Where To Find the Best Bagel Sandwiches in Philadelphia

Whether you top your bagel with cream cheese and lox or ramen-inspired egg salad, these Philly creations are perfect for a hefty breakfast or lunch.

Bagel sandwiches

Bagel sandwiches at K’far / Photograph by Michael Persico

There are days meant for lounging around the house, eating at-home bagels with at-home spreads and cream cheeses. Then there are days when a bagel sandwich is what you need: something stacked high with toppings (and probably an egg) that you can eat on the go or put in your bag for a mid-morning breakfast. While Philadelphia may not have the expansive bagel scene of other cities, we do have an expanding selection of bakeries making outside-the-box bagel creations that are perfect for a hefty breakfast or lunch.

These are our favorite bagel sandwiches in Philadelphia.

Cleo Bagels, West Philly
There isn’t really anything on Cleo’s menu that would be considered a straightforward bagel sandwich, but their Ramen Thing is particularly special. With a marinated egg, braised bamboo, pickled ginger, scallions, seaweed crisp, ground toasted sesame, and togarashi mayo, think of it as a ramen-flavored twist on an egg-salad sandwich.

K’far’s bagels are Jerusalem-style, a thinner, slightly elongated oval bagel that is made in different styles all over the Middle East. At K’far, they top them with egg, cheese and schug or salmon and cream cheese for sesame-heavy, crispy sandwiches that don’t fall apart when you eat them.

Kismet Bagels, multiple locations
Since starting out in 2020, Jacob and Alexandra Cohen’s bagel operation has absolutely exploded: from a pop-up in their home to a full-blown bagel empire with three locations. It’s a serious pandemic success story. Their storefronts in Fishtown and Rittenhouse Square both serve sandwiches, and we’re particularly fond of the Spicy, with scrambled eggs, pickled jalapeños, spicy everything cream cheese and bacon.

bagel sandwiches

Turkish sausage at Vanilya Bakery / Photograph courtesy of Vanilya Bakery

VanilyaEast Passyunk
It’s no secret that we love Vanilya, in particular their Turkish sausage on literally any bagel sandwich. But for a more lunch-appropriate bagel, their turkey sandwich includes cucumbers, tomatoes, thick-cut turkey breast, cheddar and a sweet/spicy harissa mayonnaise that will make you wonder why every turkey sandwich on earth doesn’t include harissa.

The Kettle Black, Northern Liberties
You’ll have to get up early to get your hands on a bagel from the Kettle Black, mostly because their supplies are always limited. But it’s worth it: The bagels here are some of the best in the city, made even better in a simple lox sandwich with cream cheese, cucumber, tomato and smoked salmon.

Philly Style Bagels, multiple locations
“Philly style” bagels haven’t exactly caught on elsewhere, but they’re boiled in local Yards beer, which is what makes them distinctly Philly. Their Lox #2 sandwich is a slightly elevated version of a lox sandwich, swapping in dill and radishes for extra freshness and crunch.

EssenEast Passyunk
Essen’s whitefish salad sandwich is smoky and salty, just like it should be, and is served on one of their fresh bagels for a straightforward, satisfying classic.