Mile End Bagels
Mile End’s wood-fired bagels aren’t radically different to the usual New York-style found in Melbourne. But the subtly denser, sweeter rings comfortably hold their own against older bakeries such as Glick’s.
Owners Benjamin Vaughan (ex-owner at Carte Crêpes) and Michael Fee started their bagel journey in 2014. After visiting Montreal’s top-two bagel shops, St-Viateur and Fairmount (both in the Mile End neighbourhood), they buzzed around the US, working wood-fired bagel ovens for experience.
In Fitzroy, they’re up at 4am each day stoking their own green- and orange-tiled unit. The guys roll out dough rings and boil them in honey water for that sweet finish. The whole process is on show in the open-plan shop.
The finished bagels are caked in sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or “everything” – sesame, poppy, black sesame, fennel, garlic and onion. There’s also a piquant cinnamon-raison version.
Gloopy PB&J is available for the inside, but like any self-respecting bagel shop, cream cheese is the schmear of choice. Get it plain, or spiked with dill, spring onion, or vegemite. You can also grab it by the tub.
More substantial fillings include smoked salmon; thin-sliced beef; and beetroot and avocado.
If you’re eating in, be prepared to share the space. There’s just one huge table and a handful of two-seaters. Customers sip Seven Seeds Coffee and eat from speckled enamel plates from Crow Canyon.