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Best Bay Area bagels?

SteveTimko Mar 6, 2010 07:52 AM

I found a nice Jewish deli in Las Vegas that makes a bagel that pretty much gives an atomic wedgie to any bagel I've had in San Francisco or Los Angeles.
So I'd like to try again to find a great bagel in the Bay Area. I never made it to Roland's, which I guess has shut down.
I've been to Katz, Noah's and House of Bagels and while they're all nice, they're nothing to go out of the way for.
I haven't tried the Bagel Bakery.
Is there a better place to try than the Bagel Bakery? Is there some place in the East Bay or the Peninsula I should try? About the only place I won't go is into Marin County.

  1. g
    GH1618 Mar 3, 2012 03:35 PM

    Levy's in San Ramon makes bagels the proper way.

    1. h
      hyperbowler Feb 26, 2012 06:21 PM

      Schmendricks had their first pop-up out of a garage on 18th outside Faye's video in SF. We had three bagels... a sesame, an everything, and a salt bagel. They were better than anything I've ever eaten in CA, and better than most in NY. As they advertise, soft and chewy in the inside, and crispy on the outside without needing to toast them. They were smaller than your modern NY bagel and this was a good thing considering how grotesquely large those things have gotten.

      The salt bagel's salt was coarse and jagged, and not the squarish pretzel salt commonly used in NY. I consider this an improvement, and expect the squarish pretzel is better suited toward humid environments and/or situations when the bagel isn't immediately eaten.

      The everything bagel wasn't overrun with toppings, and still allowed you to appreciate the bagel inside.

      I don't know if it was a few minutes fresher or something else, but the sesame bagel was the best of all three very good bagels.


      4 Replies
      1. re: hyperbowler
        hyperbowler Mar 2, 2012 07:48 PM

        They're at it again this Sunday. 10:30 AM at Faye's videos on 18th.

        1. re: hyperbowler
          Mission Mar 3, 2012 12:44 PM

          If a bagel is not boiled before baking, its not a bagel...period!

          1. re: Mission
            Rapini Mar 3, 2012 03:24 PM

            ...amen, brother (or sister).

            1. re: Mission
              drewskiSF Mar 3, 2012 04:00 PM

              then you should be happy with Schmendricks. from their Facebook

              in case the link get's killed.
              > Ten Commandments of bagels: 2) Thou shalt not bake without first boiling.

        2. a
          abstractpoet Sep 24, 2011 01:10 PM

          Finally got around to trying a couple of the Beauty's Bagels, as sold at Saul's on Saturday mornings for $1.15 a pop. Not bad - very dense, good chew, very good flavor (I liked the sesame one a lot). Much better than the Spot bagels, but still more on par with like a good day-old Jersey bagel. I'll reserve judgment until they open their store and I can try them fresh (and not six or eight hours old, or whatever it was).

          Also, for some godforsaken reason, the Saul's people are selling the bagels pre-sliced, or at least that was the case for two of the three bagels I got to go anyway. I didn't notice until I got home, like 2 hours later, so that only added to the less-than-optimal freshness. I know they're slinging out bagel sandwiches and such at the restaurant, but geez, you can't slice the bagels to order??

          Not to mention that when I ordered one bagel with butter (to eat right away), the guy went to toast it without me telling him to. Fortunately I stopped him in time, seeing as I despise toasted bagels. Anyway, these are Saul's problems, not Beauty's problems.

          Beauty's Bagel Shop
          3838 Telegraph, Oakland, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: abstractpoet
            moto Sep 24, 2011 07:39 PM

            Beauty's baker was selling pre-bagged assorted (4 per pack) bagels at the Eat Real fest in oaktown on Sat. they're still looking for a retail location -- when he heard my account of getting whole wheat bagels hot from the oven at 0500 while the bakery was still closed (from chatting w. the baker through the back door) he said he'd love to sell fresh bagels 24 hours. the texture of the ones sold at the festival had suffered of course from plastic bagging, but sampling one on the spot, the flavor and chew were very promising -- toasting has never bothered me, and after bringing them home the results were quite acceptable.

