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Bross Bagels New York, Montreal, Edinburgh
New Review
Bross Bagels (Leith Arches)
6 Manderston St,
0131 629 4560
Opening hours (Leith Arches)Monday to Friday: 8.30am – 3.30pm Saturday to Sunday: 9am – 4pm

Larah Bross stands about halfway up the stairs to Leith Arches’ upper level, a glass of Prosecco in one hand. Her words this evening are improvised, she concedes, but it makes her introduction to her latest Bross Bagels branch all the more entertaining.

The owner of the popular (and rapidly expanding) boutique bagel chain is clearly comfortable in front of an audience, which makes sense given that the Canadian comedian also ran a youth theatre in Portobello for a decade.

Holding her fizz aloft, Larah mentions the former Leith venue was tiny, with the queues for bagels blocking the entrance to the neighbouring hairdresser (they’ll be glad Bross moved, she quips). Relocating to Leith Arches was therefore a natural one, with the added benefit of it doubling as a function venue. 

The new space, with its arched ceiling and wooden benches decorated with mismatched stickers ("oy vey”, one reads, "top secret” another), works perfectly for the fabulous yet casual food brand.

We should mention here that Larah’s bagels are a hybrid of the popular New York concept and its Montreal counterpart. "I lived in New York for four years and I’d get them to scoop out their bagels because I wanted more filling and less carbs,” she tells Edinburgh Evening News, a move that was considered rebellious, considering "you would never do that with a Montreal bagel”.

"One time, on the seven-hour drive home to get my washing done, I took the Whitefish Salad to Montreal with me and put it in a bagel. I didn’t know at the time, but that was the creation of the very first Bross Bagel – a New York deli filling on a Montreal bagel. It tasted amazing.”

Clearly, the concept has taken off in Edinburgh. The Leith branch is now one of five, including Portobello, the West End, Bruntsfield and more recently, Stockbridge.

I can see why: the fillings are delicious (I can’t choose a favourite, although I particularly enjoyed the Buffanono, which includes deep-fried cauliflower, buffalo sauce and slaw), the bagels themselves "are denser and skinnier, not like the big puffy doughy bagels, and they are boiled in honey water with a little bit of maple syrup in the dough, so they have a sweet edge to them,” Larah says.

We say: go. Go now. They’re addictive. (K. Wilkins)

Postscript Gift vouchers and catering options are available.

Bross Bagels

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