Where to Order the Best Bagels in Boston

By Eric Twardzik
Goldilox Bagels - Brian Samuels

“You can’t find good bagels in Boston.”

We’re going to pretend you never said that. We’re also going to direct you to six stellar bagel makers around the city and nearby suburbs that prove it was never true to begin with.

Kupel's Bakery

Bagel sandwiches from Kupel's Bakery
Brian Samuels

Opened in Brookline in 1978, Kupel’s Bakery is beloved for kosher bagels that are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. A 17-flavor strong selection offers both the expected (Poppy Seed, Garlic) and the unexpected (Jalapeño, Cinnamon Glaze). Schmear yours with of of many tasty cream cheeses, or order from a huge menu of bagel sandwiches named after T stops like the best-selling Coolidge Corner, topped with chive cream cheese, smoked salmon, tomato, onion, and salt. Online ordering and third-party app delivery are available.

Exodus Bagels

Bagel sandwiches from Exodus Bagels
Credit: Brian Samuels Photography

Exodus Bagels began in Boston by supplying their New York-style rounds to local farmers’ markets and cafes, and now it operates a walkup window in Roslindale Village. (The JP cafe is closed indefinitely.) Every batch of bagels starts with a six-hour sourdough starter and ferments cold for at least eight hours. The Rozzie kitchen also uses the hand-rolled bagels to make ambitious sandwiches stuffed with the likes of Pulled Pork and Jalapeño Jam, or Vegan Carrot Lox. Exodus Rozzie requires preorders for bags of bagels, while sandwiches, coffee, and sweets can be purchased during store hours only.

Bagels from Bagelsaurus
Brian Samuels

Before she opened Bagelsaurus in Porter Square, Mary Ting Hyatt was selling (and selling out of) her bagels at Cutty’s in Brookline, where she worked at the time. The lines followed her to her own pint-sized storefront, which have since given way to an online preordering system. We’d wait however long, though, for these airy-yet-dense bagels with their distinct, crackly texture, made possible by Hyatt’s decades-old sourdough starter. Spreads like Honey Rosemary Cream Cheese and Beet Hummus add more flavor to the proceedings, and those looking to make a meal out of it spring for thoughtful sandwiches like the banana-, bacon-, and almond butter-stuffed T-Rex, or the herbaceous Eggspañola.

Rosenfeld's Bagels

Bagels from Rosenfeld's Bagels
Brian Samuels Photography

Kosher-certified Rosenfeld’s Bagels has been scratching Newton’s bagel itch for more than 45 years. Adhering to the old-fashioned rules of bagel-making, the bakery adds a little malt syrup into the mix to achieve signature sweetness. A whopping total of 22 varieties are offered, including a Sunday exclusive Cinnamon Sugar; plus hand-mixed spreads and other classics of Jewish baking, like freshly made challah and chocolate babka. Not so old-fashioned? The ability to preorder online or for third-party app delivery, and touchless payment options if you’re picking up in person.

Better Bagels

Bagels from Better Bagels
Better Bagels

Better Bagels made its mark on the Boston scene by running successful pop-ups at local restaurants. It now has an outpost of its own in the Seaport District, though Better Bagels continue to be on the menu at a select few spots. It takes 36 hours to produce a batch of this New York–style dough, which has been lauded for its serious chew and crusty outer layer. We love these sturdy bagels for sandwiches, and the Seaport shop comes through with a range of flavors like a Deluxe egg and cheese with hash browns and chipotle mayo; a Turkey Rachel; and one called Pickle Rick, with pickles, bacon, and cream cheese. Online ordering and third-party app delivery are both available.

Goldilox Bagels

Goldilox Bagels

Medford couple Lindsey Gaudet and Ed Thill dreamt of opening a breakfast place for years before debuting this local shop in late 2019. Thill makes the bagels, which come in flavors including Sesame, Cinnamon Raisin, and the standout Rosemary Sea Salt. We appreciate the simple genius of spreads like Toasted Topping, or cream cheese mixed with the house Everything seasoning blend, and cayenne-spiked, salty cinnamon-honey Bear Butter. There are also egg-and-cheese sandwiches and coffee on the menu. Early lines prove that bagel lovers in the neighborhood and beyond clearly approve, and Goldilox Bagels manages the crowds with preordered pickup every Friday through Sunday.

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