By Melanie Graysmith
Who doesn’t like bagels? So much so the bagel is now woven into American breakfast culture and is a quick-grab snack favorite for its versatile and filling qualities. In spite of its ubiquitous role bagel lovers rightly only want the traditional best, bagels made with wholesome ingredients, boiled first and then ideally stone baked. Add on some smoked salmon, better known as lox, slather on the cream cheese and the classic bagel sandwich gets real. Read on for five San Francisco spots to satisfy a bagel and lox craving.
Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen
1520 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen opened in San Francisco’s Mission District in 2012 with a self-made promise not to make bagels due to the process being a “whole other art,” according to Evan Bloom one of the co-founders of the popular “Jewish comfort food” restaurant where virtually everything is made in-house. But in the end what’s a Jewish food spot without bagels? Wise Sons couldn’t resist the pull to create a sublime bagel to overshadow the ho-hum options available to them. Unfortunately in 2015, a mere day before opening to the public, a devastating fire erupted destroying the new Wise Sons bagelry at its Mission location. Fast forward to February 2016 when Wise Sons Bagel & Bakery opened on Fillmore Street, fronting its Bakery & Commissary kitchen, making for a great place to grab a top-notch breakfast bagel or bagel sandwich lunch. Here’s the scoop: bagels: plain, everything, salt, sesame, or poppy seed ($2); classic smoked salmon sandwich with capers, red onions, and whipped cream cheese on a plain bagel, open-faced ($13) closed ($10). Visit the website for complete menu selections.
20th Century Café
198 Gough St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
No matter that it’s the 21st century, 20th Century Cafe is a nifty spot with a modern take on a throwback era with menu selections that lean toward Eastern European classics such as Russian honey cake ($6), Polish pierogi ($6), and a Hungarian chicken salad sandwich ($10). The café’s short yet selective menu highlights travels through Vienna, Budapest and Prague that captured the heart and taste passions, and gave inspirations to pastry chef-owner Michelle Polzine who opened her Hayes Valley café in 2013. The house-made bagel ($2.5), dark and crusty with a hint of honey, come plain, onion, or coated with poppy seeds, and is available all dressed up in smoked salmon, cream cheese, pickled shallots and dill. Have this luscious creation either open faced ($11) or closed ($8).
Related: Best Bagels In The Bay Area
The Bagel Bakery SF
151 Townsend St.
San Francisco, CA 94107
Bagels in SOMA, a welcome addition to the food options in this popular neighborhood that is convenient to the SOMA and Mission Bay workers out to grab quick breakfast or lunch options. The Bagel Bakery offers a slew of bagel flavors including the usual suspects plain, salt, sesame, and poppy seed, plus flavorful options like cinnamon raisin, blueberry, pumpernickel, whole wheat, chocolate chip and more ($1.25); bagel sandwich of smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, tomato and onion ($7.5). Check the menu here for the wide bagel-centered selection.
House Of Bagels
5030 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 752- 6000
Like an old hometown friend, House of Bagels is a San Francisco comfy spot to return to again and again. House of Bagels bakes their bagels the authentic way, holding onto tradition: boiled and then baked on stone. In business since 1962, House of Bagels has been at the same San Francisco location for more than 50 years. With more than 25 bagel flavors and three types of bagels, virtually every taste and tang is here to satisfy, from standards like plain, poppy and sesame to flavors with a kick, such as cheesy dill, apple ginger, chocolate chip and you-name-it. But no bagel option would be complete without tradition’s favorite, bagel and lox. Have a plain bagel with cream cheese and lox ($9.25) or a plain bagel with just lox ($6.85). Other bagel flavors with cream cheese and lox may cost a bit more. Call the store for additional price information.
Related: Best Places For Lox On The Peninsula
3872 24th St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
Holey Bagel is a long time San Francisco bagel joint in one of the city’s most favorite neighborhoods, Noe Valley. The place is a perfect quick-in-and-out spot as seating accommodations and décor are pretty basic, but bagels are fresh, moist and chewy. Your choice: the bagel and lox sandwich with cream cheese, tomato and onion ($7.45) or a bagel and lox trim sandwich with cream cheese, tomato and onion ($6.25) will satisfy that longing for tradition.