Skip to content
Home » A Guide to Chicago’s Best Bagel Shops and Delis

A Guide to Chicago’s Best Bagel Shops and Delis

Chicago is renowned for its delicious food scene – and bagels are no exception! From plain to seeded to lox with cream cheese, there’s a bagel for everyone. Let’s explore some of the best bagel shops and delis in the city.

New York Bagel & Bialy Corporation has been serving up authentic New York-style bagels since 1950. Their bagels are acclaimed for their chewy texture and flavorful crust.

The Bagelers Coffeehouse is a local favorite. They offer creative flavors like cinnamon raisin swirl and everything bagel seasoned with garlic, onion, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Enjoy your bagel with their house-made schmears or as a sandwich.

Beatrix bakery & Cafe offers a modern take on bagels, like their “Green Chili & Cheese Bagel” made with hatch chiles and melted cheddar cheese. They use high-quality ingredients sourced locally.

If you’re looking for an upscale experience, check out Milt’s Extra Innings. They have an impressive “Bagel Board” – a charcuterie-style platter with smoked fish, cream cheeses, and all the trimmings.

If you’re in Chicago, don’t miss out on these fantastic bagel spots!

The Importance of Bagels in Chicago

Chicagoans treasure bagels. They’re an essential part of the city’s culinary culture – comfort, authenticity, and nostalgia all rolled into one.

It’s easy to see how important bagels are in Chicago – from traditional New York-style to rainbow-colored varieties, there are plenty of local shops that have been serving up delicious bagels for decades.

Each shop is proud of their craftsmanship. Bagels are made by hand, with recipes passed down through generations. That’s how you get the perfect texture – chewy inside and golden outside.

In Chicago, there’s a preference for topping bagels. Cream cheese and butter are out; lox, tomatoes, onions, and capers are in! It’s all about creating a savory flavor experience.

If you’re visiting Chicago, you must try the city’s bagel culture. Take a tour of the neighborhoods and find hidden gems. There are locals who swear by their favorite spots.

Indulge in a fresh-baked bagel. Enjoy the aroma, the texture, and the communal experience of eating a bagel in Chicago. It’s a joy you can’t miss. Find your favorite spot and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Criteria for Evaluating Bagel Shops and Delis

Evaluating bagel shops and delis has several factors to consider. Quality of the bagels is important. They should be fresh-baked, with a crunchy crust and soft center. Variety of flavors and toppings matters too – for a range of tastes and preferences. Plus, the atmosphere of the shop should be cozy and pleasant.

Let’s delve into these criteria:

  1. Bagel Quality: Freshly-baked, with a crispy crust and chewy center.
  2. Variety of Flavors: Different options for every taste.
  3. Toppings: A range of delightful choices to go with the bagels.
  4. Ambiance: A welcoming atmosphere for a great dining experience.

Furthermore, customer service is also important. Courteous, knowledgeable staff can help customers choose and make a great impression.

To illustrate this, I remember a deli in an alley in Chicago. The scent of fresh-baked bagels filled the air as soon as I entered. The owner was proud of their family recipe, making each bite packed with flavor and history. This was a great example of finding hidden gems in the city.

By considering criteria like bagel quality, flavor variety, toppings, ambiance, customer service, and personal stories, you’ll be ready to explore Chicago’s bagel scene without missing out on anything!

Top 5 Bagel Shops in Chicago

Chicago is renowned for its diverse cuisine and when it comes to bagels, the city does not disappoint. Check out this list of the top 5 bagel shops in Chicago for serious cravings!

  • The Bagel Hut: Located downtown, The Bagel Hut has traditional New York-style bagels with various flavors and toppings. It’s a favorite among locals and visitors.
  • Artisan Bagels: Get creative with unique flavor combos like bacon and cheddar or blueberry cream cheese. This spot takes bagels to the next level!
  • Toasted & Co.: Get a modern twist on classic bagels with gourmet ingredients like smoked salmon, avocado, and feta cheese. Deliciousness guaranteed.
  • Bagel Heaven: This place lives up to its name with an array of freshly-baked bagels and spreads. A true bagel paradise.
  • The Bagelry: Get Montreal-style bagels here, hand-rolled and boiled in honey-infused water. Enjoy the chewy-crispy texture.

These shops stand out for their commitment to quality ingredients. Try The Bagel Hut’s signature sandwich – pastrami, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese on a toasted bagel. Artisan Bagels has a limited edition maple bacon bagel – smoky-sweet combo. At Toasted & Co., make your own bagel. And don’t miss Bagel Heaven’s garlic and herb cream cheese. Lastly, The Bagelry has a cinnamon raisin bagel with honey walnut cream cheese – sweet and nutty!

Unlock Chicago’s best bagel shops and try traditional or unique flavors. Enjoy your culinary adventure!

