This time of year can offer plenty of pleasures: like taking a walk in the brisk fresh air then hunkering down afterwards with a hot drink in a café. Scotland has lots of excellent cosy cafes in which you can escape the winter chill, so we’ve rounded up some of the very best.

The Wooer, Falkirk

2-4 Wooer Street, Falkirk

Open Monday-Thursday, 9.30am- 3.30pm, Friday 9.30am- 9pm, and Saturday, 9.30am-4pm

01324 278026

Vegans and vegetarians- this one’s for you. The Wooer is not only a cosy spot to grab a coffee, but Falkirk's first 100% plant-based café. It offers an extensive menu of cakes, main meals and nibbles that are all entirely vegan, as well as coffee that was given the seal of approval from the Scottish Independent Coffee Guide. Even if you are a carnivore, you won’t struggle to find something you like, with dishes on offer like ‘Sausage’ Rolls, Chilli Sin Carne, Bolognese Lasagna and Mac and ‘Geezi’. There’s also a variety of cheesecakes that change from day to day, although, of course, they come without any actual cheese.

ReadingLasses, Wigtown

17 South Main Street, Wigtown, Dumfries and Galloway

Open Friday-Tuesday, 10am-4pm (closed Wednesday) and Sunday, 12pm-4pm

01988 403266

If you close your eyes and imagine a cosy café, the chances are that that you’ve pictured something similar to ReadingLasses in Wigtown. Situated within an old cottage, it boasts a wood burning stove, plenty of cushions, cosy armchairs and lots of shelves of books. The abundance of reading material is to be expected given that the café is situated in Wigtown, which was officially designated as Scotland’s National Book Town in 1998 and has no shortage of great booksellers. The books aren’t the only attraction at ReadingLasses though. The team pride themselves on their cakes (of which there are plenty to choose from), homemade soup, sandwiches and high-quality coffee. It’s dog friendly too, and -despite the name and the pink exterior- ReadingLasses is not just for girls.

Brooklyn Café, Glasgow

21 Minard Road, Shawlands, Glasgow

Open every day, 9am-4pm


It might look a little outdated from the outside, but the Brooklyn Café is a proper gem within the southside of Glasgow. Guests can expect a warm welcome and hearty portions -with reliably cheery staff- in a cosy two-storey set up. The food is just as comforting as the surroundings: think ice cream sundaes, pancake stacks, club sandwiches and traditional Scottish fry-ups. The café is famous for its big breakfast challenges -involving three square sausages, three hash browns, three pancakes, three black puddings, five eggs, a bowl of beans, lots of toast, three links sausages and a thirty minute time limit- which is currently on hold due to coronavirus but expected to return soon. Keep an eye on the Brooklyn Café’s Facebook page for more information if you fancy taking it on yourself…

Damascus Drum, Hawick

2 Silver Street, Hawick, Scottish Borders

Open Monday- Saturday, 10am-3pm


With nearly 3,000 miles between them, you might think that you can’t get more different than the Syrian capital of Damascus and the Borders town of Hawick. But this cosy café aims to blend the two cultures together in one venue: with Turkish coffee, Middle Eastern menus and Syrian decorative touches mixed alongside local produce and Scottish cultural references. Damascus Drum opened in 2005, but the building that it is housed in has been around since back in 1881- with this historic interior creating a particularly homely atmosphere in the café. Since re-opening after lockdown they have introduced Perspex screens and fewer tables, but it's been done in a way that doesn’t detract from the atmosphere.

Hinterland, Perth

10 St Johns Place, Perth

Open Monday-Friday, 9.15am-4pm, Saturday, 9am-5pm and Sunday, 10.30am-4pm

Rated fourth out of more than 120 restaurants in Perth by the users of TripAdvisor, Hinterland is a must-visit while in the city. They are fiercely independent, placing a real focus on the quality of their coffee which they select and roast themselves. The food is also of a very high standard, with hearty portions and fresh ingredients that are always served with a smile. Hinterland’s brunch menu takes note of the trends for health-focused food -with avocado, luxury granola and porridge bowls- but there are also plenty of cakes and sweet treats for those who are less interested in eating healthily. Covid precautions have been taken very seriously, too, with bottles of hand sanitiser placed on each table and at stations dotted throughout the café.

