The best breakfasts in Edinburgh

The finest cafes, bistros and restaurants in the capital for a morning meal

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The best breakfasts in Edinburgh

Pancakes at Heller's Kitchen

Broughton Delicatessen
7 Barony Street, 558 7111, broughton-deli.co.uk
Breakfast served: Mon–Sat 8am–3pm; Sun 11am–3pm.

What does this place not do well? A great deli, healthy lunches and superb, made-from-scratch breakfasts from morning until 3pm every day. The Broughton Deli breakfast is a stand-out, with homemade potato scones and special recipe baked beans alongside bacon, black pudding and scrambled egg. Or, for an American twist, try maple syrup-doused pancakes with fruit or bacon. (David Pollock)

Falko Konditormeister
185 Bruntsfield Place, 656 0763, falko.co.uk
This German bakery/café, already renowned for its tasty selection of cakes, also offers two brunch menus on weekends: a two-course eggs Florentine and granola combo, or a hearty cold meat-and-cheese platter with a pretzel and croissant. Both come with fruit juice and a tea or coffee, and cost only £9.80. Yum. (Niki Boyle)

Heller’s Kitchen
15 Salisbury Place, 667 4654, hellerskitchen.co.uk
Breakfast served: Mon–Fri 9.30am–11:30am; Sat 9am– 3pm; Sun 10am–3pm.

At the opposite end of the spectrum to your standard greasy spoon is Heller’s, a spacious and sophisticated breakfast place offering an imaginative menu. If you can make it past the freshly baked sugar doughnuts in the window (always snapped up fast so get there early) we suggest ordering indulgent American style pancakes with either smoked bacon or fresh fruit. (Emma Prior)

The King’s Wark
36 The Shore, 554 9260, thekingswark.co.uk
Breakfast served: Sat noon–3pm; Sun 11am–12.30pm. Brunch served: Sun 12.30pm–3pm.

They only serve it on Sundays, but the Kings Wark’s brunch is an Edinburgh institution. The full breakfast, smoked salmon and scrambled egg bagels are positively pedestrian in comparison to a plate of smoked haddock, haggis and tattie scones or the fearsome rib eye steak with fried egg and potatoes. A spinach crêpe is also on offer for the veggies. (David Pollock)

Leo’s Beanery
23a Howe Street, 556 8403, leosbeanery.co.uk
Breakfast served: Tue–Fri 8am–noon; Sat & Sun 9am–noon; closed Mon.

A single sandwich board points the way down to Leo’s basement on Howe Street. It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it place, making it the perfect hideaway from the city hubbub, and the buggy brigade in nearby Stockbridge. Enjoy free-range scrambled eggs on wholemeal artisan bread, or, for something different, oven-roasted aubergines on a bagel. All with excellent coffee, naturally. (Emma Prior)

Mimi’s Bakehouse
63 The Shore, 555 5908, mimisbakehouse.com
Breakfast served: Mon–Fri 9am–noon; Sat & Sun 9am–1pm.

This Leith café’s monochrome candystripes and 1950s pin-up artwork draws cupcake-lovers at afternoon tea time, but for something more sturdy, their breakfast menu includes a full Scottish, porridge with cinnamon and brown sugar, or delicious slices of French toast with bacon and maple syrup. They recently expanded into the premises next door, but small weekend queues are still likely. (Claire Sawers)

Peter’s Yard
7 Simpson Loan, 228 5876, petersyard.com
Breakfast served: Mon–Fri 7am–noon; Sat & Sun 9am–noon.

Peter’s Yard is a paragon of Scandinavian minimalism – a café where both food and décor are simple, elegant and very pleasing indeed. Breakfast consists of freshly-baked breads with cheese and preserves. Watch the magic happen through the viewing windows of the bakery or, if you’re in a hurry, grab a highly recommended latte and a traditional Swedish cinnamon bun at the Savour to Go shop round the back. (Emma Prior)

Spoon
6a Nicolson Street, 557 4567, spooncafe.co.uk
Breakfast served: All day Mon–Sat 10am–10pm; closed Sun.

There’s a lot to love about this artsy central hangout – up the stairs from Nicolson Street’s buzz, and offering breakfasts ranging from porridge or fruit salad through to a full mixed grill – but it’s their breakfast rolls that we adore in particular. Served on a fulsome and herb-infused crusty roll, they’re a contender for the best in Edinburgh. (David Pollock)

Toast
146 Marchmont Road, 446 9873, toastedinburgh.co.uk
Breakfast served: Mon–Fri 10am–noon; Sat & Sun 10am–3pm.

Worth braving weekend brunch queues for: breakfast classics are finely executed – expect good quality, herby sausages, just-crisp bacon and homemade beans in the full works – but there’s a wealth of more unusual options, too: French toast comes either with bacon and maple syrup or with goats cheese and honey-baked tomatoes. And save room for gorgeous cakes! (Laura Ennor)

Urban Angel
1 Forth Street, 556 6323; 121 Hanover Street, 225 6215
Forth Street breakfast served: Mon–Sun 9am–5pm.
Hanover Street breakfast served: Mon–Sat 9am–5pm; Sun 10am–5pm.

