Phoodie’s Great Bagel Debate

bagels-naanFor months, with the help of our loyal, bagel-loving readers, we’ve been searching tirelessly for a source of good bagels in our seemingly uninspired and bagel-challenged city. Surprisingly, we’ve been able to come up with a pretty good list of bagel shops in the area, vouched for by our readers and writers alike. Now again we turn to you, dear phoodies, to vote for your favorites — poll style!

Don’t see your favorite place on the list? Let us know! LET THE VOTING BEGIN. Poll will stay live for a week. MAY THE BEST BAGEL WIN!

  • sal

    new york bagels, hands down the best in the city

  • Mithras

    I have only tried South Street, Bruegger’s, Manhattan, and Philadelphia Bagel, but of those, South Street Philly Bagels is the best. I’d be curious to hear from anyone who has tried it but prefers another place, and why.

    Also, why didn’t Famous 4th Street deli make this list?

  • e

    another vote for new york bagels on city line. i made the trek up there a few weekends ago and they have the real deal. perfect, crispy, shiny outside, and chewy goodness inside. it’s too bad that there aren’t decent bagels within walking distance of rittenhouse.

  • Mithras

    sal & e – either of you ever try South Street Philly bagels?

  • Tyler (Former Poplar Street Res)

    Kaplans because they have bilaly (not a bagel but better) on order.

  • Philly Nugget

    South Street Bagels is great, especially if you are craving lox and cream cheese.. but for those in the neighborhood, Kaplan’s has amazing bagels. Slap on some Don’s cream cheese and your good to go.

  • e

    mithras: yeah, i’ve had south street bagels. both there and @ beauty shop cafe. their cream cheese is good, but their bagels are sub par. i agree that they make a better product than the other places that you mention.

    This survey is flawed, like any other survey. I’m certain that the people that voted for south st bagels have never tried NY bagels. because there is no comparison. Then again, my opinion doesn’t count for much either, as i have not tried bagels from half of the places that are listed.

    Here’s my criteria for a great bagel. It has to be fresh, of course. any bagel baked the same day should be salt water boiled, then baked. the toppings should be plentiful and cover both the top and bottom. The outside should be shiny and crisp- not from an egg wash, but b/c of the salt water boil, beforehand. The inside should be airy, but chewy. It shouldn’t compact into a dough ball when you chew on it, but have enough gluten-build up that it has substance to it, even as you chew. This is why i think new york bagels are the best (the shop on city line, not NYC). because they fulfill all of my requirements. and because they make a better product than i could at home.

    as for this survey, i think that it is more an indication of where the readers of this blog live, than of actual bagel merit. I live in center city, btw, in graduate hospital, and i bike/scooter around. i can easily get to 90% of the places on the list, but if i have the time, i’ll drive the half hour to get New York bagels (which admittedly is rarely). they’re THAT much better.

  • Ben

    Roling’s will get a poor showing because of its location. But Phoodies, please, if you are ever in or around Elkins Park, hit it up (if you can find it, it’s sort of buried; the coffeeshop across the street also serves them). There is a monster HMart just down the road so that can make it worth the trip/CarShare.

  • jamez

    Roxy Bagel knocks the socks off everybody on that list.

  • Eileen Solar

    NEW YORK BAGELS at City Line and Haverford — hands down THE BEST! I know… I’ve tried them all. When I have a craving for lox and cream cheese, it can only be on a NEW YORK BAGEL. It’s the real deal!

  • sal

    haven’t tried South St Bagels yet… definately will after this poll… but if they are better than NY bagels i’d be surprised.

  • Lauren

    N.Y. Bagels are the best bagels EVER!!!!!! I highly recommend them to any bagel lover who can appreciate great taste.

  • Diane

    Nick’s New York Bagels are the BEST!!! I come from the Bronx and have been eating bagels for many years. Nick’s bagels are just like the ones I grew up eating.

    Thanks NICK… you’re the BEST!!!!

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