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Jun 1, 2009 10:03 AM

Bagel suggestions in berkeley/oakland area

I've been going to Noah's for years but lately it's been out of habit and convenience as opposed to quality and taste. I'd love to hear about a better bagel spot. Thanks!

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  1. Manhattan bagels (retail store is on Fourth Street, also sold at Saul's on Berkeley Northside and Rockridge Market Hall Bakery) are significantly better than Noah's but the reference to Manhattan is wishful thinking.

    11 Replies
    1. re: dordogne

      Berkeley Bagels on Gilman (near Santa Fe) makes very good bagels. They are probably the best around the area. Monterey Market sells Marin Bagels, which are pretty good (I don't know how they are immediately fresh in the morning, though - probably better than late day when I've tried them).

      1. re: lmnopm

        I've been buying (and enjoying) the bagels from Berkeley Bagels recently. Two cents worth, from this displaced East Coaster: while these fall short of (and are a bit more expensive than) the very best Jersey bagels I grew up with, they're definitely more than respectable. Quite a bit better than anything else I've had in the Bay Area, though I've yet to try Roland's.

        Berkeley Bagel
        1281 Gilman St, Albany, CA

      2. re: dordogne

        Second on that. I think your average bagel in Manhattan these days is similar to what Manhattan Bagel sells. If they called it Brooklyn Bagel, now, that would be false advertising.

        Berkeley Bagels is what used to be Boogie Woogie?

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Yes, same location, and apparently same recipe.

          1. re: lmnopm

            Once was enough for me for that place.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              I tried it once. I am no expert but it wasn't even 1/10 as good as Kaufman's in Skokie.

              1. re: wally

                IMO, Bekeley Bagel is hands down the best bagel in the bay area. HOWVER, they did change owners a while back so if you haven't tried them since then I would suggest trying them again.

                Primal Smear

                1. re: rworange

                  lmnopm, who made the recommendation, said they apparently use the same recipe, which suggests to me there's no need to recheck.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Then they are doing it better. Great bagels. None better, as mentioned. For anyone that doesn't want to check, their loss

              2. re: Robert Lauriston

                Wasn't it called "Brother's Bagels" about 25 years ago?

        2. The bagel is dead. Long live the bagel!

          I'm waiting for real bagels to happen again. Unfortunately it seems that supermarket bageloids have taken over. No one wants a real bagel, which most "average" palates find to be too tough and too dense. So even the "craft" bagels that are made fresh at places like Holey Bagel end up soft and flabby and gussied up with schlock like blueberries or jalapenos or corn. Bleh... Most are a total waste of carbs.

          I wish someone would bring back real bagels.

          2 Replies
          1. re: BernalKC

            My son likes Noah's chocolate chip bagels. Chocolate chip! It's embarrassing to buy them.

            I think Manhattan's onion bagels are okay. The best around, anyhow. I don't like Marin bagels at all.

            1. re: BernalKC

              In a pinch and you must purchase from a supermarket, consider Thomas Brothers. The Everything Bagels have a nice chew to them.

            2. Posh Bagels on Piedmont Ave. has better bagels than Noah's and Berkeley Bagels are good, too.

              2 Replies
              1. re: macadam

                I second Posh - love the texture of their sesame bagel. Village Market in Upper Rockridge and Berkeley Bowl also carry them.

                1. re: Maple

                  Posh Bagels are doughy and taste steamed - just like Noah's.

              2. I like House of Bagels, on Park Street in Alameda, more than anything else in Oakland or Berkeley. They aren't anything like a real bagel, but they are boiled and baked, have a decent chew, and address bagel cravings during he 364 days of the year that I'm not in NYC.

                House of Bagel
                1362 Park St, Alameda, CA

                1 Reply
                1. re: jillyju

                  just down the street from House of Bagels on Park , I've found the goods at Boogie W. Bagel Boy to be quite acceptable. haven't made it to the h.o.b. to compare yet.

                2. I've found that a Phoenix Pastificio olive bread, split and slathered with soft goat cheese, actually satisfies my cravings for bagels better than any bagel I've had out here. I think the texture of the crust comes close to what I look for in a bagel crust, and the velvet elasticity of the inside, while less dense than a bagel, has the mouthfeel I want.

                  I have not yet tried Berkeley Bagel. Is House of Bagel a chain? I've had bagels from the House of Bagels in San Jose, and thought they were good.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: daveena

                    Yes, House of Bagel seems to be a chain. I don't have any information, however, about whether each store is independently operated or not. The bagels seem to me to be about the same at the San Francisco store as at the Alameda store, but I wouldn't swear to it having never done a side-by-side comparison.