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May 6, 2008 11:02 AM

Do real bagels (boiled) exist in San Diego County?

I'm having a difficult time finding a real bagel (not the Einstein's variety). You have so many great smoked fish options, but I need a good bagel to go with. Does the boiled bagel exist anywhere in San Diego County?

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  1. LOL

    Oh, you poor thing. Missing Kaufman's or the like, huh?

    Word has it that good bagels can be found in Solana Beach, but I can not remember the name of it. Let me search.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Enorah

      Top of the Bagel in Solana Beach.

      Rumor has it, as I have not yet tried them.

      1. re: Enorah

        Top of the Bagel is the best, closest bagel you will find here in San Diego.

        But sadly, they are not close enough.

        1. re: Enorah

          I live nearby and their bagels are very good, the best I've had in San Diego. Unfortunately the store seems to be struggling as a Panera Bread opened up nearby in the same shopping center. Of course their bagels can't compare.

      2. Kaufman's...yum... It's just a distant memory now...

        I'll definitely try Top of the Bagel. I think there's one in Carlsbad, too, but I've been scared away. After trying Del Mar Bagel and Garden State Bagel, I'm just depressed. I'll give it a whirl--thanks!

        1. This doesn't help MUCH, but Bruegger's bagels are better than Einsteins - where you can find them. Many of their shops have disappeared. They took over Baltimore Bagels, the only REAL bagel place ever to exist in SD (at least to my knowledge). I still miss their seedy sticks.

          1. Goldstein's Bagel Bakery in Pasadena.

            2 Replies
            1. re: The Old Man

              ohhhhh--their chocolate peanut butter bagels!!!! ohhhhh!!!

            2. I did want to say one more thing: Places like Garden State do boil their bagels first as does (I think) Einsteins--they just aren't very good.

              4 Replies
              1. re: The Old Man

                I'm pretty sure the folks at Einstein Bros. Bagels do *not* boil their bagels, same as Noah's Bagels. Manhattan Bagels does make very good boiled bagels but the nearest one to San Diego is 120 miles away in Studio City. Bruegger's Bagels are boiled and are better than most in San Diego, but they have limited varieties (they don't make egg or rye bagels, my favorites).

                The best bagels ever made in San Diego were the excellent ones made by Baltimore Bagel Company, which to my great sadness was bought by Einstein Bros and are now made completely differently (not boiled). Baltimore Bagel's demise was a sad day indeed for S.D. bagel lovers.

                My guess is that much of the problem with maintaining kosher-style delicatessens in San Diego has to do with the population shifts of San Diego's Jewish population, who have been steadily moving northward from the southern and central communities. There used to be a pretty decent and quite popular delicatessen and bakery named Blumers on El Cajon Boulevard near the intersection with 54th Street. It was actually the oldest New York deli in San Diego.

                When a large number of Jews moved north to the Del Cerro neighborhood in the early 1970s the business slowed and the deli closed. D.Z. Akins, being closer to the Del Cerro neighborhood but not far from the SDSU campus, would benefit from this shift. Since that time many other delis have come and gone, some better, some worse, but none would ever come close to the benchmark N.Y. city delis.

                I would like to put a word in for my favorite S.F. Bay Area delicatessen: Saul's Restaurant & Deli on Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley, just north of the famous Chez Panisse restaurant. It's my favorite deli in the entire S.F. bay area, with great food and excellent management by Peter Levitt and Karen Adelman. I recently moved from Oakland back to San Diego and really miss the place, and wish that San Diego had a place like it. By the way, Saul's gets their bagels from Manhattan Bagels, which in our opinion are currently the best bagels made in the East Bay.

                1. re: nileg

                  I think that Einstein's are boiled, but someone will have to go on a fact finding mission. I talked to one of the heads of the company, in fact he opened all the ones in SD, and he said they were. However, this was over 10 years ago.

                  1. re: The Old Man

                    I believe it's more accurate to say they're steamed - they have special ovens that work kind of like washer/dryers - that do it all in one process.

                    1. re: Alice Q

                      Yuck. Well I guess that explains it.