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Bruegger's Bagels

I will most likely be panned but I have a secret to admit. I actually like Bruegger's Bagels. I am not a fan of Finagle and I am well aware that in Boston there's no way you can get a good NY style bagel, but I have to say, Bruegger's is pretty darn good even if not a NY Bagel. I like their cream cheeses too. I had a rosemary olive oil bagel w/ the low fat veggie cream cheese and it was excellent. Does anyone else here like their bagels? Again, they nowhere near match a NY bagel, but as far as Boston's lame excuse for bagels, I feel like they do a pretty good job.

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  1. Their coffee on the other hand...thumbs down.

    1. I find them a bit rubbery, but I haven't had one in years. Maybe I'll try one and reassess. I really like Cafe Fresh Bagel in Needham.

      Cafe Fresh Bagel
      896 Highland Ave, Needham, MA 02494

      1. I agree on the bagel and your assesment of Finagle.

        4 Replies
        1. re: trufflehound

          Ditto. Bruegger ain't half bad. Not great, but not terrible. WAY better then fluffy finagle.

          1. re: StriperGuy

            While we're lovin' the chain bagels, I'm more a fan of Einstein's. Though they lack any crust to speak of, the "chew" of the bagel itself is really good. I prefer it to Breugger's'.

            1. re: justbeingpolite

              I did like Einstein's a lot better than Bruegger's, but they closed the one on the Newton/Watertown line.

              1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                to me Bruegger's and Einstein's bagels are pretty similar, and for chain food I am ok with either. I prefer Einstein's coffee.

        2. There's a bagel place in Newton which has the closet NY bagels I've had here-- and I'm a Jew from NYC- I know my bagels!!!

          5 Replies
          1. re: your_outreach

            Yer talkin' Rosenfeld's and yes it is amongst the best in beantown.

            As a "7th Avenue Adventist" ;-) from NYC myself I know from bagels...

            To JBP above a bagel without crust? I haven't been to Einstein's in a while, but that does not bode well.

            1. re: StriperGuy

              It's got one, just a pretty chewy crust.
              Help me out here, someone.

              1. re: justbeingpolite

                Heck I'll try a few next time I see an Einstein's...

              2. re: StriperGuy

                "7th Avenue Adventist" - love it.

            2. >Boston's lame excuse for bagels

              go to Rosenfeld

              buy and eat bagels.

              report back.

              Rosenfeld Bagel Co
              1280 Centre St, Newton, MA

              1 Reply
              1. re: okra

                I will say that they're not as good as NY, but I thought they were the closest I could find in the Boston area.

                Also, I really like the fish platter at Zaftigs. It's probably my favorite breakfast there. The bagels are good, fine- nothing amazing-- but their whitefish and lox is really great. Ugh that white fish... I want some now!

              2. Brueggers standard flavors (like plain, sesame, onion, poppy, pumpernickel, egg (new but very NY) - I miss the salt bagels they used to make - and under no circumstances are sweet flavors to be even considered, nor those hideous square things) are OK when fresh, but the crust has gotten softer over the years, not a good thing - I suspect they are not using as alkaline a solution as they used to, but I could be very wrong about that. They do use malt in their dough, which helps create smaller bubbles and thus a denser texture.

                Finagle makes bread doughnuts, not bagels. I would never confuse those things for a proper bagel.

                5 Replies
                  1. re: Karl S

                    I went to a Brueggers recently after having not to been to one for a few years and was heartbroken when I couldn't get a salt bagel. I thought maybe it was just that location, but I checked the Brueggers website and supposedly they are available in select markets, although not ours it seems.

                    1. re: failingwannabevegan

                      Yes, it's available in some of their locations, but not most. It's sad, because a salt bagel is a thing of beauty, especially in the summer.

                    2. re: Karl S

                      The Bruegger's on Summer St. in Downtown Crossing often has salt bagels.

                      1. re: Karl S

                        The only thing I *ever* ordered at Bruegger's (when they existed) was a salt bagel with bacon/scallion cream cheese . . . tref-city, but soooo good.


                      2. This isnt a great bagel but it a pretty good stand in for one. I hit the Porter Sq. store once a week for bagels. Finagle is a joke. Unlike other here, I like Iggy's bagels, that and Rosenfelds. Boston has a short bagel list. Kupels used to do a better job.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: baldbert

                          Iggy's makes an excellent, chewy round piece of bread; I really enjoy them. I just don't really consider them bagels. That said their chewy round piece of bread is WAY better than many Boston bagels including Finagle.

                        2. I'll have to try Rosenfeld's sometime, but Newton is far for me just to get bagels.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: BackBayGirl

                            If you live where your handle indicates, Rosenfeld's is a stone's throw from the Newton Center T stop on the D line. Easy if a little distant.

                            1. re: trufflehound

                              Katz Bagel Bakery in Chelsea. Easy to get to off the Tobin Bridge, though it helps to know the warren of streets in downtown Chelsea.

                              They don't have a ton of flavors, and what you see is what you get. They are closer in size to old-fashioned bagels.

                              Katz Bagel Bakery
                              139 Park St, Chelsea, MA

                              1. re: Karl S

                                Big thumbs up for Katz bagels... When Mrs okra lived in Chelsea, we'd stop by pretty regularly, usually dragging one of the bakers out to man the counter for the 22.91 second transaction. :) Don't waste their time, and don't buy more bagels than you can eat in a day - like the best bread products, they really only last 24 hours before becoming stale and hard.

