Like barbecue and pizza, bagels inspire fervent debates among devotees. And while Atlanta can lay claim to some really good cue joints and nowadays is home to a few winning za spots, stellar bagel places are harder to find. Here’s a great one and four more to get boiled and baked about.
BB’s Bagels & Diner
770 McFarland Parkway, Alpharetta 770-475-1818, www.bitchinbagelsatbbs.com
Working way off the grid, Eddie Siino is a baker and bagel shop veteran who takes pride in his hand-rolled, kettle-boiled creations. Siino’s really big, fat bagels are bready and chewy, with a wonderfully crispy pretzellike crust. Flavors include blueberry, marble rye and cinnamon raisin walnut, plus specials such as cheddar or French toast. And the cream cheese spreads -- olive pimento, chocolate chip, Kit Kat -- are pretty cool, too.
Bagel Palace Deli & Bakery
2869 N. Druid Hills Road, Atlanta, 404-315-9016, bagelpalaceatl.com
This New York-style deli and bakery in Toco Hills serves up everything from chopped liver and matzo ball soup to burgers and omelets. But there’s also iced tea and surprisingly good grits. When they’re fresh, the boiled and baked bagels are dense and chewy inside and a tad crispy outside.
Art’s Bagels & More
3451 Cobb Parkway, Acworth, 770-529-4567, artsbagelsandmore.com
Art’s may be a dark horse in the best bagel race. But they boil them and bake them here and serve them for breakfast as egg or pork rolls and at lunch stuffed with chicken salad, pastrami and more. Flavors include jalapeno-cheddar, sun-dried tomato and spinach, with a variety of cream cheese and butter spreads.
Goldberg’s Bagel Company & Deli
4383 Roswell Road, Atlanta, 404-256-3751, www.goldbergsdeli.net
With everything from challah bread and matzo ball soup to chopped liver and bologna sandwiches, Goldberg’s does a very good impersonation of a New York Jewish deli. But many regulars just load up on bagels, available in traditional flavors plus more unusual chocolate chip or banana nut.
Emerald City Bagels
Deanna Halcrow and her daughter Jackie brought their family recipe from Long Island to Atlanta, perfecting homemade bagels used by several Atlanta-area restaurants and coffee shops including Dancing Goats Coffee Bar, Octane Coffee and Home Grown. You can also find them from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays at the Green Market at Piedmont Park and at a pop-up at 180 Carroll St. in Cabbagetown. emeraldcitybagels.com
--Yvonne Zusel contributed to this report