BEST OF LAIST

The 11 Best Bagels In Los Angeles

While some East Coast transplants would have you believe that there aren't any bagels in L.A. that can compare to their exalted childhood favorites, we beg to differ. From decades-old institutions to new-school offerings, Los Angeles offers plenty of excellent bagels as long as you know where to look. So, whether you're looking for a loaded everything bagel with lox or just a straightforward plain with cream cheese to start your morning, here are our favorite bagel bakers around town.

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Everything bagels!! (via Facebook)

BAGEL FACTORY

Operating since 1983, this kosher-certified bakery offers Angelenos three locations to line up for their deliciously addictive bagels. Heck, they even have their own jazzy video to get you in the mood for carb-fueled bliss. Boiled then baked to a wonderfully crisp exterior with a dense yet fluffy interior, you'll find all the classic flavors, plus twists for the adventurous like blueberry and tomato basil. While we're here telling you how to bagel, we recommend throwing a few hearty Black Russians into your dozen. And if you're looking for a slightly less filling option—or just a snack while you bring a bag home—they offer mini bagels as well. You can opt for one of their various regular and light cream cheeses or go big with one of their excellent bagel sandwiches. We also advise leaving room for one of their rotating homemade soups to pair with your bagel and grab a loaf of freshly baked challah bread if you stop by on Thursday or Friday.

Bagel Factory is located at 3004 S. Sepulveda Boulevard, West L.A., (310) 477-8460; 8986 Cadillac Avenue, Beverlywood, (310) 837-6046; and 21221 Hawthorne Boulevard, Torrance, (310) 540-2077.

BAGEL BROKER

This family-run bagel purveyor has been brightening mornings and winning over East Coast transplants since 1987 with their finely crafted rings. If you're timing is right, you can grab one that's fresh out of the oven, but even if a little toasting is required the Broker knows just the right timing. Their bagels offer a slightly crisp exterior that gives way easily to the pillowy center. And if you're the sort that prefers an everything, poppy, or sesame bagel, you'll find the exterior densely packed with seeds. Their bagel flavors include the classic offerings and whipped cream cheeses you've come to know and love, plus their flavored spreads are speckled with substantial cuts of ingredients, including the lox option (no mere pink-hued spread here). And you won't find any wraps or other distractions on the menu, just a great selection of egg-centric breakfast options and nicely-priced bagel sandwiches. Even the Nova lox sandwich comes in under $10—not a common sight. As an added bonus, their baker's dozen features 14 bagels, so we strongly recommend that you stock up.

Bagel Broker is located at 7825 Beverly Boulevard, Fairfax District, (323) 931-1258

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We want ALL the bagels (via Facebook)

BROOKLYN BAGEL BAKERY

One of our favorite bagel spots ran into an unfortunate jam last May when the wall of their retail spot on Beverly Boulevard began to crumble like a stale bagel. Thankfully, no one was hurt and we can still enjoy their delicious bagels at classic delis around town, including Nate n Al's, Canter's, Factor's, Art's, Langer's, and Izzy's. Plus, they just got approval from the city to renovate the damaged retail spot. Brookyln Bagel Bakery has been turning out stellar bagels since 1953. They offer an astounding array of choices from the traditional to the modern, including the amazing pizza bagel and onion-cheese combo. And if you're looking for a lighter, fluffier option, you can go for the pan-baked water bagel. We'll have to wait for the retail shop to reopen for the full offering, but in the meantime, we'll get our fix at the deli.

Brooklyn Bagel Bakery will eventually reopen at 2217 Beverly Boulevard, Historic Filipinotown, (213) 413-4114.

NEW YORK BAGEL & DELI

Any New York transplants who insist that there are no good bagels in L.A., might want to pay New York Bagel & Deli owner Brian Gruntz a little visit. The Brooklyn-born Gruntz and his team turn out quality bagels that should make any homesick New Yorker proud. Both no-frills locations open early—Santa Monica at 5 a.m. and Mar Vista at 6 a.m.—and turn out fresh batches of fluffy rings in all the classic varieties throughout the day. The Santa Monica location offers several tables to sit and eat, while the Mar Vista spot is more of a grab-and-go operation with a few seats outside (or you could always grab a stool next door at Lost & Found, the old man bar that also opens at 6 a.m.). You can stick with the reliable cream cheese selections, or opt for an egg sandwich or go for a bagel sandwich piled high with Boar's Head cuts.

New York Bagel & Deli is located at 2216 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, (310) 828-3228; and 11700 National Boulevard, Mar Vista, (310) 391-6226.

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Breakfast is served (via Facebook)

WESTERN BAGEL

Considered the first bagel bakery in Los Angeles, Western Bagel first opened in 1947 when Bronx-born owner David Ustin—who spent his youth working in a bagel factory with his dad—heard there were no good bagels in California. Ustin is also credited with developing what the eponymous "western" style bagel now commonly found in California, which is slightly bigger and less dense than the typical New York rendition. Over the years Western Bagel has expanded around the L.A. area—mostly in the San Fernando Valley—but is still a local operation with just shy shy of a dozen locations. Kettle boiled and then hearth baked, their bagels offer a bit of a malty quality that's deeply satisfying. You'll find all the usual bagel hits, plus some nice twists like pizza everything, sprouted wheat and the seasonal pumpkin. They also offer some gluten-free options and a reduced-carb alternative, which some Angelenos love despite what purists might say.

