We can’t say we’re surprised.
Yesterday, East Coast residents woke up to the shocking news that the New York Times, famed publication of the Empire State, has elected a distinctly Californian bagel shop for the title of “Best New York-style bagels.” It’s Boichik Bagels in Berkeley that took the confectionery throne, and New Yorkers aren’t too pleased about it.
NY Times restaurant critic and Brooklyn native Tejal Rao made the astonishing declaration in an article posted yesterday. She described Boichik Bagels as having “the look of Labrador puppies curled up for afternoon naps: soft and pudgy, golden roly-polys.”
“The bread has a comforting squish – thick but yielding, chewy but not densely so, with a shiny, sweet-and-salty crust and a rich, malty breath that fills up the bag before you even get home.”
Boichik Bagels is spearheaded by Emily Winston, a New Jersey native who strives to create bagels as delicious as those she enjoyed from New York institutions with her father. Upon the closure of her favorite H&H Bagels, she grieved their loss like the death of a loved one and began a quest to recreate the fluffy round delicacies on her own.
After extensive Google searches and years of trial-and-error home baking, Wilson opened Boichik Bagels in November of 2019 right near the UC Berkeley campus. Since then, it’s enjoyed the kind of bagel pride that Noah’s Bagels brought to the area 30 years prior, when Noah Alper opened up his first bagel shop on the exact same street corner at College and Alcatraz Avenues.
“Emily Winston’s bagels are some of the finest New-York style bagels I’ve ever tasted. They just happen to be made in Berkeley,” asserted Rao.
We can’t say we’re surprised that the best bagel could be found in California, but we were taken aback by a Berkley spot taking the crown. We can only assume that Rao has not sunk her teeth into the gourmet heaven found at Maury’s Bagels in L.A. And it turns out that Food and Wine agree, giving Maury’s the coveted title of “The Best Bagels Across America.”
So, while we can’t quite head out on an adventure up North to determine whether we back Rao’s choice of Boichik Bagels or not, we can head to the very best in the nation according to Food and Wine or 5 others that made the list in L.A.
[Featured Image: @boichikbagels via Instagram]