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Consensus on Best Bagels; Who makes 'em?

My vote is for Noah's. They're soft, and plump/puffy with almost no hole in the middle for food to fall through. The texture is easier on the teeth.

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  1. Western Bagel by far! Has been for decades!!!

    6 Replies
    1. re: loreeLB

      Western is better than Manhattan but again, they're too firm and dry for my taste.

      1. re: loreeLB

        Maybe a bagel by western standards, but not a good bagel IMHO. Almost like a roll with a hole in it.

        1. re: loreeLB

          Agreed on Western Bagel - my #1. They took over my beloved I N Joy Bagels that was on Van Nuys Blvd in the 70s and still taste the same.

          1. re: WildSwede

            Are you sure it was Western Bagel?? I believe it was Manhattan Bagel that took them over.

            1. re: mucho gordo

              I think so - I always heard Western. Are there any more Manhattan Bagels around?

              Answered my own question -

              Manhattan Bagel
              20048 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

          1. re: SoCal Foodie

            Agree that Brooklyn Bagel Co makes the best. Anytime we are in the downtown area we stop at their shop on Beverly Blvd. So, fresh and delish. They make the bagels for Nate 'n Als

            1. re: maudies5

              And Canter's.
              They have something called Happy Hour.....Between 3 & 5 bagels are half price.

              1. re: monku

                My only vote was for "not Canter's." We overpaid for a dozen stale egg bagels at Canters on Saturday. Gross. And disapointing :(

                1. re: ElissaInPlaya

                  If the bagels were stale, your issue is with Canter's.

                  1. re: monku

                    You're probably right. And, I won't chance it with either Brooklyn or Canter's again. I still wish I had better bagels.

          2. Noah's bagels are delivered to their stores frozen, they aren't fresh by any means.

            1. Haha what a contentious question. I am pretty sure you will not get a consensus. I'll put my vote for Goldstein's. Your reason for a good bagel is in my definition not a good bagel, but to each their own.

              1 Reply
              1. re: apple7blue

                You're probably right; I won't get a consensus and, yes; chacun a son gout.

              2. 1. Bagel Broker
                2. Sam's Bagels

                Everyone has their own opinion and taste buds, but I think Noah's bagels taste like rolls.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Obessed

                  Bagel Broker has the best bagels in LA. The only complaint I have is that the everything is not well made. It seems like the heavily roll the everything in a mixture of sesame, poppy and onion. A good everything should just have a healthy sprinkling of the condiments on top and salt should be required.

                  1. re: js76wisco

                    Wouldn't stick if they "sprinkled" it on. You forgot the garlic. The more the better for me .

                    1. re: monku

                      Yes garlic too. I'm assuming they sprinkle on the stuff after the bagels are boiled and before they baked.

                      The cheese onion at Bagel Broker is great.

                  2. If that's your definition of a "bagel" (i.e., "soft, and plump/puffy with almost no hole in the middle"), I suggest you get yourself to Goldstein's Bagel.

                    They put the bagels you lust for from Noah's to shame.


                    8 Replies
                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      WOW!!! Arcadia????? Whatta schlep that would be on a Sun. morning. Maybe they'll get smart and open up here in the valley.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Yeah, but what do you think they'd charge to deliver a dozen to NoHo? At least half again as much as the bagels and large schmear alone.

                          1. re: mucho gordo

                            On a serious note, let me say this about Goldstein's.

                            I am by no means a bagel snob, but if a person wants a soft and fluffy bagel that is closer to a dinner roll than a NYC style bagel from, say, Brooklyn Bagels or Absolute, then it really is hard to beat the creations from Goldstein's.

                            And, yes, there are definitely times when I do crave a good soft and chewy bagel that feels like it had its DNA stolen from a big loaf of challah bread ...

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              I am no snob either but IMHO, the surface area of the standard bagel leaves a lot to be desired; not only is it much too narrow to hold a goodly amount of spread without it falling through the hole, the texture is usually too dry.

                              1. re: mucho gordo

                                You live in NH, go to Art's Delicatessen and try one of their bagels. They use Brooklyn Bagels, you don't like them....maybe bagels aren't for you.

                                Maybe English muffins are better suited to your specs.

                              2. re: ipsedixit

                                Goldstein's is the only place I go to for bagels. They have a location in La Canada too

                      1. NYBD in Santa Monica on Wilshire near 23rd. Best bagels, and they have sticks, and pletzels and everything is really good.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: paprkutr

                          yes Yes YES!!! NYBD IS the #1 bagel place I have found in 2 years out here.

