Asking for Atlanta’s best bagel is certain to cause a fight. Some think there are no good bagels in town, and some have very serious objections to long-standing spots. As a city of transplants, there are more than a few New Yorkers that have brought 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.
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, while the outside has 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.
Location: Alpharetta – 770 McFarland Pkwy.; Website: bbs-bagels.net; Contact: 770-475-1818
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.
Location: East Atlanta - 1257-A Glenwood Ave. SE; Website: emeraldcitybagels.com; Contact: 404-343-3758
The General Muir
Todd Ginsberg opened The General Muir as a way to bring an authentic New York Jewish deli experience to Atlanta. Judging by the praise he has received, it’s an obvious success. So, how did he do in the bagel department? Knocked it out of the park. There are only five 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.
Location: Dekalb – 1540 Avenue Pl B-230; Website: thegeneralmuir.com; Contact: 678-927-9131
Yes, it’s a chain. A local chain, but a chain nonetheless. 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.
Location: Multiple locations; Website: goldbergsfinefoods.com
101 Bagel Cafe
Start your morning at 101 Bagel Cafe with a delicious breakfast bagel sandwich and refreshing iced coffee (made with frozen coffee ice cubes!). 101 Bagel Cafe is a must-try with its stone-baked New York-style bagels that are perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. They also offer soups, melts, wraps and more. They currently have four locations in the Atlanta area, with a fifth launching soon in Roswell.
Location: Multiple locations; Website: 101bagelcafe.com
This story was originally published in 2016 by Krista Miller and has since been updated.