The Forest is a volunteer-run, self-funded, independent social centre and arts space located on Bristo Place, central Edinburgh, Scotland. It is run by a collective of volunteers on a not-for-profit basis and houses a café, arts gallery and performance space, a free shop, small rehearsal/music studio, darkroom. It is also a registered charity.
The Forest is popular with students, travellers and those who look for an alternative to more commercial cafés and venues. The organisation is based around a number of working groups with a flat participatory system which makes it easy for anyone to get involved. Free events are held regularly, including workshops, music, film, poetry, theatre and readings. Every year during August the Forest runs a theatre and arts programme alternative to the mainstream Edinburgh Festival events.Template:Cn
The café serves vegetarian and vegan food. The coffee served is Zapatista, while much of the food is organic and locally produced. Free internet access is also available via Wi-Fi or a public terminal in the front room.
The Forest was started in August 2000, originally located on West Port, off the Grassmarket, but moved to larger premises nearby at Bristo Place in September 2003, opening in October.
In 2004, the Forest Cafe was one of only four internet cafés in the UK to win a highly recommended citation in the Yahoo! Mail Internet Café Awards.