HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


Best bagel place?

  • c

What's the best NYC-esque bagel place in Boston? (The closer to Harvard Square, the better). If it helps, I'm a big fan of Ess-a Bagel in Manhattan.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Here's a thread that might give you some ideas:


    Personally, I can't find a really good bagel in the Boston area. I don't mind Kupel's in Brookline and used to like Zeppy's (before they closed the Randolph shop), but lately, the only place I've gotten a decent bagel is at Expresso Royale/Bagel Rising on Newbury Street.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hiddenboston

      it's too bad they don't have "i love bagels" on the east coast.
      that was my favorite bagel place in california.
      great breakfast sandwiches....

      1. re: daylight

        There is a "i love bagels" on the east coast. It's in NY on long island. I love that place. They might have other ones in other states on the east coast too. I know that "i love bagels" in NY is way better then the one in cali. NY bagels, and pizza is that best. no other state compares with it.

    2. Rosenfeld's in Newton Center is the best in the area by far.......

      Rosenfeld Bagel Co
      1280 Centre St, Newton, MA

      3 Replies
      1. re: Science Chick

        Second that. Rosenfelds is awesome. Not a clone of Ess-a-bagel (which is also great) but IMO they are hands down the best in the Boston Area.

        1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

          I third! The best sunflower bagels in the biz.

        2. re: Science Chick

          I would have to agree 100% with Science Chick. Growing up in NJ, I can say it's the real deal.

        3. Iggy's makes really nice seeded bagels. Not New York style, but very good nonetheless.

          1 Reply
          1. re: FoonFan

            Supposedly, Iggy's are more Montreal in style.

          2. I'm a big fan of Ess-a-Bagel as well, and the closest I've found here is Cafe Fresh Bagel in Needham or Dedham. Pretty close to the best NY ones, at about 1/2 the price.

            1. Bagels at Rosenfelds are tasty but too small and they're too cheap to give you a baker's dozen. Cafe Bagel in Needham and Dedham, and Bagel's Best in Needham are both good. Best chain is Finagle a Bagel. Zeppy's is overrated.

              4 Replies
              1. re: ShelT54

                Rosenfeld's bagels aren't too small; everybody else's are too big. A classic NY bagel is half the size of the monstrosities purveyed these days. Of course, even in NY, it's hard to find a classic NY bagel any more.

                1. re: ShelT54

                  Small bagels are GOOD bagels. They are a sign of the use of malt instead of sugar to feed the yeast, creating the classic dense crumb.

                  Finagle a Bagel are not bagels - they are bread doughnuts. Brueggers more classic flavors (like plain, pumpernickel, poppy) are the best of the local chains - Bruegger's uses malt for those, IIRC. Just avoid the sweet or novelty flavors.

                  1. re: Karl S

                    Finagle uses a mix of malt and sugar in their bagels. I tried one of their chunky vegetable bagels the other day and really enjoyed it (but I'm not bagel purist).

                    Brueggers makes a really great rosemary and olive oil bagel. Yum!

                    1. re: pamalamb

                      Finagle bagels are way too airy and soft for me to consider them bagel-worthy.

                      A really good bagel is smallish, a sturdy boiled crust with the shine from an alkaline wash, and so dense that it requires work to chew it, and should go stale relatively quickly (not quite as fast as a proper hard roll goes stale, but within a day).

                2. In Salem & Danvers there is Bagelworld

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ipsofatso

                    And Reading. Those can be good, if a bit too large.

                  2. When I lived in Cambridge, Formaggio Kitchen sold H&H Bagels every day until they ran out. They may still.

                    1. Katz's in Chelsea makes the best alongside Rosenfeld's in Newton. Katz's bagels are 4 ounces, which is the standard NYC size. Most bagels these days are bigger and more like bread.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: lergnom

                        Katz and Rosenfeld are my two go to places for bagels. I like Rosenfeld's I don't get to Newton that often. Love the Katz pizza bagels too.

                        1. re: supergirl1964

                          I'll second everyone who has mentioned Rosenfeld's. I never thought they're small, nor do I agree with the other complaints.

                          They'll be closed from April 18-30 for Passover BTW.

                        2. Diamond Bakery in Newton (4 Corners) and Rosenfelds in Newton Ctr.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: hoolese

                            I thought Diamond was gone? I know they changed hands recently and previous reports were not positive. Here's the thread...

                            1. re: Science Chick

                              Yeah, Diamond is/was not very good. Especially with Rosenfeld's just up Beacon Street from there.

                          2. in all fairness to the idea that rosenfelds is too cheap to give you a bakers dozen, if you get one of their frequent buyers cards, after you buy twelve dozen you get a dozen for free. a better deal overall when you end up with a free dozen rosenfelds bagels!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: hyde

                              And they advertise in those "envelopes full of coupons" (ValuPak?) that show up in the mail - at least in some areas. They offer coupons for 8 bagels for the price of 6, and 18 bagels for the price of 12.

                            2. Picked up my bakers dozen of bagels ($6.50) from Katz in Chelsea today. There was a line of people waiting to buy bagels. Katz also sells hot dog bagels made with Vienna Beef hot dogs. They have a big neon Vienna Beef sign in their window. Their hot dog bagels are delicious.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: buffet king

                                Katz also had hot out of the oven pizza bagels today.

                                Katz Bagel Bakery
                                139 Park St, Chelsea, MA

                                1. re: buffet king

                                  That sign is new. They also painted last summer.

                                2. i second (or third) iggys. really really good bagels. not NY-style, but chewey with a nice crust (or whatever the outside of a bagel is called) and yummy.