Bagels (credit: Thinkstock)
The bagel has become an American breakfast staple and as ubiquitous as sliced bread. Yet everyone knows all bagels are not the same, and true bagels of perfection are simply like nothing else. Lucky for us, the Bay Area offers several bagel spots that can satisfy any picky bagel lover. Read on for five shops with terrific bagels and find your personal best.
3838 Telegraph Ave.
Oakland, CA 94609
Beauty’s Bagel Shop’s Montreal inspired wood-fired bagels take their cue from some of the best bagels on earth. Montreal bagels bring a bit of sweetness to their reputation with bagels rolled by hand, boiled in honey-infused water and then baked in a wood-fired oven — that’s the Montreal style. Beauty’s Bagel Shop tweaked the original recipe a teeny bit to get the organic, chewy on the inside, crusty on the outside, seeded babies that have Oakland fans lined up and salivating, and not just on weekends. Bagels $1.50/each, $8.50/half-dozen, $16.75/dozen. Check the website menu for bagel varieties and full range of bagel sandwiches, egg dishes and everything else.
463 2nd St.
Oakland, CA 94607
Authentic Bagel Company is doing well, thank you very much. Mark and Jason, two Jewish brothers from New England, have created their own chewy, crusty, wholesome bagel based on their grandmother’s recipe. It’s not promoted as a New York bagel or one from Rhode Island (the brother’s home state) but is a bagel close to their hearts “based on the authenticity of our family’s recipes.” Using a sourdough starter, the brothers have given their bagels a delicious and singular San Francisco taste that is both unique and familiar at the same time. Read their story here. Hand-crafted bagels are $1.75 each, and breakfast and lunch sandwiches, pastries, coffee and a few drinks round out the menu. Authentic Bagels’ bagels are proudly toasted at numerous cafes in San Francisco and around the East Bay. Stop by the new café at the bakery, grab a bite to eat and say “hi”.
House Of Bagels
5030 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94118
Baking bagels the authentic way, boiled and then baked on stone, House of Bagels has been in San Francisco at the same location for more than 50 years, but began making New York style bagels back in 1962. House of Bagels’ real NY-style water bagels come in traditional flavors such as plain, poppy and sesame, and not so traditional, like cheesy dill and apple ginger. Also, there are a variety of artisan breads, including challah, corn rye, pumpernickel and more, plus loads of fresh baked cookies and pastries, including practically everybody’s favorite: hamentaschen.
477 S. California Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Izzy brought his fond memories and love of Brooklyn bagels to Palo Alto in 1996 when he fulfilled his dream of making the bagels he loved. Izzy’s Brooklyn Bagels, the bagel shop Izzy dreamt of opening one day, is a popular local bagel shop in this busy university town. Izzy’s Brooklyn Bagels is also a kosher shop, to the delight of the community’s observant Jewish population. Izzy’s bagels come in a ton of flavors from traditional, as in plain and poppy seed, to the counter-traditional like jalapeño and chocolate chip. Bagels are $0.92 each. Also at Izzy’s: spreads, deli and homemade salads, gourmet wild lox, wraps, soups, babka and lots of surprises, hint: pizzas and quesadillas.
Sausalito, CA 94965
This super popular bagel joint enjoys a loyal customer base that likes to support small business. In spite of its small set up, with a counter for orders and a few table for eat-ins, Bridgeway Bagel boasts a large menu showcasing “bagels boiled and baked fresh all day.” There are reasonably priced bagels ($0.75 each), spreads, bagel specialties and sandwiches, with coffee and espresso drinks to wash it all down, and smoothies too. Stop by soon.