And yes, you can find a great one in Miami. You just have to know where to look.
Though Miami doesn't have New York water flowing from its taps, we do have our share of impressive bagel makers.
Get out your lox and cream cheese because Miami's best bagels are listed below in alphabetical order.
Bagel Bar East1990 NE 123rd St., North Miami
bagelbareast.comBagel chips. Bialys. Mini bagels. Bagels by the dozen. Bagel Bar East has it all, and the discerning bagel clientele — AKA transplanted New Yorkers — go with it. This North Miami standby still hand rolls, boils, and bakes more than a dozen varieties daily, from rye, pumpernickel, and sesame to oat bran, asiago, and blueberry. Whether you spread smoked fish or cream cheese on your bagel or prefer it as a breakfast sandwich with egg and cheese, this old-school spot does Miami proud.
The Bagel Club Miami2400 N. Miami Ave., Miami
bagelclubmiami.comChewy, flavorful, and perfectly seasoned, the bagels at the Bagel Club Miami are best when turned into the stacked, thick sandwiches that elicit uncontrollable drooling when pictured on the restaurant's Instagram feed. Be it a classic "BEC" (bacon, egg, and cheese) or a build-your-own, there's something on the menu for any taste with schmears like smoked salmon, whitefish, avocado, and "Volcano" (a jalapeño-infused cream cheese).
Bagel Max Miami1951 NW Seventh Ave., Miami
instagram.com/bagelmaxmiamiPhiladelphia transplant Charlotte Light is the one-woman show behind Bagel Max Miami and began baking up her small-batch, hand-rolled bagels for sale at 7th Cafe. What began as a way to fill the void of bagel bakeries in her home neighborhood of North Miami Beach in late 2021 has since blossomed into a thriving pickup and delivery business from her Miami Beach home. Before embarking on a brick-and-mortar location, Light continues to increase her batches, keeping up with demand by crafting dozens of bagels for delivery and pickup orders. Made using several types of flour and wild yeast, they offer a sweet and bold flavor that is 100 percent Miami, available in varieties like sesame, poppy, onion, salt, and everything on regular or whole wheat. Don't miss the chopped jalapeño and mild-cheddar version with tasty bits of each packed into every square inch of dough.
Coral Bagels2750 SW 26th Ave., Miami
coralbagels.com Established in 1986, Coral Bagels is a casual breakfast and lunch restaurant that just so happens to offer some of the best bagels in Miami. A locals-only spot, this hidden gem started as a bagel shop and grew into its current status as the breakfast and lunch spot favorite for Groveites in the know. Today the menu serves up several classic American diner staples alongside a bagel lineup that includes flavors like egg, sesame, blueberry, cinnamon raisin, pumpernickel, and asiago. No matter which one you choose or how you choose to top it, you can’t go wrong with this longtime, family-run establishment.
El Bagel6910 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
elbagel.comMatteson Koche's takeout-only Biscayne Boulevard bagelería — not to be confused with your average bagel deli — has become Miami's bagel breed, a favorite since the one-day-a-week food truck pop-up's inception in 2017. Five ingredients with no additives or conditioners make up these sourdough bagels, which are cold-fermented, boiled, and baked fresh each morning. Since opening the brick-and-mortar spot in March 2020, repeat customers know to order ahead via the website to avoid what would otherwise be a lengthy line. While purists can purchase an unadorned bagel or a dozen to take home, a solid list of sandwiches are the go-to options. Crafty creations include the longtime favorite "EB Original," made with thick-cut bacon, scallion cream cheese, and roasted jalapeños or the "King Guava," a bagel of your choice schmeared with guava jam and cream cheese finished off with papitas and a fried egg.
