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Jun 26, 2005 03:23 PM

best bagels in Boston area?

  • h

I tend to go to Kupel's in Brookline or Zeppy's in Randolph for bagels, but I'd like to find some other places that have good bagels. Any suggestions?


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  1. There are many prior threads on this you may want to search also.

    1. I really like Bagels by US in Arlington on Mass. Ave. They get partially baked bagels from H&H in NYC and finish the baking process here -- fresh every day. Good cream cheese too. I'm partial to the low fat veggie. There's a link below.

      Also, if you hit CTRL F and type in "bagels" there are tons of threads on the board.


      1. In a prior thread, Katz Bakery bagels in Chelsea were highly recommended. I recently tried them and can say that they are the best around. They have a great dense interior and a satisfying exterior.

        10 Replies
        1. re: rxrfrx

          I have to dissent on Katz's bagels. I know they get a lot of praise on the board, but I've tried them several times and I've always found them pretty mediocre. The crumb *is* dense, but it's also way too dry. The crust is okay, but it doesn't have that quality of being shrink-wrapped around the crumb that really good bagels have. And I found them pretty low on taste too -- none of the wheaty, yeasty aromas and flavors that mark a great bagel. The little shop is cute, but the product is weak, in my opinion.

          On a more positive note, the best bagels I've found around here are at Rosenfeld's in Newton Centre. Not absolutely ideal, but very good -- much better, in my opinion, than Zeppy's, Kupel's, or the chains. Definitely worth a trip.

          1. re: MichaelB

            I agree with Rosenfeld's and need to get back for a potato bagel, it's been too long.

            1. re: Joanie

              I went last week; superb as ever!
              I also had a sunflower seed bage that I highly recommend...Plus, they still do salt bagels, unlike Katz's, which I agree with MichealB's comments on...


              1. re: galleygirl

                Wow, potato bagels, *sunflower seed* bagels -- these are HIGHLY non-canonical bagels! ;) But as long as they get the basics right, I suppose non-traditional variations are the spice of life.

                I'm curious about this potato bagel -- is it like a bagel version of potato bread, or do they somehow have potato slices adorning the bagel? Actually, the latter sounds nasty, so I'm really hoping it's the former. Is it softer than a normal bagel?

                1. re: MichaelB

                  No potato slices, just a potatoey feel to the bagel, kind of like p. bread. I don't think it's softer, but like I said, it's been a while. Maybe GG has more insight.

                  1. re: Joanie

                    It tastes like a pepper potato knishes baked into a bagel, that's the best I can describe it...It's *slightly* softer than their standard bagel, maybe a little more moistness in the dough, flecked with black pepper...The outside is sprinkled with what looks like instant potato flakes...Sigh, yes, it's heretical, but it's SOOOOO good!

                    The sunflower one has seeds on the outside, and maybe some chopped into the dough...It somehow brings out the taste of the malt they use...Yes yes, these are non-traditional, but they really get the traditional right, including the salt, my bellwether bagel...


                  2. re: MichaelB

                    I don't go in for many of those "non-canonical" bagel types (cinnamon-raisin...blech), but I have to agree with galleygirl - that sunflower seed bagel is a keeper. It's got a lovely yellow-orange hue, and just the *faintest* hint of sweetness (does that come from the seeds themselves, I wonder?). Of course, all the staples (sesame, egg poppy, etc.) are top-notch.

                  3. re: galleygirl

                    Kupel's does salt bagels too.

                    1. re: BobB

                      Yes, but they're not nearly as good as they used to be...I was comparing Rosenfeld's to Katz's, which doesn't do salt...


              2. re: rxrfrx

                After EIGHT years of searching, I found real, authentic bagels in a few places in town.

                First, "Cafe Bagel". They are the real deal...almost better than the bagel shop I go to when I visit my parents back home. They are located in Needham Highlands, Dedham Center and Framingham Center. All their bagels are great, but their whole wheat ones are awesome.

                Bagels by Us in Arlington buys their bagels from H&H back home. They truck them in unbaked and just finish them off in the store.

                Lastly, buy the frozen "Ray's NY Bagels" at the supermarket and just nuke them for 30 seconds. Perfect!! They only come in a few flavors right now.

              3. Jersey girl, here. I grew up on bagels and searched Boston to find the best when I moved here ten years ago. By far, the best, most authentic bagels are at Cafe Bagel. There are three locations I know of: Needham Heights (Highland Ave), Dedham Center and Framingham Center.

                Aside from the place in Arlington that gets H&H bagels, nothing but Cafe Bagel comes close to the real thing.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Clare

                  I'm so glad someone else here agrees with what I've said on several previous posts. I've tried them all in Boston, (and I just spent the weekend in NYC trying bagels--I prefer Ess-a-bagel over H&H), but I think Cafe Fresh (I think that's the right name) are the best around.

                2. Bagels by US in Arlington Center has the absolute best bagels I have ever tried.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: MeffaBabe

                    I was completely underwhelmed by them. Flabby things. I also don't think H&H (at the mother ship) is all that great, either. Then again, NY-area bagels have declined precipitously in quality in the past decade, so the comparison is shifting.

                    Rosenfelds are the best around here, but for the chains, traditional Brueggers (NOT those sandwich abominations) flavors are actually quite close to a reasonable facscimile (especially the pumpernickle): dense, crusty, raised slowly (hence dense) with malt rather than sugar, and not too huge (they could be smaller, if I were making them). I do miss the salt bagel.

                    For the real deal, Montreal is the surviving torchbearer