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May 11, 2009 08:18 AM

No good bagels??? [London]

Hi. I constantly crave good, light, yummy bagels in London but cant seem to find them anywhere. I've tried the place in Brick Lane, but it just isn't the same as the ones we used to find in the States. Also those bagel stands (Ixxy's etc) seem to have no flavour...
any ideas where I can get my hit? Thank you.

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  1. I used to live near Golders Green, and a couple of places there were good, but only when they were selling them quicker than they could make them - 3am on a Sunday morning was when I had my best ever bagel, from Carmelli. Hot and very tasty. When they'd been sitting there for a while they weren't as good, obviously, but were still alright.

    There's a place opposite that I really can't remember the name of, which was equally good but a much smaller operation and less busy. The area is worth checking out in general though, for bagels, fish and chips at Sam's, Japanese food and a couple of Korean places.

    1. I used to live near NYC (I'm there right now), and I have never found good bagels in the London area. Carmelli's at Golder's Green were about the best I've had. I just make my own now - it's easy. Chowhound has a good recipe right here. London has some things NY is missing - it's not a perfect world. :-)

      1. I recently tipped Golden Brown bakery, 88 Golders Green Road, for good bagels. They have a couple of varieties at least, one is moister and chewier and the other is slightly firmer and crispier, the former equates to New York style I guess. It's relatively new (1.5 years) and does good pastries and excellent wholemeal pittas. The bread range looks attractive.

        Agree with ibrahim that this could be combined with other culinary options in Golders Green, Eat Tokyo and Cafe Japan are worthwhile Japanese options and Kimchee is decent, if slightly overpriced, Korean.

        1. There's an amazing Beagle Bakery at the corner between Blackstock Road and Seven Sisters, just in front of the LIDL.
          Go there for the Bagles and for the amazing cakes...

          1. I'm from Long Island. A year or two ago, I went to BLBB and three places in Golders Green, all in one day, in search of the perfect bagel. Really, what I want is a salt bagel. Or a Super Egg bagel. I can't find these here. Anyone who visits me from the tri-state area knows what to bring: a baker's dozen of super egg, salt, and everything.

            But I did find that I liked the bagels at Carmellis best. I hear Daniels is good too, but I haven't made it there yet.

            9 Replies
            1. re: kristainlondon

              I agree that Carmellis comes closest to what we Yanks are after. I had a lot of bagels last weeks in the States. I didn't realize how much I missed a good 'everything,' and even converted my husband into preferring them over wholewheat toast. And then there was Katz's.... :-)

              1. re: zuriga1

                Daniel's are quite good as well -- although similar to Carmelli's!

                If you go to Selfridges there is a bread section that sells some kosher items, including egg bagels (not sure what bakery they're from -- dont remember) which are fairly good!

                1. re: brokentelephone

                  Where is Daniel's? Hmmm... egg bagels. I grew up in a city where back then that was the only bagel available for some reason. They are not my favourite variety, but I'll get one next time I'm in Selfridge's. It's a good excuse for a taste test!

                  1. re: zuriga1

                    Daniel's Bagel Bakery is at the Temple Fortune/North Circular end of Finchley Road:
                    12-13 Hallswelle Parade, Finchley Road, Golders Green, NW11 0DL
                    Opening Times: 7am-9pm Mon-Wed; 7am-10pm Thur; 7am-1hr before sabbath Fri. Open on Sunday, but not sure of the hours - definitely from 8:30am, though, as I was there only last weekend.
                    NB Annoyingly, not open on Saturday!

                    These are New York Style bagels - crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside.

                    If you visit on a Sunday morning, its quite a scene - some of the customers are not respecters of queuing ettiquette.

                    Fantastic bagels are turned out fresh all day, bags of mini-bagels that enchant everyone under 10, great Challah, and yummy cinnamon macaroons (boxes on the left as you go in). I don't recommend their new cinnamon bagels - not cinnamony enough.

                    And there's a great fish shop a few doors down too, with tasty (strong flavour - not to everyone's taste) & well priced smoked salmon.

                    1. re: Shivaun

                      I would have to go with Carmellis as many of you have stated previously. I did a quick search round and found an interesting article regarding a New Yorkers interpretation of the bagels over here in London.

                      1. re: BeefeaterGin

                        that's me again! that's when I did my bagel round-up!

                      2. re: Shivaun

                        Thanks, Shivaun. Daniel's sounds very well worth a try.

                        1. re: Shivaun

                          Most of the bagel shops in London (certainly all in Golders Green/Hendon) are kosher under the Beth Din, so they're all closed Shabbat. Friday mornings are an even bigger scene than Sundays; the queues can go down 2 or 3 storefronts!

                          I used to live near Daniels and their bagels are pretty good. BTW it's quite a hike from the Tube, get the 82 or 460 up Finchley Road. Northbound bus stops right in front.

                          1. re: Shivaun

                            Sounds good and all quite local to me. One morning next week I'm going to go and do the taste test and check out bagels from each of Daniels, Carmellis and Golden Brown, my hitherto favourite. And when I'm at Daniels I'll check out Platters, the nearby Jewish deli, as well as the kosher fish shop, Sam Stoller & Sons.

                            As far as I'm aware there are still sizeable Jewish communities in Hendon, Edgware, Ilford and Stamford Hill, you would have to imagine that there are at least a few decent bagels to be found in these neighbourhoods......