Western Bagel has multiple locations.

NEW YORK BAGEL CAFE

Not many bagel joints can promise a comedy show or karaoke with a freshly baked bagel. But this recently revamped neighborhood gem in Sherman Oaks is anything but typical, starting with the fact that owner Daveed refers to the bohemian-inspired haunt as a "spaceship." To perfect their excellently tender bagels, the shop swears by its reverse osmosis remineralization and magnetization water filtration system, which they also use for their coffee. So, if you're someone who believes that the water makes the bagel, this is your spot. While they don't have the widest selection of bagel varieties, you'll find reliable classics. Plus, they have a hot dog wrapped in a bagel and a fully loaded pizza bagel if you're wanting to hit that childhood sweet spot.

New York Bagel Cafe is located at 14423 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, (818) 714-2282.

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Yeastie Boys' "#2" bagel sandwich with smoked salmon. (Photo by Jean Trinh/LAist)

YEASTIE BOYS

We love a good bagel shop that also has a thirst for puns. Yeastie Boys recently expanded from just slinging their hand-rolled bagels from their roaming food truck to having a brick-and-mortar spot nestled inside Alfred {In The Alley} in West Hollywood. The thing about Yeastie Boys is that you'll never find a day-old bagel here. They use a nearly two-day process to make their bagels, which come out plump, chewy and moist. While purists can get their plain, poppy, sesame or everything bagels with a house-made cream cheese, what we love most are Yeastie Boys' sandwich creations. At their truck, which hits up spots like Stumptown, Dinosaur and Verve throughout the week, you can get their more punk rock creations like beer cheese and jalapeño spread on a cheddar bagel. Their new brick-and-mortar spot carries their more gourmet bagel sandwiches like maple-roasted butternut squash with a honey chipotle cream cheese and crispy prosciutto; or a smoked salmon with dill and a chili avocado spread. —Jean Trinh

Yeastie Boys is located inside Alfred {In The Alley} at 8509 Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. Check their website for more info on where their food truck runs.

SAM'S BAGELS

Noah's Bagels may be just down the street, but Sam's Bagels is our first choice when we're out in Larchmont Village. This cute mom-and-pop shop does bagels right: they're fresh plumpers with a nice chewiness and crispy exterior. Plus, they have a variety of different types of bagels—from jalapeño to cinnamon raisin and sun-dried tomato—and different kinds of schmears, including veggie and chive cream cheeses. If you'd like an extra oomph to your bagel, they have plenty of sandwich options like a turkey, bacon avocado combo or lox. Just remember to be patient when you're in line because this place is oftentimes packed. Some things are worth waiting for. —Jean Trinh

Sam's Bagels is located at 150 N Larchmont Boulevard, Larchmont Village, (323) 469-1249

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Rise and shine at Milo & Olive (via Facebook)

MILO & OLIVE

While not your typical bagel outfit, the bakery of this Santa Monica hotspot nonetheless turns out some of the best in town. Their wood-fired oven turns out wonderfully golden and crisp bagels with an air-pocketed, chewy center. Just be sure to get there early, as they sell out quickly in the mornings. You can opt for the excellently rich butter or the house cream cheese. If you're feeling fancy, kick things up a notch with the combo of creme fraiche, sliced cucumbers, red onion, and cherry tomatoes, as well as the house-cured salmon when available. You're also probably going to want to grab a few of their delicious pastries as well.

Milo & Olive is located at 2723 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, (310) 453-6776.

BAGEL NOSH

This Santa Monica institution has been luring loyal bagel lovers by the droves since opening in 1978. The Nosh bagels are slightly bigger than most bagels around town and offer an interior that is a bit fluffier most, while still offering a crisp crust. It's an excellent combination. You'll find the usual bagel flavors, plus some rotating seasonal variations. There's always the bagel sandwich option for breakfast or lunch, or you can choose from an extensive menu selection and have a bagel on the side. The line can get pretty long, but generally moves quickly, though you can always call ahead to speed up the process. They also offer local delivery if you just can't muster the strength to get out of bed for a dozen on the weekend.

Bagel Nosh is located at 1629 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, (310) 451-8771.

MANHATTAN BEACH BREAD & BAGEL

This welcoming, family-run spot draws a serious crowd on weekend—and most weekday—mornings, and with good cause. Since 1992, they've been turning out flavor-packed bagels with a dense and chewy center. They offer the classic varieties, plus a few California-friendly twists like the kale bagel—which may not be for everyone, at least offers a fun variety. You can keep it simple with the toppings, but they also do an excellent job with their generous bagel sandwiches, including the smoked salmon. And don't forget a loaf of sourdough to go.

Manhattan Beach Bread & Bagel is located at 1812 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, Manhattan Beach, (310) 545-7553.