the topic and commented, which is pretty cool. I'd say go her if you find yourself in the area (which you should, since it's an area worth having a look at), but don't take a taxi across town for Kilimanjaro alone. And be warned, it's close to the university so it's packed with students around lunchtime.
Jørgen likes this


Tor,  13.02.14 21:46

I almost forgot:

Brewlab hasn't been around very long, and I've only visited it once. It has a very modern feel, as if it was decorated by someone who couldn't be bothered to clear all the mortar from the old brick walls, and reminded me quite a lot of Department of Coffee and Social Affairs in London. I seem to remember they had excellent coffee, it's quite happily situated in South College Street, close to George Square, Old College and other interesting sights.

Also, be sure to check out Edinburgh Coffee Lovers, who seem to have visited rather more cafés in Edinburgh than me.
Camilla,  14.02.14 22:57

And Two Thin Laddies. In Tollcross. It is lovely in a lunchtime way.
Tor,  15.02.14 07:54

I thought that's more of a place to eat than a place to have coffee.
Camilla,  15.02.14 09:02

Their coffee is not spectacular.
Camilla,  15.02.14 09:18

IS this why you skipped Chocolate Tree as well?


Camilla,  15.02.14 09:19

Anteaques? Are you going to do an article on tea rooms?
Tim,  15.02.14 10:26

has recently changed ownership, so you may not find it as awesome as you remember. Most of the menu seems to have stayed the same though.
Camilla,  15.02.14 10:32

Why does Edinburgh keep changing while I'm away? First Chai, now this? There is only one solution! I'll have to move back to keep an eye on things.
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