          2. l
            lrealml Sep 18, 2011 01:05 AM

            Since this thread got refreshed I will add my 2 cents.
            My SO is from New York, and I have spent a lot of time in the New York area having lots of bagels. I've had Ess-a, H&H, and many other random good to not so great NY bagels. Our favorite bagel in NY is a small place called Strathmore way out on Long Island near my in-laws... they are better than Ess-a by a small margin.

            That being said, the only Bay Area bagel we've had that even comes remotely close is Izzy's in PA. While they are not as good as Ess-a or Strathmore; they are way better than a lot of bagels that I've had in the NY area. I would rather eat a defrosted Izzy's bagel than a fresh House of Bagel bagel. Also, they have a lot of my favorite NY toppings like herring in cream.

            As good as Izzy's is, we still bring back a duffel bag full of Strathmore bagels to freeze every time we go to New York, and no one from New York is allowed to visit with out bringing bagels (My in-laws are visiting soon, so more bagels!).

            6 Replies
            1. re: lrealml
              Melanie Wong Sep 18, 2011 10:24 AM

              Have you had a chance to try SPoT bagels yet? I notice the sign on the building when I drive down 101 through Burlingame. No sales at the factory, but according to the website, available at these locations on the Peninsula,

              Burlingame Produce
              226 Lorton Avenue
              Burlingame, CA 94010

              Earthbeam Foods
              1399 Broadway
              Burlingame, CA 94010

              Earthbeam Foods
              1399 Broadway, Burlingame, CA 94010

              Burlingame Produce
              226 Lorton Ave, Burlingame, CA 94010

              1. re: Melanie Wong
                Robert Lauriston Sep 18, 2011 10:37 AM

                I wasn't very impressed with Spot.


                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  Melanie Wong Sep 18, 2011 10:45 AM

                  Yes, I've read every post in that thread and the many differing opinions. I wanted to point out the sales locations near the plant . . . maybe someone in Burlingame has a chance of getting one still warm from Spot's oven to taste at their peak.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                    Rapini Sep 18, 2011 11:12 AM

                    Agreed. I picked one up at the Rockridge Market Hall. It was pretty tasty, with a good consistency, but not quite what I recall from my East Coast childhood.

                  2. re: Melanie Wong
                    lrealml Sep 18, 2011 01:18 PM

                    Not yet. I read that thread a while ago, and it didn't make me super anxious to try them, especially after seeing their flavors. I am a very adventurous eater, but when it comes to bagels, I am boring: I want pumpernickel and/or rye with some kind of cured/pickled fish product (or occasionally liverwurst).
                    They do not have a pumpernickel/rye bagel, so it won't be a fair comparison from my perspective. However, my SO is a sesame or everything bagel guy, so we will try to pick some up sometime and give them a shot.

                    1. re: lrealml
                      Windy Sep 18, 2011 03:50 PM

                      Their sesame is better than the everything.

                      I'm with you on pumpernickel. But the only decent pumpernickel bagel I've had in many years was from Bergen Bagels in Ft. Greene.

                2. majordanby Apr 13, 2011 06:48 PM

                  went to berkeley bowl today and noticed that they dont sell marin bagel co bagels anymore, but new york bagels, based out of richmond


                  anyone try these?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: majordanby
                    mayjay Sep 24, 2011 07:20 PM

                    I bought these yesterday and they are terrible. Crumbled apart when toasted.

                  2. b
                    Bunson Apr 11, 2011 10:00 AM

                    I'm still sticking with Main Street Bagels (http://www.mainstbagels.com/ - Los Altos location is closest to San Francisco) as my favorite. I've never had an "authentic" New York Bagel but my two favorite bagels have been from either Main Street or the Einstein's (Noah's chain). My main thing with bagels is that "chew" and Main Street has that, along with a good density; they're not too soft/spongy that some places that some places are to get that chew nor bready which i absolutely hate. Anyone have a second opinion??!

                    1. THEchar Apr 9, 2011 06:04 PM

                      Semifreddies and Noah's have good bagels, however bagels that come in a bag at the supper market are usually mediocre.

                      1. realfilf Apr 9, 2011 03:39 PM

                        The Bagelry on Polk Street is good for a fix.

