If the weather reports are right, we’ve got a big blizzard on the way. That means it’s time to stock up on the essentials – milk, eggs and bagel shop bagels. If you’ve never left the Garden State for a significant amount of time, you may not realize just how lucky we are. I spent a summer in California and had to drive 40 minutes to get to a bagel shop, and it was a chain. The bagels were good, but not New Jersey good. Here are 12 beloved bagel spots that will leave you feeling glad to be from New Jersey. Please note that they’re listed in no particular order:
1. Wonder Bagels - 6 Locations In Jersey City
Made from scratch, bagels are baked throughout the day. Boiled, then baked at 500 degrees, they're crispy on the outside yet fluffy on the inside. A local favorite for 20 years, they also offer breakfast sandwiches, paninis, salads, wraps, omelettes and more.
2. Bagel University - 1406 S. Main Road, Vineland
This creative bagel joint is open daily for breakfast and lunch. Pictured is a Valentine's Day special with strawberry chocolate cream cheese, but they've got a bunch of innovative options all year. Sandwiches are inspired by universities like Rowan (smoked turkey, American cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayo) and Seton Hall (smoked turkey, provolone, roasted peppers, Italian dressing); the University of Miami is a traditional Cuban sandwich with roast pork, swiss, ham, mustard and pickles. Be sure to top your bagel with one of their amazing cream cheese flavors like Oreo, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Buffalo Chicken and the flavor of the week.
3. Bagels-4-U - Warren, Short Hills, East Hanover, Metuchen, Bernardsville, Kenilworth, Livingston, Hillsborough, Lamington, Raritan
This North/Central New Jersey chain serves up spectacular hand rolled, kettle boiled bagels. A great go-to breakfast and lunch spot, they offer a variety of sandwiches, specialty drinks, soups, salads and smoothies. For something deliciously different, try the French Toast or Trail Mix bagels. The muffins are also a fan favorite.
4. Bagel Station - 342 Lafayette Road, Sparta
This popular spot crafts perfectly textured bagels worth waiting for. The selection is sizable and their bakery treats are equally as delightful. The crumb cake is a favorite though each dessert is full of flavor. You'll love the service and the blueberry bagels, as well.
5. Round Dough With A Hole - 400 Richmond Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach
I love the name, but that's not enough to make a bagel shop great. Luckily, this spot serves up crispy bagels that are buttery soft inside. Yum! Another perk - these bagels are big and the shop is generous with toppings. Try a pork roll sandwich here, it's a fan favorite.
6. Bagel Nosh - 24 East Prospect Street, Waldwick
They've got great bagels and breakfast sandwiches along with another important quality - consistency. Their bialys are equally as amazing and you can count on their friendly staff. Try one of their specialty cream cheeses, you won't be disappointed.
7. Victoria's Bagel Bistro - 3131 Route 38 & Larchmont Boulevard, Mount Laurel
This bagel joint is all about options. Choose from 20 different bagels, including a fun flavor of the week, and a variety of toppings. They've got an amazing chicken salad sandwich, friendly service and free wifi. If you're a fan of spicy foods, top your bagel with their jalapeno spread.
8. Bagels & Beyond - Surf City, Brant Beach, Beach Haven West, Manahawkin, Mystic Island, Yardville
This LBI-area chain has been in business for over 20 years and offers a sizable menu that goes beyond bagels. While locals love their nova lox and cream cheese bagels, take a tasty risk and try their gourmet cream cheese flavors; honey almond and spinach verde are just two of their dozen plus options. In addition to omelettes and breakfast wraps, you'll find grilled goodies like hamburgers and cheesesteaks.
9. River Road Hot Bagels - 13-30 River Road, Fair Lawn
If you only ever eat one thing here, make it a taylor ham, egg and cheese sandwich. Reviewers can't stop raving about them and for good reason, they're a gift from the breakfast meat gods. They also offer deli meats sliced to order and the bagels are always fresh and fluffy.
10. Sharky's Bagels - 4 Somerdale Road, Blackwood
This sharked-themed bagel joint offers lunch specials like The Great White (ham, turkey, roast beef, Swiss cheese, American cheese, lettuce, tomato & roasted peppers on a bagel, roll or wrap) and The Shark Bite (French dip, roast beef, provolone cheese & sauteed onions), served with a bag of chips for $6.99. Even the plain bagels are full of flavor and you can create your own sandwich on one for 6.49, including chips. If you're going the bagel only route, try the super cinnamon raisin or the bacon-egg-cheese.
11. Rosko's Bagels & Waffles - 740 Brewers Bridge Road, Jackson
One visit here and you'll keep coming back for more. They're masters at bagel art (the heart-shaped bagels on Valentine's Day were flawless) and the flavor is fantastic. While you're here, be sure to try the waffles... or anything else, everything is delicious.
12. Main Street Bagels & Deli - 26 Main Street, Flemington
Friendly staff, yummy bagels and fair prices - what more could you ask for? Though they stick to the basics, they do them right, and they also offer sandwiches and a full service deli.
This list is only just the start. What’s your favorite bagel joint in New Jersey? Share with me in the comments and maybe it will make it into part two. For more circular treats in the Garden State, check out this
New Jersey Donut Road Trip.