What is a community cafe? 

A community cafe should provide a cleanwelcoming and safe environment for different community groups - inclusive spaces. Some cafes will provide this for their immediate community. Others may be a hub for a specific group such as the recovery community in Edinburgh and Lothians.

A community cafe usually will address issues around sustainabilitycommunity cohesion and inclusion. They may be a revenue earner, or offer training opportunities or be a focal point for centre users and local people. Others may be part of a sports club or a leisure centre, offering refreshments to those taking part in activities or to chaperoning spectators. 

These cafes may all be very different from one another: however, they often have and work towards similar aims: 

  • Friendly and welcoming atmosphere
  • Sociable places preventing isolation
  • Promoting healthier eating and be affordable
  • Fair trade and local (where possible) and ethical 

Many of the cafes are Fundraising initiatives - here are a couple of examples. 

  • Cafe Life in Stockbridge supports independence and wellbeing of the elderly and their families. 
  • Space and the Broomhouse Hub -provides lunch clubs for dementia groups and other special needs groups as well as running training projects to young offenders. 

What is the Community Cafe Network? 

The Network brings the different cafes together to help increase the community cafe brand and to bridge, bond and link their social capital. As a network, we aim to share skills, training and knowledge, as well as increase the impact the different cafes have within their assorted communities.

Community cafes in the network support one another & work on projects which benefit everyone. The network is facilitated by Edinburgh Community Food and supported by the Healthyliving award and NHS Lothian. 

The healthyliving award rewards caterers in Scotland for dishing up healthier food and helping their customers make better food choices.  We at Edinburgh Community food can support cafes in successful application of the award.

The community café group is part of an NHS Lothian project to actively promote 'Breastfeeding Friendly' spaces and some of the cafes display this sticker.

This means that staff have had awareness training on the benefits of breastfeeding and there is visible encouragement and comfortable places for women who would like to do this.  It's already illegal in the UK to ask a woman to stop breastfeeding, but this is different, it is making sure she feels supported and encouraged if she choses to.

We're always looking for more cafes to display the stickers and posters and to get the training.  If you're interested to find out more, please get in touch with Jo on 0131 467 7326 or [email protected]

Hub Grub Cafe

Community Cafes

Cafe Area
Bridge Cafe - Holy Trinity Wester Hailes Wester Hailes
Butterflies Cafe Marchmont
Café Connect, Eric Liddell Centre Merchiston
Cafe Life Stockbridge
Café @ ONC | Oxgangs Neighbourhood Centre Oxgangs
Canalside Café Meggatland
Dalmeny Kirk Dalmeny
Grassmarket Community Grassmarket
Hub Grub Community Café Lochend, Restalrig
Kirkgate Cafe – Libertonkirk Liberton
Leith Victoria Swim Centre - Edinburgh Leisure Leith
The Mill Cafe – Balerno Parish Church Balerno
The Mission Café | Niddrie Community Church Niddrie
Newhaven Connection Newhaven
North Edinburgh Arts Community Cafe Muirhouse, Pilton
Out of the Blue Drill Hall Leith Walk
Perc U Up Cafe South Leith
Richmond Church Cafe | Richmond Craigmillar Church Craigmillar
Saltyard Cafe Dalry
The Space, Broomhouse Hub Broomhouse
Sycamore Tree Café Davidsons Mains
The Undercroft Cafe City Centre
The Water of Leith Conservation Trust Community Cafe Lanark Road