                        1. t
                          the mess Mar 29, 2011 06:20 PM

                          FYI, everyone:


                          3 Replies
                          1. re: the mess
                            Windy Mar 30, 2011 11:55 AM

                            The word "artisanal" does not give me hope for an authentic bagel.

                            1. re: Windy
                              BernalKC Mar 31, 2011 08:50 PM

                              Yeah, really. "Meyer lemon and sea salt", "orange-poppyseed", "cinnamon-raisin" sorry, fail.

                            2. re: the mess
                              ChowFun_derek Mar 30, 2011 02:33 PM

                              Great! Thanks for the info...since my 'chowhound' Maya and I have breakfast almost every morning at the Duboce Park Cafe...and since it almost always includes a bagel...I'll look forward to trying out this Chicago/Seattle transplant!! I wonder when this arrangement will begin?

                              Duboce Park Cafe
                              2 Sanchez St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                            3. a
                              Alan C Mar 28, 2011 04:03 PM

                              What's the name of the Vegas Deli. Moving to Henderson in a few months?

                              12 Replies
                              1. re: Alan C
                                myst Mar 29, 2011 09:07 AM

                                The best was Brothers Bagels on gilman. Small bagels, crisp on the bottom, chewy on the top. But they are gone replaced by the Boogie Woogie Bagel Boy or something along those lines.

                                Boogie Woogie Bagel Boy
                                1227 Park St, Alameda, CA

                                1. re: myst
                                  Robert Lauriston Mar 29, 2011 09:16 AM

                                  I had the worst bagel of my life at Boogie Woogie Bagel Boy. The new tenant, Berkeley Bagel, isn't that bad but it's nothing special.

                                  Berkeley Bagel
                                  1281 Gilman St, Albany, CA

                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                    wally Mar 29, 2011 09:43 AM

                                    Berkeley Bagel isn't that bad but I found them lacking in chew.

                                    Berkeley Bagel
                                    1281 Gilman St, Albany, CA

                                    1. re: wally
                                      Bria Silbert Mar 29, 2011 10:23 AM

                                      Tangentially speaking, with so many people craving "Jewish food" (such as bagels) I still don't understand why there are NO Jewish delis between San Jose and Berkeley. There are plenty of people who want that kind of food between San Jose and Berkeley, including myself and my husband - ex New Yorkers who moved from LA to find NOTHING exists here in the way of corned beef, pastrami, whitefish, etc. I'm not talking kosher (a la The Kosher Table) - I'm talking deli.

                                      1. re: Bria Silbert
                                        Robert Lauriston Mar 29, 2011 10:34 AM

                                        There's City Bistro in Hayward.

                                        Brothers in Burlingame was good for a while, then went downhill, then closed.

                                        I think there's just not that much demand.

                                        City Bistro
                                        30162 Industrial Pkwy, Hayward, CA

                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                          Windy Mar 30, 2011 11:54 AM

                                          I agree, not enough demand, and almost nowhere to source the ingredients without going into the curing business.

                                          See the separate discussion about patrons at The Refuge wanting lower fat pastrami.

                                          Suggest you visit some of the old school Russian Jewish immigrant stores in the Richmond district. New World Market, Cinderella Bakery, etc. Pauliface has a recent thread looking for caviar, but they stock a lot of pickled fish.

                                          I also love Holy Land in Berkeley (and Oakland) for their salads.

                                          Better bagels would be nice, but it's got to be hard to compete with Noah's.

                                          Holy Land Restaurant
                                          2965 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

                                          Cinderella Bakery
                                          436 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                                          New World Market
                                          5641 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

                                          1. re: Windy
                                            Robert Lauriston Mar 30, 2011 12:19 PM

                                            I missed the discussion about food fascists attacking the Refuge's pastrami, but to me it sure seemed lean compared with than the old-school, well-marbled Niman they use at Wood Tavern.

                                            Wood Tavern
                                            6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                              Melanie Wong Mar 30, 2011 12:59 PM

                                              Here's the discussion

                                              I'm surprised no one has reported yet on Wise Sons.

