Coffee isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Scotland. You probably think of rolling hills, lots of rain, and castles where the Royal reside.

However, Scotland’s ever-expanding coffee scene is represented by several long-established shops to choose from. From sleek downtown espresso bars and minimalist design lounges to cozy neighborhood cafes, Scotland has a coffee shop for everyone. Need to meet someone for business? Coffee shop. Need to relax on a quiet afternoon? Coffee shop. Coffee shops serve many different functions. I, personally, like to relax with a hot cup of coffee while using my laptop to play some bingo or twenty-one. Whether you’re just wanting coffee, to relax by yourself, or get some work done, there’s a coffee shop in Scotland to do so. Here are the best ones Scotland has to offer.

Cult Espresso

Cult Espresso, located in the nation’s capital of Edinburgh, is a popular favorite among British coffee enthusiasts. It has been operating since 2014, and is a family-owned coffee shop. The shop brews its own coffee beans which is a well known fact that makes it stand out from the rest. Cult offers espresso-based coffee and Kalita Wave pour over coffee, which is a drip filter coffee gadget that has a flat bottom that contributes to a fuller brew. The place, itself, is long and narrow, and offers plenty of seating on two levels. The decor is warm while having an industrial feel to it. Cult doesn’t just serve coffee, but brunch is also on the menu. They serve up everything from granola and porridge to eggs and waffles. Cult Espresso is a homey, hidden treasure tucked away for those true fans of quality coffee.

Kaf

Kaf is a must visit coffee spot located in Glasgow, Scotland. A tiny cafe, taller than it is wide, Kaf can seat only about ten people at once. The white walls and house plants give it a fresh, inviting feel while the large window at the front of the shop lets all of the natural light in, which makes the whole place feel airy and much bigger, despite its small size. Kaf is a very calm and focused cafe, staffed by knowledgeable and very friendly baristas. Their coffee is very carefully crafted, the attention to detail apparent in each swivel of latte art. Kaf is famous for its popular Scandi Plates featuring boiled eggs, bacon, cheese, new potatoes, hummus, sourdough, fruit and granola yogurt pots. There’s also a vegan menu, so there’s something for everyone. All of this, combined with its relaxing setting, makes Kaf the perfect place to ease into the day, enjoy a hot cup of coffee, and just plan out the rest of your day.

Papercup

Located near Kaf, Papercup Coffee Company is a local favorite. This coffee shop is always busy, always welcoming, and is very inviting. Papercup is a narrow, galley style cafe with a line of tables on the right, a long counter on the left, and a tiny kitchen it the back. The decor is unusual and uncomplicated, while there is a mural on the right hand wall overlooking the counter, by the famed Australian street artist Steen Jones. Dining at Papercup is a one of a kind experience. The narrow space and low tables allow you to be face to face with your drink as it is being prepared. Papercup’s brunch-focused menu includes french toast, several different types of eggs, fruit salad, and more. This shop roasts its own coffee and is a favorite among all the locals and students who populate Glasgow.

Papercup is a shop that roasts its own coffee right in the back.

Lovecrumbs

Lovecrumbs is a unique coffee shop that serves up hot coffee, delicious tarts, chocolate cake, vegan brownies, and much more. This place is almost always bursting with customers and is very popular with students and hipsters. Lovecrumbs offers an attractive window seat with piles of bright, oversized cushions for your comfort. The front and rear parts of the shop are primarily dedicated to coffee and cakes with seating, tables, and stools. The middle features a range of stylish and handy kitchen gadgets, textiles, magazines, and stationery. This spot has a vintage, upcycled feel to it. It is very relaxing and calm atmosphere. Lovecrumbs is all about good times, casual vibes, and decadent snacks, as they state on their website.

It All Started Here

It All Started Here is a unique cafe with both coffee and food on the menu. Their coffee lineup includes two coffees, one on espresso, one on batch, supplied by a different roaster each week. This cafe stands out from the rest with a three-seat window bar overlooking the street. The counter dominates the space, occupying most of the back on the right-hand side, with the espresso machine at the front. There is just enough space for you to file past on the left, which is where orders are taken. The decor is rustic with a modern feel to it. It All Started Here’s menu includes tea, hot chocolate, cakes and brownies. This is definitely a worthy coffee destination, as it doesn’t disappoint.