                                Karl S gets 2 additional points for the most appropriate use of 'warren' I have read in the past year.

                                Katz Bagel Bakery
                                139 Park St, Chelsea, MA

                            2. I don't consider Bruegger's to be authentic either, but the pumpernickel bagel is a lot better vehicle for good liverwurst or chopped liver than any of the pumpernickel breads I can find on supermarkets' shelves or in their in-store bakeries.

                              I have never tried Einstein's but I believe they are owned by Boston Market. There was one in Bedford that closed (like the Newton/Watertown one). Anyone know if the chain is in trouble or if these are franchisee problems? Bedford already had Bruegger's so maybe just couldn't support two bagel shops.

                              3 Replies
                                1. re: greygarious

                                  The Einstein's chain got sold a while back; not sure whether that had to do with the closings. Or were they a by-product of the Boston market closings a few years back. Although in the Newton case the location became a Starbucks so I wonder if they lost their lease there (i.e., landlord was eager to get them out and starbuck$ in.

                                  If they ever close Rosenfeld's I will have to remove all sharp objects from my house and place of employment.

                                  1. re: greygarious

                                    if you are near Brookline or Allston try one of the Russian stores for the packaged black bread that is really good. Baza in newton also has fresh-baked bread, including, on occasion a very good dark bread. nobody seems to have the pumpernickel of my childhood: black bread with a cornmeal bottom dusting.

                                    30 Tower Road, Newton, MA 02464

                                  2. Here we go with the Boston bashing again. How many great bagel places are there in NY (let's say, ones that are clearly superior to Rosenfeld's)? Bagel Hole, BK Bagel, Murray's, Utopia, maybe Daniel's? In a city of that many people this is proportional. I think we do just fine with Katz Bagels and Rosenfeld's. It's not like NYC isn't chock full of shit bagels that you'd find just about anywhere these days and "pretty good" ones on the level of Bruegger's like H&H.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: Luther

                                      When I lived in rockland co. ny, you could throw a rock and land on a bagel shop that served better bagels than anything I've had since moving here. Some places were better than others of course an people had their favorite, but I would be very happy with one of those mediocre bagel shops at this point.

                                      The fact that we are even discussing the merits of Bruggers and Einstien is quite telling of the quality of the bagels in the area.

                                      1. re: Luther

                                        I do agree that the quality of bagels in the NYC metro area has dropped noticeably in the past generation. Just like pizza. The dough in both instances is not what it was.


                                        You can easily get an egg everything.

                                          1. re: Karl S

                                            I'll second that and personally believe the good bagels are hiding out in New Jersey.

                                          2. re: Luther

                                            Totally disagree. I have no idea what you are talking about! You can get great bagels anywhere! It's not about the places in NY, it's about NY bagels in general.

                                            I love Boston and the food here, but the bagels suck. There are chain stores everywhere, and that just doesnt exist in NY (except for a few) because they can't compete with NY bagels. No one will eat them!

                                            1. re: your_outreach

                                              NY metro area bagels have gotten bigger and flabbier over the years as a general matter. The places that offer bagel excellence have become fewer over time. They are not non-existent, but they are a waning breed.

                                          3. I wrote a humorous review of Bagel World in Peabody on Yelp a while back. While the bagels disappointed some, it's ridiculously cheap and I like the run-down strip mall ambiance, it really feels like a highway strip mall in New Jersey. I think they did have bialys but, ugh, can't recall. You can read my review here:


                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: tatsu

                                              Bagel World's bagels are too big and airy. They actually have a decent flavor, though (and they do have salt bagels); they need to make the crumb denser and the bagels smaller.

                                              1. re: Karl S

                                                i agree, too big and airy. i still go when i'm nearby tho.

                                                1. re: tatsu

                                                  Basically, if a bagel squishes or gives when you cut it, it's too airy. A good bagel's crumb should be dense enough that it ably resists pressure of hand and knife.

                                            2. I like Bruegger's as well. I am not enough of a bagel afficionado to be able to compare them to NYC bagels (though I've had BK bagels, and they were great). I like Bruegger's sesame bagels, and like others, I miss the salt ones.

                                              Finagle - ugh - I went in once, and the store smelled really funky. I couldnt' even begin to enjoy the bagel b/c of it.

                                              I like the one in CC in Brookline b/c you can sit down and relax without the see-and-be-seen crowd. Now, if I could just get them to turn down the music.

                                              1. There's a little shop, in what originally was Hingham Center, Atlantic Bagel Co. (right off Rt. 228), and they ain't too bad for a primarily goyisha town. It's not Rosenfeld's but they're fairly respectable and have good flavor and chew to them.

                                                1. I am in total agreement. Being a New Yorker who has lived in the Boston area for 32 years, Bruegger's is pretty darn good. Finagle stinks and Kupels, Bostonians do bagels differently than New Yorkers, and I will leave it at that. Iggy's, although I love their breads, are so tough they are hard to take a bite out of and then chewing gives me a sore jaw. Rosenfeld's in Newton I agree are very good too. Haven't had them in a while. But Bruegger's, for a big operation and wide availability, does do a pretty good job.

                                                  1. Scratch bakery in So. Portland makes some amazing bagels, but they really aren't traditional at all. They are kind of like a croissant in bagel form with a little bit of chew to them. --Dan