It’s no secret that bagels are having a moment. And Philly has 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 cheese schmears 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 Amtrak or I-95 to get a great (some might even say better, but shh) bagel. Here are Philly’s best bagel shops.Read More
Philly’s Essential Bagel Shops
Seeded, sourdough, crunchy, and chewy: Philly’s bagels will have you saying, “New York who?”
Former Eater Philly editor Dayna Evans runs Downtime Bakery, which doesn’t have a dedicated retail shop at the moment. You can preorder small-batch sourdough bagels online for pickup in Mt. Airy or track them down at frequent events and pop-ups around town. The beautifully blistered rounds come in a handful of flavors like everything, sesame, and the uncommon sea salt caraway.
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.
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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. Now, you can find Kismet’s bagels and unique schmears at permanent shops in Fishtown and Rittenhouse, while a location at Reading Terminal Market focuses on bialys.
Kaplan's New Model Bakery
One of the oldest Jewish bakeries in the city, Kaplan’s New Model Bakery 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 the Kettle Black taste just as good as they look. Vegan diners will be especially happy here: Toppings include dairy-free spreads. Walkups only, so get there early — this Northern Liberties bakery sells out.
Schmear It (multiple locations)
The claim to fame at Schmear It — a bagel shop with locations in University City and near Reading Terminal plus a roving food truck — is customization: Customers can add mix-ins like roasted garlic, blueberries, and wasabi to base schmears including cream cheese, hummus, and whitefish salad. With lots of mix-ins, base spreads, and bagel flavors, the possibilities are endless.
A Jerusalem bagel is a very special thing, and the version at K’Far Cafe — from Zahav owners Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook — is a standout. Order it pressed like a panini with smoked salmon, pickled cucumbers, and za’atar butter for a sandwich-meets-bagel hybrid.
Spread Bagelry (multiple locations)
Spread’s Montreal-style bagels are hand-rolled, boiled in honey water, and baked in a wood-fired brick oven. The fast-growing chain already has 10 locations in and around Philly, with many more on the way.
Just across from Washington Square, Knead bakes 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, bready bagel. Don’t look for rainbow colors or cinnamon swirls — baker Michael Dolich mostly sticks to the classics like sesame, poppy, and everything. You can preorder online.
Philly Bagels (multiple locations)
In the bagel biz for about three decades now, Philly Bagels is a trusty go-to at several locations around the city. All the classics are on offer here, but so are specials like pizza bagels and rainbow bagels with birthday cake cream cheese.
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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The sourdough and rye-infused New York-style bagels come in plain, poppy seed, sesame, and everything at Tova du Plessis’s small East Passyunk Avenue bakery.
Bonnie Sarana’s East Passyunk bakery has something for everyone, including sweet and savory, but her bagels are out of this world. Try a za’atar bagel with jalapeno cream cheese for a real-deal flavor experience.
When poet and bagel baker Philip Korshak opened his South Philly bagel shop, Philadelphians went wild. That’s because Korshak’s bagels are both crunchy and light, sour and sweet, and the perfect vessel for interesting schmears made with ingredients like long hots and clementines.