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Bagels in Sonoma County

Looking for excellent bagels not too far from Petaluma (half an hour in any direction is fine, and longer maybe if I can get a friend to pick them up). I am, believe it or not, having a bat mitzvah next month and bagels are on the menu. I'll need a couple dozen mixed and very fresh. Because of allergies, I need ones that are dairy and egg-free (including cross contamination).

I don't want just any bagels though, I want real boiled chewy bagels whose flavor comes from the dough, not weird add-in's. In other words, something your East Coast Jewish mama would approve of. Izzys in Palo Alto is one I like, but too far away. I can't eat gluten very often so driving around to sample, tempting as it sounds, is out.

Thanks in advance for your passionate opinions.

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  1. if the town of Sonoma isn't too far (it's a pleasant trip from Petaluma through the hills), try the Hometown Baking Co. on W.Napa St. haven't had them for a few years, but they were better than average for northern Calif. (have not tried Izzys). have given up expecting eastern u.s. or old world quality bagels anywhere out here. good luck

    1. You probably won't find those bagels in Sonoma County.

      The norm is fluffy, puffy supermarket style bagels - maybe with extra toppings or flavors, maybe with cream cheese.

      I doubt any place will meet your needs.

      Maybe Noah's Bagels in Novato or Grateful Bagels in Sebastopol?

      Good luck and let us know...you got me craving a good NY style bagel.

      1. I know I'm not going to get ideal bagels and I'm cool with that. After all, I lived in Boston, not New York, so many would scoff at my idea of a perfect bagel.

        But Noah's? Really? That's not a bagel at all. It's a roll with a hole in it. If you've actually tried a Noah's bagel you would know it's not real (or if you think it is, then you're not familiar with bagels...they're not even boiled for god's sake).

        When researching this I came across both Hometown Baking Co. and Grateful Bagels but the reviews were really mixed and I couldn't tell what experience the reviewers were basing their comments on. If GB is like Noah's, I'll cross it off the list immediately.

        I appreciate Moto's comments. Anyone else want to weigh in on these or other options?


        1. I've been buying Baron's Bagels at the new Driver's Market on Caledonia in Sausalito. They aren't perfect but pretty good. I also just bought housemade sesame bagels at Miller's deli in San Rafael. They're a little too puffy, but have a good taste. I used to buy Marin Bagel Co. but they've become much like Noah's - yuck!
          Good luck on your search.

          2 Replies
          1. re: The Librarian

            Earlier this month I stopped at the original location of Miller's East Coast Deli on Polk Street in San Francisco for the first time in years to pick up breakfast. Not sure why, but I had a yen for whitefish salad on a bagel. I asked the source of the bagels, as Miller's had parbaked H & H from NYC in the past, and was told they bake their own. I agree that the flavor is good, a little malty and slightly sweet, similar to what I remember of H&H. I had asked for not-toasted, but the bagel was warm and toasty any way. It had good chew and firmness as a toasted bagel and I'd like to try it again without toasting for the real test of a bagel. I'd forgotten how salty whitefish can be, and I think I've satisfied that craving for a long time. Still good though, and enough for breakfast and lunch.


            1. re: Melanie Wong

              So glad you tried and liked Miller's. I buy mine at the Miller's in San Rafael, and my favorite is the plain. As for the whitefish salad, I've never been a big fan although I love plain whitefish. Miller's pickled herring in cream is excellent, so you might want to give that a try.

          2. Especially since it is for a special occasion, why don't you just go for the real thing and order them. Pretty easy to do and practical too. Just freeze them right away, saving yourself from a last minute chore to get them same day. And just my opinion, but better than any bagels you could get here.

            1. Well I emailed Baron's after that suggestion and they do sound great (pictures are awesome too). And yea they are vegan. They don't sell them any further north than Sausalito and the best option is, as you said, to order in advance and pick them up. Except my event starts at 10am in Cotati, no way can I drive down to Berkeley. Even the day before is too much.

              So unless any of my East Bay guests want to make a detour for me, I can't see it happening. I can't freeze them because there's no one to toast them and frozen only works if you slice in half (before freezing) and toast them.

              As we get closer to the date, I'm going to ask around to see if someone can get them though. They sound worth it.


              1. Downtown Bakery in Healdsburg makes bagels. I've not tried them. I don't see them all the time, so they might not be available every day.

                1. So my husband worked at his company's Napa office the day before our event so I called Homegrown Bagels in Sonoma. They close at 3 and he couldn't arrive before 4 but they left a bag or bagels at the business next door and he left a check when he picked them.

                  We got a dozen each of sesame, poppyseed, and onion. They sliced them for us, which was a huge help. They were a big hit and were delicious, even a day old. They toast nicely and were good after being frozen too.

                  I don't know that I would have done the drive (1.5 hours round trip) just for them, but it wasn't much out of my husband's way (sheer luck that office needed a hand). They certainly were worth it.

                  Their basic bagels are vegan (they also have a couple with cheese) and a mere $10/dozen. They are large and chewy with a lovely crust. So very much better than anything a supermarket has to offer.

                  Thanks everyone!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: CyndiN

                    What great customer service! Thanks for the follow through report.

                    1. re: CyndiN

                      the chewiness of the crumb and of course how the crust responds to heating and its flavor are for me the 'tells' on the bagel maker's technique -- traditional, no cutting corners, or not. thanks for the feed back.

                    2. Homegrown Bagels
                      201 W Napa St #21, Sonoma, CA 95476
                      (707) 996-0166