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Jul 2, 2008 07:20 AM

Bialys in San Francisco Area

Anyone know where to get good bialys in San Francisco area.? Grew up in New York and crave Kossars so when I go back, I always buy a bunch and bring some back to SF.
Can't afford the delivery charges from Kossars. I searched the Board and someone mentioned Berkeley Bagel in Albany, I believe.... anyone try their bialys ? Thanks.

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  1. Berkeley Bagel's got the only decent bialys that I've found. If you go in the morning, you can get them warm out of the oven.

    5 Replies
    1. re: chemchef

      Berkeley Bagel's "bialys" are NOT bialys. They are bagels with onion on top. When the Cheeseboard makes bialys, then they're real bialys--poor dough, thin and crispy crust, chewy, onions in a well. My grandfather was a bagel baker and made bialys, too. Fresh off the boat from Bialystock.

      1. re: rccola

        The Cheeseboard does have excellent "bialys," and they're far fresher tasting than anything I've gotten from Kossars in recent years. They typically sell out before lunchtime.

        Do note that they're not exactly what's popular in NY--- their ingredients include a sourdough starter, olive oil, and sea salt, and instead of that grayish garbage paste Kossars puts on top, the Cheeseboard has recognizable pieces of onion. Cheeseboard and Arizmendi are related, but not identical to one another, so it's possible that Arizmendi's bialy's are equally good.

        1. re: hyperbowler

          I have a lovely bialy recipe from "The Secrets of a Jewish Baker." The only problem is he advises 3 tablespoons of onion for 18 bialys. I prepare about 2+ medium to large onions to supply at least 1 tablespoon of onions and poppy seeds per bialy. Left over can be used for dipping.

          1. re: wolfe

            Just visited my sister in New York and we made bialys from a recipe in from Maggie Glezer's book "Artisan Bread" uses 1 medium onion, pureed in a food processor. Great recipe, the "chew" was just the way I remember from New York. Like Kossar's but better as far as I am concerned.

          2. re: hyperbowler

            My god, if Cheeseboard uses sourdough starter in their bialys, then I've lost my sense of taste for sure. Didn't pick up sourdough flavor.

            Note: my grandfather the bagel baker had a Russian guy who used to wipe the sweat off his brow and fling it into the dough he was working by hand. "Adds flavor," he'd say. Prolly the old-country equivalent of SF "sourdough."

            Up into the 1960s they worked the dough by hand. Made a big difference.

      2. Noah's use to have something they called a bialy. It was OK if you got a chance to finish cooking it. Flat, with no hole and filled with varying amounts of onion.

        1. link

          Berkeley Bagel
          1281 Gilman St, Albany, CA

          1. I remember seeing bialys at Arizmendi (9th & Irving, Inner Sunset) in the past. And it looks like they still make them according to their website:

            Can't vouch for them though, since I only ate the scones and pizza when I lived near that bakery.

            1 Reply
            1. re: papa

              Thanks everyone. I will check out Berkeley Bagels and Arizmendi. Ages ago I had a bialys from the House of Bagels in SF. it was okay... I have tried the bialys recipe from the book "Better than Store Bought" that was ...gluten flour, etc...not bad but not Kossar's.... . never tried the recipe from Mimi Sheraton's "the Bialy Eaters"...

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