The bagel, something we’d usually associate with New York and American culture (looking at you, The OC season 1), has exploded in Sydney, and we’re all the better for it. The pioneer behind the bagel movement is Michael Shafran, who started selling New York-style bagels in a converted car park in 2013.
Of course, we all now know those delicious, boiled, chewy bagels as Brooklyn Boy Bagels.
Since then, bagel shops have been popping up all over Sydney, especially over the last five years. Most are in the Eastern suburbs, the centre of Sydney’s Jewish community, but now, they’re invading inner city suburbs, including Surry Hills and North Sydney.
Whether you’re craving a classic lox or simply need to refill your bagel stock at home, here’s where you’ll find the best bagels in Sydney.
Marrickville and Surry Hills
Go to where it all began, Brooklyn Boy Bagels. Whether you’re grabbing a seat at the Marrickville outpost or a grab n’ go at the new Surry Hills shop, you can always rely on chewy, boiled bagels here. Choose from a range of flavours, including everything seasoning, rainbow-dyed, pumpkin seeds, Za’atar, and plain bagels. They come stuffed with smoked salmon (lox), pastrami, jalapeno cream cheese, plain cream cheese, and so much more. The choice is yours.
If you’ve ever been to Bondi, chances are you’ve walked past Lox Stock & Barrel and couldn’t resist the New York-style bagels boiled on-site daily. The fillings err on the Jewish side, with chopped liver, egg, and onion on a sweet onion bagel, or relish the house-made brisket pastrami on rye. At less than $20 per bagel, it’s an easy lunch option.
It’s in the name, so it must be good. Best Bagel Co stays true to the NYC tradition, by boiling before baking for that quintessential chew and glossy finish. The menu boasts six regular fillings, and a monthly special, often a collaboration with local culinary figures like Masterchef’s Simon Toohey or Maybe Sammy’s Martin Hudak. Purchase bagels by the half-dozen, with homemade smears and sustainably sourced smoked salmon. And did we mention that everything sold here is in biodegradable packaging?
Formerly a hole in the wall in Bondi, Lox in a Box has grown its fan base and expanded to Manly, Coogee, and Marrickville. The iconic bagels, often served with a side of chips, are stuffed to the brim with everything from peri peri chicken to tuna, egg and mayo, and the fan favourite, chicken katsu bagel. Pick up some to take home, including smears, or pull up a bench at the retro-style Bondi shop and tuck into a delicious bagel for less than $20.
George St Deli’s journey to bagel perfection was a six-month endeavour, with New York research trips influencing their crisp yet fluffy bagels. The Lox Classic stars smoked trout, house-made cream cheese, onion, capers, and tomato, accompanied by potato crisps and pickles. The pastrami and egg-and-potato salad classics shine, while sweet bagels, colossal house-made cookies, and babka delight dessert lovers. The retro ambience channels New York vibes with iconic tunes, white tiles, and black seating.