When it comes to baked goods, bagels are probably one of the most iconic.
Now synonymous with cities like New York and Montreal, the first bagel was probably created in Germany or Austria and perfected by the Jewish communities in Europe. This surprisingly simple bread has now gained a global following with a lot of people being very particular about where they get their bagels — and with near endless possibilities for flavours, ranging from classic seeded bagels to mochi- and sweet potato-filled Taiwanese renditions.
Whether you prefer them with a chewy bite or on the softer, sweeter side; filled with lox and cream cheese or berry jam; here are six places in Hong Kong that you should check out on your quest to find the perfect one — and yes, they are all handmade in Hong Kong.
Schragels, established in 2014, uses a family recipe dating back to the 50s to create its authentic New York-style bagels. The bagels are hand-rolled, kettle-boiled and freshly stone-baked every morning from its factory in Aberdeen, then sent out to various hotels and restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau. Available on Deliveroo on top of its bulk orders from its website, the extensive menu features ‘Schragel sets’ (starting from HK$190), sandwiches or individual bagels (starting from HK$25), with the Plain, Sesame and Everything bagels being especially popular, paired with creamy homemade ‘schmears’.
Picked up by Jonny Rees, owner of sister cafe chain Blend & Grind shortly after its opening, R&R Bagels is touted by its followers as having near perfected the recipe for bagels. Its menu lets you pick between options such as poppyseed, cinnamon raisin and even a vegan bagel, all starting at HK$25. There are also a variety of sweet and savoury cream cheeses to smear over the top for that extra kick of flavour. R&R Bagels also offers breakfast bagel sandwiches. Popular flavours to check out are the Maple Bacon and Egg (HK$65) and The Gardener’s Breakfast (HK$65). R&R Bagels is available on Deliveroo, or by online order.
Created by Ashley Chan, a millennial entrepreneur who had apprenticed under the former creators of the now-defunct Bagoes, Blendit HK is a healthy smoothie and bagel shop in Tai Kok Tsui. Blendit’s bagels, along with being freshly made, are also vegan, low sugar and made with no preservatives, additives or oil/ butter — a healthier spin on the delicious treat that doesn’t take away from the flavour. Customers can choose from some of Blendit’s regular picks such as blueberry, sun-dried tomato and jalapeño, or the superfood bagel series that includes the black sesame and the morning moringa bagels (starting at HK$ 75 for bags of three).
Following on from the Taiwanese bagel craze in recent years, Hong Kong bagel producer Plum N Bagel is known for its chewy, plump and shiny creations, touting interesting flavours that can also be found in cafes dotted around Hong Kong. Making its unique filled bagels out of Tuen Mun, customer favourites include flavours such as the garlic cream cheese, the salted egg with pork floss, as well as double Genmai tea cream cheese bagels (starting from HK$55). Plum N Bagel also offers bagel sandwiches (starting at HK$78) with the avo bagel and the pastrami bagel being popular choices. The way to order is to keep track of its Instagram stories — where the brand will release a weekly Google Form for you to place your order. Deliveries are made via SF Express. Alternatively, pick up one of their bagels at Tsim Sha Tsui’s Café Zi (G/F, 8 Hillwood Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong +852 2778 1628).
One of the co-founders of Instagram-based bagel purveyor Bagel For You has a Master’s degree in nutrition, so you can expect its baked goods to work well within a balanced diet and won’t feel too stodgy — many of its flavours are also vegetarian-friendly. Check out its roster of smooth, springy Asian-style bagels with best-selling styles including the pink oreo cream cheese (pictured), Earl Grey, sugar-free cocoa and matcha, best paired with homemade fillings such as garlic potato, hojicha cream cheese and milk mochi. Orders are made via PayMe/Bank transfer and are delivered with SF Express.
Bagels Alley has also taken a more health conscious approach to the carb-heavy bagel — eliminating preservatives, additives and oil and keeping sugar content to a minimum. The menu lists bagels that are available daily — plain, poppyseed, sesame and everything — as well as special flavours such as onion, blueberry, jalapeño, cinnamon & raisin, sun dried tomato and whole wheat bagels (starting from HK$25). While the everything bagel is particularly popular, the cinnamon raisin and the jalapeño have their own cult following among customers. Order online or from Deliveroo.