Bagels have a murky history. Although they’re believed to be related to the kaak, a ring-shaped Arabic biscuit, most agree that bagels as we know them originated in Poland in the 16th century – a byproduct of the prominent Jewish population there.

A couple of hundred years later, they headed westward – first to the beigel shops of London, then onwards to the bakeries and delis of New York City. And that’s where these boiled, baked beauties really took off. But it took a little while for the NYC-style bagel (and its smaller and sweeter cousin, the Montreal-style bagel) to reach our shores in large quantities.

But thanks to the persistence of bagel aficionados such as Michael Shafran in Marrickville, who’s been running Brooklyn Boy Bagels since 2013, and the hard work of bakers in the eastern suburbs (which is still the heartland of Sydney’s Jewish diaspora), we’ve seen an explosion of excellent bagel-based businesses in recent years. And they’re selling every style and topping imaginable.

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Lox in a Box

A hole-in-the-wall spot where you can grab chewy bagels stuffed with cured salmon or salted beef, with a side of crisps and pickles. Or grab house-made egg dip and schmears to take home.

2/96 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi

Wellington Cake Shop

Start your meal with a savoury bagel, finish it with a sweet Hungarian treat.

157 Bondi Road, Bondi

Iggy’s Bread of the World

No smears, no spreads simply bagels and bread.

145d Macpherson Street, Bronte

Lox Stock and Barrel

Served with traditional Jewish sides, chopped liver or lox?

140 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi

Small Talk

This laidback neighbourhood cafe in Dulwich Hill has a reputation for its great coffee – but its the fantastic baked goods that keep us coming back. There's a different type of pastry and focaccia to enjoy every day, plus some of the best bagels in town.

2 355 New Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill

Mensch Bagels

This Surry Hills bagelry is inspired by the bagels of New York icon Russ & Daughters. Owner Mike Samaha spent three years perfecting his recipe. The result? A small-but-mighty bagel that's crusty on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. Go for a classic filled with gravlax and cream cheese, or try one of the heftier steak or schnitty numbers.

475 Crown Street, Surry Hills