The Coffee Press, Kilmarnock

1 Bank Place, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire

Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-3pm

01563 525054

The cakes on offer at this Kilmarnock cafe wouldn't look out of place on the Great British Bake Off. The Coffee Press puts a huge effort into the presentation of its food -particularly the sweet treats- with each item looking more appetising than the last, and plenty of choice on offer to suit all diets. The interior is bright and comfortable but the staff don’t hurry you out, so you can sit for as long as you want to enjoy your drink (and the atmosphere). Their coffee beans are ground fresh to order and they also have a varied range of specialist teas, frappes and hot chocolates.

Blend Tea and Coffee Merchants, Inverness

9 Drummond Street, Inverness

Open Monday- Friday, 8am- 6pm and Saturday-Sunday 9am– 5pm

01463 243394

It might look like a traditional cafe from the outside, but Blend offers a really exciting addition to Inverness' hospitality scene. They offer trendy bubble teas, which can be personalised, along with more than 20 hand blended loose-leaf teas (including oolong, green teas and fruit teas) and gourmet roast coffee in a range of flavours and styles. They can veganise most drinks by offering almond milk alternatives, and they also offer an extensive menu of vegan and vegetarian meals. But it is with their bagels that Blend really starts to show off. Forget cream cheese, the bagels here include fillings like Katsu Chicken; Onion Bhaji with mango chutney; even Nacho, which comes complete with salsa, guacamole and tortilla chips.

Alessio’s, Kirkintilloch

121 Cowgate, Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire

Open Monday-Saturday, 8am–6pm and Sunday, 9am–5pm

07724 423461

During lockdown Alessio’s had a near-constant queue of customers waiting for its takeaway offering- which should give you an indication of the quality of produce that they have on offer. You can expect expertly poached eggs, delicate smoked salmon bagels, fluffy waffles and gourmet salads and ciabatta rolls, along with more substantial meals like macaroni cheese. But what really sets Alessio’s apart is its coffee. Winner of the 'Barista Champion' at the Scottish Italian Awards, their freshly ground coffee is highly regarded by locals. And while it may not quite be the weather for it, you can also have your coffee iced if you want to fit in with the cool kids of Instagram.

Buttercup Café, Doune

7 Main Street, Doune, Stirling

01786 842511

Open Monday- Friday, 9am- 4pm, Saturday, 9am- 5pm, Sunday, 10am- 4pm

Small but stylish, this café is one of the best in Stirlingshire. Customers love the Buttercup’s cakes, soups (particularly the tomato and chorizo) and extensive range of brunch dishes. And while Doune might be a world away from the New Mexican city of Santa Fe, one of the most popular dishes is their Santa Fe bagel: filled with an omelette, grated cheese, sour cream and salsa. If you need perked up, the coffee is excellent too, with some lovely latte art that you can snap a picture of to share online.

Mackenzie’s Bakery, Pitlochry

104 Atholl Road, Pitlochry, Perthshire

01796 470555

Open Monday-Friday, 10.30am-5pm, Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 10am-5pm

Mackenzie’s is doing its very best to make sure the people of Pitlochry get their sugar fix. The pastries, scones and biscuits are hearty -if not necessarily healthy- and the fresh Italian coffee is excellent, too. They main café area is reasonably small, so doesn’t have a huge deal of space for tables when applying social distancing. But, fortunately, they have opened up additional seating upstairs as well as a heated marquee area offering seating outside, ensuring that as many visitors as possible get the chance to sample the famous Mackenzie’s hospitality. Make sure that you don’t leave without sampling their speciality product- the humble empire biscuits.