The sweetest places to procrastin-eat in Edinburgh during exams

Here’s to your exams being a piece of cake

Is exam stress getting you down?

Are you crammed into the library all hours of the day with no end in sight?

Are you looking for that extra bit of motivation to get you through a day of revision?

If yes to any (or all) of the above then have no fear, here is a list of the best places close to campus to get a sugary sweet treat to help you procrastin-eat all of your troubles away.

Mary’s Milk Bar

First on the list is, arguably, the best place to go for ice cream in Edinburgh. Located on Grassmarket, Mary’s is close enough to pop there and back from the library in less than half an hour.

You can get a hefty scoop for just £2 and the flavours on offer range from wine and plum (ooh-er) to the simple – but equally delicious – milk ice cream that Mary’s is known for. If that wasn’t enough to tempt you, the view of the castle from the window is beaut and well worth dragging yourself away from revision for.

That view though..


Despite being a bit further away on West Port (between Grassmarket and Lothian Road), Lovecrumbs is definitely worth the extra journey. Marketing itself as a ‘cake-only cake shop’, it offers a wide range of quirky cakes and desserts for those who have an appreciation for all things sweet.

The cosy interior is a nice contrast to the sterile library and the food itself looks amazing, meaning that you’ll be able to get that all important insta pic to show off how great your brownie meringue pie was.

Just the one slice…


Located just a minute from Bristo Square, Checkpoint is super close to campus so you don’t have to worry about taking too long of a break from revision.

Although it sells a wide range of food, including subs, salads and other savoury snacks, there’s a tasty selection of treats with available for vegans and vegetarians too. There are brownies, mini-croissants, scones and many more, with the vanilla sponge and grapefruit curd being particularly popular.

Although the desserts are a tad pricier (£6/7) it’s well worth it for a cake from one of the Times’ ’25 coolest restaurants in Britain’.

Coffee Angel

Just around the corner from Appleton on Nicolson street, Coffee Angel is a hidden gem. It’s comfy and spacious too, meaning that it’s perfect for sitting in and taking your books if you fancy a change of scenery for revision.

They have a great selection of cakes, brownies, slices and empire biscuits (all locally sourced) to choose from and a loyalty card that is stamped every time you go. With a ten per cent discount for students and for those who bring their own travel mugs to be used, it’d be rude not to give it a try really.

?☕️ #coffee #afternoonwakeup #edinburgh #eatinburgh #coffeeangel

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Elephant House

This is a must for any Harry Potter fans that haven’t already been. If you can manage to push your way through the mass of tourists taking pictures outside of the ‘Birthplace of Harry Potter’ and get a table you’re in for a treat.

The range of cakes and pastries on offer are delicious and they have freshly-squeezed orange juice available too. The cute drawings of Harry Potter-themed elephants on the wall make it somewhere unique and who knows, maybe some of J.K. Rowling’s creative genius will rub off on you while you’re there.

Elephant house in Edinburgh! #jkrowling #harrypotter #whereitallstarted

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Brew Lab

Right next to Old College, Brew Lab is perfectly situated for a quick revision break since getting to it is a piece of cake (get it?). There’s a wide range of baked goods on offer and, paired with a high-quality cup of coffee, will give you the boost you need to get through exam season.

The cakes on offer are displayed in the window so have a nosey next time you walk past and see if anything takes your fancy.

We've been invaded by Easter chickens! Come get some cake! #easter #cake

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Vittoria on the Bridge

Although it’s mainly a (pretty fancy) restaurant on George IV Bridge, many people don’t know that Vittoria’s has a nice selection of ice cream too. There are loads flavours available in a tub or cone, with my personal favourite being the double chocolate chip (!!), and it’s close to campus meaning that you don’t have to tear yourself away from revision for too long.

Frisky Froyo

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to the other sweet treats on the list then you could always pop over to Frisky on Forrest Road where their small cup of frozen yoghurt has less than 100 calories .

The prices range from £2.70 to just under £6, depending on which size/how many toppings you want, and there’s a huge range of toppings from fresh fruit to sticky brownies to choose from so there’s bound to be something there that takes your fancy.

Feeling frisky?

Pumpkin Brown

Another option for those of you who fancy a healthier vibe. Pumpkin Brown is situated on Grassmarket and serves a selection of, in their own words, ‘Clean. Raw. Delicious’ food. If the healthiness of the food hasn’t already tempted you then the look of it definitely will. Anything that looks that good is sure to taste amazing.

Although it is a tad pricier than some of the other options on the list, if you’re looking for organic and plant-based cake suitable for veggies and vegans then this is the place for you!

Purple cake??

Hopefully something on the list has tickled your (French) fancy so get out there and treat yo’self with something sweet this exam season, you know you want to.

(Photo credits for Pumpkin Brown, Lovecrumbs and Frisky: Carla Willars)