                                              Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen
                                              San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

                                              1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                Robert Lauriston Mar 30, 2011 01:10 PM

                                                I've heard great things about Wise Sons, but the hours aren't very convenient.

                                      2. re: wally
                                        wally Apr 9, 2011 10:13 AM

                                        Della Fattoria is selling bagels today at Ferry Plaza. They are really not that bad. Have a decent chew.

                                        Della Fattoria
                                        141 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma, CA 94952

                                      3. re: Robert Lauriston
                                        myst Apr 11, 2011 11:26 AM

                                        Too bad. I really have not bothered to eat bagels since Brother's closed. Lender's in the toaster at home seem to be better than much of what I see coming in to our office for meetings and such.....

                                        Seems many people actually like the big doughy Noah's style? Those do nothing for me...I like them chewy with a crisp bottom.

                                    2. re: Alan C
                                      SteveTimko Mar 30, 2011 07:51 AM

                                      Weiss Restuaurant Bakery and Deli
                                      2744 N Green Valley Pkwy
                                      Henderson, NV 89014
                                      (702) 454-0565

                                    3. j
                                      JojoSF Mar 26, 2011 04:10 PM

                                      I'm not sure what time of the day you went to Katz' but I usually go at 7am and only to the 16th St location. I think they're darn good. (As a point of reference, I like H&H in NYC - http://www.hhbagels.com/)

                                      1. t
                                        the mess Mar 26, 2011 03:10 PM

                                        Nopa makes their own awesome bagels for brunch, served with their own smoked fish. Bagels started out as a Lithuanian-Jewish food, which I believe is the chef's ancestry.

                                        560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: the mess
                                          ChowFun_derek Mar 26, 2011 07:02 PM

                                          NOPA ..that is walking distance...and tomorrow is Sunday! Brunch Time!!! Anyone want to join me? Do they take reservations??

                                          1. re: ChowFun_derek
                                            the mess Mar 26, 2011 11:10 PM

                                            They do take reservations but chances that you'll get one are slim at this point. Your best bet is to show up when they open (11) and try to get a spot at the bar or communal table. They'll seat you eventually if not right away.

                                            1. re: ChowFun_derek
                                              Melanie Wong Mar 27, 2011 09:08 PM

                                              Did you try Nopa's?

                                              560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                                              1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                ChowFun_derek Mar 28, 2011 01:34 PM

                                                YES!!! The service at NOPA was outgoing and friendly and genuine..from everyone...there are a lot of seats for individuals...a communal table, at the bar, or overlooking the kitchen! I went just as it opened so had my pick...I chose to watch the kitchen...I took the far left seat (I'm lefthanded) right next to the person who everyone started calling CHEF (!)....well I didn't know, so I asked him whether he would take my order...he was delightful and said of course! The smoked trout plate was a thing of beauty..slightly pickled purple onions, large watermelon radish shavings with a purple blush...so thin they were translucent...home made farmers cheese (which I never liked growing up, especially in blintzes..always preferring cottage or cream cheese because farmers cheese always "sucked" the moisture out of my mouth! This however was delicious...a revelation really..was this how farmers cheese was supposed to taste? creamy with chives in it...and a lovely looking bagel which had been heated on the grill...bathed in sesame seeds (my favorite kind of bagel)! So far so good (oh! while I was waiting I had a very nice and large scone with a miraculous lemon cream, (I used some and ate the rest with a spoon!)...the french roast coffee came with an individual french press pot...okay ...back to the bagel...here in SF I always complain that there is not enough 'chew' in our bagels...that they are merely 'rolls with holes' the best NY bagels almost exercise your jaw, so you know that you've eaten something........this bagel (I complemented my neighboring "Chef" and he pointed out the woman who made them..was incredible..it gave my jaws a proper workout..the texture was great...the only thing it did not possess was the shiny crust which comes from a cornstarch and water wash.......I told my friendly "Chef" that they should open a bakery! He laughed and said they'd think about it...by the way the savory bread pudding, custardy french toast, the hash ...in fact everything looked really good, and since it is a few minutes away from where I live, I will be back to try the rest of their offerings...now that the "Chef" and I have a 'relationship'.......definitely, by far the best NY Bagel I have experienced here in the Bay Area......but I am still game to try whatever comes along! Great thanks to "the mess" for sharing NOPA's brunch with us! here's a link to their brunch menu this week.... http://nopasf.com/menu/brunch/ addendum: Now I know my Chef's name...here is a photo and rather extensive bio... http://www.starchefs.com/chefs/rising...

