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Elephant House

$$ - $$$
Old Town
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21 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EN, Scotland
+44 131 220 5355
08:00 - 23:00
Closed now
All hours
Sun 09:00 - 22:00
Mon - Thu 08:00 - 22:00
Fri 08:00 - 23:00
Sat 09:00 - 23:00
More Info
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1,555 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,198: English reviews
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed today NEW

The cafe is definetly only popular because of Harry Potter. The decor is very mismatched and has a bizarre atmosphere that's slightly uncomfortable. There seems to be a lot of staff, but most are just wearing hoodies standing talking to each other in the kitchen. The food is alright, but quite over priced

Thank Craig S
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

You can't get into the cafe without you buy something first. If you are a Big Harry Potter fan, The beautiful writings on The toilet walls will move you. Otherwise not a very interesting place.

Thank Natascha L
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We decided to make a full day Harry Potter-esque Tour of our own. One of the stops our daughter insisted on was visiting Elephant house. Anywho, upon arrival there was a small line. While waiting for a seat this group comes in, only because they see a waiting line and assume the place must have great food. He asks me... More 

Thank Wendy R
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
159 reviews
100 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

First, if you're a Harry Potter fan, you're going here anyway. I'd actually forgotten the whole story about it, so it was more an accident we wandered in. So: comfortable, good ambiance, good coffee, and they make an EXCELLENT Bailey's with hot chocolate. The desserts were good enough to pass up Patisserie Valerie, which I don't do often. The lack... More 

Thank kevin f
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

It's no secret that this is where J K Rowling went and wrote some of Harry Potter, I mean, it was one of the reasons my friend and I went whilst visiting Edinburgh. But what we liked about it was it didn't try to play to that, it is what it is, a cafe. It's cute, warm and the staff... More 

Thank Liv B
State College, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
43 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This charming elephant-themed coffee shop has excellent coffee, superb desserts, and a spectacular view of Edinburgh Castle. In addition, it just happens to be the place where JK Rowling began writing the series. Sometimes there are lines and sometimes you can walk right in, but either way if you love HP you should spend some time here

Thank Stacie C
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I was not impressed with this place. The staff had no charisma and could barely understand what we were saying. My baked potato was cold and the cutlery was filthy. My vegetarian friend had a vegetarian panini which had a piece of meat stuck to the outside of it. The decor is tired and someone really needs to invest in... More 

Thank Daniel R
Melbourne Australia
Level Contributor
57 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We came because my daughter fell in love with reading courtesy of Harry Potter, and she was keen to see where J.K. Rowling spent her time writing the first books. The food was quite good, with an excellent selection of tea and baked goods. The Scottish pancakes with bacon and maple syrup were really delightful. Service was a bit chaotic... More 

Thank Catherine L
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

If you're a potterhead this is a place you must visit when in Edinburgh. Although the food & drinks were decent but nothing to rave about, it was lovely to be in the place where JK Rowling wrote the books. It is also fun to see various other potterheads (both young and old) enjoying the cafe. Do take a look... More 

Thank Sarah B
La Mirada, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Lovely! A must for any coffee, tea, literature or elephant fan! So lucky we happened upon it from a recommendation from my daughter's friend. ⚡️❤️️

Thank Mbrimm

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Cafe, British, Scottish, Gluten Free Options
Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast, After-hours
Restaurant features
Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol
Good for
Local cuisine, Kids, Child-friendly, Cheap Eats
Open Hours
09:00 - 22:00
08:00 - 22:00
08:00 - 22:00
08:00 - 22:00
08:00 - 22:00
08:00 - 23:00
09:00 - 23:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 21 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EN, Scotland
  • Location: Europe  >  United Kingdom (UK)  >  Scotland  >  Edinburgh>  > Old Town
  • Neighbourhood: Old Town
  • Phone Number: +44 131 220 5355

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Elephant House and other visitors
2 questions
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Questions? Get answers from Elephant House staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?

Staying in Old Town

Neighbourhood Profile
Old Town
Few Edinburghers live in the Old Town, but its labyrinth of dank alleys and steep streets suggests this was not always the case. Today, it’s mostly visitors, tartan-flavoured souvenir shops, and pipers that you’ll find on its cobbled streets. This is the place to get a feel for Auld Reekie (Old Smelly), as the town was once nicknamed, and stroll the Royal Mile, the thoroughfare that links the castle with the royal palace – two of Edinburgh’s great set-piece attractions. But there’s lots more exploring to do here down dozens of little alleys, or wynds, while at night the city’s busiest clubs erupt along the Cowgate which is closed to traffic for this purpose.
Explore this neighbourhood