Nestled in the corner of the Festival Theatre on Nicolson Street, The Festival Theatre Café is a modern take on a retro French café currently offering a 20% discount (including alcohol in the evenings).
Although next to the main road, the café is undisturbed by the bustling city outside, even at noon on a weekday. Filled with warm wood colours, the room radiates a cozy, at-home vibe. While ordering, you are met with a smiling face, friendly small talk and prompt at-table service. The floor-to-ceiling glass windows make this a perfect location for people-watching while you kick back with a hot beverage of choice.
Despite it being busy, the café is quiet and accented with background tunes from the 1970s, contrasting the modern setting. Although it is very possible you might be the only person in the café who wasn’t around to see the 1970s, who doesn’t love spying on a group of nans out for a morning brew? The cappuccino was frothy, chocolatey and downright comforting – perfect for a rainy day.
Ciabatta, hummus, carrot cake and muffins galore – they also offer a variety of locally made baked goods, salads and fresh sandwiches; complete with vegetarian options to suit every customer. Perhaps most surprisingly from this somewhat posh venue, the prices are entirely reasonable. It’s student friendly with cappuccinos and hearty slabs of cake starting at £2 alike, the Festival Café is a coffee-addict’s dream – all accompanied by free Wi-Fi.
Only a five minute walk from George Square, it’s a quick jaunt for the swarms of students nearby. Open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm, aside from the usual coffee and tea, they also serve a range of soft drinks, cocktails and wines. Whether you’re on the hunt for a foamy coffee, hungry for a wee bite, or just looking for a place to hide from the Edinburgh rain – the Festival Theatre Café isn’t a bad choice.
Will it become a new student epicentre? That remains to be seen. But, it is a great place to come if you’re missing your nan and want some elderly company. Either way, grab a cuppa, refuel before your next class and hum to some 1970s tunes.