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Bagels that somebody from New Jersey could eat

RadRebe asks:

Need to help a New Jersey transplant: best bagels in Boston. Go.

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Voting closed 4

Kupels in brookline is good, but there is always a long line.

"NY Bagel Factory" (formerly known as brooklyn water bagels) in Framingham is actually quite good, worth the drive. Their bagels pass the mother-in-law who grew up in Manhattan test, as she always says good things when we have them at our house.

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I have always found Kupel's to be rather dry and cardboardy, rather than chewy and bagely. I am still searching for the bagel that strikes the balance between Kupel's and the marshmallow/pillow bagels that are the rule around Boston.

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Hands down. $10 per bakers dozen, open early on weekends and fairly easy on street parking. (Their Lox cream cheese is good too, but we’re presently skipping it as we’re hooked on the smoked salmon from Costco)

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Yeah just don't expect friendly.. I live less than 1000 feet away and I rarely go. (and still buy bagels at Market basket) but I get snarled at by the old fart owner every time.

They are also on GrubHub I believe, if you don't want to trek over to Chelsealand.

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Thays very old school Chelsea... My brother won't go in because I guess someone said something to him when he took too long to order abd now he's afraid... It's all part of the charm tho.

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...Meh. Nothing to shout about. They will be rock hard the second day so let's call it Old School. Go to the place in Dedham Square or Bagel World on the North Shore.

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I like bagel world but there's no comparison.

Gotta get those fresh bagels in an airtight bag... If they get hard microwave them for fifteen seconds after spritzing it with some water.

It's like complaining about fresh veggies going bad faster than freeze dried ones.

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Besides "resign yourself to fasting & abstinence between trips back to NY/NJ"?'
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Kupel's in Brookline (a few blocks up from Coolidge Corner)

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Brooklyn Water Bagels in Framingham is quite good! Only really accessible if you have a car though.

Also, Better Bagels in the Seaport in Boston.

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Is a source for NYC/NJ style Bialys.

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Bagelsaurus and Kupels both have bialys.

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I've seen Bialies offered there in the past. Have you given them a shot?

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Rosenfeld's bakes bialies too.

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Magoo thinks that “Magoo’s Bagel Emporium” located exclusively in Magoo’s kitchen has the best bagels. Magoo luvs to smear gobs and gobs of cream cheese on Magoo’s bagels and munch munch on them. Magoo.

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Mass Ave in Lexington, just over the Arlington border.

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Exodus.

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I've spent the 15 years I've been in Boston since leaving North Jersey researching this, and the only correct two answers are Katz and Rosenfelds.

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Now THAT is a grant application I'd like to have submitted to some university - bagel research!

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Katz in Chelsea all the way... Inventor of the pizza bagel, they have some of the best old school abd innovative bagels in town.

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Bagel world.

My father in law, who grew up in NYC, loves the bagels from here. We make sure to get a dozen when they come visit.

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I'm not sure what the gatekeeping is all about when it comes to "good" or "real NYC style" bagels, and how they're apparently not able to be made anywhere outside the physical confines of NYC and its respective burroughs (same goes for pizza, TBH). I've enjoyed bagels from: Katz's bagels, though I wish their lox wasn't just a cream cheese spread, Kupel's, I thought Rosenfeld's was OK but wasn't really getting what the hype was (it was solid, but I wasn't blown away and didn't feel like I needed to travel out to Newton from Somerville just to get a bagel!), Bagelsaurus (the appeal here though is the Classic Jumbo, and not everyone is onboard for the egg and bagel breakfast sandwich, apparently), Goldilox, Black Sheep over in Harvard Square, and have enjoyed the Better Bagels they offer at 7 Ate 9 Bakery on Highland Ave. in Somerville. I certainly don't turn my nose up at the bagels at Davis Square Donuts & Bagels, either. I'll eventually get around to trying Exodus.

No one has bene able to tell me, exactly, what the missing je ne sais qoui is about any of the places listed above as to why they're not a serviceable bagel, NYC or not.

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Voting closed 7

One thing is texture. A bagel shouldn't be the same as "bread". Dense, chewier... Some places do understand that.
The other is the water (for both bagels and pizza). Something about the mineral/ph profile - nothing else is like it. I've seen profiles of a couple of midwest restaurants, ny/nj transplants, that have the bread or even the water (for baking their own) shipped.

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There's varying quality among the places I listed and others throughout the thread. I still think that there are a handful of them that could stand up to one that you'd buy in NYC, which is more to my point.