                                                1. re: ChowFun_derek
                                                  the mess Mar 28, 2011 03:33 PM

                                                  Glad you liked it. He is indeed a great guy, and he seems only to hire people who are just as friendly.

                                                  You should definitely go back to try the other dishes you mentioned, especially the French toast. I've seen several hounds call it the best they've ever had.

                                                  1. re: the mess
                                                    ChowFun_derek Mar 28, 2011 04:33 PM

                                                    The Custard French Toast was definitely going to be my next brunch item...nice to know that they do brunch on both Sat. AND Sunday..!
                                                    Thanks again

                                          2. foodwinemaven Mar 25, 2011 10:31 PM

                                            SPOT Bagel is opening soon in SF. You can get notified when they open: http://spotbagel.com/

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: foodwinemaven
                                              ChowFun_derek Mar 26, 2011 10:47 AM

                                              do you know where in S.F.? I couldn't find that info on their website...

                                              1. re: ChowFun_derek
                                                Melanie Wong Mar 26, 2011 10:54 AM

                                                From its facebook page:
                                                1730 Gilbreth Road, Burlingame, CA 94010

                                                1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                  ChowFun_derek Mar 26, 2011 07:00 PM

                                                  Melanie, am I missing something? I STILL don't see anything about where and when in San Fran...!

                                                  1. re: ChowFun_derek
                                                    Melanie Wong Mar 26, 2011 07:05 PM

                                                    The web page, facebook page, and twitter feed are careful to say "Bay Area", not San Francisco, so I would not assume that it is opening in the City. That address in Burlingame is light industrial, actually not far from where House of Bagels plant is located, so maybe the retail outlet will be elsewhere.,,

                                                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                      ChowFun_derek Mar 26, 2011 07:13 PM

                                                      That could be a Big Bad Burlingame Bagel Bummer! Then again although I really like Chicago..(beautiful exciting city with really enjoyable food) I never thought they were known for their Bagels..doesn't their water come from Lake Michigan? New York's from pristine mountain springs like S.F....it it were only the water we should be making exemplary bagels....

                                            2. s
                                              SF Bill Jul 15, 2010 01:50 PM

                                              Manhattan Bagels on Fourth St. in Berkeley is great and traditional. I'm surprised only one other person mentioned it. They used to have a bunch of them in Los Angeles (formerly known as I & Joy Bagels) and expanded to bay area 10-15 years ago. Now L.A. only has a few locations left and this Fourth St. place is the only one north of L.A. Only complaints are that they run out almost everything by noon and this location doesn't make bialys which is a shame because the texture and gooey oniony goodness is quite unique. Perhaps this new generation has different tastes hence the whole wheat, blueberry and other abominations. From the other comments I need to try Izzy's but everything else I've had in the bay area is either awful or unauthentic.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: SF Bill
                                                Mission Apr 9, 2011 05:58 PM

                                                I bought a half dozen Manhattan Bagels on Fourth St yesterday.

                                                I give them a thumb down on just about everything.

                                                Service: Unfriendly, Slacker who looked pissed off that she had to do something.

                                                Taste and texture: Average "bready " bagel.

                                                Traditional: They are not boiled before baking...hardly "traditional".

                                                Price: Kinda pricey $5 bucks for 6 bagels.

                                                Hard to believe the positive reports.

                                                The search continues.

                                              2. y
                                                yehfromthebay Jul 14, 2010 09:07 PM

                                                My favorite bagel place in the area is Bagelry in Santa Cruz. Love their sesame with just a bit of butter. Also love the egg salad spread on a whole wheat bagel there.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: yehfromthebay
                                                  finchycocoa Jul 14, 2010 09:16 PM

                                                  Sourflour bagels are dense-- possibly they could use more time to rise. But the flavor is delicious. They are only available occasionally in SF at La Victoria bakery.

