Food & Drink

Your Definitive Guide To Melbourne’s Best Bagels

By Simon Cassar

The bagel in Melbourne is near and dear to many hearts. An ideal option for both breakfast and lunch. The brilliance of the spherical bread type is in its versatility—allowing almost anything, sweet or savoury to be sandwiched in between. Across Melbourne/Naarm we’re lucky enough to have some real primo outlets, dishing up tasty bagels on the daily across both south and north of the river. 

 In no particular order here are Urban List's picks for the best bagels Melbourne has to offer for 2024. 

Lenny’s Fine Foods

636 Inkerman Road, Caulfield 

A shop full of people at Lenny's who serve some of the best bagels in Melbourne.Image credit: Lenny's Fine Foods | Supplied

This local treasure has been kicking around for well over two decades. At the helm are owners Natalie and Mark Fine, and they recently gave the shop a much-needed refresh to usher in a renewed era. What hasn’t changed? The stacked bagels. Some are stuffed with housemade Neufchâtel dill cream cheese and smoked salmon, others are loaded with hot pastrami, mustard and slaw. Either way, they are hands down some of the best bagels Melbourne has to offer for 2024.

INSIDER INTEL

  • Bagels are available every day the shop is open, but do get in early—these bad boys tend to sell out quick,
  • If you truly love it all, consider getting your next event catered by Lenny’s,

Mile End Bagels

Various Locations 

A thick salmon and tomato bagel with an orange juice, a best bagel Melbourne option.Image credit: Mile End Bagels | Supplied 

You could argue Melbourne’s demand for bread doesn’t have room for another bagel-specialised bakery, but owners Ben Vaughn and Michael Fee aren’t scared of a little competition. There are no shortcuts here: Mile End Bagels are baked in a wood-fired Canadian stonemason and boiled in honey water for a slightly sweeter aftertaste.

The options here are bountiful, the staple go-to is either their smoked salmon number with rich sliced tomato, zesty red onion, or their Brisket pastrami with a hot and sweet mustard and cream cheese. Now operating in Fitzroy, Brunswick, Richmond and Hawthorn there are plenty of bagels for everyone. 

INSIDER INTEL

  • Don't pass up on the smoked salmon number with rich sliced tomato and zesty red onion
  • Not bagel related but bagel-adjacent: at the Hawthorn outpost exclusively, score $3 coffee from 7:30am to 9am.
  • Every month, Mile End sling a new special. For July, wrap your two hands aorund the salami hot honey with provolone, pickled japapeños and tomato butter.

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Bissel B. 

Various Locations

A half-cut bagel in a box with halloumi, a contender for Melbourne's best bagel.Image credit: Bissel B | supplied

If the lines out front of Bissel B. are any indication, these may just be the best bagels in Melbourne. Perched up the top end of Bridge Road, Bissel B serve up a range of spanking New York-style bagel combinations, which are all named after landmarks and streets of the city—including the ‘Wall Street’, with a fried egg, bacon, sausage patty, house-made hashbrown and melted American cheese. 

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Northside Challah

Delivery Only – Northern Suburbs

A Melbourne best bagel sits on a chopping board loaded with cream cheese and smoked salmon.Image credit: Northside Challah | Instagram

Another booming business born out of lockdown. Northside Challah was the brainchild of Daniel Chamravi—A Jewish bakery and deli goods delivery service across Melbourne's North and North-Western suburbs. Daniel who shifted to the north in lockdown struggled to find quality Jewish food. Separated by travel restrictions, and cut off from his family he launched the new venture.

Delivering Glick's bagels, babkas, challah (a braided-style bread) as well as Jewish deli goods like fried fish balls, dill pickles, tahini, and more. Daniel's aim for Northside Challah is to introduce the area to the cuisine and help create a broader community for people to enjoy Jewish food; "we're here for everybody, we're not just for the Jewish community," says Daniel.

 
 
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Bowery To Williamsburg

16 Oliver Lane, Melbourne CBD

A person holding a best bagels Melbourne with two hands.Image credit: Bowery To Williamsburg | Instagram

If you require a hump day morning boost, make a beeline for Bowery To Williamsburg. Home to the inaugural breakfast Reuben with pastrami beef brisket, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, and a fried egg, no one can have a bad day when it starts off this delicious. DIY bagels like pumpernickel and the “everything” bagel are also available, with a wide spread of schmear options.