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Historically the reason certain places became famous centers for brewing beer is because the water in that area was naturally good for that purpose. Any microbrewery or brewpub worth their salt is getting the available reports on the municipal water and adding things like calcium chloride or other salts to more closely replicate the water used for where the style originated. It's easy and there's no reason that a bakery couldn't do the same.

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In another six months some transplant Californians will launch the same discussion about burritos and it will be equally silly.

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Do New Englanders move to places like Albuquerque and lament things like “I can never get satisfactory clam chowder or a good lobster roll here. ABQ is a food wasteland.”

There are reasons that you can’t find great tacos in Dedham the same way you find them in El Paso and there’s a reason it’s called *Kansas City* barbecue (or whichever region you choose) and not Boston barbecue.

Regional specialties exist and thrive in...regions!

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South Shore-style bar pizza is one of the things I have a hard time explaining to people in the Tri-State Area- brought some back once and was treated like Benedict Arnold for suggesting I was capable of enjoying it along w/ NY-style

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The Irish try to cook. (My people btw). It's on step above pot of boiled root vegetables, but luckily it's just being served to other Irishmen in a bar.

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Pretty sure you can get flour, water, and all of the rest of the ingredients for a bagel pretty much everywhere. As others have said, the water seems to be a common theory as to the final product. Pardon the food related turn of phrase, but it's a pretty apples to oranges comparison, at least as far as regional fare is concerned.

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Bakeries, and even more so for commercial food production fascilities, have to meet certain requirements for water filtration. There is no magic in the water that makes NYC bagels. That is to say the water used in NYC bagels is just as universal as the King Arthur Flour (or whichever brand is used) and the process is what yields the different results.

How you knead the dough and how much the dough is kneaded has waaaayyyy more impact in the final result of any bread, including bagels, then the water. The

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Again, not my theory, just a common conversation point I hear people bring up whenever this particularly topic comes about.

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Better Bagels are the best I've had, Bagelsaurus not too far behind, Kupel's and Rosenfeld's and Goldilox are all pretty good. Haven't tried Exodus yet but I've heard good things. Better Bagels is in the Seaport and they have a Taylor ham egg and cheese sandwich which is about as NJ as you can get.

Dark horse candidate is Turenne - Montreal-style bagels so definitely not like NJ bagels at all, but good all the same and less inherent disappointment.

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Pork Roll!!?? Here?
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Lead me not, Lord...

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Wegmans in Medford sells the Taylor Pork Roll- their bagels are also relatively acceptable for supermarket ones to this NY/ NJ import

I always preferred Lederman's when they were down the street from Kupel's- if only they'd paid their taxes...

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OMG Bagels, sold at farmers markets and at Russo's in Watertown, are quite good.

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I’ll take a Montreal bagel over a NY or NJ bagel anytime. Montreal is the superior bagel.

Also, anyone who claims that NYC bagels are the superior bagels due to the water used is wrong and not good at applying critical thought.

(Disclosure: yes, I am only saying this to stoke the flames of a hot bottom topic. While I do believe these things, take my absolutelism as good-natured fun.)

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When I was there a couple years ago (you know, when they'd allow us into Canada), I scoffed at the idea of the superior Montreal bagel. Until I tried one.

I'm sold, too.

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Best bagels in town, hands down. One of the owners is a Jersey transplant who's grandfather ran a bagel shop in Jersey(Plus they have Pork Roll).

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There aren't any, go back to Jersey.

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I love Exodus, but Be Okay Bagels (operating as a popup out of Little Dipper in JP) has hands-down the best bagels I've ever had. Just tried them last weekend and it was a mindblowing experience.

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I'm gonna be a heretic here and say: I grew up in VT with frequent NYC trips. I have had NYC bagels regularly but my favorite were always from the Bagel Bakery (or Bagelry for short) in Burlington, VT -- and from Bruegger's, a later arrival from across the lake. I feel like I'm just asking for a bunch of rabid Bostonians to tell me "I've just never had a good bagel" but I would take Brueggers over anything I can get around here. Bagelsaurus is junk, and I'll never understand how they got lines out the door while Brueggers dwindled (and eventually closed) a couple blocks down in Porter square. I have not been inspired by bagels I've gotten from the Jewish delis (especially S&S). But I will check out some of the others listed here that I haven't visited.

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The actually "mill" wheat on-site and the results are fantastic. No additives, preservatives, sugar, GMOs, etc etc. They are delicious and this from someone who doesn't like wheat products.

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Okay, I just tried the Better Bagels in the Seaport that anon mentioned above.
Bagels seem pretty good. Pork roll was authentic, though I tend to want mine cooked a little further than those.

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