Split whole, smeared with cream cheese or stuffed with smoked salmon, the bagel is the ringed baked good to rule them all. From sea to shining sea—and a brief detour up north to Canada—these are the bakeries serving up the best bagels in North America.
Sadelle’s — New York, New York
Sadelle’s—and more important, their bagel spread—is a SoHo brunch mecca. Their specialty is an everything bagel that boasts fennel seeds and caraway seeds as the topping, packing a particularly aromatic punch.
St-Viateur Bagel — Montreal, Quebec, Canada
If you’re going for a true Montreal-style bagel, you might as well start with the longest-operating bagel shop in Montreal, St-Viateur Bagel. In business since 1957, the bagels are served 24-7, with bakers using wooden planks to ferry bagels directly from oven to display case. In case you need a refresher, Montreal-style bagels are petite bagels boiled in a honey-sweetened water rather than barley malt and water, then baked in a wood-fired oven. They’re sweeter and denser than New York-style bagels, but no less delicious.
Philly Style Bagels — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
What makes these bagels “Philly style”? They’re fermented in small batches, boiled in a mix of water and beer from Yards Brewing Company (a local brewery that’s been operating in Philadelphia since 1994), and baked on wood planks in a high-powered oven, the same way many restaurants bake their pizzas.
Eltana Wood-Fired Bagel Cafe — Seattle, Washington
Hand-rolled and baked in a wood-fired oven, Eltana’s bagels are modeled on the classic Montreal-style bagels but with a faintly sourdough-like flavor on the interior and a smoky, slightly charred exterior.