Blissful bagels: Local shops outshine franchise

Sam Sheridan

Manhattan may be the home to the original New York bagel, but you don’t need to cross the Brooklyn Bridge to find a good one. The Bark set out to find the best bagels north of the Golden Gate. The Bark reviewed bagels with the quintessential combination of cream cheese, lox, tomatoes, onions, and capers. We rated four locations based on taste, quality, and atmosphere: Barton’s Bagels, Noah’s Bagels, New York Bagels, and House of Bagels.

Barton’s Bagels (4 stars)

Barton’s Bagels is located in the busy streets of San Anselmo. While parking can be hard to find, Barton’s will quickly provide you with a superb bagel. The bagel was soft all the way through but wasn’t under toasted. The cream cheese

was perfectly smooth, not too fluffy or thick. The tomatoes were juicy and the onions gave the bagel a perfect crunch. Barton’s also used the right amount of lox, so the bagel wasn’t overpowered by a single ingredient. The ingredients gave it the perfect combination of creaminess, crunchiness, and smoothness which was held together by the distinctive taste of capers. A bagel with cream cheese, lox, tomatoes, onion, and capers costs $7.

New York Bagels (5 stars)

Barton's Bagels serves a crunchy bagel with lox, tomatoes, capers, and onions for $7 in downtown San Anselmo
Barton’s Bagels serves a crunchy bagel with lox, tomatoes, capers, and onions for $7 in downtown San Anselmo

New York Bagels, located at the Strawberry Shopping Center, is a convenient and easily accessible stop for Redwood students. New York Bagels had a quick line, short wait, and friendly staff. The interior was that of an authentic bagel shop, not a cookie cutter chain. My bagel was a large, hearty size that was filled with fresh, juicy tomatoes, smooth lox, thick cream cheese, and crunchy onions brought together by the capers. The bagel was slightly crunchy, more toasted than Barton’s or Noah’s, but wasn’t quite as warm. The bagel also had an ample amount of filling ingredients and was more satisfying than Barton’s and Noah’s. The lox bagel was $7, and a dozen is $9.

House of Bagels (3 stars)

House of Bagels is located in San Rafael next to the highway, and has a busy, urban atmosphere with a prominent open kitchen behind the register. The interior doesn’t have the nicest furniture, but the bench seats are comfortable, and various bagel-related posters line the walls. The bagel was crunchy on the outside, yet soft on the inside, It had the texture of a perfectly toasted bagel, but lacked warmth. The cream cheese was thick and smooth, making each bite substantial. The tomatoes and onions were quite flavorful, but weren’t evenly spread out, leaving some bites more oniony than others. The House of Bagels is a good example of what should be the baseline standard for a bagel place, earning 3.5 stars. A dozen bagels can be bought for $10, and a bagel with, lox, cream cheese, onions, tomatoes, and capers is $7.

Noah’s Bagels (2 stars)

Noah’s Bagels is conveniently located near Redwood at the Bon Air Shopping Center in Greenbrae, which allows students to travel to the restaurant for lunch. However, the bagels are mediocre, lacking the quality, flavor, and diverse textures of their competitors. The interior of the chain tried to emulate those found in a busy metropolitan bagel shop. Noah’s also messed up the order by adding extra ingredients that I specifically didn’t ask for. The bagel itself was too chewy, making each bite difficult. The capers overpowered the individual taste of the other ingredients, and the lox and tomato lacked characterizing flavor making them feel like added texture. A bagel with cream cheese, lox, tomato, onions, and capers is around $7.