                                                  La Victoria
                                                  131 W Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113

                                                2. s
                                                  scorpsjl Apr 13, 2010 10:20 PM

                                                  Has anyone ever had Cheeseboard bagels? They have them every Tuesday I think. I didn't look too carefully at them today, but the bakery makes other good things.

                                                  1. m
                                                    mdg Apr 13, 2010 10:23 AM

                                                    I tried House of Bagels in Sunnyvale and it was pretty good - especially, but not just, by local standards. Not as great as the best in New York, but the first decent bagel I can recall having out here. But I haven't tried Roland's or some of the other places in San Francisco.


                                                    House of Bagels
                                                    1681 Hollenbeck Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: mdg
                                                      Ridge Apr 13, 2010 08:27 PM

                                                      I have my mom and in-laws send us bagels from the east coast which we freeze. I will have to try some of the places mentioned but so far I haven’t had much luck in finding good bagels in CA. It’s really rather remarkable how truly retched bagels and pizza can be in California. A while back I was really jonesing for a bagel at lunchtime. There is a “Posh bagel” place in Davis (to the person who recommended Posh bagel, you are correct, you are not bagel savvy at all). I gave Posh bagel a try with the thought “how bad could it really be?” It was so abysmal. I don’t know why it is so challenging to find decent bagels, pizza and sandwiches in California. At least we have good Mexican food.

                                                      1. re: Ridge
                                                        wolfe Apr 13, 2010 08:36 PM

                                                        Interesting possibly Freudian typo retched, to vomit, for wretched, deplorably bad. The local bread balls with holes are not that bad but they are not "bagels."

                                                        1. re: Ridge
                                                          mdg Apr 14, 2010 12:03 AM

                                                          Well, at least it seems they're consistent - the Posh Bagel in Los Altos has the same level of quality that you describe in Davis!

                                                          The pizza situation has gotten a lot better here in the past few years. Some of the good stuff is even finally making its way down to Silicon Valley. I think the more widespread use of the conveyor-belt ovens may be one reason why the run-of-the-mill places are so much worse here than back east.


                                                          1. re: mdg
                                                            vis Apr 14, 2010 06:26 PM

                                                            House o Bagels in Mountain View (miramonte & cuesta) is decent. Better than Posh and Noah's. Izzy's in PA on California is better. Haven't had anything yet that I would put in the "excellent" category in the Peninsula/South Bay.

                                                          2. re: Ridge
                                                            moto Apr 14, 2010 02:59 PM

                                                            my spouse bought some bagels from the Boogie Woogie Bagel in Alameda (our usual source, but too distant from our front door for frequent indulgence) on her way out of town, and gave me a leftover three days later--still excellent chew and flavor, granted, it was one of their varieties that keep well (pumpernickel). so far, they're as good as any I've had west of the rockies.

                                                        2. J T Mar 8, 2010 02:43 AM

                                                          I'm not bagel savvy at all, but further south I enjoy Posh Bagels in Santa Clara.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: J T
                                                            TopoTail Mar 8, 2010 09:39 AM

                                                            Never having lived in New York, perhaps I have no authority here, but I really like the bagels at Manhattan Bagel Company on Fourth Street in Berkeley. There's something magical about the texture they get when toasted. They offer freezer bags and suggest you cut the bagels in half before freezing. I do that, and even when frozen they maintain that nice chewiness after having been toasted. I haven't found that quality in any other East Bay bagels.

                                                          2. s
                                                            Sam B Mar 6, 2010 08:55 PM


                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: Sam B
                                                              SunsetKid Mar 7, 2010 12:28 PM

                                                              I understand that Draeger's sells H&H bagels.

                                                              1. re: SunsetKid
                                                                wolfe Mar 7, 2010 01:00 PM

                                                                I ordered a bunch, nothing special. It wasn't worth it.

                                                                1. re: wolfe
                                                                  a_and_w Mar 10, 2010 08:50 AM

                                                                  Yeah, H&H is basically Noah's imo. Puffy and sweet, like a soft sandwich roll.

                                                                  1. re: a_and_w
                                                                    brhau Apr 13, 2010 09:04 AM

                                                                    H&H bagels puffy? Wow, they must not be giving Dragers the same stuff. I haven't found any good bagels outside of NY. I no longer think it's worth looking.

