Sightseeing in the Scottish capital is hungry work so you need to know where to start your day with the best brunch in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh is teeming with restaurants and cafés where you can fill your tummy with Scottish, British, and international dishes.
The Edinburgh brunch scene covers the full spectrum from greasy fry-ups to fluffy pancakes and nutritious smoothie bowls. Besides, you can pick up a delectable frothy or filter coffee in just about all of the cafés in Edinburgh.
Let’s spill the beans on the best brunch places in Edinburgh.
Most of the breakfast cafés in Edinburgh offer a selection of the traditional Scottish breakfast alongside avocado and eggs on toast, baps (bread rolls), and porridge or granola.
A full breakfast in Scotland is similar to the English version that you’ll find in London and beyond. Expect a mix of fried sausages and bacon served with buttered toast, grilled mushrooms and tomatoes, baked beans and your choice of eggs.
Some places include black pudding, haggis, and hash browns while most cafés serve a meat-free full breakfast for vegetarians and vegans in Edinburgh.
Haggis is a classic dish from Scottish cuisine, usually consumed at dinnertime. In general, you’ll find it included in the full Scottish breakfast.
Ordinarily, this is a savoury pudding of sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs (pluck) minced with oats, onion, stock, and spices. Back in the day, chefs cooked haggis while encased in the sheep’s stomach.
Nowadays, they use an artificial case. While the description puts a lot of diners off, most who try it actually really enjoy the unique flavour and texture. If you are spending a couple of days in Edinburgh, do “pluck” up the courage to try it!
However, you will find that brunch spots in Edinburgh often serve vegan alternatives to haggis. This consists of the same oats and spices with lentils, seeds, and vegetables adding more subsistence.
Take an Edinburgh Food Tour
If you want to enjoy the best of brunch in Edinburgh as well as some local classics for a late breakfast or early lunch (or an all-day eating affair!), then check out some of these food tours around Edinburgh that we love.
- Secret Food Tour: This 3-hour tour takes you on six stops around the city to enjoy Scottish classics like Haggis or neeps and tatties as well as some fantastic scotch whisky. The guides are very knowledgeable about the food history of Scotland and you’ll be sure to find a few fantastic restaurants that you wouldn’t have otherwise known about, that’s why it’s a secret! Book that food tour here.
- Vintage Bus Tour with Afternoon Tea: This cool double-decker bus will take you on a sightseeing tour around the city while you enjoy the perfect afternoon tea of sandwiches, sweets, and tea (or gin cocktails!). If you’re like me and prefer your sweet cakes with coffee, you can have that, too. Book this fun food tour here.
- Local Food Tasting Tour: This is part historical walking tour and part food tour. The guides are food-loving locals who want to show you the best local food alongside the cool modern spots that make Edinburgh so special today. The tour stops at 3-4 locations and includes food as well as a drink at one of the pub stops. Check out more and book this tour here.
Best Brunch in Edinburgh – Old Town
Edinburgh Old Town refers to the area around Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, and the Royal Mile. If you are spending one or two days in Edinburgh, this is where you will concentrate most of your energy. Give yourself the best start with brunch at one of these brunch cafés in Edinburgh Old Town.
1. The Edinburgh Larder
Open since 2009, the Edinburgh Larder swiftly moved on from its status as a hidden gem to the best brunch in Edinburgh. In fact, these days it has a sister property, right next door, the Little Larder. The duo serve the exact same food and drink menu as well as gift items in the secondary outpost.
Breakfast at the Edinburgh Larder spans the full Scottish breakfast with options for meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans. Other options include poached eggs – Eggs Royal with cold smoked salmon comes highly recommended – as well as baps, waffles, and porridge. Potions are generous and the atmosphere is cosy enough to convince you to order a second cup of coffee.
Located just off the Royal Mile on Blackfriars Street, the Edinburgh Larder is the perfect place to fuel up before an early morning of sightseeing. Plus, it opens bright and early at 07:30 am on weekdays and 08:00 am on weekends.
