The 5 Best Bagels in SF and the East Bay

The 5 Best Bagels in SF and the East Bay

Photo of Kenji Lopez-Alt

I've tried bagels from every shop that bakes their own bagels on premises in SF and East Bay. These 5 stand shoulder to shoulder with the best bagel shops in NY or Montreal.

5 Places
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    This bagel is excellent: dark brown and incredibly crisp with just the right level of microblistering. Pro tip: you can't just walk in and get a bagel. Order at least a dozen and call 48 hours in advance to place a personal order and pick them up fresh.
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    Levy's reminds me most often bagel shops back home in NYC with its warm smell of malt and dried garlic and its wire baskets of fresh-baked bagels behind the counter. No frills. Just good, straight-forward, nicely sweet and doughy, crisp-crusted bagels.
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    Quite easily the best bagel within San Francisco city limits. This place may well convince me that coarse Maldon sea salt should be the default for salt bagels.
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    The everything bagel is kick-ass with its slew of flavors and full 360 degree coverage with best-in-class adhesion. You can be damn sure that every chewy-crisp bite is gonna be coated with sesame, poppy, garlic, onion, and caraway.
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    Hands down some of the best bagels I've eaten anywhere! They're boiled, then baked in a wood-fired oven, creating a blistered, crackly, eggshell-thin crust with well developed flavor.
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