Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Austin >
Apr 20, 2010 08:27 AM

REAL BAGELS stop press, chow friends!

Fellow Chow friends,

The bagel search and grousing is over. Stop everything you are doing and go to Wholly Bagel on Wm Cannon. Now.

4404 W William Cannon. Tel 899.0200.

He's been open since Saturday.

I've just inhaled two of them, one without anything on it.

Please help keep this important resource in Austin! Go eat!


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I went there for lunch today. I had a plain bagel with egg, cheese, and sausage as well as a plain bagel with butter. I thought the bagels were very good. Nice flavor and a very chewy texture. I will note that I am by no means a bagel expert, but I would definitely eat these again.

    As far as the place it self, it has 1 table and a bar for seating so the dine in space is limited. The guy taking the orders was a real New Yorker with the attitude and all. Also, there was lots of Yankee art work and photos on the wall.

    1. Has anyone been able to compare to Rockstar bagels?

      6 Replies
      1. re: Carter B.

        our work's cafe orders them for breakfast.
        by the time i see them in the afternoon, they are looking very shopworn.
        in my visual and tactile inspection with tongs (yes, i totally picked it up with thongs and thumped it to see the texture), it did not have the right "feel".
        but, i should really reserve judgement for a true taste test.

        i lived in brookline, MA (and other places) for years and feel that although i am no new yorker, i am well acquainted with traditional jewish bagels and know the real deal.

        1. re: Carter B.

          Yes, and I think I like Rockstar better. These are good, and very close to my house so they'll do. They're still better than anything that's not Rockstar so that's a plus. I feel like the inside is too airy or something though. Also, the size isn't consistent at all. Some are tiny and some are double the tiny size.

          The biallys are pretty tasty though. I can't remember what a good bially tastes like, so I don't have anything to compare it to.

          Also, the guy is a total yankee. He's nice, but gruff in a noticeable way to this Texan. He's kind of still getting his thing together, so patience will pay off in the end I think. I prefer to just buy the bagels and add my own stuff at home because when I did there, it was overpriced and not as good as what I can do myself.

          He did win instant love from me for the availability of Taylor Ham though...

          1. re: foodiegal71

            this yankee will probably get along with him just fine, haha!
            i have noticed the size, now that you mention it.
            i should really try one at work and figure out for myself.

            1. re: Philly369

              I'm sure i'll get blasted for this one, but:
              One time while in NJ i kept hearing about the Taylor Ham. I tried it. Tasted like Spam to me. I like Spam, but nothing special.

              1. re: TroyTempest

                Nah, no blasting here! I used to eat it as a kid in Florida and loved it. The last time I got it, looking at it before I fried it up kind of grossed me out. I've never had Spam though...

                1. re: TroyTempest

                  Calling Taylor Ham "Spam" is like calling Leonard Bernstein the piano player. LOL.

            2. God bless Yankee Texans - both Scott and Joe have brought true bagel goodness to Austin, thus augmenting our cultural foodways, and serving the needs of Texans who may developed tastes elsewhere! I'm thrilled. I never thought the day would come when we could have a "best bagel in Austin" discussion! Rockstar bagels are denser and I think a little more flavorful, but Wholly bagel has the following going for it: 1 - they are wonderful, proper, chewy interior, crunchy exterior, freshly baked, NE style bagels, 2 - they have a storefront, so you don't need to place special orders and work a pick up time into your schedule, 3 - he makes his own schmears - the scallion one is very good - and 4 - they are in my neighborhood. I'm thrilled, and will be frequenting this place!

              8 Replies
              1. re: saticoy

                Sounds like 4 is the only negative to me. I find it really hard to make a trip across town for a bagel. However, 1 - I am a native Texan, 2 - I'm actually from El Paso and wouldn't know an authentic bagel if it hit me on the head, 3 - I'm waaaay over on the other side of town. Convince me. Is it worth the drive over JUST (collective gasp from the Yankee bagel lovers) for a bagel?

                1. re: amysuehere

                  Amy, this is a very daring statement, and I don't want to take responsibility if your expectations are not met, but I would give it about 3 more weeks for these guys to really get their bearings and then yes, it's worth the drive. We've gone through over a dozen in a week in my house between two of us. Oh, and two biallys, which you must try!

                  1. re: foodiegal71

                    I'll put it on the list of things to try and give them a few weeks to settle in. Thanks.

                    1. re: amysuehere

                      I drove from way across town for Wholy Bagels, and don't think it's worth the drive again. They do give a "Texas dozen", so if you order a dozen, you get 14 instead of a "Baker's dozen". I'm addicted to cinnamon raisin, so I got a dozen of the same flavor, and when asked if I wanted my other two different flavors, I asked if they could be their featured "french toast" bagel, and got a giant frown (ok, they were about 20 cents more than a regular bagel), so I went with all cinnamon raisin.

