Exodus Bagels began by supplying their Roslindale-made, New York-style rounds to local farmers’ markets and cafes. Recently the company opened its much-awaited first storefront in Jamaica Plain. Every one of these bagels is made from a six-hour sourdough starter and ferments cold for at least eight hours. Exodus also uses its hand-rolled bagels to make ambitious sandwiches stuffed with the likes of pastrami or carved ham and pineapple.
“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 five stellar bagel makers that will make you think twice before even beginning to consider uttering those words again.
Mary Ting Hyatt was selling (and selling out of) her bagels at Cutty’s in Brookline before opening Bagelsaurus, her own pint-sized storefront in Porter Square. And the lines followed. There’s a reason for the craze: Hyatt uses a decades-old sourdough starter to make airy-yet-dense rounds with a distinct, crackly texture. Spreads like honey rosemary or 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 Eggspañola, an egg-feta-aoili mix with avocado.
Opened in Brookline in 1978, kosher Kupel’s Bakery produces bagels that are soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside three times each day. A 17-strong selection offers both the expected (Poppy Seed, Garlic) and the unexpected (Jalapeño, Cranberry & Orange). Schmear yours with a wide selection of cream cheeses, or order from a huge menu of bagel sandwiches named after T stops.
Kosher-certified Rosenfeld’s Bagels has been scratching Newton’s bagel itch for over 40 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 served, including a cinnamon-sugar version that’s only available on Sundays. Other classics of Jewish baking—like freshly made challah and chocolate bubka—are also on offer.
Better Bagels made its mark on the Boston scene by running successful pop-ups at local restaurants and selling out of area bakeries and coffee shops. 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. The elusive maker recently opened an outpost of its own in the Seaport District, creating one more convergence point for local bagel addicts.