Insider’s Guide to Bagels in Shanghai

I’ve had at least a dozen people ask me where they could find bagels in Shanghai. While bagels in Shanghai do exist, they’re not an easy find… unless you know where to look that is. For a Shanghai newbie, they’re as hard to find as smoke-free restaurants. So I’m writing this insider’s guide to bagels in Shanghai to reunite the bagel lovers out there with the breakfast staple we all love!

So take note and indulge. Here’s where you can find em’.

Haya’s Mediterranean Bakery

No.415, Dagu Rd. (near North Chengdu Rd.)

Haya’s is the longest standing bagel purveyor in Shanghai. Mass produced and easy on the wallet, these bagels strike me more as a bread than a bagel. They’re slightly on the larger side and can easily satisfy your carb cravings.

Appearance: Haya’s bagels are generally larger and perfectly shaped – no doubt these were not handmade.

Taste: The plain, cinnamon raisin, and garlic bagels were all tasty =]

Texture: Rather soft on the exterior, these bagels hardly resemble their NYC cousins.

Variety: Plain, Onion, Garlic, Cinnamon Raisin, Sesame (sized – small, medium, and large)

Egghead

455 Shanxi Bei Lu, (near Beijing Xi Lu)

Recently opened in the Jing’an area, Egghead is hailed as the first bagel-only shop in Shanghai. Their bagels are a notch above Haya’s, and I’ll give it to them for their bagelwiches.

Appearance: No doubt that these look like the real thing. These babies have an appealing glaze and uniform color. They are also on the large side, but that’s more carbs for you right?

Taste: The cinnamon raisin and garlic bagels were my favorite out of all the varieties. Nice and flavorful. However, I was disappointed to discover that they were a bit on the dry side.

Texture: Slightly crispier out of all the other bagel shops. A little more CRUNCH and SNAP would do the trick. The inside could be denser but at least there was some chew.

Variety: Plain, Sesame, Onion, Garlic, Cinnamon Raisin, Everything

Baker & Spice

1/F, 195 Anfu Lu (near Wulumuqi Lu)

This little bakery on the quaint street of Anfu Lu is one of my favorite carb havens in Shanghai. A pet project of Wagas, Baker & Spice doesn’t discriminate – bagels aren’t the majority but they do have the “traditional” fruit selection – cranberry and raisin.

Appearance: Just the right shape. Not too big or too small. These had a decent amount of raisin and cranberry surfacing the bagel… mmm. The plain bagel had a nice golden color to it. Lovely!

Taste: Surprisingly, these were not as sweet as I expected. A bit of a disappointment on my side. Not that bagels should be TOO sweet, but it could of used a little more tang. Just a little.

Texture: I love bagels with a chewy interior and I really wish these bagels had that authentic quality to them. I’ll stick to their poppy seed muffin.

Variety: Cinnamon Raisin, Cranberry, and Plain

Paris Baguette

Various locations in Shanghai

A one-stop shop for those needing a quick carb and coffee fix. The best part about this joint is the value for your money. Unfortunately, bagels aren’t available at all locations, but if you frequent Paris Baguette you probably don’t go there for bagels.

Appearance: It’s hard not to mistake these for Lender’s bagels – the kind you get at a grocery store.

Taste: The plain and five grain bagel were flavorless and unimpressive.

Texture: Soft and bread-y. Not so bagel-y.

Varieties: Plain, Five Grain, Sesame

So folks there you have it. If you need to satisfy that bagel itch then now you know where to find em’ in Shanghai! Oh, but not to forget! I must say that we bake a fine bagel here at Spread the Bagel.. maybe even the best. Well, even though we might sound biased, we’d like to think they’re the best in the city.. but it’s up to you to decide!

Advertisements