Archived Q&A and Reviews



Organic bagels in Berkeley?

Sept 2011

I've been hoping to find good bagels baked in Berkeley, made from organic ingredients, to no avail. The Parent's Net archive's last listing is from 2007 and says nothing about 'organic'. Has anyone seen good organic bagels, baked in Berkeley? Or nearby? Thanks! Nils

Berkeley Bowl is now selling organic bagels made by Spot Bagel. They are delicious! enjoy

Haven't tried either of these yet but heard they're both good: fellow bagel lover

I don't know about baked in Berkeley, but the bakery in Market Hall in Rockridge just switched to an organic, local bagel baker. This is a half- hearted recommendation, because I don't like them much. On the other hand, I'm a wheat bagel person. Lots of people screw up wheat bagels. So maybe their white-flour bagels are better...? They're definitely organic. A sad bagel lover

Check out I've seen them at the Berkeley Bowl. I believe it's all organic.

Where have all the good bagels gone?

May 2007

Where have all the good bagels gone? Boogie Woogie Bagel on Gilman is now Berkeley Bagel and not so good anymore. Can't abide Noah's fluffy bagels. Where else is out there, especially between El Cerrito & Berkeley? NY bagel seeker

If you want NY bagels, just buy NY bagels. I'm quite serious. We buy them here: In large quantities, they don't cost much more than buying local, and they keep very well in the freezer. Elizabeth

My Tri-State friend who now lives here (and doesn't like Noah's either) goes out of her way and drives to 4th Street in Berkeley. She buys her bagels at Manhatten Bagels there, just south of the Crate and Barrel outlet. anon

I love the bagels at Manhattan Bagels on 4th Street, right next to Crate and Barrel. They are chewy and crisp on the outside. I agree that Noah's are too bready! bagel snob

I'm a New Yorker too, and nothing here approaches H or the its ilk, but I like both Manhattan bagels (on 4th Street near the Crate & Barrel outlet) and Saul's. Neither is fluffy in that Noah's or supermarket bagel way, although Manhattan bagels have their better days and their worse days for approaching fluffiness. Saul's are the densest if that's your criterion. If you're really desperate, H will overnight you two dozen for $59.95, or more bagels at somewhat decreasing per-bagel prices (if you buy 144, for instance, your per-bagel price drops to $1.67, but then you'd have to buy a second freezer to boot)! Nancy

We like Manhattan bagels on 4th street in Berkeley. My New York partner likes them, maybe you will too. Melanie mel [at]

Best bagels in the Bay Area are:
Izzy's Brooklyn Bagels 151 Townsend Street San Francisco, CA 94107 (415) 543-0900

manhattan bagel on 4th st

Where to find a good (non-Noah's) bagel?

Dec 2004

We are always looking for a good source for fresh, NY-style bagels on the weekends and are at a loss. (We would prefer not to have to buy them in advance from the Berkeley Bowl.) My husband is an east coast Jew and does not consider Noah's Bagels to be anything close to authentic -- we want them boiled, not steamed! When his sister comes to visit us, we are embarassed by the paltry selection. Surely there are many others in the parents network who agree with us. a shiksa who wants real bagels

Boogie Woogie Bagle Boy - locations in Alameda, Albany and North Berkeley; House of Bagels in Alameda; Grand Bakery on Grand Ave, Oakland; and the bagels they have at the Market Hall Bakery on College - they all pass our test - boiled, not steamed; chewy, and no silly flavors. Another Bagel Mom

Boogie Woogie Bagels are the best in the area, I think. I agree that Noah's are unsatisfactory -- far too puffy. Unfortunately, Boogie Woogie closed its Piedmont Ave. store (the building was demolished and is being re-built as a much bigger, multi-biz deal and apparently on the 10-year plan) and the only store I know of is on Gilman. There may be one in Alameda, too, but they are both too far for me to go very often. BUt the bagels are swell. Wendy Woolpert

Try Manhattan Bagel on 4th Street in Berkeley, or Levy's Bagels in Lafayette. sick of Noahs

I totally agree with your husband. We like Manhattan bagels (Fourth St. in Berkeley) the best. Bagels from Boogie Woogie Bagel Boy on Gilman are also good. Liz O.

my husband is from Lawn Gisland and although not Jewish, is extremely picky about bagels. our hands-down favorite is Katz Bagels in SF (downtown, 606 Mission btwn 1st & 2nd, or in the Mission district, 3147 16th St. btwn Guerrero and Valencia, both handy to BART, although downtown is closed on weekends). we liked them so much we had them at our wedding brunch! east bay, there is also Manhattan Bagels on Fourth St. in Berkeley. not as good as Katz's IMHO. Chi-An

I think the bagels from Boogie Woogie Bagel on Gilman near Santa Fe next to Toot Sweet are the very, very best (or next best to my favorite haunt in Manhattan). Laura

The Grand Avenue Bakery, an actual kosher institution, on Grand near the Grand Lake Theater. They are closed on Saturdays and I think Mondays and for all major and minor Jewish holidays. Their bagels even taste a little like Moishe's... anon

I'm afraid I have to say: For true New York bagels, go to New York. Or at least Chicago or Los Angeles. Alas, I haven't been able to find a proper dense, chewy bagel here either. I heard once that not only do true bagels have to boiled (and most aren't these days), they really need to be made by hand because machines can't handle the dense dough. The closest thing I've found so far in the east bay is Boogie Woogie Bagel Boy on Gilman in Berkeley. I think they're open weekends. Love real bagels too

I couldn't agree more about Noah's--wonder bread with holes, as a friend of mine describes them. We think the best bagels around are at Boogie Woogie Bagel Boys (formerly Brothers Bagel).

They have shops on Gilman and in Alameda on Park (on the right side of the street, a couple of blocks past the corner with the new Peet's coffee). They also have a shop currently being rebuilt on Piedmont Ave., but it's been under construction for some time and I don't know when they plan to reoopen.

About the bagels--chewy on the outside, doughy on the inside. Yum. They also have a killer whitefish salad.... Midwest Jew married to shiksa bagel lover :)

I love Manhattan Bagels on Fourth Street, next to Crate and Barrel.

Me and my New York friends all agree that the BEST bagel in the East Bay is Boogie Woogie Bagels on Gilman St. in Berkeley. They even have bialys and salt bagels. Yummm!! Noah's bagels are just bread with a hole. anon

What about Boogie Woogie Bagel Boy. There is one on Gilman in Berkeley and one I think on Piedmont in Oakland. Mimi

I'm in agreement about Noah's Bagels. Ugh. I like the bagel place on Gilman at Key Route, near Toot Sweets and the WestBrae Deli. It used to be Boogie Woogie Bagel Boy -- not sure if that's still it's name. Happy Noshing

I'm not a bagel expert, but we like the Boogie Woogie Bagel Boy brand. They are boiled the traditional way. There's a shop on Gilman in Berkeley. There used to be one on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. That space is being rebuilt; I'm hoping they return there soon, as it is close to our house. In the meantime we do buy them at the Berkeley Bowl--they freeze quite well. Don't like Noah's either

definitely boogie woogie bagels. they're on Solano, and in Alameda (I think on Park) sort of a schlep, but worth it. andrea g