                          And fie on whoever wrote Noah's. Really? Why don't you just go nibble a burger bun?

                          Kidding aside, do yourself a favor and go to NYBD on Wilshire. So good.

                          1. re: paprkutr

                            Didn't NYBD have a place in Beverly Hills a few years back? I seem to recall they were big like Noah's and quite good.

                          2. Noah's really aren't bagels, they're round, they have a hole in the middle and are made with flour but that's about it. The best I've had in CA (and yes folks, there IS a unfortunately a big difference between bagels here and bagels in New York) is The Bagel Factory. http://www.thebagelfactoryinc.com/
                            Their everything bagel quite good.

                            1. Sams on Larchmont
                              Bagel Nosh in Santa Monica
                              The Bagel Factory on Robertson
                              The Bagel Broker on Beverly (used to be my favorite, until I did a recent side-by-side comparison)

                              Avoid Brooklyn Bagel Bakery. Even the "hearth baked NY style" bagels are smaller and inferior (in flavor and texture) to the others mentioned above.

                              Mr Taster

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                Hi Mr Taster - so is Sam's your favorite now since your side-by-side comparison? Also, does anyone know of a place in LA that does Montreal Style Bagels?

                                1. re: WildSwede

                                  I recently compared Brooklyn, Bagel Broker, Sam's and Bagel Factory side by side. (It's been about a year since I've had a Bagel Nosh bagel, but I have fond memories). Unfortunately, I got my bagels bungled and I'm not sure whether BF or Sam's came out on top. Both were better than Bagel Broker's bagels, which were significantly softer and puffier. BF and Sam's had a nicely textured crust and chew with significant flavor (I'm not talking about toppings-- I'm talking about flavor development of the dough by yeast-on-flour action).

                                  Both BF and Sam's had a nice texture, crispy outer layer and chewy interior. The one I preferred, whichever it was, had more pronounced flavor development in the dough.

                                  Brooklyn's problem was that the bagels were too small, too soft, and too bland-- but it was the beginning of a decent product. I think if I managed to crank out a BBB style hearth baked in my oven on my first bagel making attempt, I'd consider it a success-- but I also would be tweaking the recipe to develop depth of flavor and a better exterior crust. A pro bakery should be knocking out a better product.

                                  No idea about "Montreal style bagels", which I must admit sounds as strange to me as "New York style poutine".

                                  Mr Taster

                                  1. re: WildSwede

                                    No Montreal style bagels in SoCal.

                                    There was a shop in Beverly Hills (if I recall correctly) that purportedly had them a while back, but I think it shuttered.

                                    1. re: WildSwede

                                      I think St. Urbain Street bagels serves Montreal style, but I don't know.

                                      1. re: OC Mutt

                                        Not according to this Vancouver Sun article:

                                        "Amid the parade of iconic brands that adorn Beverly Hills is an unexpected piece of culinary culture from home. There, one block from Rodeo Drive, is a small establishment called St. Urbain Street Bagels that offers up Montreal’s famous foodstuff in a bakery full of historical posters of the city.

                                        The sight of a distinctive Canadian culinary item in the world’s most famous shopping district might be cause for pride. Except for one fact: The doughy confections for sale in Beverly Hills have as much resemblance to Montreal bagels as Velveeta does to cheddar. Rather than burnishing the city’s gastronomic image, the pseudo bagel cheapens it."

                                        Read more here: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/...

                                      2. re: WildSwede

                                        Thanks! These are the ones which my dreams are made of - specifically the Rosemary & Sea Salt ones (God, I wish someone here would make a bagel with those delicious flavors!). I was up in Vancouver in May and brought a dozen onto the ship with me! ;-) Then a couple of weeks ago, some co-workers were in Vancouver for a conference and I was able to cajole one of them to bring me 6. Unfortunately, those were gone in 2 days (yes, I shared 2 of them). These bagels are smaller than Noah's or Western's and are not as puffy and soft. The exterior is kinda crisp and they are dense and DAMN good! ;-)


                                      3. re: Mr Taster

                                        I agree with every bit of this advice from Mr Taster.

                                        1. re: sushigirlie

                                          I love the Spouted Wheat Bagels at Western Bagel. Get them straight out of the oven. Nothing better, not even the best croissant in the world.

                                      4. Noah's is steamed bread. The Nosh in BH currently is the best. The original I & Joy (later reproduced by Malibu Bread & Bagel) was the best. Nosh is a similar bagel.

                                        1. After years of searching for my "perfect" bagel, I stumbled upon New York Bagel, located in a small strip mall in Brentwood. They are so tasty, and give the jaws a real workout!