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Insider's Guide to Edinburgh

From a whisky warehouse-turned-restaurant to an artsy seaside suburb, Canadian bagel-shop owner Larah Bross takes us to her favourite spots.

Larah Bross

Photo: Marc Millar

Comedian Larah Bross moved to Edinburgh for love, but didn’t love the city’s lack of bagels. After 12 years of requesting shipments from Montreal, she opened Bross Bagels in the summer of 2017, an organic homage to her hometown staple that has locals lining up – so much so that she’s opening a second location this month. “Edinburgh is very multicultural and very foodie. I think I was meant to become its bagel lady.”

The Kitchin

1. The Kitchin

Tom Kitchin is a Michelin-starred chef who taught me all about sourcing local ingredients when I was his bar manager. The Scottish-French restaurant is in an old whisky warehouse in Leith and its dishes, like pig’s head and langoustine with crispy pork ear salad, are next level.


Photo: Ulmus Media, Shutterstock

2. Portobello

This seaside suburb has a sandy beach with a promenade, perfect for those rare summer days in Edinburgh when you actually need sunglasses. There are cute shops selling quirky gifts, books and art, rather than the kilt towels found on the Royal Mile. A community hub called Tribe Porty hosts artists, theatre events and programming like TEDx.

Dalkeith Country Park

3. Dalkeith Country Park

The stables of this 1,000-acre country estate are now a store and café called Restoration Yard, which sells home goods and clothing. And for kids, the Fort Douglas adventure playground has activities like zorbing, where they get into a giant clear ball that’s then pushed across a field, and archery (fortunately, with highly skilled instructors!).

4. The Stand Comedy Club

This is where I do most of my stand-up. My material is mainly about being the only Jew in Edinburgh, but now that I’ve opened the bagel shop I’m finding that isn’t true! The club is in a cellar, so it’s dark and dingy, but intimate. Order a Buckfast, a caffeinated fortified wine, which tastes like champagne and beer mixed together – it’s an acquired taste.