Set up in 1969 by a Polish couple, ‘Victor Hugo Continental Delicatessen’ is still going strong. Honestly, I don’t recommend it because of the standard of its coffee or food: both are pretty decent. Café Victor Hugo just has an amazing vibe.
Looking over the green expanse of the Meadows from the corner of Livingston Place, I love the sleepiness and quaint atmosphere: bright red paint, round cheeses behind the counter, and potted trees by the doorway. As it’s tucked away from the bustle of Old Town, the cafe is mostly frequented by locals, so it’s a great place for taking time out from the world.
Get a bottle of lemonade or some coffee, pull out a book, and before you know it an hour will have flown by. Better still, take a friend and people-watch from their outdoor tables, if the Edinburgh sun decides to shine. If you fancy heading further out of town, take the trip up to Blackford hill after your coffee.