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Bagels are a contentious subject -- particularly in a city as rife with New York influence as Miami. Merely broaching the subject of the doughy breakfast food can lead to a heated debate about the boiling process, a proper schmear, and whether it really is all about the water.
Though Miami doesn't have New York water flowing from its taps, it does have its fair share of impressive bagel makers. From North Miami Beach to Palmetto Bay, good bagels aren't as hard to find as you might imagine. Here are our top ten South Florida bagelries.
10. The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. This Miami Beach mainstay has an in-house water filtration system designed to duplicate New York-style H20. And whatever the case, it works. Winner of Best Bagels in 2011, these treats are crisp on the outside and doughy on the inside.
9. House of Bagels & Bialys This pint-size emporium serves bagels, bialys, and other eats in a snug little strip mall. (Bialy are round, doughy rolls, similar to bagels, sans hole.) Reasonable prices and fresh eats keep Palmetto Bay's cravings under control.
8. Bagel Bar East at San Souci Winner of Best Bagels in 2010, this North Miami standby hand-rolls, -boils, and -bakes 17 varieties, including poppy seed, oat bran, salt, honey whole wheat, and many others. It offers other deli faves too, including rugalach, black-and-white cookies, salads, and pastries.
7. Bagel Cove This old-school-style bakery is popular among former New Yorkers in the Aventura area. Lauded for its friendly owners and classic atmosphere, Bagel Cover generates lots of buzz for its bagels too.
6. Mo's Popular with the senior-citizen set and those desperately seeking nova and lox, Mo's is an Aventura standby. Besides its ever-popular bagel selection and assorted trappings of any good Jewish deli, the pastrami on rye and corned beef earn rave reviews.
5. Bagels & Co. This cozy little deli cooks hand-rolled, -boiled, and baked bagels for the hungry masses. Owner David Cohen has run the joint for more than 20 years, and little has changed since its 1989 inception.
4. Broadway Bagels This family-owned and -operated outpost's bagels are so stellar that it wholesales 'em to nearby delis such as the Original Lots of Lox. This place has a seriously loyal following in Kendall for its fresh-baked bagels and flavored schmears, so expect a packed house.
3. Outrageous Bagels This fast and friendly joint serves huge bagels in a whopping 25 different flavors. The massive selection includes guava, spinach 'n' Swiss, sunflower, pumpkin, Asiago, and the popular French toast. Homemade cream cheese comes in flavors such as honey-almond, strawberry, scallion, and garlic-herb.
2. Bagel Emporium A favorite among UM students and Gables breakfast hounds, this constantly busy bagel den serves the usual suspects -- but better. The cinnamon-raisin, everything, poppy, pumpernickel, sesame, salt, egg, and others are soft, dense, and delicious. And for transplanted purists, there are smoked fish and black-and-white cookies.
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1. The Bagel Express This long-term resident, owned by a husband-and-wife team, won Best Bagels in this year's "Best of Miami" issue. Everything's done the old-fashioned way, and it shows. Bagels are hefty and crisp, and come in all the crucial flavors. They also stock Boar's Head deli cold cuts and Dr. Brown's sodas to round out that authentic experience.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.