Look, I’m a New Yorker, I’m Jewish, and I’m a carboholic. Of course I love bagels. If I did a Top 5 breakfast foods, they’d probably be at the top of the list (but would have some competition from English muffins. Speaking of which, it’s been years since I had an English muffin. (They’ve got to make microwaveable English muffins, by the way, for those that don’t have toasters – hope you’re listening, Thomas’s. (Speaking of which, Thomas’s bagels suck. They’re absolutely terrible excuses for bagels – I’m talking to you too, Lender’s.))). My family regularly gets bagels once a week, because a local bakery sells them at 20 cents a pop after 4 PM weekdays. And I’m not talking those thin bagels that have become all the rage. Those are cop-outs. Give me a full bagel, toasted and with a modest slathering of cream cheese (I’m open to the cream cheese that has 1/3 less fat, that’s cool with me), and I’m happy. I’ve never been the biggest fan of lox, but I’m cool with it, too. My dad puts parsley and onions on his bagels, too, which makes some sense.
Anyway, let’s start the Top 5 with…
I had a brief love for sesame seed bagels. Nowadays, however, it’s generally the kind of bagel that gets left to be eaten until there aren’t any other bagels left. So basically, it’s list filler right here. But my brother likes sesame seed, so it’s all good.
I’ll admit, I don’t think I’ve had more than ten salt bagels in my lifetime. But there’s something I like about it – I generally have bagels with orange juice, which is sweet, and goes well with the saltiness. But I rarely if ever see them in conventional bakeries, and I’m not one to go out of my way for them, so they remain at #4.
Poppy is generally my secondary go-to. It’s generally got a good amount of seeds and tastes great both toasted and not, with a variety of toppings. It’s a highly serviceable bagel, and one that is certain not to disappoint. However, it’s not #2, because of…
2. Cinnamon Raisin
How did cinnamon raisin sneak in to the runner-up slot, usurping poppy-seed, you may ask? Because unlike all of these, it’s a sweet bagel, compared to all the other savory bagels out there. It’s a refreshing deviation from the norm – and the only bagel that can double as dessert. I know Panera Bread has a few sweet bagels (and some spreads that would go well on sweet bagels thereof), but those bagels are pretty damn expensive.
But our #1 bagel is the superlative of bagels, as it’s…
First things first: an everything bagel should have more than just sesame and poppy seeds. It should have, at the least, poppy, sesame, and onion. Even better is poppy, sesame, onion, and salt, with the superlative being poppy, sesame, onion, salt, and caraway seeds. If you see caraway seeds on an everything bagel, you know it’s top-notch. It satisfies all the tastes and all the senses – a great texture, a great smell, a great taste, and something beautiful to behold.