Back on March 8th, The New York Times claimed that “The Best Bagels Are In California (Sorry, New York)”. As somebody who considers herself an expert in bagel bae goals 🥯 I had to check them out – Boichik Bagels is located just across the San Francisco Bay in Berkeley.
…but after the popularity of the article, they were booked solid for a full month! The first day they had available for preorder was April 11 – so my husband Micah and I took it.
It’s lucky we did, on Sunday when picked up our babies the line literally looped around the block. Plain, Onion, Salt & Pepper, Everything, Pumperthingel. And with a dozen, one free! A true baker’s dozen. A tub of chive cream cheese and a tub of their pink label whipped cream cheese. We’re in heaven.
Here’s what we thought of each!
Very good toasted AND untoasted – chewy and fluffy, perfectly crisp on the outside. No pictures could capture the smell of these bagels – it lingers from the bag the entire day after you bring them home.
My husband’s favorite flavor – he actually preferred these untoasted, as the crispy/chewy/fluffiness had no need to be assisted by a toast. The bagel was perfect on its own.
Salt & Pepper
My husband’s least favorite of the bunch — he says they’re too salty and not peppery enough (he puts loads of pepper on everything, though). I loved the amount of salt – I frequently feel bagels are missing a bit of salt, and this quantity was near pretzel proportions. The black pepper added a bit of a bite to every bite.
My favorite flavor, my everything. It offers less “everything” than my hometown favorite – and that left me thoroughly disappointed! Maybe I’m a sucker for my hometown, but there’s something about the excessive topping mixed with the spackled cream cheese.
Maybe New York Times hasn’t been to Amesbury, Massachusetts? I do admit these bagels are lighter than air – a mash of this bread recipe and the excessive topping a la Massachusetts would make this perfect.
Despite my feelings on their everything bagel, the amount of everything on the pumpernickel bagel SINGS. The two compliment each other so well, the everything flavor only heightens their hearty pumpernickel.
Chive Cream Cheese
Clearly my husband enjoyed this one, because this is the damage done to the tub on the first day. Whipped, light, fluffy – I personally prefer chive to plain cream cheese to bring out the flavor of most bagels. And whipped, imo, is even better – not too heavy, just makes for a light, crunchy, fluffy, heavenly bagel.
Pink Label Whipped Cream Cheese
Light & fluffy, the freshest cream cheese I think I’ve ever had. If the bagels are breaking the bank, you can just use your home spread – while the cream cheese is amazing, fresh, and the perfect pairing to these bagels…the bagels are the real important part here.
Are these the best bagels in the US? Maybe not. But they are DEFINITELY the best bagels in California. It’s the closest thing I’ve had to an East Coast Bagel since I’ve gotten here.