While bagels can be traced back to Jewish communities in Poland in the 17th century, the doughy delight has grown increasingly popular outside of Europe — thanks to the large Jewish populations in North American states like New York and California.
The bagel itself boasts a distinct flavour, satisfying chewiness, and a slightly crispy exterior, making it the perfect vessel for ingredients with softer textures. The most classic pairing is ‘lox and a schmear,’ which sees the addition of brined salmon fillets and cream cheese. Sliced tomato, cucumbers, and capers are also typical accompaniments.
Recent years have seen an influx of local establishments offer the versatile bread in a multitude of forms and flavours, so read on for our roundup of the best bagels in Singapore.
Two Men Bagel House has been in the bagel business for a long time. The brand was first founded in 2014 and has three outlets to date. It owes its cult following to spinning, hand rolling, slow proofing and baking its bagels daily. The menus differ per location, with highlights including the classic option of smoked salmon, cream cheese, and dill (S$5++); the Novena-exclusive ‘Bobow’s that’s packed with two fried eggs, bacon, and guacamole (S$12++); and ‘Cheetos,’ a Tanjong Pagar-exclusive with two types of ham and cheese (S$12++). Be sure to plan your visit accordingly as the bagels can sell out as early as noon.
NYC Bagel Factory offers authentic New York City-style bagels that are baked daily in Singapore. They’re dense, chewy, and boast a slightly crunchy exterior, thanks to the use of high-quality ingredients, such as high protein wheat flour and brown sugar. Choose between six flavours (think whole wheat, blueberry, and cinnamon raisin) and be sure to accompany it with the brand’s own cream cheese.
Artisanal bakery chain Baker & Cook offers an extensive range of freshly made bread, and its bagels are no exception. Choose from the range of plain, onion, and blueberry flavours and savour your pick with a side of cream cheese and jam. The brand’s founder Dan Brettschneider also has a baking school — perfect for those who want to learn more about he bread they’re scarfing down. Bagels are available at all outlets.
Local restaurant chain Wild Honey is known for its extensive all-day breakfast spread. Kickstart your morning with an order of ‘I Love New York,’ which comes with a hand-rolled sesame bagel, smoked salmon, caramelised onions, and scrambled eggs with sturgeon. If that isn’t enough for you, head down to the Scotts Square outlet for the New York smoked fish and bagel platter. The three-tiered serving features generous portions of smoked salmon and salmon pastrami; hand-rolled sesame bagels; two types of cream cheese, and more.
Sesame & Bagels is a central kitchen offering hand-rolled bagels made from scratch. Savour variants such as sea salt and pepper, blueberry, and onion (S$2.50 each), and enjoy with your choice of schmear (think salmon cream cheese and avocado and feta). Other highlights include the pillowy, homemade milk bread loaf (S$6) and zesty carrot cake loaf (S$16). The establishment only takes bulk orders of at least 50 bagels, but fret not, there’s the option to share the order with others as well.