A bagel can best be described as a dense bread roll, with a hole. It’s also been referred to as a ‘cement donut’. Doesn’t sound too appetising, but bagels are a deliciously doughy staple enjoyed in the USA, Canada, UK, Israel and Australia, offering a satisfying chew and unique texture to your usual vegemite on toast brekkie.
Bagels were first made in around 1683, by an Austrian baker who wanted to pay tribute to the Polish King, Jan Sobieski III. King Jan was a skilled horseman, so the Austrian baker decided to shape some dough into an uneven circle to resemble a stirrup. He presented this to the King and it was greatly received. The Austrian word for ‘stirrup’ is ‘beugel’ and the name eventually morphed into the word bagel. Some cultures regard the circular shape of the bagel as representing the continuous life cycle and good luck. Well, consider this your lucky day, because we have found a few bakeries that boil their own bagels in a variety flavours.
Surely you’ve heard of Glick’s, for it’s one of the most popular kosher retail bakeries in Melbourne. Glick’s produces a variety of bagel flavours including plain, poppy seed, sesame seed, garlic, onion and caraway. For those with a sweet tooth, be sure to try either the blueberry, choc chip or cinnamon and sultana bagels. Glick’s have stores in various locations including Balaclava, Malvern and the city.
Beans & Bagels is a place for the more health conscious and specialise in New York-style boiled bagels, less the preservatives, fats and oils. They offer a unique dill bagel, which is a peppery choice and uses certified organic dill leaves as its coating. There are also onion and cheese-topped bagels and a range of sweet bagels, including blueberry, cinnamon raisin and choc chip.
If you’re in the city, drop into Espresso Bagels in QV where they serve breakfast bagels, bagel melts, gourmet bagels and bagel sweets – fast. The Roast Beef bagel is a treat and is generously slathered with Swiss cheese, roast beef, red onions, gherkin, lettuce, relish and mayonnaise. The Classic is a zesty option, filled with smoked salmon, light cream cheese, capers, cracked pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
Across the other side of town, lies Aviv Cakes and Bagels. Aviv, means ‘spring’ in Hebrew, and this bakery has a spring in its step when it comes to serving quality bagels. They also serve various delectable Israeli, French and Danish cakes and biscuits.
Lichtenstein's is a petite bakery with a large range of kosher items. Family-owned, they boil their bagels fresh every day and make large dinner and mini bagels, ideal for finger food at your cocktail party. They also offer gluten-free bagels and loaves.
Shop 28–32, Level 1, QV, Melbourne
(03) 9663 3578
Beans & Bagels
121 Johnston Street, Fitzroy
(03) 9417 0006
412 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick
(03) 9528 6627
287 Carlisle Street, Balaclava