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The Best Bagels in NYC, Ranked

    The Best Bagels in NYC, Ranked

    The cherished, chewy-yet-tender breakfast staple of New York City has set a standard that cities across the nation endeavor to match.

    In an effort to identify the finest bagels in the United States, we enlisted the assistance of culinary writers and restaurant critics from across the nation. Our research proved more difficult than anticipated: Journalists in San Francisco, New Orleans, and Philadelphia claimed their communities had little to offer in terms of the esteemed holey breadstuff compared to New York.

    Some of the finest bagels we discovered in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and St. Louis are designated “the best” because they come nearest to re-creating the enchantment created in New York City. These stores produce versions with that New York look, New York density, and that New York certain something. We also encountered an opposing viewpoint that favors the lesser-known Montreal-style bagel baked in a wood-burning oven. These smaller, denser bagels can be found in Seattle and Burlington, among other cities.

    1. Alpharetta, Georgia: BB’s Bagels

    Unless you travel approximately 30 miles north of Atlanta, you won’t find anything resembling a “real boiled bagel” in Atlanta. To get a flavor of the northeast in the South, you must “expedition to the suburbs” to Alpharetta’s BB’s Bagels. It is the only location in the Atlanta metropolitan area that offers hand-rolled, kettle-boiled bagels, earning Kessler’s esteem as “the city’s best” despite requiring a bit of a trek to reach. As a self-described “vanilla bagel fresser” who ordinarily orders sesame or everything with plain or scallion cream cheese, Kessler recognizes the beauty of BB’s olive pimienta schmear: “It has a pleasant sense of place because it seems a bit like Jewish pimiento cheese.

    2. Austin, Texas: Wholy Bagel

    The Best Bagels in NYC, Ranked

    The Longhorns have demonstrated their ability to produce a high-quality baguette. “I seek an exterior that is slightly glossy, firm, and almost crunchy, with a soft, chewy interior.”It is also essential that bagels contain salt in the batter.” Wholy Bagel, launched in 2010 by former bakery-supply merchant and New Jersey transplant Scott Campanozzi, meets Feit’s high standards. The bagels are kettled and baked on the premises, and by 1 p.m., most varieties are typically sold out. Specialties include salt, everything, sesame, and onion, as well as authentic pork roll flown in from the Eastern United States. Wholy Bagel is proud of its location and offers a Texas-style baker’s dozen of fourteen. What was Campanozzi’s logic? Everything in Texas is larger.

    3. Brookline, Massachusetts: Kupel’s Bakery

    Although the “smaller and much softer” Boston bagel cannot compete with the “nice chew” of a New York bagel, Boston Magazine’s contributing culinary editor Annie Copps Bakery in nearby Brookline, Massachusetts produces an “in-between” bagel and offers “crazy-good cream cheese spreads.” Kupel’s, which was opened by the Kupelnik family in the late 1970s, now has new proprietors who continue the tradition of creating bagels with irregular shapes. They offer more than twenty different types of bagels, but sesame, egg, and poppy seed are their “calling cards.” The extensive selection of cream cheese includes scallion, honey walnut, dill, and green olive flavors. And according to Copps, Kupel also bakes traditional Jewish bread such as rye, pumpernickel, and several varieties of challah.

    4. Burlington, Vermont: Myer’s Bagels

    The Best Bagels in NYC, Ranked

    Melissa Pasanen, a New York expatriate who writes for the Burlington Free Press and Vermont Life, maintains that nothing equates to a genuine city bagel, so she dismisses imitations in her new city. “Myer’s Bagels are made in the Montreal tradition. “I enjoy them very much, but they are distinct.” Lloyd Squires, a native of Montreal, owns Myer’s Bagels, which provides salt-free, narrow, spongy bagels. They are simmered and then baked in a wood-fired oven, emerging fatter and slimmer than their New York counterparts. Pasanen adores the unconventional Myer’s Cheddar-Dill bagels and olive-pimiento cream cheese. In addition, she lauds their sesame and everything bagels, as well as a selection topped with a Montreal sirloin seasoning blend.

    5. Delray Beach, Florida: Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co

    Even if it entails altering the H2O, no shortcuts may be taken by a bagel company whose mission is to precisely replicate the legendary bagel of Brooklyn. Daniel Treiman, food writer for the Miami New Times and Edible South Florida, acknowledges that it’s nearly impossible to find “crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside” bagels. However, the Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co., which has multiple locations in Florida and a few in California, has delved into its water pipes to come as close as possible. Because many New Yorkers believe the secret to their bagels’ success lies in the water, OBWB developed its own water-treatment system to replicate the gentle water used to boil their bagels. Treiman recommends their Asiago-Parmesan, Omega 3, or sunflower varieties with a bottle of their “Brooklynized” water if you’re feeling adventurous.

    6. Lincolnwood, Illinois: New York Bagel & Bialy Corp

    The Best Bagels in NYC, Ranked

    Sam Worley of the Chicago Reader characterizes his ideal bagel as “dense and chewy, not too large, with a sort of glossy skin”; such a bagel is a precious rarity in the Midwest. Worley believes that a store in a strip center in Lincolnwood, Illinois, which is less than 30 minutes from Chicago, is the only place to find such treasures. Bagels produced by New York Bagel & Bialy Corp are made fresh, boiled, and then baked. Worley asserts that this bagel shop’s “mish-mosh” bagel, which contains dried onion, garlic, salt, caraway, and other seeds, and its drugstore-like hours are what makes it so distinctive. New York Bagel and Bialy Corp is open 24 hours a day and offers carbohydrates at any hour. Worley states, “I’ve never stopped in at 2:00 a.m., although I’ve been tempted.”

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