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Top 5 Coffee Shops for Students in Edinburgh

It’s no secret that coffee shops have been the foundation of creativity worldwide. JK Rowling wandered the cobbled streets of Edinburgh where she found her greatest productivity in coffee shops.

You don’t just have to stick with the student library. You can get up, clear the brain fog, and go grab a brew or remain there to study further. 

This is a quick guide to the top 5 coffee shops and cafes in Edinburgh to work and study in, including a few hidden gems.

Cult Espresso

Cult Espresso is a contemporary coffee shop featuring local roasters in a modern space. It’s run by a group of friends making the best coffees and having fun doing it.

A short walk from the meadows park, you can take a break from studying and recharge your batteries before returning to a variety of delicious food options and baked goods - all from local suppliers.

Hosting two floors of seating, there’s lots of room to cut down your workload, a real gem in the heart of Edinburgh.

Brew Lab

Brew Lab is a stylish spot just a short walk from The University of Edinburgh with places for group study sessions or quiet areas for reading.

The coffee is fantastic, single origin speciality-grade coffee from carefully considered roasters. They offer two espressos and two filters every day.

Each different. Each delicious.

Brunch is served in the morning and lunch in the afternoon with locally-sourced ingredients ready to fuel your study sessions and help you clear that workload.

Black Medicine Coffee Co

Black Medicine is the name that Native Americans gave to coffee, and during exam season it’s sure to cure that brain fog.

Located on Nicholson street, the interior is rustic, with benches and long tables that are popular with students, shoppers and office workers alike.

It’s a “busy wee coffee shop”, so get there early or reserve a table in the basement where you’ll find their mascot, the Black Med Goblin, causing all sorts of mischief while it helps (kinda) to serve you delicious bakes.

Balcony Cafe

Located less than a 5-minute walk from The University of Edinburgh, the Balcony Cafe looks over the grand hall of The National Museum Of Scotland.

Surround yourself with curiosity and let the ideas flow with spacious seating and romanesque revival architecture. The cafe offers tea, coffee, and a variety of bites to keep you motivated, if not the thousands of years of history that encompasses you.

Not known for its hustle and bustle, this is a great spot if you want to really put that thinking cap on.

Cairngorm Coffee

Cairngorm blends into the Scottish architecture on the corner of Melville street with fantastic views overlooking St Mary’s Cathedral.

A trendy coffee shop that serves freshly made sandwiches and bakes. The coffee is delicious - the roasters at Cairngorm are on a mission to make sure nobody has to settle for average coffee.

A well-known spot for working, so a perfect place to come and put a dent in that workload.

Perhaps best of all, is the moment you can go back to Arran House, Brae House, or Canal Point and relax after a hard day's work!