The smell of fresh bagels is something that isn’t easily replicated. For us in New York, bagels are practically synonymous with the city. Breakfast is a hot, fresh bagel. It’s just the way we do things here. And when we can’t go out in the city and tour some of the best bagel locations, we do what we can: we pinch hit; we go virtual.
Join me as I take you on a tour of four of the best bagel shops North America has to offer, as showcased on Goldbelly.
Bagel Stop #1: St-Viateur Bagel
Who knew that Canada made delicious bagels? Goldbelly, which showcases some of the best comfort foods, did. And they have called to our attention St-Viateur Bagel, Montreal’s longest-runnel bagel bakery. Established in 1957, this family-owned bakery uses the same recipes they did when they opened, the ones they brought over from the old country: Poland.
Each bagel is made in the traditional method. They start with 100% natural ingredients, including malt flour. The dough is then hand rolled and boiled in a honey-water mixture before being cooked in a wood-fired oven. These bagels emerge perfect: crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, and with a slight touch of sweetness from the honey water.
Bagel Stop #2: The Bagel Nook
There are traditionalists when it comes to bagels, and then there are those who are willing to try something different. Maybe it’s being from New Jersey, home of Bon Jovi, that makes The Bagel Nook embrace “living on the edge” for their bagel offerings. In fact, their mission is simple: to create the finest, craziest bagels the world has ever tasted.
The Bagel Nook offers a lot of variety in their flavors, but the one I’m showcasing today is their signature Overloaded Flaming Hot Cheetos Bagel.
I mean, it has Cheetos! In the bagel!
“Overloaded” is their claim to fame, and this one-of-a-kind offering is definitely that. Traditional bagel meets heat and crunch with the addition of flaming-hot Cheetos in the middle. The menu pairs it with one of the bakery’s signature spreads, ghost pepper cream cheese. However, if that isn’t to your liking, try cool ranch, jalapeno cheddar, blazing ranch, or bacon cheddar cream cheese instead. Just make sure you have plenty of water at hand.
Bagel Stop #3: Frickaccio’s Pizza Market
Our next stop takes us to the outskirts of Cleveland, OH, to an institution: Frickaccio’s Pizza Market. For more than 30 years, locals and tourists alike have flocked to this eatery, located in the historic Westside Market, for their signature pizza bagel. While you may have made a pizza bagel at home by slapping some sauce, cheese, and pepperoni on a bagel and popping it in the toaster oven, that can’t hold a candle to the real thing.
Made with local ingredients specifically as pizza bagels, these delights boast homemade tomato sauce and a secret mix of mozzarella and provolone cheese. And they are available with just cheese or cheese and pepperoni.
Featured on Food Network and Cooking Channel, Frickaccio’s pizza bagels are no stranger to the limelight. In fact, President Obama made a beeline to this landmark during a trip to Cleveland when he needed a lunch stop. If that isn’t an endorsement, I don’t know what is.
Bagel Stop #4: O’Bagel
It’s back to Jersey for our final stop, this time to O’Bagel, a local treasure with four locations. They bring to life the phrase “Go big or go home” with their signature jumbo bagel. If you are planning to eat a jumbo bagel, you’re going to need two things: some friends and a camera. I mean, this bagel serves 12 (or more!) and is featured across Instagram.
Offered in plain or everything styles, the jumbo bagel isn’t just large; it’s delicious as well. O’Bagel, a family-owned bakery, makes their bagels the old-fashioned way. They handroll the dough, give it a dump in a kettle of boiling water, and then bake it on cedar wood.
You choose how you want to serve your jumbo bagel: plain, with cream cheese, or loaded with toppings. Regardless how you dress it up, it will definitely wow the crowd.