I’ll be the first admit that out of sheer laziness (and the fact that because of my funny tummy, I can’t drink coffee from any other coffee shop, so instead I drink tea), I often arrange to meet friends at one Starbucks chain or another, mainly because I know where they are dotted about town. I do try to look out for other cafes though and have a few favourites.
There are now 2 Mimi’s Bakehouses: one at The Shore and one in Corstorphine. There’s also Mimi’s Little Bakehouse which offers mainly takeaway cakes and other baked goodies with coffees or teas due to the limitations in space. I visited the store at the Shore years ago with some friends and recently went to the one in Corstorphine (on the way to the airport) and both offer the same tasty sweet and savoury choices of brekkies, lunches and afternoon teas.
This family run bakehouse which also employs highly skilled bakers offers their customers only the best so when it comes to tea, they only offer pots of loose leaf-tea from teapigs. All cakes and traybakes are freshly made each day so flavours change ona daily basis. The menus are almost the same at The Shore and Corstorphine except for the French toast served at The Shore (waffles are on the Corstorphine menu), but they all taste amazing.
Staff is very friendly and, if you’ve seen my Instagram post a couple of months ago, they really saved my bacon when it came to the OH’s birthday cake. I won’t rehash the details, but let’s just say I was sorely let down by someone else the night before the OH’s birthday and Mimi’s were kind enough to sell me the whole cake they were going to use for the shop.
I visited Cairngorm Coffee a while ago and I can’t explain why, but their coffee and tea are some of the best I’ve ever had. That very first visit changed my perception of how tea should taste and ever since, I’ve always recommended this as one of the cafes to go to if you’re looking for suggestions. The cafe on Frederick Street is not massive which means you don’t end up having to shout over each other to be heard in a busy coffee shop, but if you’re worried about not being able to find space to meet friends, there’s also a branch on Melville Place in the West End.
I’ve not had the chance to eat there yet, but I’ve been told their cheese toastie is worth visiting for!
I discovered Brew Lab when the OH and I arrived early at the Greek Orthodox church last year and were looking for a cafe to spend some time away from the cold. Since that day, Brew Lab has now moved from near the Meadows to a more central location at South College Street (the side street next to Old College) just off of South Bridge. Coffee is more than just a beverage to the people behind the bar. Using specialty-grade beans from notable roasters, skilled baristas practice precise brewing techniques to extract the best possible flavour. Food is also freshly prepared or if you have a sweet tooth, you can choose one of their baked goodies on display just as you walk through the door.
Loose leaf tea infusion pots
When I used to attend the University of Edinburgh, my flatmates and I lived very close to Earthy at Causewayside and always assumed it was an organic market shop. It wasn’t until later (when we moved out of university accommodation) that I was in any way inclined to visit the shop for organic fruits and veg from the shop. Not only that, they serve freshly baked bread, pastries and offer organic food for pets and other organic products for the home. If you ever wished you could find a shop similar to Tesco where you can buy organic meat, vegetarian or vegan options, Earthy should be your go-to store.
We used to get Lily’s Kitchen organic cat food for Tigger, but when we got Nala it ended up costing too much each month to sustain the cost and we ended up looking for alternatives. I recently arranged to meet up with a blogger friend of mine, Sarah from My Veggie Travels, for a catch up and Earthy was definitely somewhere I can see myself visiting more often.
Baked goodies and sandwiches are freshly prepared each day and you can definitely find vegan as well as vegetarian options here. The staff is also very friendly and will have a banter with you, so be prepared to be caught off guard by their sense of humour! My favourite part of the visit? The vegan maple syrup cupcake!
Home baked vegan maple syrup cupcake
If you’ve been to Edinburgh, or are a resident, are there any other coffee shops that you would recommend?