                      They committed a giant sin in my book, in that the cinnamon raisin had at one point in time, shared a bed with an everything bagel. I like those, but the flavors don't mix. Another thing, they are so mildly flavored, that you can hardly tell they are supposed to be cinnamon raisin. Finally, I noticed the same airiness that foodiegal mentioned above. I've never had a real NY bagel... are they supposed to have giant craters in them?

                      I liked Rockstar better than Wholy and I did drive over to Wheatsville to buy some. But, after the driving, I've decided I actually prefer either Panera or Einstein, which works for me, since they're closer. Maybe I wouldn't like a real NY bagel, and maybe that's ok with me.

                  2. re: amysuehere

                    You know, I think it is all your point of reference. I know there are touchstone items from El Paso that you miss here and would gladly drive for....this is one of them for me, and I have been driving across town to get Rockstar bagels. So, maybe hit up Rockstar bagels at one of their locations for a point of reference. If it floats your boat, maybe you might want to check out the only other truly good bagel in Austin - might be worth a drive. And in another generation, maybe new native born texans/Austinites (who may or may not have Texan parents) will count this type of bagel as an integral part of their foodscape, thanks to our Texan bagel makers.

                  3. re: saticoy

                    FWIW, you can get Rockstar bagels at Wheatsville, you don't have to preorder.

                    1. re: brentwood

                      I feel I have to chime in on this discussion, as a native New Yorker, born and bred. I was excited to try Rockstar bagels...and they made me really depressed and homesick, longing for the real thing. I don't understand why people can't make a real bagel outside of NYC? I don't mean to sound snobby about the bagel thing. I just really, really, really REALLY miss good bagels! I'd make the trek to Wholly, but if it's like Rockstar it's just going to make me sad.

                    2. re: saticoy

                      Upon the advice of Chowhound, last weekend I made the cross-town journey to Wholly Bagel. And I was not disappointed. I'm more of a fan of the large, doughy bagels that are crispy on the outside, less so of the smaller, denser east coast style. Wholly Bagel is more the former than the latter.

                      I stick with the traditional bagel varietals - poppyseed, seasalt, "everything" - not the fruit flavored type, which I did not try from Wholly. But I appreciated the flavor and texture of Wholly Bagel, and respect that they make their own cream cheese (at least 6 flavors, possibly more).

                      They give you a "Texas dozen," ie, 14, and consequently it's a bit more expensive than I expected.

                      Austin desperately needed a good bagel shop, and I think this one does it for me, a transplanted midwestern Member of the Tribe.

                    3. Oh, and does Wholly--or any place in Austin--sell smoked sable? I can't find it anywhere! (Well, they had some at Whole Foods but it was the awful packaged stuff.) I miss Fairway and Barney Greengrass the Sturgeon King! (In case there are any fellow New Yorkers out there reading this, who understand the sable-and-bagel shaped hole of despair in my soul.)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mandmbklyn

                        This isn't much help, but your best bet on bagels is probably to bring some back from NY and freeze them. I haven't seen smoked sturgeon around here outside of packaged stuff. Thankfully, I plan to get my fix at Barney Greengrass next week! ;-)

                      2. I lived in New York for many years. So I've eaten a few bagels. I practically lived off of them when I was in school there. Not every bagel in NYC is the same. I'm not a big fan of H&H. They're a little too bready for me. Sad, because I used to live right down the street from where they were baked. So that's my bagel background.

                        I love love love Wholy Bagel's bagels. They are exactly the kind I like. When toasted, slightly crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. They are perfection in my book. And the really great thing is, they have jalapeno bagels. This is something I never saw in all my years in New York. It's my favorite bagel (got hooked on them in Missoula, MT at Bagels On Broadway). And, and, and, Wholy Bagel has sun dried tomato cream cheese. My favorite combination is a jalapeno bagel with sun dried tomato cream cheese. I'm just ecstatic!

                        The only thing that could be improved at Wholy Bagel has nothing to do with the quality of the bagels. It's not really a sit down place. There is one large table with 4 chairs with backs and a long counter with a lot of stools. I'd prefer some smaller tables with chairs with backs. Of course, I don't think this is much of a issue in a town where the population eats trailer food at picnic tables out in the hot sun:) One other thing was, we were there at 1:30pm and wanted two cups of coffee. The lady behind the counter wouldn't make a pot of coffee because they close at 3:00pm; and she didn't want to waste any coffee. There was only enough coffee for one of us. I understand; but it was a little strange.