10 Bakeries Turning Out Philly’s Best Bagels

Essen Bakery/Facebook

While debates still rage about whether a Philadelphia-made bagel can ever truly compete with New York standard bearers, it’s undeniable that our city has experienced something of a bagel renaissance in the past few years: newcomers like Knead, Spread, and the Bon Appétit-blessed Philly Style Bagels are doing new and exciting things, some of Philly’s longest-running bakeries that dominated the market for years are still turning out great bagels every morning, and even artisan bakeries are getting in on the action with limited-edition runs one or two days per week.

The next time you’re looking for a lox sandwich, an egg and cheese, or just a classic schmear, turn to one of these solid options.

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Schmear It Goes From Food Truck to Permanent Store

schmearit-400When David Fine founded Schmear It, a start-up company selling bagels from a food truck, he didn’t see other local Philadelphia bagel joints as his competition. In fact, he chose South Street Philly Bagels as his supplier. “There’s enough room for all of us as long as everyone is trying to do their unique thing,” he said.

Schmear It’s unique thing was its mission of combining the pursuit of social good with high-quality products and customer service.

Fine, who got to know food trucks at the University of Pennsylvania during his time as an undergraduate, noticed a gap in the market in University City–there was nowhere to get a good bagel. Having worked at another non–profit, Community Health Charities of Maryland before, he wondered if there was a way to fill this gap while maintaining a social mission.

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Fitzwater Bagels Is Now Open

Fitzwater Bagels | Photo by Arthur Etchells

Fitzwater Bagels | Photo by Arthur Etchells

This weekend, Fitzwater Bagels opened to adoring Graduate Hospital neighborhood throngs. The offshoot of South Street (and Chestnut Street Bagels) opened at 20th and Fitzwater, in the former home of Beauty Shop Cafe and the Gold Standard on Fitz. Over the weekend, the lines often stretched out the door and down the block to address what clearly seemed to be a carbohydrate shortage in the neighborhood.

The bagel shop doesn’t do any baking on site but receives multiple deliveries a day from the mothership on 3rd Street between South and Bainbridge Streets.

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Spread Bagelry Opens in University City

Photo by Larry Rosenblum

Spread Bagelry is now open in University City | Photo by Larry Rosenblum

Spread Bagelry, the Rittenhouse neighborhood Montreal bagel spot has opened its second location, this one at 36th and Chestnut in University City. But this is no reproduction of the original. Instead, there will be a bar in the space as well (the liquor license transfer isn’t complete yet).

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Philly Style Bagels Gets Best New Sandwich Nod

The Classic Lox Sandwich Philly Style Bagels

The Classic Lox Sandwich
Philly Style Bagels

Bon Appetit is back praising Philadelphia. A week after naming South Philly Barbacoa and Wm. Mulherin’s Sons among the 50 best new restaurants in the country, the magazine crowns Philly Style Bagels’ Classic Lox on a bagel as the best new sandwich in the country.

Editor Andrew Knowlton and Julia Kramer boast that whatever you put on this bagel, it will be “life-changing.”

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Philly Style Bagels’ Opening Day Menu

philly-style-bagels-940Anyone who knows Philly Style Bagels from their pop-ups at Pizzeria Beddia is already counting the days to the official opening of their permanent shop in Fishtown, opening this Saturday.

It’s been a long process for owners Collin Shapiro and Jonathon Zilber, but after a ton of hard work, a successful indiegogo campaign, and a true passion for making bagels, they officially have a place to call their own.

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Spread The Word: Spread Bagelry to Open at UPenn

Spread BagelrySpread Bagelry, famous for it’s “Montreal style” bagels made with organic ingredients, is expanding to a new location in University of Pennsylvania’s retail district at 36th and Chestnut Streets.

Spread, the Philadelphia-based eatery currently located in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood at South 20th Street (it’s easy to find: just look for the lines), offers a diverse menu of bagel sandwiches like their wood-oven melts, New York style Pastrami and a bunch of different breakfast sandwiches.

All bagels are made “the Montreal way,” which means hand-rolled and boiled in honey water, then baked in small batches in a wood-fired brick oven. And the stuff Spread puts on the bagels (always made with organic, seasonal, local, farm-fresh ingredients), ain’t too bad either.

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Celebrate Beer Week By Funding Beer Bagels

Everything bagels from Philly Style Bagels.

Everything bagels from Philly Style Bagels.

A really great bagel is kind of the unicorn of the bread realm. Elusive. Ephemeral. Often the main character of an all-too-realistic, carb-based dream.

They’re contentious– what even is a great bagel, and does it really matter if it is about to be toasted and topped? (Serious Eats recently addressed the matter).

Whatever your definition, really show-stopping bagels are few and far between. Especially in Philadelphia.

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A Well Rounded Breakfast: Philly’s Best Bagel Based Sandwiches

Spread Bagelry, the Standard | Photo by Jason Varney

Spread Bagelry, the Standard | Photo by Jason Varney

Wanna know if someone has ever spent any time living in New York City? Just take her out for bagels anywhere outside the five boroughs and listen to her go on for days about how no bagels are as good as New York City bagels. But you know what we do have? Some of the best regional variations you’re going to find anywhere (and the exceptional breakfast sandwiches made from them), plus our own booming local bagel scene. Here are six operations that take a backseat to no one.

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