Brueggar’s Bagels- Downtown Crossing, Boston

Smoked Salmon Bagel $7.95 
A poppyseed bagel with 12-hour oak-smoked salmon, cream cheese, fresh tomato, red onions, and capers.

During my trip to Boston in August, I actually really struggled to find bagels. In NYC you can hardly walk 3 blocks without seeing a dedicated bagel shop or a deli advertising the doughy rings of delight. In Boston however, it was a completely different story, even the locals acknowledge that bagels are few and far between. One place that caught my attention online was ‘Bagelsaurus’. If anything, the name would provide an eye catching title for my blog post. Despite this, it turned out it was 60 blocks, yes 60 BLOCKS from where I was stood, so instead of re-entering the subway and retracing my steps, I sadly decided to give it a miss. 

From the outside, Brueggar’s looked like either an independent bagel shop or maybe a ‘chain’ with 3 or 4 locations around Boston proper. The facade was on the street level of an old, wonky, red brick building that tilted slightly down towards the bottom of the hill. A simple sign with block letters ran the length of the exterior and a green & white striped awning stuck out over the sidewalk. This place looks like it’s been here a while I thought, getting carried away with visions of a secret recipe being passed down for generations. As soon as I stepped inside, I realised I was way off the mark. Brueggar’s was obviosuly a ‘chain chain’, probably with hundreds of locations around the country. *sigh* It’s not that I have an issue with chains and including them in my world changing research but lets be honest, It’s nice to give the small mom and pop places a whirl.

American establishments have this friendly (irritating) habit of greeting you as soon as you step over the threshold and into their line of sight. As a Brit, I feel that once this has happened, I can’t leave- even if I want to. My Britishness just won’t allow it. I throw it into the same category as refusing to take the last piece of anything or saying sorry when someone else bumps into me. Brueggar’s was no exception to this rule, so there I was joining the queue behind the business men in their suits. 

The guy who served me was super friendly (in a good way) and we ended up chatting for a while, him giving me some great locals info and me asking him repeatedly to say the word ‘coffee’ in his Bostonian accent. The bagel was also really nice, nothing special but I was glad to get to try at least one in Boston. Brueggar’s was originally founded in New York (no surprise there) and has now branched out to 26 states and Canada, pumping out approximately 70 million bagels a year. They also hold the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest bagel which weighed in at 868 lbs/393 kg/62 stone. This monster of a bagel took 10 hours to bake, then was sliced up to onlookers at the New York State Fair in 2004.

7 School Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02108.