                                                                    1. re: brhau
                                                                      a_and_w Apr 23, 2010 09:50 AM

                                                                      Yes, puffy. I used to live a block away from the H&H factory in Manhattan. They must get hard somewhere en route to CA, because there have been recent reports of hard H&H bagels in both SF and LA.

                                                                      1. re: a_and_w
                                                                        brhau Apr 23, 2010 11:28 AM

                                                                        Huh. I'll admit that I actually like some of the puffy ones, even though they're not supposed to be that way. I like Absolute Bagels, for instance on 108th. H&H is definitely denser than that from what I remember, but I didn't go there very often. Whose bagels do you like best?

                                                            2. l
                                                              lpfch Mar 6, 2010 11:19 AM

                                                              Try Izzy's Brooklyn Bagels on California Avenue in Palo Alto. From an ex-New Yorker, the best I have had out here!

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: lpfch
                                                                ChowFun_derek Mar 7, 2010 11:50 AM

                                                                As an ex-Brooklynite, I've had Izzy's and they fell far short for me....is Draeger's still making bagels? I remember having what I remember as a good one....but the memory fades...I live a couple of blocks from Rolands and they were good but not really NY bagels...The Mission Beach Cafe on 16th and Guerrero has home made ones, they 'look' right...with a nice shiny crust, but I have yet to try one....anybody???

                                                                1. re: lpfch
                                                                  tizzielish Apr 11, 2010 02:22 PM

                                                                  Izzy's bagels are my idea of a good, real bagel. They are densely chewy on the inside and the outside has a thin 'crispness' to the surface. They are the only bagel I have eaten since moving to the Bay Area four years ago that in any way approximates a bagel. Most of what is sold as bagels here in Bay Area are round buns with holes in the middle that have no denseness, no chewiness. I can't believe Noah's Bagels has built a chain of mediocre bun shops mislabeled as bagels.

                                                                  ChowFun_derek. . . how long has it been since you had a real bagel in Brooklyn? If Izzy's fall 'far short', I think you have forgotten what bagels are, esp. since you seem to admire bagels with a 'nice shiny crust' because Izzy's bagels have a nice shiny crust.

                                                                  I like the size of Izzy's bagels. . . to me, the size is realistic. The jumbo bread rolls sold at most places and wrongly called 'bagels' are much, much bigger than bagels.

                                                                  Izzy's Brooklyn Bagels
                                                                  477 S California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306

                                                                  1. re: tizzielish
                                                                    majordanby Apr 11, 2010 03:19 PM

                                                                    ive never tasted a new york bagel, but i do like bagels that are dense...and when i used to live in palo alto, i used to buy izzy's all the time when i was biking to school/work. Really nice little shop with good owners...and they make a consistently dense bagel.

                                                                    Since moving to the east bay, i go to berkeley bagels on gilman. I tried manhattan bagels on 4th st. and although fine, i still would go with berkeley bagels for dense chewiness (although, i did like manhattan's sourdough bagel in terms of its taste and texture). i dont mess around with my bagel...no cream or any fillings. i dont even slice them in half...and many times i dont even toast them (if i do, i dont slice and i lightly toast the outside). With my taste and style, gilman and izzy's fulfill my needs.

                                                                    1. re: tizzielish
                                                                      ChowFun_derek Apr 22, 2010 11:24 AM

                                                                      I was in Brooklyn this year...definitely had bagels....It was near the end of the day at Izzy's, perhaps that affected the quality...I will give them another try when I am near one...

                                                                  2. wolfe Mar 6, 2010 08:05 AM

                                                                    Dante said it best.
                                                                    “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here”
                                                                    There appears to be nothing to go out of the way for. According to reports here even New York is almost in the same fix.

                                                                    15 Replies
                                                                    1. re: wolfe
                                                                      Alan C Mar 6, 2010 10:36 AM

                                                                      I recommend Rolands on Haight Street at Webster. As a former east-coaster, they're by far the best I've tasted in SF. Chewy inside and great crust. Sometimes they're sold out by mid-afternoon. It certainly was open a week ago when I stopped there.

