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Bagel Recommendations in Central NJ?

I've heard of and tried the place in Freehold on Rte 9, which was good once out of 2 times, and also on rte 130, below Hightstown more toward Hamilton, hidden at the back end of a small strip shopping center placed perpendicularly to the east side of 130. Once in a while they have jalapeno cream cheese. Good but very very hot in summer.

There's a bagel-ette on Quaker Bridge Rd in Hamilton at the shopping center at Youngs/Sloan, and the bagels are very good and they serve jalapeno cream cheese as a matter of course, but the place isn't quite clean. Same people taking money and skipping using gloves to prepare food etc.

But the best we've found, by far, is a bagel place on Rte 29, in the CVS shopping center just north of Lambertville, across from where David Rago's auction house is. Two wonderful Indonesian sisters just have to be Jewish in a former life, because they have the best chewiest (and yes they boil them) bagels with tons of stuff on them. They survive splitting and freezing very well, which is my preferred method of keeping them around. Go early; they run out. And best of all, for me, their everything bagels do not have caroway.

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  1. Thanks for the heads up about the place on Rte. 29. I'm not familiar with it and will try to get there within the week.

    Here's a link to a fairly extensive bagel discussion that took place earlier this year:


    1. Brooklyn Bagel on River Road in Rumson (head east from Red Bank) has really good bagels. I used to live near there but don't anymore and I really miss it!

      1. How about Bagel boy on Rt 516 and and Rt 18 The name Brunswick Bagel they have very good bagle and the pleace are clean. Belive me I love both there.

        1 Reply
        1. re: newgourmet

          I heard that there was a good bagel place further down 516/Old Bridge (towards Rt 9), near Jake Brown Road, that has their water brought in from Brooklyn and their bagels are as good as Brooklyn-made. Anyone know if that's true?

        2. Bagels and Cream, Foxmoor Shopping Center in Robbinsville.
          The whole wheat bagel is my favorite, it is more of a mult-grain.

          1. JT's Bagel Hut in Forked River has excellent bagels. The asiago & sundried tomato is my favorite...a light, fluffy sundried tomato bagel with asiago cheese baked on top.

            Another good place is Bagel Masters in Shrewsbury...their salt bagel with scallion cream cheese is to die for.

            1. Central Jersey has a pretty poor bagel selection. Im from the Brunswick area and the best I can suggest is Bagel Giant on Cranbury Road. Other than that, used to love Merlin's in Eatontown but no longer there.

              Recently brought back some Finagle from Boston, my favorite chain bagel. There is one in Parsippany (by my work) that I dont remember the name but they are legit.

              1. If you are ever down at the shore area, you can't go wrong at Belmar Bagel in the plaza right next to Brandl's. They are the best that I have found in the shore area. As good as your typical NYC bagel, which is no easy task.

                1. Brunswick Bagels on RT 18N in East Brunswick. Superior to Bagel Boy, good chewy texture.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jerseyque

                    KNOT Just Bagels is pretty decent in Woodbridge, they have fresh bagels daily. The place isnt the cleanest -- well its more old than unclean except a few months ago the owner/manager at the register (and handling the bagels) had some uncovered cuts on her hand. IDK, I try and keep my hands covered if I have an open wound even if its just feeding my family. That was a turnoff but usually its an ok joint. Couple of tables to sit at too.

                  2. Bagel Oven, Red Bank
                    the bagel place on Monmouth Road near 7-11 in Oakhurst (don't know the name, just how to get there on autopilot)

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: aklein

                      I second the bagel oven. The best around!

                      1. re: aklein

                        The one on Monmouth Road is the Hot Bagel Bakery, formerly (very formerly!) Eli's Bagels. This is the one that immediately sprang to mind for me when I saw the OP. It is my hometown place and one of the best I know.

                        1. re: travelmad478

                          travelmad478: thanks for the name, which is important... yet on bagel mornings it just doesn't enter my mind on the way over

                        2. re: aklein

                          The Oakhurst bagel spot on Monmouth Rd is Hot Bagel Bakery. They make a great Bialy' as well as healthy whole wheat Everything Bagels.

                        3. MIlltown Bagel on Ryders Lane - in Milltown - 1/4 mile west of the Milltown Home Depot. I feel that they are the best bagels in Middlesex county. Hard on the outside & chewy soft on the inside and not gigantic. Great Whole Wheat, Rye, Everything, Flagels (they don't charge more for these flat bagels). In total about 12 - 15 varieties + great lowfat vegetable cream cheese.

                          1. Bagel Barn on 206 in Montgomery (north of Princeton) is my current favorite. Good chewy bagels and generous with the shmear.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: fpatrick

                              Not local to discussion but Bageleddi's on LBI are excellent.

                            2. bagel oven red bank one of the few places still using malt in its ingredients. they hold up to splitting freezing also the best deal in monmoth county buy 15$ of deli boars head normal prices and in some items cheaper get a dozen bagels free about 10$ value. hot bagel oakhurst which are fatter and a bit less chewy are a somewhat distant 2nd imho.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: livingloving

                                I agree with you on Bagel Oven located on Monmouth St. in Redbank. They are simply the best if you like well done on the outside and chewy inside. The fact they are some of the most reasonable in terms of price is a bonus - normally 25% less than anyone else regardless what you put on it.

                                Brooklyn bagel in Rumson is another great place but in the long run Bagel Oven wins by a slight margin.

                                1. re: JerzeyShore

                                  It warms my heart to see the love goin' out to the Bagel Oven. Twenty-some years ago, that place was responsible for more than a few "late for homeroom" demerits. (OK, so I should have left home earlier, but mostly it was their delicious bagels that should be faulted!).

                                  I have relatives who get bagels from the place by the Train Station - because "They're so big . . ." Yuck! Thanks to you all for vindicating my preference.

                                  1. re: MGZ

                                    LOL! I too would be late for school at RBC and would try to tempt my way out by bringing a delicious bagel for Mr. Harrington! Sometimes, it worked. BTW, all my Middletown South friends preferred the Bagel Station, which I could never understand, either. I'll take quality over quantity anytime!

                                    1. re: MichelleM131

                                      I never got the "biger is better" bagel theory. If I want that much dough, I'll have a second . . . that way I can have an egg AND THEN an everything!

                                      As an aside - the Ms. Pac Man machine is still in the back of Mr. Pizza Slice!

                              2. In East Brunswick, I come across some pretty weak bagels but I would highly recommend Bagel Giant early in the morning when they are fresh. Never really had a bad one there.

                                It is on Cranbury Road in what I think is called the Lexington market.

                                1. terrace bagels on rt 9 in freehold is my personal favorite. i believe this is what the original poster was referring to

                                  1. International Bagels, Main Street/71 in Bradley Beach. Bagels as big as your head! Cash only.

                                    3 Replies
                                      1. re: beentheredonethat

                                        Eli's bagels in Aberdeen on Rt34 Next to strathmore theather is good. 24 hours also.

                                        1. re: coldsolderjoint

                                          I actually prefer Bagel Hut which is in the Cue N' Brew plaza (can't think of what the name of the bar changed to recently) over Eli's. The bagels are crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside. They also make a good Bacon, Egg and Cheese with just the right amount of each ingrediant. The chocolate chips muffins are also very good. The only problem is it is a little store with a small griddle, so if its busy you may be waiting a while if you do want a breakfast sandwich and they are busy.

                                          Bagel Hut
                                          1208 State Route 34 Ste 15, Matawan, NJ 07747

                                          Bagel Hut
                                          1208 State Route 34 Ste 15, Matawan, NJ 07747