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Bagels Baby 

Various Locations

A person holding one of the best bagels Melbourne has to offer with two hands from Bagels Baby.Image credit: Bagels Baby | Instagram

Bagels Baby, the tidy outfit with two stores in Pascoe Vale and Greensborough has been quietly amassing a dedicated bagel following. Both venues are minimal in design, recognisable by their light-filled stores with white-washed walls.

On the menu here you'll find a collection of staple options from a cream cheese schmear to their more explorative numbers like the hefty chicken Katsu bagel filled with a Panko crumbed schnitzel, Kewpie mayo and Tonkatsu sauce.

Hank's

13 Beatty Avenue, Armadale

A group of hands holding up some of the best bagels in MelbourneImage credit: Hank's | Griffin Simm

The gang behind beloved cafe Mammoth and Elsternwick's Copycat have added another to their quiver, a tidy bagel spot known as Hank's. Dreamt up by owner Nick Beerens after visiting NYC, Hank's brings classic bagels, house-made cookies, shakes and of course stellar coffee to the Armadale hood.

OG bagel combos take centre stage, with the #1 stacked with beetroot and gin-cured salmon, herbs, red onion and cream cheese. Vegetarians are also taken care of with the #8, a harissa roasted pumpkin, almond fetta, hummus and wild rocket number primed for brunch, lunch or that afternoon hunger hit. 

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Migrant Coffee

3/576 Barkly Street, West Footscray

A pair of rainbow-coloured sandwiches, some of the best bagels melbourne Image credit: Migrant Coffee | supplied 

The bagel and coffee pride and joy of the western suburbs, Migrant Coffee fuse the timeless pairing with their own refreshing spin. The menu is stacked with a range of NYC-style bagels, but with signature flares like the classic pastrami bagel that comes with swiss cheese, mustard, cream cheese and Atsara (a pickled relish made from green papaya) giving it a distinctive lift. You can also choose from a range of bagels including blueberry, dill, and rainbow. 

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Brown Bagels

Shop 10/1-15 Equitable Place, Melbourne

This small cafe has just two communal tables, but patrons don’t seem to mind come lunch hour. With lines stretching onto the pavement, Brown Bagels keeps its menu short ‘n sweet for a focus on takeaway. From the never-fail smoked salmon and chive cream cheese to a classic BLT bagel, Brown Bagels is some hole-y takeaway. 

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Huff Bagelry

Various Locations

Freshly baked bagels sit on display shelves.Image credit: Huff Bagelry | Website

They keep it pretty simple at Huff Bagelry, and with stores in both Carnegie, Mentone, South Melbourne, you're pretty well covered with some of the best bagels in Melbourne’s southeastern suburbs. With a massive range of house-made bagels and tons of ingredients to throw on them, you'll never go wanting after a visit.

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Schmucks Bagels

Various Locations

Despite America’s borderline obsession with bagels, these circular baked goods are widely considered to have origins from a Jewish community in 17th-century Poland. For traditional Polski bagels, head to Schmucks Bagels. The menu reads like a classic Melbourne cafe—with the addition of bagels (of course). Take the Avo Our Way, with smashed avo, lemon, pickled red onion, capers and herbs. 

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Aviv Cakes And Bagels 

400 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick

Several of the best bagels in MelbourneImage credit: Aviv Cakes and Bagels | Instagram

The Elsternwick institution has been kneading and baking bagels for decades. Their range of perfectly dense and chewy bagels are right up there with the best bagels in Melbourne. Aviv's new-look store offer up a staple range of plain, poppy, and sesame seed-topped bagels. Sometimes simplicity is bliss. 

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Dan’s Deli 

Various Locations

A sesame seed-topped bagel with pickles and beef, a best bagels melbourne Image credit: Dan's Deli | Eden Brandenburg

A relative newcomer to Melbourne’s bagel race, Dan’s Deli now boasts two spots in Toorak and Carlton, their bagel prowess is right up there with the best of them—sourcing them from long-time producers Savion Cakes & Bagels in Balaclava.

Stepping into the little hole-in-the-wall operations on Toorak Road and Queensberry Street you’ll find a range of New York-style bagels— from a classic smoked salmon or pastrami bagel, to peanut butter and mixed berry jam. 

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Image credit: Hank's | Griffin Simm

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