I’m the Bagel Boss and These Are the 6 Best Store-Bought Bagels

When it’s bagel time (something I say out loud before I go buy a bagel), I’m usually looking for the closest restaurant or bakery. I don’t consider myself to be a food snob, but I feel like there is a stark difference between fresh baked bagels and bagels in a bag from a store. Store-bought bagels don’t really do it for me. So I did not come into this tasting with much optimism. But, for what they are, can store-bought bagels be, at least…passable? We at Sporked write rankings for you, the grocery store shopper, so we wanted to give grocery store bagels a fair shot.

A good bagel should be chewy—like, really chewy—and delightfully dense. With bagels, it’s all about that indescribable, transcendent texture. We want the taste to be sweet and somewhat salty, and if the bagel is flavored (everything, blueberry, onion, etc.), we want a strong, pronounced, and exciting flavor. Nothing weak. By true New York standards, these bagels might not pass muster. But in a pinch, even a grocery store bagel can be filling and tasty. And hell, any piece of bread can be saved with enough cream cheese. Get me?

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dave's killer bread everything bagels

Best of the Best

Dave’s Killer Bread Epic Everything

The texture of these pre-sliced bagels is really nice and chewy. And the everything seasoning (a mixture of sesame seed, poppy seed, flax seed, dehydrated onion, and sea salt) really shines, especially when toasted. These are just the best of the best. Also, I love that the story around Dave’s bagels, which is boldly featured on the package, is basically: “Hey, this dude was in prison for 15 years.” It’s unexpected and honest, and I love that. Dave’s product is great.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

thomas' bagels plain

Best Plain

Thomas’ Plain Bagels

Thomas’ plain bagels are ubiquitous in grocery stores, homes, and offices around the country (including the Mythical office). Plain, sweet, and chewy, they are basically the Wonder Bread of bagels: good, if not a bit processed and sugary. Still, there’s a place for Wonder Bread, ya know? These are great bagels to have around the office, or at home for some quick carbs before you head out the door. They’ll do well with eggs, jelly, and jam, but I wouldn’t go putting smoked salmon on one.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

einstein bros take & toast asiago bagels

Best Cheese

Einstein Bros Take & Toast Asiago Bagels

When I first tasted one of these Einstein Bros asiago bagels, it reminded me of a Detroit-style pizza. It’s salty, cheesy, and nutty, not unlike the seasoning on an everything bagel. Einstein’s asiago bagels play well with savory, so you should think about making a baller breakfast sandwich out of this. If not, hey, just enjoy that salty, funky, toasty asiago cheese flavor with some cream cheese, or all by itself.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

H&H bagels

Best with Lox

H&H Everything Bagel

H&H is an iconic New York City bagel shop, and they sell their bagels nationwide. They come frozen, and the instructions tell you to just thaw them out in the fridge. It’s worth noting that some people say these instructions are bogus, and that you should put them in the oven to reheat them if you want to achieve that fresh bagel quality. Personally, I’m not sure what to make of these. I want to believe that they’re high-quality and the real deal, but I’m not sold. The texture is chewy, yes. The outside is crispy and the inside is tender. However,  they’re a bit bland, and the taste is kind of earthy. Still, these are the bagels you would want to use with lox and schmear. (But in that case, why not just pop out to the bagel shop for a bagel with lox?)

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

dave's killer bread boomin berry bagels

Best Blueberry

Dave’s Killer Bread Boomin’ Berry

A lot of people think blueberry bagels are an abomination, but when it comes to Dave’s, I’m down with it. The blueberry flavor is subtle, and it tastes fresh. Plus, the blueberries are marbled into the bagels with a gentle swirl as opposed to clunky chunks sporadically mixed in. These are  really tasty and downright pleasant. Bagel purists be damned.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

6.5/10

Sporks

whole foods 365 everything bagels

Best Crunchy

Whole Foods 365 Everything Bagel

These bagels have a strong oniony, toasted, nutty flavor that we love. They also toast up perfectly in the oven, so if you like your bagels to be a bit crunchy, this is your product. The texture is great, too, as it maintains a great chewiness even after you toast it. You might love these, as I did.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

6/10

Sporks

Other Products We Tasted: TK

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About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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  • Where is the best cinnamon raisin bagels! Those are my favorite!

    Reply
    • Thats a good point lmao, some people(and they are wrong) think that bagels need to be savory though, to that i say guffaw

      Reply