Honorable Mentions

In Chicago’s bagel realm, there are a few spots that don’t make the top rankings, yet still deserve recognition. From Stella’s Bagels in Logan Square, offering creative flavors and toppings, to Rosen’s Deli in South Loop with hand-rolled fresh bagels, to the Bagelers Coffeehouse in Uptown – combining bagels and coffee – to Chicago Bagel Authority with bold flavors – and Kaufman’s Bagel & Delicatessen in Skokie with its old-school charm – these spots are worth checking out.

For those seeking unique spins or nostalgic vibes, it is recommended to visit during off-peak hours to avoid long lines and engage with the staff for insights. Whether you’re local or a visitor, explore Chicago’s bagel shops and delis with an open mind and indulge in the delightful world of bagels.

Popular Delis to Visit in Chicago

Chicago’s got quite the selection of delis for you to check out. From traditional to unique twists, these popular spots have got it all. Whether you’re looking for a classic experience or something new, here are some delis you won’t want to miss!

  1. Manny’s Cafeteria & Delicatessen: Serving customers for over 75 years, Manny’s is a must-visit for their hearty sandwiches and homemade comfort food. Don’t forget to try their famous corned beef sandwich!
  2. Eleven City Diner: For a modern take on classic Jewish deli dishes, head to this retro-style diner. Matzo ball soup and pastrami sandwiches await!
  3. The Bagel Restaurant & Deli: Get your fill of fresh New York-style bagels here. Cream cheeses and tasty sandwiches made with quality ingredients also available.
  4. Kaufman’s Delicatessen: Come for the old-world charm and stay for the overstuffed sandwiches and pickles. Deliciousness awaits since 1955.
  5. Freedom’s Choice Deli: Gourmet sandwiches and salads made with locally sourced ingredients? Sign us up! Plus, don’t forget to try their homemade soups.
  6. The Goddess and Grocer: The perfect spot for both good food and unique groceries. Creative sandwiches and fresh salads, here you come!

No matter which deli you choose, you won’t be disappointed. Each one offers its own unique atmosphere and flavors, leaving you wanting more. Bon app tit!

Tips for Ordering the Perfect Bagel

When it comes to the perfect bagel, there are certain things to note. Firstly, be clear on what you want – plain, or with everything? Second, size matters – bigger for a more substantial meal, or smaller for a snack. Then, specify how toasted you like it – lightly, or crispy? And don’t forget to think about toppings or spreads – from cream cheese to lox, the options are endless!

Now, for some unique details. Cream cheese can be flavored – like chive or strawberry – for an extra burst of flavor. If you’re feeling adventurous, try different types of bagels – Asiago cheese, cinnamon raisin, etc.

I once had the joy of ordering a custom-made bagel sandwich at a deli in Chicago. The staff took my order seriously and every ingredient was in its place. It was amazingly yummy and it highlighted the importance of ordering the ideal bagel.


The bagel scene in Chicago is a foodie’s delight. From timeless classics to one-of-a-kind creations, there’s something for everyone. Each shop is special, making it hard to pick a favorite.

In downtown Chicago, there’s Bagels R Us. Locals and tourists flock to the shop for the aroma of their secret recipe. The bagels have a crispy outside and a soft inside. Top them with cream cheese or a savory spread delicious!

For a nostalgic experience, visit Deli Delights in historic Lincoln Park. Their bagels are made the traditional way, with quality ingredients. They have a chewiness you won’t find elsewhere. Try the variety of fillings and toppings for an amazing taste adventure.

But the real hidden gem is Bagel Haven in Lakeview. It’s small and family-owned, but the bagels are something special. Baked with organic ingredients from local farmers, they have a freshness that’s unbeatable.

I met Maggie at Bagel Haven one sunny morning. She told me the story behind their Chicago skyline bagels. Each one is handmade to resemble the city’s architecture. And it was amazing to watch her craft each bagel with skill and artistry.

Chicago’s bagel scene is full of flavor. Whether you want a classic or something new, the city’s best shops will satisfy. So, explore the many bagel options that Chicago has to offer you won’t be disappointed!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where can I find the best bagel shops and delis in Chicago?

A: Some of the best bagel shops and delis in Chicago include The Bagel, New York Bagel & Bialy Corporation, and Beatrix Market.

Q: What makes these bagel shops and delis the best in Chicago?

A: These bagel shops and delis are known for their freshly baked bagels, wide variety of toppings, and authentic deli-style sandwiches that are made with high-quality ingredients.

Q: Do these bagel shops and delis offer gluten-free options?

A: Yes, some of these bagel shops and delis do offer gluten-free options for customers with dietary restrictions. It’s recommended to check their menus or call ahead for specific options.

Q: Can I place an order for pickup or delivery?

A: Yes, most of these bagel shops and delis offer both pickup and delivery options for customer convenience. You can either place an order online or call them directly to arrange the details.

Q: Are these bagel shops and delis family-friendly?

A: Absolutely! These bagel shops and delis are known for their welcoming and family-friendly atmospheres. They offer seating areas, high chairs, and kid-friendly menu options.

Q: Do these bagel shops and delis cater for events or parties?

A: Yes, many of these bagel shops and delis provide catering services for events and parties. They offer a variety of platters, sandwiches, and sides that can be customized to suit your needs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *