Bagels are, quite possibly, my favorite food. Moving from NYC, I was so nervous that I was entering a bagel desert here in Massachusetts. And while there are lots of tasteless, gooey, mediocre bagels around (let’s be honest — there are in NYC too), it IS possible to find a great chewy, crusty, flavorful bagel in Boston. Here are a few of our favorites:
Rosenfeld’s is a classic Jewish deli that offers all the old standbys as well as novel flavors. So whether you are an everything-with-lox purist or willing to branch out and try a new combo like chocolate chip with mocha cream cheese, there’s a bagel for you.
Kupel’s bagels are made fresh three times a day and are known for their chewiness. They have a huge offering of flavors (including multiple whole wheat bagels) and a delicious assortment of over 20 cream cheeses. There is truly something for everyone.
This hip bakery has a line out the door every weekend until they sell out. They are, by far, the most expensive bagel in Boston, and yet the slow fermented bagels are 100% worth the cost. Standout flavors like pretzel and cheddar garlic are a perfect base for their incredible egg sandwiches (featuring local ingredients) or their homemade almond butter. Don’t miss the house cream cheese flavor — honey rosemary — as well as their seasonal offerings.
Available at various pickup points around town, you’ll have to order ahead of time to score these bagels. But it’s worth it to savor a fresh poppy with sriracha cream cheese! Soon they will have a brick-and-mortar shop so you can pop in any time to try one of their innovative sandwiches (like smoked salmon with avocado orange caper relish) or soups as well.
Better Bagels :: Seaport (and various other spots, including 7Ate9 Bakery in Somerville, 1369 Coffee House and Bourbon Coffee House in Cambridge, Mohr & McPherson Cafe and American Provisions in Boston)
Better Bagels is a 2016 Boston’s Best winner, and for good reason. Their salt bagel is a Saturday morning standard in our family. The crust is crackly bagel perfection with a nice chew in the center — perfect with an herby cream cheese or a fried egg. They are opening a brick and mortar in the Seaport soon but are also available at various coffee shops around the city.
This is a national up-and-coming chain that proudly boils all their bagels and brews their coffee with “Brooklynized” water. In addition to the classic flavors, they also offer “baninis,” which is a mash-up of bagels and panini. Yum!
To be honest, I was skeptical that a grocery store bagel could stand up to any artisanal offering. But after multiple folks recommended Wegmans bagels to me, I had to concede that this many people couldn’t be wrong. Only the basics are for sale, but for your day-to-day bagel needs you can’t beat the convenience of popping into the grocery store.