LNB Grovestand13591 SW 135th Ave., Miami
lnbgrovestand.comLNB Grovestand's turmeric bagels are the reason to make the trek out to this Kendall farmers stand. It's all thanks to husband-and-wife team Walter Chefitz and Adena Ellenby, who use the produce grown on the Ellenby's Redland grove and farm to create a number of health-focused food and drink options. That includes their turmeric bagel, each one boasting a full ounce of LNB's whole-root turmeric concentrate made with black pepper, honey, and ginger. They're served with LNB's scallion and black pepper cream cheese for a scrumptious, whipped texture that pairs well with the bagel's perfectly crispy and crunchy exterior shell and a pillowy, subtly flavored interior. Just be sure to get there early: their fruit stand off 135th Avenue in West Kendall only serves bagels one day a week every Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The rest of the week is spent working the family farm.
Outrageous Bagel Co.8843 SW 107th Ave., Miami
outrageousbagel.comIf it's variety you crave, Outrageous Bagels Co. is the place to go. Robert Sandler, owner and founder of the Outrageous Bagel Company, will ask if you know what makes his bagels "outrageous." The answer, quite simply, is selection. The Kendall establishment offers a staggering array of 25 flavors, each made from scratch and freshly baked daily. While you can find traditional toppings like sesame, garlic, and onion — or that wonderful amalgamation of all four with the piquant "everything" — flavor cravers come here for the savory sundried tomato, fruity guava, cheesy cheddar herb, or the indulgent triple cinnamon. To keep the flavor combinations coming, schmear them with dozens of housemade spreads, from the usual suspects like garden veggie and scallion cream cheese to the more novel flavors like honey almond, strawberry, and decadent honey butter. Or build your sandwich with bacon, sausage, cheese, and egg. Of course, you can't miss the house specialty bagel pizzas — a plain bagel splayed open and toasted with a generous portion of sweet and tangy tomato sauce and melted mozzarella.
Sour Seed3255 NE First Ave., Miami
sourseedbagels.comSour Seed is a fitting name for this breakfast and lunch spot selling upmarket bagel sandwiches in midtown Miami. Here, chef/owner Christopher Slawson's newest venture produces some truly picturesque open-faced sandwiches atop handcrafted, Montreal-style sourdough bagels. The naturally fermented and leavened dough is crunchy and flavorful, rendering it the perfect vessel for toppings like preserved lemon and Calabrian chili flecked with fresh sprigs of dill or a rich and aromatic, probiotic-boasting truffle-cashew cream cheese. Slawson says he's been pursuing bagel-baking mastery, tweaking his Montreal-inspired recipe daily to ensure it's "just right." The result is a thinner, denser bagel made from a dough that ferments for 24 to 36 hours before it's boiled in molasses-sweetened water and baked to a crispy, slightly burnt shell. Flavors include onion, poppyseed, sesame, everything, and plain.
Toasted BagelryMultiple area locations, including:
83 SW Eighth St., Miami
toastedbagelry.comBrothers Islam and Khaled Mohammed are the team behind Toasted Bagelry & Deli, now with multiple South Florida locations, including several in Miami. The brothers say they honed their bagel-making skills at various restaurants across New York and New Jersey before relocating to Miami. What sets Toasted Bagelry & Deli apart is the Mohammed brothers' dedication to preserving the old-school way of making bagels, using only kosher malt, flour, conditioner, and filtered water. The menu features deli classics, including Nova lox with cream cheese, tomato, onions, capers, and tuna and chicken salads. Guests can also choose from nine different cream cheese spreads, each prepared in-house daily.
Zak the Baker295 NW 26th St., Miami
zakthebaker.comZak Stern of Wynwood's Zak the Baker didn't always make bagels, but the people wanted — nay, demanded — them. In 2019, he acquiesced, spiking pots of boiling water with honey to test the recipe and technique. He spent months determining everything from cooking time to how onion flakes would stay put. Today, Stern's kosher deli-style approach to baking has created the perfect foundation for making some of the Magic City's best bagels, yielding the ideal ratio of crusty to chewy. Find plain, poppy, sesame, and everything bagels fresh out of the Wynwood shop's oven around 8 a.m., and savor them solo or topped with lox, cream cheese, capers, and a dusting of fresh dill.