Where to find this delicious roll-with-a-hole in the capital…
Chewy yet yielding; dense yet squidgy; somewhat sweet yet a little salty; and missing a bit in the middle – yes, we’re talking about the bagel (also often called a beigel). There are many reasons why these doughy delights have become a lunchtime staple, their satisfying texture being one of them – thanks to being boiled before they are baked, bagels have far more bite than a springy bread roll yet are delightfully light and spongy inside, making for a snack you can really sink your teeth into. A dream smothered in peanut butter and topped with chopped banana (a personal fave) and delicious with a classic cream cheese and smoked salmon combo, these circles of bready deliciousness go hand in hand with just about any ingredients you fancy.
If all this bagel talk has got your mouth watering, you’ll probably be wondering where you can get yourself one, and thankfully the capital boasts many a bagel baker who will gladly sell you their delicious wares for a pocket-friendly price. Here are a few of London’s best beigels for your buck.
The Happening Bagel Bakery has been going strong since 1994, when it was opened by expert baker Isaac Cohen who learned all there is to know about the bagel business while working at various bakeries around north London. The Happening crew hand-roll, boil and bake their bagels in the traditional way in small batches throughout the day to ensure freshness. They don’t just do plain bagels either – poppy seed, onion, cinnamon and raisin, rye, caraway seed and olive varieties are on offer too. Whichever you choose, you can pack it with tasty fillings like halloumi, smoked salmon and cream cheese, coronation chicken or minted lamb.
The Rinkoff family-run bakery was established in 1911 and now has two outlets in the capital. Their freshly baked offering includes traditional challah breads, sourdoughs, cheesecakes, muffins, croissants and Danish pastries, along with, of course, the bagel, which can be filled with classics like smoked salmon or salt beef. Be sure to also keep an eye out for Rinkoffs’ unique crodoughs, their rather delectable version of the cronut.
As its name suggests, this bagel spot, established in 1997, is situated on the edge of Victoria Park, making it especially popular in the summer, when office workers and local families stop by to grab a bagel and a coffee to go and head to the park to bask in the sunshine. Bagel fillings include favourites like tuna mayo, smoked salmon, and chicken, bacon and avocado, and prices are very reasonable indeed, leaving you a bit of spare cash to spend on a revitalising coffee or an indulgent homemade milkshake – the mint and chocolate is particularly delicious.
Apparently the oldest beigel shop in London, Beigel Bake cooks up delicious baked goods 24 hours day, so is unsurprisingly very popular with the post-night-out crowd – the queue moves quickly, though, so you won’t have to wait too long for your bagel fix. Beigel Bake makes over 7,000 beigels a day in the traditional Jewish way, served with fillings like hot salt beef with mustard – absolute heaven, especially after a drink or two. While you’re there, it would be rude not to indulge in one of the sweet treats like Danish rolls, apple strudel, Eccles cakes or cheesecake as well.
The Grodzinski family set up their first bakery on UK shores in the 19th century after emigrating from Lithuania, starting out with a small trading barrow before setting up a full-scale bakery. By the mid 1960s Grodzinski was one of the largest kosher bakeries in Europe and is still one of the most well known. With such a strong baking background, you can be sure of a very good bagel – as well as freshly baked breads and sweet treats galore – at the Grodzinski bakeries on Clapton Common, Dunsmore Road and Edgwarebury Lane.
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