Where to Eat Bagels in Philadelphia

All our favorite bagel shops in the city to pick up a quick breakfast or a baker's dozen.

Kismet Bagels / Photograph courtesy of Kismet Bagels

While debates still rage about whether a Philadelphia-made bagel can ever truly compete with its New York carbohydrate kin, it’s undeniable that our city has experienced something of a bagel renaissance in recent years. We’ve got boutique bakeries adding limited weekly runs of bagels to their menus or amping up their rounds with unique ingredients. There’s a whole generation of bagel shops that opened during the city’s bagel boom of the 2010s, and longtime bakeries passing on family traditions, plus a handful of excellent pop-ups to keep your eye on. The next time you’re looking for nova with the works, an egg and cheese, or just some classic schmear, turn to one of these fantastic bagel spots.

Kismet Bagels, Fishtown and various locations
Jacob and Alexandra Cohen’s bagel operation was born in the early days of the pandemic, when baking was all the rage. They got pretty good at it, started selling to neighbors and friends, then to friends of neighbors and friends, and then to friends of friends of neighbors and friends (using a portion of the proceeds to raise funds for charitable organizations). Now, in an evolution that has happened shockingly fast, they’ve opened a brick-and-mortar in Fishtown where they’re doing bagels by the dozen, bialys, sandwiches, and inventive and classic types of cream cheese. These bagels are petite and plump, with webby, glutenous insides and a fully-covered hairdo of everything spice.

Korshak Bagels, South Philly
Philip Korshak’s bagels have been known to ruin bagels for people. But what started as a pop-up is now a New York Times-approved shop on South 10th Street serving crusty sourdough bagels that are somehow both fluffy and chewy. You should know Korshak also serves some of the best whitefish salad in town. Things get busy here, but mid-day on weekdays is a much more chill time to grab a bagel than, say, Saturday morning.

Dodo Bagels, pop-ups 
Alex Malamy’s bagel pop-up in West Philadelphia has gotten people excited because of his unexpected flavor combinations: flavors like The French Thing is a bagel speckled with lavender, fennel, thyme, sesame and salt, and one of his biggest sellers, the Ramen Thing, which stacks up boiled egg, pickled ginger, bamboo shoots, scallions, dried seaweed and spicy mayonnaise. Follow them on Instagram to stay in the loop about his upcoming opening in West Philly.

Essen BakeryEast Passyunk
Tova du Plessis’ tiny Jewish bakery has a lot going for it — the black-and-white cookies and challah are must-try items — and her bagels, made daily, are no exception. These chewy, generously-flavored rounds are best topped with cream cheese, lox, capers and onions, spread with house-made veggie schmear, or bagged and brought home for private consumption.

Delancey Street Bagels, Wynnewood
Some of our favorite bagels in the region are made at this small shop just outside city limits, with a full slate of classic flavors and a long menu of sandwiches, bagel pizza melts, and even chicken parm served on bagels. Plus, you can grab sweet treats like rugelach, schnecken, and black-and-white cookies while you’re there.

Bart’s BagelsWest Philly 
Every self-respecting bagel shop has a lox sandwich on the menu, but Bart’s takes it up a notch with the Uncle Leo, a specialty sandwich filled with nova lox, a fried egg, caramelized onion and scallion cream cheese.


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K’far Cafe, Rittenhouse
K’far makes long, oval-shaped Jerusalem bagels. They’re fully shellacked in crispy sesame seeds and served as sandwiches. The best one is the simplest: The egg sandwich, which smushes together fluffy scrambled eggs, a layer of Cooper sharp, and a swoosh of herby schug.


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Schmear ItUniversity City and Center City
Schmear It started out as a roving food truck, but they’ve now opened brick-and-mortar locations in University City and Center City. They’re known for their customizable schmear options, which allow guests to choose between tons of base spreads and mix-ins. There’s something for everyone, whether you want to try a sweet special, like the recent Pecan Tart — with cream cheese, maple caramel, candied pecans and graham crackers — or go classic with an everything bagel with plain cream cheese.

South Street Philly BagelsQueen Village, Center City, East Passyunk, Graduate Hospital
Owner Mike Wagner learned to hand-form bagels from his Brooklynite father-in-law and continues the tradition today at his South Street flagship. Now, his son Aaron is spreading the family recipe to new neighborhoods with Fitzwater Street Philly Bagels and Passyunk Philly Bagels.

New York Bagel Bakery, Overbrook
A no-frills, carry-out shop turning out some of the best bagels in the city — the perfect combination of chewy-yet-tender on the inside, with a pleasantly crusty texture outside. They make their own spreads, like whitefish salad and hummus, in-house, too.

best bagels philadelphia fishtown

Photograph courtesy of Philly Style Bagels

Philly Style BagelsFishtown and Old City
Collin Shapiro and Jonathan Zilber incubated their concept — an original bagel for Philly, boiled in Yards ESA and crusted in sesame, poppy seeds, or everything spice on the bottom and the top — at Pizzeria Beddia in 2015; they scored a Best of Philly that same year.

Four Worlds BakeryCedar Park
Their sourdough bagels, heavy on the seedy toppings, are some of our favorites made west of the river. While not strictly traditional, owner Michael Dolich’s recipe packs a ton of funk and rise while still keeping the bagels pleasantly dense and chewy.

best bagels philadelphia

Photograph courtesy of Vanilya Bakery

Vanilya BakeryEast Passyunk
This boutique bakery specializes in intricate, show-stopping cakes and other sweet treats, but they turn out Best of Philly-worthy bagels, too. Get one as a sandwich topped with roasted red peppers, harissa, and slices of creamy Brie.

best bagels philadelphia northern liberties nolibs

Photograph courtesy of Kettle Black

Kettle Black, Northern Liberties
Everything we’ve had at Kettle Black, from the loaves to the croissants, has tasted delicious — but it’s their pitch-black bagels spiked with activated charcoal that are even more stunning to look at (and helped scored this bakery a Best of Philly in 2018).

Le Bus Bakery, King Of Prussia, East Falls, Center City
Philly’s longtime wholesale bakery and caterer started in 1978 as a food truck built out of a converted school bus with a bake oven inside (hence the name). Today, their substantial, chewy bagels — in flavors like pumpernickel onion and fruit-packed apple cherry walnut — can be purchased direct from the bakery’s retail shop in King Of Prussia, from their restaurant in East Falls or from The Market Bakery, which is fully stocked with Le Bus products, in Reading Terminal Market.

The Bagel Place, Queen Village
This Queen Village bagel spot does bialys and sweet baked goods in addition to a long list of bagel flavors, including pretzel (genius!) and French toast, which you can get with cream cheese in flavors like lemon poppyseed, sour pickle, blue cheese and rosemary, or apple cinnamon.

Spread Bagelry, multiple locations
These Montreal-style bagels — distinguished by the honey water in which they’re boiled before being baked in a custom-built brick wood-fired oven — are available in classic flavors, plus a few harder-to-find varieties like whole wheat everything and chocolate chip. They’ve also expanded significantly in the last few years, bringing their bagels to South Street, Bryn Mawr, and beyond.