Make your arguments about Connecticut and Chicago pizza-styles if you must. The unequivocal, reigning world champion city for bagels is New York. And while the Big Apple casts an awfully long shadow, Long Island bagels are up there in well-deserved accolades.
The Hamptons is home to several spots where the bagels live up to the hype, giving locals year-round access to the good stuff without having to make a city-bound pilgrimage. National Bagel Day may be January 15th, but every day is a bagel holiday on eastern Long Island. Grab a dozen at any one of these half-dozen dough destinations.
Eccentric Bagels, 24 West Neck Road, Shelter Island, 631-749-5363
Shelter Island has many great places to eat, but it’s never been home to a specialty bagel shop until Eccentric Bagel opened its doors in 2022 in a former deli/grocery store on West Neck Road, catty corner from the Goat Hill public golf course. The all-day breakfast and lunch menu has everything from the sour dough-like plain, densely seed-packed everything, jalapeño-cheddar, za’atar, and a rosemary-salt that’s off- the-hook delicious. Bagel sandwiches, like the Silver Beach (lox, capers, scallion cream cheese, spinach) and the Crescent Beach (turkey, egg white, Munster cheese, avocado) are named for island destination spots and neighborhoods, and chicken and lobster pot pies available for pre-order and pick-up on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturday. It’s well worth the ferry ride from Noyak.
Goldberg’s Famous Bagels, Multiple Locations
The popular bagel chain has roots in Southampton, where Marc Goldberg opened the first shop more than two decades ago. These days, you can find locations in East Hampton, Montauk, Napeague, East Quogue, Sag Harbor and Wainscott. On the menu, you’ll find traditional bagels and flats (for the carb-conscious) in the usual flavors like plain, everything, poppyseed and sesame. The spreads list is where you can get creative beyond the staples of butter and cream cheese. There’s honey cranberry for the sweet tooths and jalepeno for heat junkies, and the dairy-eschewing can opt for tofu-based options, which come in plain, scallion and vegetable.
Beach Bakery and Café, 112 Main Street, Westhampton Beach, 631-288-6552
This Main Street staple has drawn legions for more than three decades for its atmosphere that’s as warm as its apple pies. But don’t count out the reliably perfect bagels, either, which are made fresh, Kosher and on-site. It’s a favorite spot to get pre-beach day grub, but the small seating section is a popular spot to pull up a chair and catch up with friends over coffee and bagels.
Golden Pear, Multiple Locations
This fast-casual joint with locations in Southampton, East Hampton and Bridgehampton counts bagels and flagels among its offerings for breakfast and lunch. Baked fresh daily, you can top them with classic and more millennial-driven suspects: cream cheese, lox or avocado.
Damark’s Market, 331 Three Mile Harbor Rd., East Hampton, 631-324-0691
Established as Damark’s Deli in 1949, this East End market shuttered in 2017 and re-emerged a year later. The more airy interior lets the South Fork sunlight pour through windows and serve as an extra rejuvenating jolt alongside your cuppa Joe, which pairs perfectly with a breakfast menu that extends past 11 a.m. Bagels are a hefty food all their own, but come hungry for Damark’s bagel egg sandwiches, which can be made with anywhere from one to four eggs.
M&R Deli, Multiple Locations
This family-run deli, named after Montauk residents and founders Matt and Nicole Meehan, launched in 2017 and took a pandemic-risk by opening an East Hampton location in the spring of 2020. Fresh, no-fuss fare, including bagels that can be topped with cream cheese, butter or jelly, quickly won over the sometimes-critical East Hampton crowd.