                                                                      1. re: Alan C
                                                                        wolfe Mar 6, 2010 10:58 AM

                                                                        After this article?

                                                                        1. re: Alan C
                                                                          SteveTimko Mar 6, 2010 12:32 PM

                                                                          AS I noted above, Roland's is closed, right?

                                                                          1. re: SteveTimko
                                                                            NoeMan Mar 7, 2010 12:08 PM

                                                                            Their website is still up


                                                                            1. re: NoeMan
                                                                              Agent 510 Mar 8, 2010 01:05 PM

                                                                              A Yelp poster observes that Roland's isn't closed, it's just relocating to Hayes & Gough.

                                                                              1. re: Agent 510
                                                                                mdg Mar 9, 2010 10:48 PM

                                                                                Right, they are moving into the spot that used to be Essencia. I went by there today and it looks like they are making good progress on it. I've never tried them at the Haight location so I don't know how good they are.

                                                                                Ess-a-Bagel was making a mighty fine bagel in Manhattan when we visited in November, and I'm sure there's plenty of other good bagels to be hounded in various New York boroughs. It's hardly the same as here.


                                                                        2. re: wolfe
                                                                          Windy Mar 6, 2010 03:15 PM

                                                                          Not true about NY. I had great bagels in Brooklyn a few months ago at Bergen Bagels.

                                                                          1. re: Windy
                                                                            wolfe Mar 6, 2010 03:30 PM

                                                                            "New York is almost in the same fix."
                                                                            Almost allows exceptions. ;-)

                                                                            1. re: Windy
                                                                              jason carey Mar 8, 2010 10:16 AM

                                                                              Bergen Bagels are sub-par.. not as bad as H&H but they are giant bread bagels.
                                                                              The Bagel hole actually makes good real bagels in Brooklyn..

                                                                              1. re: fatpersonskinnybody
                                                                                BernalKC Jul 14, 2010 05:02 PM

                                                                                Sorry. One look at the picture of the bagels in the Bergen Bagels brochure is enough to be certain. Those are bageloids, not bagels. They may be the most popular thing sold under the name 'bagel', but they are faux, fat, never boiled, soft. wrong.

                                                                                Sorry to be pedantic - your certainly entitled to your opinion, and its obviously widely shared - but I miss my Montreal bagels. Fresh off the plank out of a brick oven, lovingly parboiled, chewy whole grain goodness... they are soo much better than anything we get around here. I'm starting to wonder if they're better than anything that remains in NYC...

                                                                                1. re: BernalKC
                                                                                  Windy Jul 14, 2010 08:01 PM

                                                                                  One look at the *brochure*? You're going to be that dismissive without actually haven eaten one?

                                                                                  1. re: Windy
                                                                                    BernalKC Jul 15, 2010 09:50 AM

                                                                                    Well, its kinda hard for me to get to Brooklyn. But yes, one look at the picture shows they are the wrong shape. Big, fat, puffy - obviously never boiled. See for yourself: http://www.bergenbagel.com/images/men...

                                                                                    1. re: BernalKC
                                                                                      Windy Jul 15, 2010 10:53 AM

                                                                                      I ate them. I don't need to look at a picture.

                                                                                      1. re: Windy
                                                                                        BernalKC Jul 15, 2010 12:38 PM

                                                                                        Looks can be deceiving, but those sure look like the faux bagels that most people seem to like. This 2003 NYT article on bagels reflects my POV almost exactly, and the bagels I see pictured in the Bergen menu sure look to be part of the "super sized" trend that I find loathsome: "Was Life Better When Bagels Were Smaller?" http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/31/din...

                                                                                        1. re: BernalKC
                                                                                          BernalKC Aug 9, 2010 12:22 PM

                                                                                          According to this David Lebovitz blog post, the kind of bagels I crave are making some sort of comeback in NYC as "flat bagels" http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives...

                                                                                          Seems backwards to me. The super-sized miscreants should be called "fat bagels" instead, but its OK as long as real bagels make a comeback. Maybe someone local will seize the opportunity and start making "heritage bagels." That sounds better to me!

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