I used to think bagels were boring and flavorless. But then I moved to Austin, where nothing is boring! Bacon on bagels, nova lox, whitefish salad, craft cream cheese….What will local bagel artisans think of next?
When you’re craving carbs and a schmear, be sure to check out one of these five best places in the Austin area to get your bagel fix.
1/ Wholy Bagel
Scott Campanozzi opened Wholy Bagel in 2010, when he discovered his beloved East Coast bagels couldn’t be found in Austin. Ownership then changed over to Richard and Nicole Spiegel in October 2015. They expanded the menu and made other changes to serve their customers. Wholy Bagel creates breakfast and lunch sandwiches featuring bagels that are made from scratch, kettle-boiled, and then baked in an oven specifically designed for bagels.
If you’re ordering ahead for the office, you’ll be glad to know the Wholy Texas Dozen includes 14 bagels (second breakfast, anyone?). These jumbo-sized bagels ensure you won’t go hungry in a couple of hours. With a wide variety of daily cream cheese flavors, the folks at Wholy Bagel understand the choice dilemma. So they offer complimentary tastings of their delicious schmears.
If you’re farther north, Quack’s 43rd Street Bakery sells Wholy Bagels, so you can try them there.
4404 W. William Cannon Dr. – Website
2/ Rosen’s Bagel Co.
Serving bagels and schmears out of Wright Bros. Brew and Brew, Rosen’s Bagel Co. is the result of Tom Rosen’s love of cooking and desire to find a good bagel. Rosen says he “dabbled with a few bagel recipes with a friend, and then became obsessed with replicating the bagels [he’d] eaten on trips to New York.” His dabbling eventually led to the recipe he uses now. One bite, and you’ll agree he created a good one.
After extensive research, Rosen decided to alter the water he uses for boiling bagels to mimic the pH level of northeastern water. He credits his “signature crust and chew that defines a traditional bagel” to small details. Initially, I was too busy shoveling spoonfuls of caramelized shallot and bacon schmear into my mouth to notice the chew. But once I spread some onto the bagel, I got what he was talking about.
Rosen’s bagels are served at Wright Bros. every day except Tuesday, with his full menu offered until 2 p.m. and a limited menu offered afterwards.
500 San Marcos St., Suite 105 – Facebook
3/ Rockstar Bagels
The rockstar behind Rockstar Bagels is Joe Humel, a drummer who first began selling his bagels wholesale nine years ago. He opened up the Rosewood/Chicon walk-up window in 2014. With fresh ingredients and the ability to order ahead (call in for same-day smaller orders), this has become a regular stop during my morning commute.
With only 174 calories in a plain bagel, I like to start my Mondays with The Indie Fit (pictured above), a healthy breakfast bagel sandwich filled with egg whites, avocado, turkey, tomatoes, and spinach. By the weekend, though, I’m usually ordering the Lox with the Works or The Rockstar with extra bacon.
Rockstar Bagels has a variety of bagels and schmears, and currently supplies 50+ Austin-area businesses with fresh bagel goodness. Order ahead if you want to avoid waiting in line (although, the crowd is always friendly).
1900 Rosewood Ave. – Website
4/ Biderman’s Deli
Ever since opening in January 2017, Biderman’s Deli has aimed to offer Austinites a Jewish-style deli with a communal atmosphere. With ample seating and a variety of food options, Biderman’s is a solid choice for casual breakfast or lunch meetings.
The housemade bagels have a slightly different edge than other bagels I’ve tried. When toasted, the crust’s texture seems slightly flaky, in a yummy way. The Lox Deluxe is a delicious option, and the Avocado Bagel Sandwich pairs nicely with vegetable schmear. Both bagel sandwiches came with generous toppings.
In addition to inside seating, there are several tables outside where you can sit and enjoy breakfast. I ordered the dill pickle schmear to take home. The fresh herb and crunchy pickle pieces are a surprising combination that tastes great on both bagels and raw veggies. I highly recommend ordering extra to go!
3742 Far West Blvd., Suite #101 – Website
5/ Clark’s & Father Bagels
Clark’s & Father lies just a couple of blocks from Georgetown’s square in a nondescript warehouse. Only available on Saturday mornings starting at eight o’clock, Brady Clark’s side business venture has sold out every Saturday since it opened.
Partnering up with Je Suis Coffee (open daily), Clark’s & Father offers tasty schmears, such as apricot and almond, in a small-town environment not too far north of Austin. The warehouse in which Je Suis’ trailer operates provides ample space for seating. A short walk will take you to several of Georgetown’s shops downtown.
Make sure to order a cup of coffee from Je Suis to accompany your bagel. The shop roasts its own beans. The local favorite, “Hey Gurl Hey,” is made with nitro cold brew, half and half, and a shot of vanilla.
105 W. 9th St., Georgetown, TX – Facebook
@theAustinot wants to know:
Where can we find your favorite bagel in Austin?
Danielle Fritz enjoys exploring new places and eating all the things. Follow her on Instagram and let her know your favorite places to try.