A guide to the best Edi coffee shops to study in
Tired of always being in the library? Me too
With deadlines fast approaching, using the library’s “sterile energy” as an excuse to skip coursework is getting a bit old. Sadly, it’s time for us to put our heads down and do some actual studying.
However, this doesn’t have to mean hours on end in the library. I tested out all of your favourite Edinburgh coffee shops, as well as some hidden gems, to find out where’s the best place to get some work done.
Pret a Manger
The Pret subscription free trial is an Edi rite of passage and if you haven’t got it yet, what are you doing?
Pret on North Bridge is one of Edi’s best places to study with reliable wifi and lots of space. But make sure to arrive in the morning if you want a good seat, otherwise you might be stuck playing a game of musical chairs.
Because it’s a popular student spot, if you get bored of your readings you can always eavesdrop on the group of freshers next to you recounting their adventures in Hive last night.
Pret do have several signs mentioning a one hour seating limit however, so be prepared to be given the side-eye if you stay for too long.
Right next to the Surgeon’s Hall Museum and just a short five minute walk from George Square, Cafe 1505 is a hidden gem that’s perfect for a study session before your Lidl run.
The interior is roomy and great for studying with a warm color scheme, a leaf wall (some serious room decor inspo), and free wifi and power outlets. Staff are friendly and won’t pressure you to give up your seat or buy another drink once you’re done.
Plus, the cafe’s background music includes a blend of Måneskin and Aretha Franklin that makes for the perfect study playlist and muffles all your keyboard tapping.
If you’re looking for a study spot with lots of space, outlets, a work-friendly environment, and – most importanty – free wifi, Caffe Nero is the one.
I tested two of Edi’s Caffe Nero locations and both had plenty of seats available, even in the afternoon.
We used their wifi for HOURS without having to buy another drink, and it’s reliable—seriously, we joined our Blackboard live sessions with ease (not sure you can always say the same about eduroam).
The big windows mean lots of natural light, and for a study break, you can always get outfit inspo from the Edi students strutting down the runway that is Nicolson St.
Balcony Cafe in the National Museum of Scotland
The best spot for a rainy day, the Balcony Cafe’s bright natural light and open setting make for the perfect study environment. Studying surrounded by exhibits is inspiring and gets you in the right headspace for all that reading you’ve been putting off.
I went on a Sunday afternoon and there were plenty of tables available. It’s an ideal spot to hang out for hours, get some work done, and then take a break to check out that fashion exhibition.
It can get a bit noisy on the weekends, so be prepared to witness a temper tantrum (from todlers and parents alike). This might provide inspo for that Sociology essay though…
Right across from the Law College, Brew Lab is perfect for studying after a seminar, and will give you that super aesthetic latte pic for your Instagram story, because priorities right?
As someone perfectly satisfied with McDonald’s iced coffee, I did feel a bit out of place walking into Brew Lab. But the exposed brick interior has a grungy rustic vibe that’s not only motivating, but will have you whizzing through your reading in no time. Or maybe that’s just their high-quality coffee kicking in, who knows.
Because it has table service, Brew Lab isn’t the type of place where you can sit for hours with just one coffee—if you do, I admire your confidence.
New Amphion in Teviot
New Amphion is the study spot that doesn’t seem popular until you show up on three different days at 11am, laptop in hand, and every single table is full, causing you to trudge begrudgingly to the library instead (definitely not speaking from experience here).
While the academic vibes are great for studying, it’s such a common study space that you have to arrive early to get a seat. Plus, most of the tables don’t have plug access anyway, so you’re better off finding somewhere else first tbh.