Houston has plenty of old-school bagel spots, but there's always room for a few more purveyors of this classic chewy East Coast treat, especially when the makers have roots in the storied Northern-centric bagel tradition. Here’s what you need to know about a trio of bagel shops in town, all opened (or upgraded) within the past year and all seriously worth your schmear.
1021 Dairy Ashford; Memorial
- The bagel guy: Robert Orzo (Bagel Bob), a native New Yorker, temperament and all, who made Houstonians swoon with his bagels at Spring Water Café and B&B Butcher’s, opened his own place last month.
- Why they're good: His bagels are boiled, then baked on stones, the old- fashioned way.
- The setup: Counter service; there are a few tables, but you can also just take it to-go or eat it quickly against the wall, NYC-style.
- The order: You can’t go wrong here, but our money is on the everything bagel with plain cream cheese.
9522 Huffmeister Rd, #700; Cy-Fair
- The bagel guy: Cory Yates, a New Jersey transplant, was making bagels from home before opening his small but popular spot in December.
- Why they're good: They’re hand-rolled, boiled, then baked. The hand-rolling makes all the difference.
- The setup: Counter service, as usual, but you can enjoy this yeasty delight sitting down, if you can snag a table.
- The order: Because Jersey makes a sturdier bagel than most, perfect for a sandwich, order a Jersey original: Taylor ham (real ones call it pork roll), egg, and cheese.
2327 Post Oak Blvd., Uptown
- The bagel guy: K&Z's has been around for ages, but they’ve recently overhauled their bagel game by bringing in Barry Shapiro, another NYC-born bagel master who comes from a 150-year bagel-crafting tradition. Shapiro started doing bagels for K&Z’s in addition to turning out the ones at Sugar Land’s Bagel Express, last September.
- Why they're good: Lots of malt and gluten, baby, making for a sweet, rich product.
- The setup: Walk into K&Z’s, and head to the deli counter.
- The order: Poppy lightly toasted with cream cheese, briny capers, and silky Nova lox.