SFGuide

The 17 Best Bagels In The Bay Area

In the mood for a bagel? Head to one of these spots.

The Bay Area’s bagel scene is small but mighty. And any local bagel enthusiast will tell you that chewy, golden-brown bagels aren’t too difficult to find—you just have to know where to look. From weekend pop-ups and farmer’s market stands to neighborhood spots with lines down the block, here are 17 great bagel spots in SF and the East Bay.

THE SPOTS

Schlok’s used to be a pop-up that would sell out their face-sized New York-style bagels within minutes. And now they have a brick-and-mortar in NoPa, so the days of setting alarms to order are over—plus, the new menu includes fantastic bagel sandwiches filled with things like smoked ham and sweet pepper butter, or caper schmear with house-cured lox. Grab your breakfast to-go from the takeout window, along with some Saint Frank coffee, and know that you’re starting off your morning right.

Daily Driver’s huge, two-story flagship location in Dogpatch is one of our favorite places to go for a coffee date, or to get work done. They also happen to churn out some of the best bagels in San Francisco. Dress up the gorgeously-crackly wood-fired bagels with spreads and lox, or get into a bagel sandwich—we like the classic bacon, egg, and cheese, which comes with housemade butterkäse cheese. If you want to enjoy your breakfast with waterfront views, head to their Ferry Building outpost.

This Oakland-based pop-up is making incredible New York-style bagels that are perfectly chewy, and have crackly crusts that are covered in a lot of seasoning (ready your vacuums—it will get messy). The bagels are even better topped with one of the thick housemade schmears, like jalapeño, scallion, or beet and poppy seed. If you want to get your hands on these bagels, place an order online for delivery or pick-up in SF or the East Bay—and note the 12 bagel minimum. Poppy Bagels also does bagel sandwiches on Saturdays at the Grand Lake Farmers’ Market, and will be opening a brick-and-mortar in Temescal by early fall 2022.

Biting into an eggything (egg + everything) or sesame bagel from Boichik Bagels means hearing a satisfying crunch from the always-perfect crust, and sinking your teeth into springy, soft bread. There are also daily bagel sandwich specials, like tuna salad or Nutella with banana, but we like to keep it simple with an untoasted everything bagel and schmear. Yes, the line outside this Berkeley spot is basically a permanent sidewalk fixture, but it moves fast and you’ll have your hands on one of the plump beauties in no time.

The pop-up named after owner Alex Rogers’ dog currently operates out of Avedano’s in Bernal Heights. We could go on and on about the evenly-seasoned sourdough bagels, which are perfectly crisp on the outside and so good we’d eat them plain. But instead, just pick your favorite bagel type and get it topped with lox, trout rillettes, avocado and radish, or smokey beets (the sandwiches are only available for walk-ups on Saturdays).

The naturally-leavened, sourdough bagels from Midnite Bagel are denser and a little chewier than others around town. We like the slightly nuttier taste they get from whole grain flour, and the fact that each bagel is generously seasoned on all sides. You’ll find Midnite Bagel at local farmer’s markets, grocery stores, and cafes like Pinhole Coffee and Linea Caffe—or you can order for pick-up or delivery. They also give you lots of options in terms of flavors, from onion, garlic, and everything to pumpernickel, black sesame, or cinnamon raisin.

We love sitting out on Nick’s patio and getting their thin-crust sourdough pizza, but don’t pass on their bagels. They’re smaller than most, but are always consistently a deep golden-brown. You can fill yours with spreads like butter, whipped cream cheese, and strawberry jam, or vegetables or lox.

PizzaHacker in Bernal Heights leads a double life: the neighborhood pizza spot also moonlights as a place to get chewy sourdough bagels on weekend mornings (called BagelMacher). They also have great open-faced sandwiches like the Veggie Vibes piled high with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions, or the Fresser, which comes with lox on one side and smoked trout (our favorite) on the other.

The Bagel Bakery in China Basin has been turning out New York-style bagels since 1976, and they’re still going strong. These not-too-bready bagels are still as reliable as ever. You can get them by the dozen, but the power move is to order the veggie bagel sandwich. It’s heavy on the veggies, like cucumber and tomato, and comes with a slightly sweet balsamic dressing that ties the whole thing together nicely.

In 2020, Beauty’s in Oakland joined forces with Wise Sons to introduce kettle-boiled bagels. The new versions aren’t as chewy as the old wood-fired ones, but they’re still a good choice if you want a bagel in the East Bay. Their menu has also changed to include Wise Sons classics, like pastrami and latkes. But don’t worry, you can still get Beauty’s great lox or their fried chicken bagel sandwiches at the Temescal spot.

This Jewish deli has been around since the ’60s, and it’s a Geary Boulevard institution. They sell challah and pastries like rugelach and hamentaschen, but you’re here for their great selection of New York-style bagels that are baked fresh daily. We like the everything bagels—the seasoning is on the lighter side, but it’s still flavorful.

Saul's Restaurant & Deli imageoverride image

Saul's Restaurant & Deli

Saul’s in Berkeley is a longstanding deli that boils and bakes their own bagels in-house. Order in bulk, because we inevitably always end up eating at least a couple out of the bag on the way home. The fat, golden-brown bagels have a nice, shiny crust, and are the ideal base for toppings like lox, trout, and whitefish salad. 

If you’re someone who likes going for bagel flavors that are beyond the classic sesame, plain, or everything, head to Holey Bagel. They make spinach, sun-dried tomato, and chocolate chip bagels, to name a few. And not only are they built to break you out of your usual bagel routine, they’re all delicious. We especially love them with their housemade chive cream cheese, or as a fluffy egg sandwich.

For a quick breakfast spot in Noe Valley, head to Noe Bagel. The old-school spot makes a delicious BEC that’s packed with generous amounts of bacon, and is an ideal way to power up before a Wednesday full of meetings that could have been emails. You can also stand in front of the glass case and point at whatever looks good, if you want to stock your freezer with something other than half-opened bags of frozen fruit.

This casual spot in the Sunset has breakfast down to a science. Cases are full of donuts and pastries, but you’re coming here for the bagel sandwiches loaded with veggies, lox, or sausage, egg, and cheese. The creamy, well-seasoned lox schmear is a standout—and be sure to wash everything down with a Vietnamese iced coffee.

The Jewish deli gets bonus points for covering their entire bagels with seasoning, something we wish more bagel spots did. They’re on the denser side, but still have a solid chew to them. They’re also best in sandwich form. Our go-to is the bodega bagel sandwich stuffed with the ideal ratio of egg to cheese to garlic aioli (we always add crispy pastrami). Wise Sons locations include the Mission, Fillmore, Hayes Valley, and inside the Contemporary Jewish Museum.

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