7 of the Best: Bagels in LondonBy Felicity Spector
We love nothing more than a really good bagel – and thankfully the days are past when you had to fly to Brooklyn to find one. From cream cheese and lox to some rather more extravagant fillings – here’s where to find the best ones without racking up the airmiles.
The Lowdown: The Soho branch of this Jewish/Israeli deli has fixed up a series of collaborations with some of the best bagel shops in New York, Philadelphia and Montreal – after co-owners Joel Braham and Alex Coppard went on a carb-fuelled research trip across the pond. The result: weekly specials every Monday night throughout the summer, paired with a matching craft beer and tahini mac n’ cheese. Try the Ivan Ramen – shiso cured salmon with nori cream cheese and charred hispi cabbage, or the Black Seed special – breakfast sausage patty with a fried egg and aged cheddar.
Where: Ground Floor, Kingly Court, Kingly St, Soho, London W1B 5PW
Photo Credit: Felicity Spector
The Lowdown: Get your bagel boards here; baked fresh each day in poppy, plain or sesame – you can choose what you want to stuff them with – ranging from salt beef, sauerkraut and pickle, to the classic smoked salmon, cream cheese, tomato and capers. Save room for the latkes or some chicken soup on the side.
Where:227-229 Hoxton St, London N1 5LG
The Lowdown: The Barbary in Covent Garden, as you’d expect from the examplary Palomar group they belong to, is home to outstanding food, not least the freshly baked Jerusalem-style bagels: they arrive on the counter in front of you warm, covered in sesame seeds, wrapped in a twist of paper, and perfect for dipping into a bowl of msabacha chickpeas or baba ghanoush.
Where: 16 Neal’s Yard, London WC2H 9DP
The Lowdown: Margot Bakery in Finchley is slightly off the beaten track, but well worth the journey for its baked goods. Michelle Eshkeri uses a sourdough starter for everything from the tahini babka to the bagels, which are perfectly chewy and generously sized – some of the best you’ll find this side of NYC. On Fridays, they’re now available in branches of La Fromagerie, if you get there early enough.
Where: 121 E End Rd, London N2 0SZ
The Lowdown: Zobler’s in the Ned is decked out to look like a classic New York appetising store, complete with diner-style crockery and food to match. You can get bagels here all day long, inlcuding two kinds of lox and the rather less traditional avocado with radishes and buttermilk dressing – but then, it is part of the Soho House group.
Where: 27 Poultry, London EC2R 8AJ
The Lowdown: Roni’s Bagel Bakery has been serving up traditional style Jewish bagels in West Hampstead and Belsize Park for many years. Stay with the traditional route and get yours with chopped liver or chopped herring, or egg mayonnaise and tomato. Perfect start to the day.
Where: Locations here
The Lowdown: If all this makes you want to try your hand at them yourself – Bread Ahead has a ‘New York’ baking course which includes everything you need to know to bake your own bagels. Dates and availability on their website.
Where: Book here