Nothing beats a warm, toasty bagel slathered with cool, salty, creamy, creamy cream cheese. But, my dear friends, more than one method doth a god-tier bagel make. So whateth is one to do? How does one choose what bagel? Wherefore art the cream cheese? That’s where we come in. Sometimes you want sweet, sometimes you want salty, sometimes you want a bagel that tastes like a jalapeño popper, and sometimes, you simply want to taste everything. Don’t worry, my dudes—no matter what bagel matches your mood today, this list of the best bagel and cream cheese pairings is sure to schmear your bagel.
Original Bagel Plain Bagels + Trader Joe’s Onion Chive Cream Cheese
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22. No, not actually. But I am feeling like eating a plain bagel with onion chive schmear about 99% of the time (that’s a lot of % of the time). In my opinion, it is truly the best cream cheese with bagels. And if you are like me and this sounds absolutely divine to you at any hour of any day, then you have to check out the Original Bagel plain bagels, which editor-in-chief Justine Sterling noted have “actual bagel texture, which you don’t always find in store bought bagels.” Schmear those bagels with Trader Joe’s Onion Chive Cream Cheese, which senior writer Jordan Myrick said tastes like “thick onion dip” (yum) and you are golden, much like a freshly toasted bagel.
Even vegans need a ~killer~ everything bagel and cream cheese just like the next person, and, boy, have we got the best bagel and cream cheese pairing for you! Dave’s Killer Bagels are all vegan and also happen to be the single best bagels we tried at Sporked, with contributor Danny Palumbo pointing out that these were “nice and chewy” and that the everything seasoning on these (sesame seed, poppy seed, flax seed, dehydrated onion, and sea salt), “really shines, especially when toasted.” So go have yourself a merry little vegan bagel and schmear (with the best vegan cream cheese with bagels).
If you LOVE dairy and bagels and jalapeño poppers and also dairy, then this pairing is for you. First of all, Einstein Take & Toast Asiago bagels are so “salty, cheesy, and nutty” that, according to Danny, they taste like “a Detroit-style pizza.” These are some VERY savory bagels, and if you want to take it even further into Flavortown—population: you—then you gotta have one with Philadelphia’s Spicy Jalapeño cream cheese, which Jordan called “essentially perfect,” noting how well the jalapeño flavor complements the cheese flavor. I would bet money that this whole situation (toasted) would taste like a jalapeño popper and I am HERE for it.
Sometimes you want a sweet bagel. You know it is sacrilege and you just can’t help it. Or you want a donut but bagels are the only thing around for miles (what a specific situation you’re in). Either way, this combo is sure to scratch that itch and give your sweet tooth the sticky, maple-y, delicious breakfast experience it has been looking for. First of all, these Maple French toast Bagels from Aldi blew managing editor Gwynedd Stuart’s mind. She said that “if you like French toast but don’t have time for all that, these are the best bagels for you.” She also noted that they’re “super cinnamony and raisins give them extra pops of sweetness.” Now take what is essentially premade French toast and slap some Tillamook strawberry cream cheese on there, and you basically have French toast and strawberries. I know: “But Jessica, all berry cream cheeses taste weird and fake!” Well, not this one. It has real, actual chunks of strawberries in it, so buckle up and try out this combo when you have time for the imminent sugar crash.
Lastly, a keto combo. Yes, a keto bagel on the best bagel and cream cheese list. But don’t knock it till you try it—Justine the NYC bagel snob actually liked this one, noting the “inside has such a great stretch—just like a fresh bagel.” Plus, this combo of everything bagel and everything vegan schmear truly is everything. This vegan cream cheese has Jordan saying it was “so creamy and flavorful that it comes off as more than just a cream cheese.” Not only that but according to Jordan, during the taste test, “Each person that tried it immediately went ‘Wow!’” Now if that isn’t a “wow” factor I don’t know what is. Now go eat this keto, vegan, everything, everything combo. Or should I call it the everything everywhere all at bagel 👀 Somebody call Michelle Yeoh.
Read the full ranking of the best keto bagels