Asking for Atlanta's best bagel is certain to cause a fight. Some think there are no good bagels in town, some have very serious objections to long standing spots. As a city of transplants, there are more than a few New Yorkers that have brough their craving for the perfect bagel and transformed it into the right ratio of chew and crisp. Here are a few of our favorite spots to get a taste of old-school bagels in new-school Atlanta.
770 McFarland Pkwy, Alpharetta, GA 30004; (770) 475-1818, bbsbagels.net
Begun by two New York natives in search of warmer weather, BB’s has inspired a rabidly loyal fan base in Alpharetta. Their bagels are hand rolled daily and boiled in a kettle. The interiors of their bagels are dense and chewy, the outside have a good crust. These are bagels that don’t need to be toasted to be good. Just add a little- or a lot – schmear flecked with lox, and transport yourself to bagel paradise.
Brooklyn Water Bagel Company
2955 Cobb Pkwy SE, Atlanta, GA 30339; (770) 988-9991, www.brooklynwaterbagels.com
There’s dedication to the craft, then there’s what’s happening at Brooklyn Water Bagel Company. The Cobb Parkway outpost is boiling their bagels in filtered to replicate the water flowing from the Catskills that Brooklyn residents drink – and use to make their bagels. The result is a bagel that is tender, yet crisp. Try the Black Russian, a pumpernickel bagel combined with an everything bagel.
Emerald City Bagels
Long Island natives, the Halcrow family, made it their mission to bring great bagels to Atlanta. Two years of trial and error resulted in a now thriving bagel business. The bagels take about 48 hours to prepare before being traditionally boiled in a kettle. The garlic bagel with caprese spread is a bite that is made bright with fresh basil.
While there is no brick and mortar location, the bagels can be ordered online, purchased at the Piedmont Park farmer’s market or found at restaurants around the city like Argosy, Dancing Goats Coffee Bar and Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall.
The General Muir
1540 Avenue Pl B-230, Atlanta, GA 30329; (678) 927-9131, www.thegeneralmuir.com
Todd Ginsberg opened the General Muir as a way to bring an authentic New York Jewish deli experience to Atlanta. Judging by the praise they have received, it’s an obvious success. So, how did they do in the bagel department? Knocked it out of the park. There are only 5 varieties available, but all are made to perfection. Kettle boiled in-house, they are chewy with just the right amount of pull.
If there is one dish that is a can’t-miss it is The Avenue D. This wonderful creation is an open faced bagel with lox, schmear, salmon roe, cucumber and chives.
Multiple locations, www.goldbergbagel.com
Yes, it’s a chain. A local chain, but a chain still. However, Goldberg’s bagels truly stand up. First boiled, then baked at 500 degrees, they are made in the old world style. Made fresh daily, the bagels are available in 21 flavors. Pumpernickel and rye are musts when visiting, as are platters piled with nova, cream cheese, bagels and onions. Not in a bagel mood, but still want to carb-up? Their latkes are some of the best in town, and are available year-round.