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What Bagels?


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.

Essex Bagels

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.

BB's Bagels and Diner

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
2 Locations:
770 McFarland Pkwy
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(770) 475-1818
BB's Diner on Urbanspoon

10995 State Bridge Road
Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph. 770-754-9595
BB's Bagels & Diner on Urbanspoon

Essex Bagels
11030 Medlock Bridge Rd Ste 160
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(770) 476-8214
Essex Bagels & Deli on Urbanspoon

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8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Michele // Feb 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Still can’t hold a sesame seed to the bagels at Bagelicious – BB’s are too large and not enough stuff on the everything to give them “tom” (flavor) as they would say in the old country. Also, if you notice every Bronx street sign is misspelled – too cute.

  • 2 Becky // Feb 7, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    For those who may not want to venture all the way to Alpharetta, I highly recommend a trip to Bagel Palace Deli and Bakery. Located much closer at 2869 N Druid Hills Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30329, this place can’t be beat! Authentic delicious bagels, including the new Whole Wheat Everything, with homemade veggie cream cheese is is must. Many other excellent menu items.

  • 3 Lorenzo // Feb 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Do any of these places make bialys?

  • 4 Michele // Feb 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Sad to report that while Bagelicious makes a bialy, it’s not the NY bialy of my blessed memory. If anyone finds one of those, complete with onion/garlic/brown sugar mix in the middle and chewy as can be, do let me know.

  • 5 neil // Feb 11, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    The best NY bialy can be found in Publix, in the frozen section, from Ray’s bagels. Comes in a package of 6 for 3.29 I have searched Atlanta for over 30 years for a good bialy, and this one is the winner

  • 6 Gail Margolies Reid // Feb 13, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Alas, I read the beginning of this post thinking something miraculous had happened in the ATL bagel world. I have made the trek to BBs at the recommendation of another food blogger. The size and crust are not that of an authentic NY bagel. And as this former Yankee can attest, chocolate anything has nothing to do with a bagel.

  • 7 Chuck // May 8, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    The best bialy you can find in the Atlanta area is at BBs Bagels. Beleive me I work there.

  • 8 Chuck // May 8, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    The best bialy you can find in the Atlanta area is at BBs Bagels. I’m from New York and I know what a good bialy tastes like and the closest one to that is at BBs. Beleive me I work there.

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