These smart, modern bistros do a good line in early morning pick-me-ups, catering as much for the calorie conscious or those who don’t give a damn. You can pick from yoghurt, bircher muesli and pastries, or go the whole hog with some of the best eggs Benedict served anywhere in Edinburgh. Arbroath smokies and a mix’n’match fry-up are also on offer and vegetarians will find themselves not unwelcome here. (David Pollock)

And if you're craving something specific …

{CROISSANTS}

Manna House
22–24 Easter Road
Falko Konditorei
185 Bruntsfield Place

{BACON ROLLS}

Spoon
6A Nicolson Street
Rocket
41 Morningside Road

{PORRIDGE}

Edinburgh Larder
15 Blackfriars Street
Café Milk
232 Morrison Street

{JUICE & SMOOTHIES}

Hula
103-105 West Bow

{PANCAKES}

Heller's Kitchen
15 Salisbury Place

{FRENCH TOAST}

Toast
146 Marchmont Road
Mimi’s Bakehouse
63 Shore

{EGGS BENEDICT}

Circle
1 Brandon Terrace
Urban Angel
1 Forth Street

{FULL SCOTTISH}

The King's Wark
36 Shore
Broughton Deli
7 Barony Street

Broughton Delicatessen

7 Barony Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6PD

With deli goods and takeaway sandwiches to the front, and 24 covers of eclectic furniture to the rear, Broughton Deli does not concern itself with vanities. The international menu has a surprising mixture of platters, burgers and noodles available all…

Circle by Di Giorgio

1 Brandon Terrace, Canonmills, Edinburgh, EH3 5AE

Note: Circle Café came under new management subsequent to the review below. Circle Café is a stripped back, bare-brick former bakery, serving big breakfasts such as mounds of French toast (unusually using baguettes) with crispy bacon, as well as…

Edinburgh Larder Café

15 Blackfriars Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1NB

This deservedly popular café features a veritable Who’s Who of top-quality Scottish producers. With meat from Peelham, salad and vegetables from Phantassie and bread from Au Gourmand the simple dishes on offer can rely on the quality of ingredients to…

Falko (Konditormeister)

185 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4DG

Complete with a continental bicycle above bread-laden shelves, Falko Konditormeister is a slice of lazy-afternoon coffee-drinking heaven. This corner of Germany in Bruntsfield is already a well-known hangout for cake connoisseurs and has numerous awards…

Hellers Kitchen

15 Salisbury Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1SL

Don’t be fooled by the modest frontage: Heller’s is bigger on the inside. Like the surprisingly open and spacious interior, the menu expands from lighter daytime café options to a full evening’s culinary revelry, and the daily changing specials board…

Hula Juice Bar and Gallery

103–105 West Bow, Edinburgh, EH1 2JP

Skillfully combining healthy with tasty, it is unsurprising that this juice bar is frequently packed out. With around 40 people sat in between the main room and a snug at the back, as well as a steady stream waiting for takeaway, service remains…

The King's Wark

36 The Shore, Edinburgh, EH6 6QU

With a history dating back to 1432, this is one of Leith’s most venerable buildings. Although it has only been in its present guise for a comparatively short 22 years, its stone walls, hardwood floorboards, open fire and dark wooden furniture lend it an…

Leo's Beanery

23a Howe Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6TF

With its mismatched vintage furniture and air of aspirational bohemianism this is a definitively Stockbridge café. With weekly French classes and monthly supper and baking clubs, the efforts to establish itself within the neighbourhood clearly run more…

The Manna House

22–24 Easter Road, Edinburgh, EH7 5RG

It’s almost impossible to begin describing the Manna House in anything but a gushing tone. Small but perfectly formed, the reputation of the place as possibly Edinburgh’s best artisan bakery is spreading across the city, and what’s most inspiring is…

Milk

232 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8EA

Like the white stuff itself, quirky Morrison Street café Milk seems wholesome and pure, from the cream enamel tin plates to spotless tiled walls. The look is 1930s industrial: an old dairy maybe, with worn wooden benches and Formica tabletops, where…

Mimi's Bakehouse

63 The Shore, Edinburgh, EH6 6RA

Although still a relative newcomer, this family-run bakehouse has built a loyal following in just a few years. With a reputation for brilliant baking, their counter is piled high with traditional and inventive sponges, cheesecakes and tray bakes beneath…

Peter's Yard

27 Simpson Loan (Quartermile), Edinburgh, EH3 9GG

Blankets are provided at Peter’s Yard so you can persevere with alfresco eating even in the colder Scottish months. As testament to its popularity the outdoor tables are filled with coffee-drinking students and pastry-munching professionals all year…

Rocket Café

41 Morningside Road, Edinburgh, EH10 4DR

A bowl of steaming chicken and coconut stew with huge hunks of bread reveals an enthusiasm for fresh home-cooked food at Rocket Cafe. Portions are generous and almost everything here is made on the premises, down to their own hummus and pesto. Ideally…

Spoon

6a Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DH

Rocking the boho bedsit chic, with elegantly mismatched retro furniture, lampshades and crockery, this is one Spoon that’s unquestionably more loving than greasy. The menu’s packed with wholesome, healthy options, a decent proportion of which are…

Toast

146 Marchmont Road, Edinburgh, EH9 1AQ

Very few places attract queues, and those that do are usually trading on being the hot new cocktail spot in town. A weekend brunch at modest, unpretentious Toast, on the other hand, really is worth the wait. A haphazard parade of paintings jostle for…

Urban Angel

1 Forth Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3JX

Over the past few years Urban Angel has established itself as an essential part of the vibrant dining scene around Broughton Street. The uncluttered and inviting main room is well run by simultaneously enthusiastic, relaxed and efficient staff. The…

Urban Angel

121 Hanover Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1DJ

Drop down from the shoe-beaten pavement of Hanover Street into the comfortable ease of Urban Angel. The sunlight-brightened front room makes it easy to forget you’re in basement premises, while the quiet backyard courtyard, off the cosy rear dining…

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