Bagels are a tricky little thing to nail in the baking world – getting that perfect balance of chewy and soft dough with a tiny hint of sweetness is no easy feat. So you’ve got to hand it to the places that get it right, and celebrate them for all they’re worth. Besides, we’re not in New York here where there are bagels on every corner, so finding a specialty place is like striking gold.
These Melbournian bagel masters have truly blessed us with their magic with their perfectly baked, and scrumptiously filled bagels.
14-16 Johnston Street, Fitzroy 3065
Set in an un-assuming, graffiti clad building, Mile End Bagels can be easy to miss, but is absolutely worth the search. The bagels are first boiled in honey-water, then baked in Australia’s first wood-fired bagel oven to achieve that perfect crunchy/chewy/sweet balance.
Choose from 15 different toppings on your choice of bagel. Highlights include the edamame & avocado smash with smoked salmon, cucumber, kewpie mayonnaise and black sesame oil. Go all out and opt for something like the Brisket Pastrami bagel, or keep it simple and original with cream cheese. Vegan & vegetarian options are available, as is catering, which can be arranged online.
The space is bright and open, and is always playing funky tunes to soundtrack your bagel experience. Eat-in or takeaways options are available, so if you’ve got some time, why not take a seat and enjoy a coffee among the indoor plants to accompany your super delicious bagel. If you happen to have your analog camera handy, be sure to pick up a roll of 35mm film available for purchase while you’re there – you may feel so inclined to capture the magical moment that is your first Mile End bagel experience!
105 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
Just shy of two years old and nestled in the Brunswick end of Lygon Street is Take Two. Best known by word-of-mouth, it’s a hidden gem that, once uncovered, you’ll never forget about.
The menu features all the classics like brekkie bagels, smoked salmon bagels and just plain with cream cheese. There are also plenty of vegan/vegetarian options, including the crowd favourite smoked tofu bagel with tomato chutney, pickled onion, roasted eggplant, sriracha vegan mayo & rocket! And for a Nutella overload, try their Nutella Bagel paired with their ‘Nutty Nutella’ smoothie. Each bagel is served with a little pretzel on top as a pre or post bagel treat!
Get comfy on the couch indoors, or, on a lovely sunny day, take a seat in the sunny courtyard with a freshly squeezed juice! Drink options also include specialty coffee by St Ali, and for our four-legged friends out there: it’s dog friendly!
16 Katherine Place, Melbourne, 3000
Hailing all the way from New Jersey is 5 & Dime Bagel’s founder, Zev Forman. After making the move to Melbourne and deciding the bagel game here wasn’t quite up to scratch, Forman took the leap and made the change! Using the traditional boil & bake method, 5 & Dime’s bagels are everything Melbourne needed and more.
For something a little different try their honey, raisin & walnut cream cheese schmear on your choice of bagel, or perhaps their pizza bagel, with pizza sauce, cheese and pepperoni. If you’re feeling creative and would rather fill your bagels in your own way, you can bag up 6 bagels of choice for $12.
Witness the magic in action at the CBD located bakery whilst chomping on your very own freshly baked bagel. The café space features indoor seating where customers can enjoy their baked goods whilst sipping a coffee and catching up with pals. And while you’re there – take note of their $8 Bagel & Coffee Special, which will snag you a toasted bagel with cream cheese and a regular sized hot drink!
Vegan options available.
Shop 1, 540 Little Collins St, Melbourne 3000
Born from travel memories and the desire for more, 5 Points Specialty Coffee and Bagels pays homage to the typical combination of a New York bagel with a coffee. From early on, the founders of 5 Points set their focus on producing high quality bagels using the best ingredients, and they have done exactly that ever since. Here, you’ll find everything you’d expect and more; the team have even found a way to produce gluten-free bagels and an entire vegan menu to cater for all needs.
In addition to truly pulling through with the goods, they’ve also spun a real twist on typical bagel fillings – have you ever had a Lamb souvlaki bagel? It’s probably never even crossed your mind. Luckily, the masterminds behind 5 Points have done the thinking for you and have created it!
And of course, I have to mention their coffee. Partnering with local coffee roaster, Red Star Coffee, they’ve carefully matched the flavour profile of the coffee bean to complement their bagels. Genius! And even better, Red Star Coffee is the first 100% carbon offset roaster in Australia, so you’re doing yourself, and the environment, a favour by getting your morning coffee here.
Whether you like it sweet or savoury, for breakfast, lunch or dinner, there’s just no denying that bagels hit the spot. Try some of the spots mentioned above, or head out and hunt down your own favourite!