So you already know by now. The best bagels in Atlanta are not in Atlanta. They’re in Alpharetta. All of them. These elusive bagels — because if you live in the city, you must fight traffic, make the 45-minute trek up north and make sure you get there before 2PM OR have a good friend named Chloe aka the bagel fairy who makes deliveries to in town friends — are made the traditional, old-fashioned, New York City way. Hand rolled and kettle boiled. The result is a shiny, chewy bagel that’s dense and firm yet airy and spongy. These unique bagels (the size of a small child’s head) are hand-rolled (and hand-formed), boiled in a kettle, then baked. The boiling process creates a distinct, moist, sweetish crust absent on mass-produced versions. Not only is the process unique, the appearance is, too. Most have completely no holes!
What used to be Bitchin’ is now Bronx. More family-friendly name, I guess. These bagels were started by a couple, the Siinos, who moved here from New York. Their main baker started his craft at New York City Deli & Bagels which was also in Alpharetta. Many years after, in what would be the ultimate homage to their craft, the Siinos took over the NYC Deli location and transformed it into their second BB’s location which just opened recently.
A few miles down the road, another hand-roller/kettle-boiler joint entered the scene about two years ago: Essex Bagels. There has been a lot of denying on Essex’s part but I was told by BB’s baker himself that he makes the dough and hand-rolls them for Essex. I spend a lot of time equally on both places. Although the appearance and texture are identical, the recipe isn’t exactly the same. BB’s are slightly sweeter. I like them both.
Every single flavor is fantastic. Chocolate chip and French toast are good enough for dessert. Sun-dried tomato and Veggie both taste like they have tomatoes and veggies in them. The blueberry? Yes, it tastes like blueberries. Salt, Garlic, Pumpernickel, and Everything? Get ready for a sensation of flavors (and scents). Of course, the Plain, Wheat, and Egg are amazing. Their homemade cream cheeses are delicious. Try the scallion, lox, and chocolate chip.
But wait. These bagels on steroids aren’t the only thing good at these places. Breakfasts are, too. Grits are made from scratch, omelets are fluffy, corned beef hash is chunky and tasty, biscuits are flaky. Oh, and let’s not forget about the Taylor ham. A great contender to the Canadian bacon, this pork roll is sliced thin then grilled. Yummy. By the way, try the bagel pizza at Essex. Available only upon request.
Don’t take my word for it. Go for the bagels. And breakfast. Just go.
BB’s Bagels & Diner
Open daily from 6AM – 2PM
770 McFarland Pkwy
Alpharetta, GA 30004
10995 State Bridge Road
Alpharetta, GA 30022
11030 Medlock Bridge Rd Ste 160
Johns Creek, GA 30097
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