Bean Thinking: Scottish Coffee Guide

With our guide to cafes and roasteries across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee, you can treat yourself while treating others at the same time. It’s a win-win!

Feature by Tallah Brash | 29 Nov 2022
  • Outlier

A warming caffeinated drink and a slice of cake to fuel you through, and break up the monotony/rage of your Christmas shopping is a must. But a bag of locally roasted coffee beans, a coffee-making accessory or tote bag from your favourite local cafe also makes for a brilliant Christmas gift. 

In Edinburgh, independent coffee shops and roasters can be found in abundance, most of which sell fresh beans and coffee-making accessories on-site. Fortitude Coffee is a good starting point, with cafes in three key areas of the city – Stockbridge (66 Hamilton Pl), Southside (72 Newington Rd) and the New Town (3c York Pl). Cairngorm Coffee can also be found in multiple locations in the New Town (1 Melville Pl; 41A Frederick St), and you’ll find several Artisan Roasts too – in the New Town (57 Broughton St), Stockbridge (100A Raeburn Pl), Bruntsfield (138 Bruntsfield Pl) and Leith (72-72 Leith Walk). 

Excellent one-offs can be found in most corners of the city too, like Williams & Johnson at The Shore (Custom Lane, 1 Customs Wharf), Union Brew Lab in the Old Town (6-8 S College St), Machina Espresso in Marchmont (38 Marchmont Rd) or The Source in the West End (4 Spittal St). Just round the corner from The Source, you’ll find great gifts, cake and coffee on-the-go from Lovecrumbs (155 West Port) and Tasty Buns (67 Bread St), while pit-stops are a must if you’re in the area at The Milkman (7 and 52 Cockburn St), Nice Times Bakery (147 Morrison St), 101 Bakery (101 Newington Rd) and Bits Bake Shop (38 Dalkeith Rd).

Fortitude Coffee

In Glasgow, the coffee scene is also thriving with roasters like Dear Green supplying delicious beans to many cafes in the city, like Riverhill Coffee Bar (24 Gordon St), Cafe Strange Brew (1082 Pollokshaws Rd) and Pastéis Lisboa (280 Byres Rd) to name but a few. Roasters with their own cafes include Gordon Street Coffee (79 Gordon St) in the City Centre, The Good Coffee Cartel (12 Cornwall St) in Cessnock and Papercup (603 Great Western Rd) in the West End. In Govanhill, you’ll find coffee from The Good Coffee Cartel at the bakery (287 Langside Rd) on the weekends alongside a great provisions and gift selection to boot. For delicious treats and coffee on-the-go to help pad out your day, head for Laboratorio Espresso (93 W Nile St) or Outlier (38 London Rd).

In Dundee, for cake, pastries and coffee to break up the stress of it all head for the West Port where you’ll find The Parlour (no. 58) and the Newport Bakery (no. 54). Also from the team behind the Newport Bakery, you'll find Daily Grind on Exchange St (no. 18a), with beans courtesy of the excellent Arbroath roastery Sacred Grounds. While you’re out and about, keep your eyes peeled for bags of beans from Dundee roastery Brewery Lane, which you should find at places like The Bach (31 Meadowside) and the Heather Street Food van outside the V&A (1 Riverside Esplanade).

You’ll also find good coffee at Empire State Coffee Artisan Roasters (28 Whitehall Cres), as well as at EH9 Espresso (248 Perth Rd). While EH9 don’t roast their own beans, you’ll find bags of beans in-store from the likes of Brewery Lane and Edinburgh’s Cairngorm Coffee, among others. And if all that isn’t enough, you’ll find bags of beans and Italian treats like cannoli and aragostine from Dundee Espresso Lab (31 Commercial St).

And if you can't be arsed heading out to do your Christmas shopping, or have forgotten about someone important and only remembered about them at the last minute, most of the above roasteries have online shops with coffee subscriptions available. Give the gift of caffeine this Christmas!