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 listed below in alphabetical order are Miami's best bagels.
Bagel Bar East1990 NE 123rd St., North Miami
Bagel chips. Bialys. Mini bagels. Bagels by the dozen. Bagels East has it all, and the discerning bagel clientele — AKA transplanted New Yorkers — to go with it. The best part: 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
Chewy, 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 Cove19003 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura
For nearly 30 years, Bagel Cove has offered a consistently hearty, delicious, chewy circular bread product with a hole in it. Whether you choose pumpernickel, poppyseed, whole wheat, or plain they all go for a buck a pop, or save a dollar if you take home a dozen. Don't miss the Friday-only "Challagel" — an unhole-y (literally, there's no hole) combination of bagel and challah that stands as one of Bagel Cove's rarer offerings that you can enjoy with or without a schmear.
Bagel Emporium & Grille1238 S Dixie Hwy., Coral Gables
Its location across from the University Metrorail station has made Bagel Emporium a student hangout for what seems like decades. The students will eat all sorts of dishes from the Emporium's extensive menu, but during the morning hours most indulge in the shop's fresh-baked bagels that arrive dense, soft, and full of flavor. Like all the places on this list, bagels are baked fresh daily, with numerous varieties offered. All necessary accoutrements — cream cheese, smoked fish, etc. — are likewise available. Go here for the bagels and lox, which happens to be excellent at this bustling Coral Gables deli.
Bagel Max Miami1951 NW Seventh Ave., Miami
Philadelphia transplant Charlotte Light is the one-woman show behind Bagel Max Miami, baking up her small-batch, hand-rolled bagels Monday through Friday inside 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 blossomed into a thriving delivery business and full-time pop-up at the Miami café. Before embarking on a brick-and-mortar, Light continues to up her batches, keeping up with demand, crafting dozens of bagels each weekday. Made using several types of flour and wild yeast, they offer a sweet and bold flavor that is 100 percent Miami, available in varieties including sesame, whole wheat, poppy, onion and salt, and everything.
Coral Bagels2750 SW 26th Ave., Miami
Established in 1986, Coral Bagels isn't exactly a diner; it's just a casual breakfast and lunch restaurant that also just so happens to offers 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 a number of 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 to choose to top it, you can’t go wrong with this longtime, family-run establishment.
El Bagel6910 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Matteson Koche's takeout-only Biscayne Boulevard bagelería — not to be confused with your average bagel deli — has become Miami's own 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 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.
Sadelle's3321 Mary St., Coconut Grove
A true New York transplant, Sadelle's, which opened in downtown Manhattan in 2016, is a breakfast-centric haven that just so happens to serve some of the best bagels in America, never mind Miami. Order them as part of the "Sadelle's Tower": a variety of the restaurant's bagels, including sesame, poppy, everything, everything 2.0, salt and pepper, and cinnamon raisin, served with a tower of tomato, red onion, cucumbers, and capers along with a choice of tuna or egg salad, house-smoked salmon, whitefish or salmon salad, or sturgeon.
Toasted BagelryMultiple area locations, including:
83 SW Eighth St., Miami
Brothers 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, and capers, as well as 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
Zak 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 both 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.