Best Bagels Outside of New York Slideshow
In 2010, New Jersey native and former bakery supply-salesman Scott Campanozzi, opened Wholy Bagel in one of the least likely places: Austin. His bagels, while of the larger variety, are made by hand, kettle-boiled, and generally are sold out by 1 p.m. every day.
Yes, it’s a bit of a gimmick to claim that the secret behind these bagels is that they’re boiled in "real Brooklyn" water, which is replicated in the Delray Beach, Fla. bagel shop’s own water treatment facility so it has the same properties as the motherland. That said, these are still some high-quality bagels, and the fact that owner Steven Fassberg produces his own water is a testament to just how faithful to the Old World style these bagels are. Crunchy on the outside and light on the inside, they’re so popular that there are already many locations, with more in the works.
Los Angeles is home to plenty of New York transplants, so when a phony bagel is placed before many Angelenos, they can tell the difference just by looking at it. Not so at The Bagel Broker, where bagels have been handmade since 1987 by two generations of the Tarnol family. There are some crazy flavors (jalapeño-Cheddar, etc.) but their plain bagel with lox and schmear is as good as any in New York, and they always seem to be fresh out of the oven. And we hear that they also make a mean bacon, egg, and cheese.
Beginning at 1 a.m. every morning, 20 varieties of bagels are made at The Bagel Factory in the same way that they’ve been made since 1974, getting a boil followed by a quick trip through a ripping hot oven. The finished product is not too big, crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, and sells for less than $1 each. It’s a small place with nowhere to sit, and it’s cash only, but with bagels this good, no frills are necessary. (Another plus: they don’t toast. If you want it toasted they make you do it yourself. Bagels this fresh don’t need reheating).
Thirteen miles outside of Chicago is the New York Bagel and Bialy Corporation, which reportedly goes through over a thousand bagels every day. They’re dense, crusty, and chewy, and the best-seller is the "mish mosh," which is coated in poppy, caraway, and sesame seeds, dried garlic and onion, and salt, and is the perfect Chicago answer to the everything bagel. Bagels are just $0.75, and their selection of lox, smoked fish, and other "appetizing" is second to none. Oh, and they’re open 24 hours.
Bialy’s is a no-frills bagel shop, serving up bagels and bagels only. Want it sliced? Do it at home. Want lox or cream cheese? Grab a package from the cooler. Want to pay with a credit card? Go somewhere else. Ask what’s hot and eat it right out of the paper bag.
Thirty miles north of Atlanta, this bagel shop is quite possibly serving up the best bagel in the Southeast. BB’s bagels are hand-rolled and kettle-boiled, and come in plenty of varieties along with a wide selection of cream cheese flavors. But if you stick with the classics — namely the smoked salmon platter with a plain bagel, tomatoes, capers, onions, and cream cheese — you’ll know why BB’s is so high on the list. On the weekends they also bake fresh bialys.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a New York-caliber bagel in Chicago proper, but if you drive about 16 miles north you’ll come across Kaufman’s, which recently reopened after undergoing an extensive renovation due to a fire. Not only do they serve up the best bagel outside of New York, they’re also home to a full bakery and Jewish deli, making their own pastrami and corned-beef in-house. All the baked goods served here are made from scratch in the same technique since Maury Kaufman first opened it in 1955. Go for the chewy, just-dense-enough bagels, but stock up on other baked goods while you’re there; it’s also one of the best bakeries in the country.