Photo opportunities in Edinburgh are in every nook and cranny across the city, but it’s not just the colourful streets and pretty waterways that deserve your camera’s attention. Instagrammable cafés are all over Edinburgh, serving up stunning plates of brunch food, mastered coffee art and delicate desserts inside the most photogenic buildings in the city. Before you step inside we bet you’ll be standing across the road making the most of another worthy camera snap. Edible flowers, exposed brick walls, mugs you want to pack up and take home with you - they’re all works of art!
Check out the best cafés in Edinburgh that are delicious, affordable and insanely photogenic…
1. Mary’s Milk Bar
Is there anything more inviting than a vintage exterior? Mary’s Milk Bar is one of those spots where you’ll be taking photos before you even reach the doorway. Here it’s all about the freshest (and most delicious) scoops of gelato in Edinburgh, as Mary dedicates each and every morning to churning up her ever-changing flavours until 11am to ensure they live up to their soft and creamy reputation. While the outside is clearly incredible Instagrammable, the unique and unusual gelato flavours are also well worthy of a photo, too.
Expect the likes of whisky marmalade, almond and lemon curd, cherry amaretto and way more - you won’t be able to resist. If ice cream isn’t your thing, Mary’s Milk Bar also hand make their own high-quality chocolate.
2. Mimi’s Bakehouse
Mimi’s is one of the most popular spots for a coffee and cake in Edinburgh, and being the Scottish Baker of the Year for 4 years running, it’s understandable. While their breakfast, brunch and lunch menu is hearty and delicious, it’s really the cakes put this warm and welcoming family-run bakery on the list. Find Mimi’s main cafe right by the river in the heart of Leith, or Mimi’s Little Bakehouse in two locations in the Old Town.
The shop’s exterior lends itself perfectly as a backdrop to your already photo-worthy cupcake, so take it to go and make the most of it. Pop into your nearest Mimi’s to try some of the most famous cakes in Edinburgh - family recipes that have been passed down for generations.
3. The Pantry
With so many fancy eggs Benedict variations as well as the likes of fig confiture and orange whipped ricotta on your morning sourdough, you know they won’t be going halves on the presentation here. The Pantry is the ultimate brunch spot in Edinburgh if you want something absolutely delicious and, of course, easy on the eye. Plus, their latte art is mind boggling!
If it’s not French toast, waffles or peanut butter-packed porridge you feel like, their savoury options are also the stuff of Scottish legend whether you go for a meat or veggie option. Let us tell you they don’t go stingy on the portion sizes either.
4. Hula Juice Bar and Café
Not many food options are more Instagrammable than a tropical açaí bowl or a multicoloured poké bowl. At Hula Juice Bar you’ll have all the most photogenic options on the menu including an epic healthy drinks menu - fresh juices and smoothies, milkshakes, turmeric lattes, matcha lattes and more. Smoothie bowls, poke bowls and lunch bowls take up most of the menu because they’re that good! How they look on your Insta story is just a plus.
Hula’s interior design is also seriously photo worthy - on the rainiest of Edinburgh days you could feel like you’re in Bali with your smoothie bowl and bright, pastel wallpaper. Just take a look down their Instagram page to see how beautiful this place is.
5. The Milkman
The Milkman in the Old Town’s centre is all about that Insta aesthetic. They’ve nailed the moody, gothic-style interior to match the building itself - clearly one that’s been part of Edinburgh forever. It’s the perfect place for a chilled out afternoon coffee (word on the street is that it's the best coffee in Edinburgh), be that with someone else or on your own with a book.
If you love to photograph vintage signs then there’s no way you’ll be able to resist the Milkman which has old, original signage all across the exterior. The coffee itself is also irresistible, matched against the wooden benches or exposed stone walls.
6. Baba Budan
Doughnuts and coffee. This dreamy combination is one of the main draws of Baba Budan, but only if you know about it. Find it tucked away off the Royal Mile, just far enough away from the hustle and bustle to be a hidden gem on Edinburgh’s coffee scene. Coffee is Baba Budan’s pride and joy, sourcing only the best quality beans from the UK and Europe, with new coffees coming in every few weeks to give Edinburgh a taste of something new.
Then there’s the doughnuts - fresh, delicious and beyond beautiful enough to add to your camera roll.
This healthy cafe is a must if you’re after something photo-worthy to eat for lunch. The venture out of the city centre is well worth it for one of the prettiest plates of food in Edinburgh. From raw cakes displayed at the counter to protein pancakes to ‘health boxes’ that are packed with protein and flavour, and whether you’re vegan, gluten-free, eating clean or a meat-eater, everyone loves the food at Grams.
There’s something so aesthetically pleasing about the crockery and way they’ve plated up the food that makes it even more tempting to take a photo.
8. Soderberg Bakery
Get a taste of Sweden in the heart of Edinburgh at this Swedish bakery chain. The Scandi vibes will draw you in, and then you won’t be able to leave after inhaling the smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns (kanelbulle) and cardamom buns (kardemummabullar). The layers of different Swedish buns and bakes are just asking to be photographed, then the light and inviting interiors match the feel of the place perfectly.
Order a coffee, take your pick of a classic Swedish bake and take a window seat for the best photo opportunity.
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