Jump-start your family’s morning with two of the best bagels in town.
As a lifelong West Coaster, the first real New York bagel I tasted on a trip to Manhattan was a revelation. For years, the closest I could come in Portland was the now-defunct and much mourned Kettleman’s. (I may have cried when I heard they were selling to Einstein’s.) Now, though, two newish local purveyors have stepped in to fill the hole — pun intended.
Bridgetown Bagel Company
This bright-yellow food cart in the Rose City Food Park serves up some of PDX’s best bagels. The secret is out, though. On the Sunday morning we visited they were down to five bagels, and we had arrived only about an hour after they had opened. Pro tip: If you want to score a dozen bagels guaranteed (say for an easy Mother’s Day brunch at home), place your order online a day or two before. Preorders are a big reason they sell out so quickly. (And if you need your bagels Pas Yisroel, or baked with the help of an observant Jew, they can do that with 48-hours notice.)
The Rose City Food Park early on a sunny morning was a great, low-key place for breakfast. We sat next to the kid’s play house and my 3-year-old and 1-year-old puttered around inside it while we waited a few minutes for our bagels.
Oh, those bagels. Bridgetown is run by two former Kettleman’s employees. And they know their way around a bagel. Their bagels are almost fluffy inside, but have a nice, shiny exterior. And they’re a very reasonable size. I feel carb-guilt whenever I eat a gigantic, oversized bagel, but these were just right. We tried the scallion cream cheese, studded with large pieces of green onion on an everything bagel. The kiddos split a plain bagel with plain cream cheese. Everyone was happy.
5221 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-268-2522. Open 7 am-1 pm Wednesday to Friday, 8 am-1 pm Saturday and Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Bridgetownbagel.com.
Henry Higgins Boiled Bagels
While I think Bridgetown slightly edges out Henry Higgins in terms of taste and texture, Henry Higgins has several other factors in its favor. One, it’s a brick-and-mortar location, so you don’t have to sit outside with kids during the nine months of Portland rain. The storefront is rather Spartan inside, but they’ve got a highchair and a basket of kids’ books. (Owner Leah Orndoff is another Kettleman’s alum.)
Henry Higgins also has a bigger selection of bagel varieties and schmears than Bridgetown. Want a hearty wheat, cinnamon raisin or jalapeño bagel? No problem. Light, honey almond or veggie cream cheese? They’ve got it. All the bagels have a nice chew to them.
And they’ve got kid-loving employees. On a recent visit for lunch, our cashier was utterly charmed by my two little ones running around like maniacs in the store before I had a chance to get them contained at a table. Once seated, we didn’t have to wait long. My kids split an everything bagel with veggie cream cheese. I had a satisfying turkey bagel sandwich, which was stuffed with deli meat and served with nice, salty kettle chips and a pickle spear. Another bonus: They open at 6:30 am, so if you’ve got kids who get up at sunrise, you can stumble in for early breakfast.
6420 SE Foster Rd., 971-271-8613. Open daily 6:30 am-4 pm. Hhboiledbagels.com
Sourdough leavening makes these bagels Portland originals. They roast their own coffee, too. Spielmanbagels.com
You can get these NY-style bagels delivered to you by Portland Pedal Power. Don’t miss the non-kosher BOM.com schmear featuring bacon, onion and mushroom. Bowerybagels.com