Not every restaurant or bakery makes its own bagels. The skill, artistry and technique of shaping, proofing, boiling and baking the bagel to a unique taste, chewy texture and shining finish is unlike any other baked good. The process was started in Poland 400 years ago and was repeated in major metropolitan areas of the United States. Here are five enterprises that make the best in bagels in Minnesota.
St. Paul Bagelry & Deli
1702 Lexington Ave. N.
Roseville, MN 55113
It is hard to find bagels that are moist and fluffy on the inside, but crispy-crunchy on the outside. Homegrown Minnesota sisters Peggy Teed and Dodie Green bake 3,000 of these New York-style bagels every day with mouth-watering goodness. Better yet, you can stop by to devour a delectable bagel sandwich for breakfast or lunch along with a choice beverage. Be sure to sample the homemade cream cheese. You will be tempted to take home a tub with a dozen bagels. You can also find these appealing breads at many Twin Cities local markets and food co-ops.
Common Roots Café
2558 Lyndale Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55405
“There are a lot of extra steps in baking a bagel, but having a fresh bagel out of the oven is worth it in the end,” owner Danny Schwartzman said. “We bake them every morning.” Common Roots has been offering bagels since 2007. The Café provides a “modern twist on the traditional deli, but bagels are a big part of what we sell,” Schwartzman said. Common Roots supports local and sustainable farmers and sound environmental practices.
Fulton Farmers Market
4901 Chowen Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55410
If your quest for a good bagel is yet unfulfilled, take the trek to Fulton Farmers Market where sisters Jen & Kate Lloyd are filling the Twin Cities bagel hole. They do this as Rise Bagel Co., making their bagels from scratch in a commercial kitchen in south Minneapolis. The sisters have searched high and wide from San Francisco to Montreal to New York to discover the secrets of selecting organic ingredients, shaping each by hand, first to boil in malt barley syrup and then to bake on wooden boards. Be sure to check their schedule, as they purvey their product at the Farmers Market in the summer followed by pop-up events at other times of the year.
Related: DeRusha Eats: Rise Bagels
National Choice Bakery
130 Hardman Ave. S.
South St Paul, MN 55075
Pick a package of bagels off the grocery store shelf and there is a good chance it is made right here in Minnesota. National Choice Bakery supplies local grocers with nationally branded bagels fresh out of the oven. To be sure, these bagels are made of select ingredients and traditional European techniques, first boiling in water and then baking with the genuine “hearth plate” method. It began in 1990 when Shimon Harosh and Michel Rouache began making fresh bagels for local trade as Twin City Bagel, Inc. The knack of their artistry was soon noticed by national brands, which quickly developed in partnerships to supply Minnesotans with many of the major brands of bagels we see on the shelf today.
651 Cleveland Ave S
Saint Paul, MN 55116
“I am not saying our bagel is the best, but people come to Cecil’s to buy our bagels because they like the way we make them,” David Leventhal said, the fourth generation of this family-owned deli. “We have made our bagels the same way for fifty years.” Leventhal steam bakes his bagels in pans. He says customers prefer the egg bagels and water bagels. Every bread and roll sold in this New York–style deli comes right out of Cecil’s ovens daily. Cecil’s chopped liver, soups, dressings, salads, desserts and latkes are also made from scratch.
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.