2. Guajira Café & Coffee
Guajira Café & Coffee is owned by local businesswoman Indhira. Indhira relocated to Edinburgh from the Dominican Republic with a dream to open a café in the city. 2022 was the year that her ambition came to fruition, making Guajira one of the newest cafés in Edinburgh.
The menu is heavily inspired by Latin cuisine, with wraps made from Peruvian flatbread and a chipotle and cheese Mexican-style croque monsieur. You will also find a selection of toast as well as baked treats if you’re in the mood for something sweet.
All dishes are made fresh with quality ingredients that’ll leave you feeling nourished. Furthermore, Guajira Café & Coffee caters well to vegetarians and vegans. Meanwhile, colourful interiors with a jukebox will inspire you to linger.
3. Rocksalt Café
Another top-rated spot to grab breakfast in Edinburgh Old Town, Rocksalt Café has an extensive menu to answer all cravings.
Beyond eggs and rolls, the French toast is a prime pick with the option to make it savoury with bacon or sweet with fruit.
On the other hand, you can dive into a traditional Turkish breakfast with feta cheese, sucuk (Turkish spiced sausage), and artisanal bread. Avocado toasts are available with your choice of scrambled or poached egg – along with a vegan-friendly for plant-based diners.
Swap your coffee for a fruit smoothie, or treat yourself to one of each. Jolt your immune system into action with a Vegi Twist, packed with ginger.
Despite the touristic appeal of this part of the city, food at Rocksalt Café is well-priced and accommodates travellers on a budget.
Best Brunch in Edinburgh – New Town
Edinburgh New Town is the commercial heart of the city, with gorgeous public squares, wonderful shops, and the monuments of Carlton Hill. As the setting for the top eateries in town, let’s whittle down the best brunch places in Edinburgh New Town.
4. Tani Modi
Tani Modi is a laid-back family-owned independent Edinburgh brunch café near Edinburgh Waverley and the Scottish Gallery.
Pancakes are the pride and glory of the Tani Modi kitchen. These come with a variety of savoury, sweet, and fruity toppings. Culminating in the American stack, this is draped in bacon, maple syrup, fruit, marshmallows, and peanut butter whiskey sauce.
To complement the pancakes, the Rafiki coffee roast was recently introduced as Tani Modi’s house coffee.
Sourced from Rwanda and roasted in Edinburgh, the coffee has distinct tasting notes and the brand aims to support coffee workers in the East African country.
Other brunch options include bagels, rolls, pastries, and a full Scottish breakfast.
Note, Tani Modi is closed on Mondays. Booking is recommended but not essential.
Dishoom is an Indian restaurant that, after taking London by storm, has since expanded north to Birmingham, Manchester, and Edinburgh. This independent chain was inspired by the Irani cafés of Bombay in the 20th century that peaked in the 1960s.
The breakfast and brunch menus typically include naan rolls, kejriwal (fried eggs on chilli cheese toast), and akuri (spiced, scrambled eggs spread over plump bread rolls). You can tuck into Bombay breakfasts that combine akuri with the staples of full Scottish with an Indian twist.
Whatever you order, we suggest starting with a bun maska – a soft bun designed to be dipped into a cup of Dishoom’s signature chai.
As well as being one of the most popular Edinburgh brunch spots, Dishoom is an excellent choice for lunch and dinner. Do yourself a favour and pin this one to your Edinburgh itinerary.
6. Urban Angel
Keeping residents and tourists fed for over 15 years, many consider Urban Angel the best brunch in Edinburgh.
Travels in New Zealand and Australia inspired founder and owner Gilly Macpherson to open the café. Ingredients are sourced with care according to the season and all slices of bread and pastries are baked in-house.
All-day brunch covers moreish eggs benedict variations served with the likes of pan-fried mushrooms, chorizo, and streaky bacon.
For something light, try the English muffin or spiced oat milk porridge. Health-conscious brunchers can load up with a smoothie bowl, made from either an acai or peanut butter base.
