Take that, NY bagel snobs!
Yes, that’s right. We all woke up to the shocking news that the New York Times, famed publication of the Empire State, has elected a distinctly Californian bagel shop for the title of “Best New York-style bagels.” It’s Boichik Bagels in Berkeley, and boy are New Yorkers pissed.
NY Times restaurant critic and Brooklyn native Tejal Rao made the astonishing declaration in an article posted yesterday. She described Boichik Bagels as having “the look of Labrador puppies curled up for afternoon naps: soft and pudgy, golden roly-polys.”
“The bread has a comforting squish – thick but yielding, chewy but not densely so, with a shiny, sweet-and-salty crust and a rich, malty breath that fills up the bag before you even get home.”
Boichik Bagels is spearheaded by Emily Winston, a New Jersey native who strives to create bagels as delicious as those she enjoyed from New York institutions with her father. Upon the closure of her favorite H&H Bagels, she grieved their loss like the death of a loved one and began a quest to recreate the fluffy round delicacies on her own.
After extensive Google searches and years of trial-and-error home baking, Wilson opened Boichik Bagels in November of 2019 right near the UC Berkeley campus. Since then, it’s enjoyed the kind of bagel pride that Noah’s Bagels brought to the area 30 years prior, when Noah Alper opened up his first bagel shop on the exact same street corner at College and Alcatraz Avenues.
“Emily Winston’s bagels are some of the finest New-York style bagels I’ve ever tasted. They just happen to be made in Berkeley,” asserted Rao.
Foodie or not, you can’t deny that California is always on the cutting edge of the food scene. SoCal and NorCal chefs alike are constantly innovating in all kinds of different areas, and gourmet bagel shops are gaining ground all over the state. On Food and Wine’s list of the best bagel shops in the nation, 5 spots are highlighted just in Los Angeles.
So, would you back Rao’s choice of Boichik Bagels as the best NY-style bagels in the country? Be sure to stop by and decide for yourself! This awesome shop can be found at 3170 College Avenue in Berkeley’s Elmwood neighborhood. They’re open Wednesday through Sunday from 7:30am to 1pm.
[Featured Image: @boichikbagels via Instagram]