Have you ever heard a New Yorker go on about the superior quality of the state’s bagels? Sure, New York bagels are good, but the truth is, artisan bakers across the country are turning out chewy, golden-crusted rounds of dough. Dough that can rival a fine French boule, a loaf of San Francisco’s best sourdough, and even (gasp!) a bagel made in New York. From Charlottesville to Oakland, bakers are returning to the Old World, tried-and-true methods of bagel making; they're sourcing high-quality flour and yeast; they’re slow-fermenting dough to achieve complex flavor; and they’re hand rolling, kettle boiling, and baking throughout the day so that the product is truly fresh from the oven. Meanwhile, shops are coming up with innovative schmears and curing and smoking their own fish in-house. Here are 16 spots across the US that prove you don't need New York water to make killer bagels. —Erin Mosbaugh

Food & Wine

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