It’s no secret that bagels are having a moment. And in Philly, we have a rich history as a carb-and-sandwich-loving town, so you’ll never go without one of those bready boys here. In fact, fans will find bagels of all kinds here — sourdough, heavily seeded, whole-grain, Montreal-style, classic — plus all the specialty cream cheeses and toppings one’s heart desires. The Philly vs. New York debate will always be a tired one, but one thing Philly residents know for certain: You don’t need to schlep two hours north on I-95 to get a great (some might even say better, but shh) bagel.Read More
Philly’s Essential Bagel Shops
Seeded, sourdough, crunchy, and chewy: Philly’s bagels will have you saying New York who?
Philly Style Bagels (multiple locations)
Fishtown’s Philly Style Bagels was an immediate hit when it opened in 2016, so much so that a second location is now open in Old City. The bagels, perfectly firm on the outside and soft inside, are boiled in beer from nearby Yards Brewing Company — can’t get much more Philly than that. Go early or preorder. The shops can sell out.
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You may know Eeva as a wood-fired pizza restaurant with a great list of natural wines, but it’s also a bona fide local bakery. With sourdough breads, sandwiches, and bagels, Eeva is as much a daytime destination as a nighttime dinner spot. Everything is available daily at the counter of ReAnimator Coffee, which shares the space with the pizza restaurant.
Husband-and-wife duo Jacob and Alexandra Cohen started baking bagels during the pandemic as a pop-up, quickly skyrocketing to the top of everyone’s bagel list. You can find their bagels, as well as their unique schmears, at the Fishtown brick-and-mortar, as well as in bags at cafes and restaurants around the city.
Kaplan's New Model Bakery
One of the oldest Jewish bakeries in the city, Kaplan’s New Model serves up perfectly chewy kosher bagels in a variety of flavors, including French toast, whole wheat, and blueberry. If you’re in South Philly and don’t feel like heading north, fear not: Kaplan’s bagels are available at Biederman’s Specialty Foods, where you can get a variety of smoked fishes to put on top.
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Brothers Brett and Kyle Frankel are baking crusty New York-style bagels at their West Philly shop. Get a baker’s dozen and a container of schmear to go, or try one of the sandwiches, like a classic bacon, egg, and cheese or a deli combo of pastrami-smoked salmon, scallion cream cheese, and cucumbers.
The Kettle Black
The bubbly and golden photogenic bagels at Kettle Black taste just as good as they look. Vegan diners will be especially happy here: Toppings include dairy-free spreads. Walkups only. But get there early — Kettle Black sells out.
Schmear It (multiple locations)
The claim to fame at Schmear It — a bagel shop with a location in University City, a pop-up near Reading Terminal, and a roving food truck — is its customizable spreads that let customers add mix-ins like roasted garlic, blueberries, and wasabi to base schmears including cream cheese, hummus, and whitefish salad. With lots of mix-ins, 10 base spreads, and a variety of bagel flavors, the possibilities are endless.
A Jerusalem bagel is a very special thing, and K’Far Cafe’s version is a standout. Order it pressed like a panini with smoked salmon, pickled cucumbers, and za’atar butter for a sandwich-meets-bagel hybrid. Order online for pickup and delivery, Wednesday through Sunday.
Spread Bagelry (multiple locations)
Spread’s Montreal-style bagels are hand-rolled, boiled in honey water, and baked in a wood-fired brick oven, and they can thankfully be ordered online. The fast-growing chain has eight locations, including three on the Main Line.
Just across from Washington Square, Knead bakes up some of Philly’s most unusual bagel varieties, like pink peppercorn or togarashi. Layer the bagels with specialty spreads like roasted beet cream cheese or go for a bagel sandwich with sausage, egg, and cheese.
Four Worlds Bakery
Known for its challah, Four Worlds Bakery is also one of a few places in West Philly to go for a good, bread-y bagel. Don’t look for rainbow colors or cinnamon swirls — baker Michael Dolich sticks with the classics: sesame, poppy, everything, and plain. You can preorder online.
Philly Bagels (multiple locations)
In the bagel biz for nearly 30 years, Philly Bagels is a trusty go-to to find a bagel in several locations around the city. All the classics are on offer here, but look at the specials menu for orders like pizza bagels or rainbow bagels with birthday cake cream cheese. Call for pickup or delivery.
The Bagel Place
In Queen Village, the Bagel Place boils and bakes its bagels using a touch of honey for a flavorful, chewy final product. Along with more than a dozen creative styles, pretzel bagels are a must-try here. A few of the flavored spreads are one of a kind too, including sour pickle and cheddar horseradish.
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At Tova du Plessis’s East Passyunk Avenue bakery, the sourdough and rye-infused New York-style bagels come in plain, poppy seed, sesame, and everything. You can preorder for the next day online.
Bonnie Sarana’s East Passyunk bakery has something for everyone, both sweet and savory, but her bagels — which can be ordered alongside a salmon and fixin’s kit — are out of this world. Try a za’atar bagel with jalapeno cream cheese for a real deal flavor experience. Preorders can be made online.
When poet and bagel baker Philip Korshak’s first bagel shop opened, Philadelphians went wild for his bagels. That’s because Korshak’s bagels are both crunchy and light, sour and sweet, and the perfect vessel for his list of interesting schmears made with ingredients like long hots and clementines. Not in the mood to wait in line? You can preorder in advance online.