In addition to hearty smoothies, loose teas, and speciality coffee, baristas at Urban Angel make a mean chai latte and hot chocolate.
Best Brunch in Edinburgh – Stockbridge
With its village-like energy, Stockbridge is one of the coolest neighbourhoods in central Edinburgh. Treat yourself to breakfast in Edinburgh’s Stockbridge before heading to Dean Village or the Royal Botanic Garden.
7. The Pantry
Owned married couple, Charlotte and Chris Thomson, the brains behind The Pantry are upfront about the fact that their passion for food veers on the obsessive.
But, the result might just be the best brunch in Edinburgh. In fact, the British press has claimed that the signature eggs benedict is “reason alone to come to Edinburgh”.
Elsewhere, the Pantry Fry is Chris’s take on the full Scottish, made with prime ingredients and a side of haggis.
On the other hand, Charlotte’s longtime pledge to vegetarianism means that the menu tends well to those on a plant-based diet. There’s also a tempting plate of waffles with Belgian chocolate and a separate menu for kids.
Caffeine and tea aficionados can pore over a vast hot drinks menu fully customisable with your pick of milk and syrup.
Best Brunch in Edinburgh – Fountainbridge
Fountainbridge is tucked away to the south of Edinburgh Old Town.
It’s one of the best places to seek out budget-friendly accommodation within walking distance of the Royal Mile and Princes Street. Therefore, it’s handy to have a couple of local Edinburgh brunch spots up your sleeve.
8. Seven Café
Seven Café is a cute dog-friendly brunch place with kooky pieces of art and leafy plants crawling all over the fetching pink walls.
The house sourdough toast with avocado is customised with eggs, bacon, or smoked salmon while full breakfasts are available with vegan haggis.
If you’re travelling with a partner or buddy, our tip is that you order a main each and split the waffles for pudding. Produced on the property with that flawless blend of fluffy interior and crunchy shell, these are slathered with fruits.
Do consult the chalkboard for the latest smoothies. Some of these are blended with porridge oats and essentially constitute a meal in their own right. Coffee is frothed to perfection and made with organic milk or a non-dairy alternative.
Prices are reasonable, making SEVEN one of the most budget-friendly Edinburgh brunch spots.
9. Don’t Tell Mama Coffee Bar
Owned by a pair of Greek childhood friends who relocated to Scotland, the concept behind Don’t Tell Mama is to bring a dose of Mediterranean culture to the streets of Edinburgh.
The name is a nod toward the types of mischief the pals found themselves in and sets the tone for this hip little brunch joint.
All-day brunch revolves around Greek pastries such as the delectable spanakopita and artisanal bread topped with roasted vegetables, feta, and eggs.
The Greek Lover is a type of eggy bread cooked with bacon, honey, and sesame. Don’t Tell Mama has an extensive coffee, tea, and soft drink menu including filter and Greek coffee options.
If you’re thinking of catching up on work or trip planning over brunch, bear in mind that the Café is a laptop-free zone on weekends. During the week, you can surf and sip for 90 minutes.
In addition to seriously good grub, Don’t Tell Mama is committed to promoting the work of local artists.
Best Brunch in Edinburgh – West End
Edinburgh West End is where you’ll find Haymarket station and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Feed up at the best brunch place in Edinburgh West End.
MILK is one of the best places to grab breakfast in Edinburgh near Haymarket Station. This is a cheerful contemporary Café with white subway tiles and a globally inspired menu that’ll perk you up for the day.
Exact menus change at MILK to reflect the season but there are a couple of staples you’ll always find.
Lighter brunch options include granola with rose and pistachio served with yoghurt, brioche rolls, and porridge with marmalade. You’ll always find a vegetarian and meat-based full Scottish breakfast alongside eggs on toast for hungrier mornings.
Check out their burrito prepared with scrambled eggs and a dash of chorizo. And, the halloumi on toast topped with mint is ideal if you’re in the mood for something different.
Cakes are baked daily with a solid spread of options for vegans and gluten-free patrons.