Bagels @ Wholy Bagel

Wholy Bagel

Twice this week I’ve been asked, “Who makes the best bagels in Austin?”  It’s time to make my recommendation official.  But first it’s important to discuss what makes a good bagel.   There are three things by which a bagel should be judged:  the outer crust, the doughy inside, and the overall flavor and toppings.

The crust of a bagel should be crispy and browned, not doughy.  Back East, bagels are often so crispy that they even crack when you cut them or take a bite.  The soft doughy outside of bagels found at chain stores are a prime example of what a bagel crust should not be.  The inside should be soft and chewy but not too dense; I want to eat a bagel, not a brick.  While some places serve flavors such as jalapeño and cheddar, I’m more of a purist when it comes to toppings.  If I had to choose only one bagel for the rest of my life it would be an everything bagel with sesame running a close second.  The topping should be plentiful and toasted.  A sesame bagel is a great way to tell if a bagel is cooked enough too.  If the bagel has rich toasted sesame smell and the seeds are browned, odds are you’re in for a treat.

It’s not around the corner from where I live, but Wholy Bagel is the closest I’ve found to an authentic New York bagel here in Austin.