Remember when bagels were a bit of a novelty in Sydney? You’d find plain ones next to artificially coloured blueberry ones in supermarkets, and they were all a bit gluey and flavourless. But in recent years, the city finally got on board with bagels the way they’re meant to be: rolled, boiled, then baked, and loaded up with smoked salmon and cream cheese, maybe with some capers and dill scattered on top. Despite this increased popularity, bagel fans recently took a hit with the news of two closures. We pay tribute to those bagelries – and show that it’s not all bad news.

Smoking Gun Bagels
Smoking Gun Bagels was just around the corner from the Broadsheet Sydney office, so when it closed in October last year, it hit particularly close to home. Smoking Gun favours the lesser-known Montreal style of bagel, which is thinner and slightly sweeter than its New York counterpart. At its itsy Woolloomooloo shopfront, which opened in 2016, Smoking Gun served the carby treats piled with topping combinations such as smoked salmon, pickled zucchini and cream cheese; pastrami and fermented chilli cabbage; and banana and caramel.

Smoking Gun owners Dave Young and Mark Treviranus decided not to renew the lease when it ended last year – they told customers they’d been filling so many wholesale orders they’d reached the limits of what they could produce in the space. They’ve vanished from Harris Farm and Carriageworks farmers markets for now – but they’ve promised they’ll be back in some form or another soon. We’ll let you know when we know more.

Brooklyn Boy Bagels
Brooklyn Boy Bagels has been kicking around town since 2013. Owner and New York native Michael Shafran was fed up with the lack of quality bagels in Sydney, so he opened a (now-closed) store in Matraville and became a familiar face at various markets around Sydney.

At the start of 2019, Shafran opened a schmick Brooklyn Boy shopfront in the CBD, serving bagels the New York way: with thick schmears of cream cheese, lox (smoked salmon) or pastrami. He even supplied issues of the New Yorker to read as you munched away. We named it one of our favourite cafes of 2019. Sadly, though, it closed in December to “decamp back to the Marrickville bakery”.

You can still find Brooklyn Boy bagels at various cafes, including Barrel One in Brookvale and The Alchemist in Cammeray, and it’s promising a pop-up in Marrickville come March. Stay tuned.

But … introducing Lox In a Box
And now the good news: Sydney just scored a new deli and bagel shop, the cutely named Lox in a Box. From a takeaway window in a Bondi backstreet (on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only), this business sells a selection of bagels topped with schmears, pastrami or lox, as well as Jewish deli goods to take home.

It’s going to introduce a bagel delivery service beyond the eastern suburbs, which owner Candy Berger – ever the punster – has coined their “deli-ver” service. “We will soon deli-ver to the CBD and hope to get our bagels out of Bondi and into the rest of Sydney,” she says. “For catering you will have the option to have your bagels pre-made, or we put it all in a box and you can assemble them yourselves.”

Need more of a bagel fix? Check out Sydney’s top bagels here.