7 Best Bagels In Chicago, Ranked By Foodies

Chicago might not be the first city that comes to mind when you think of bagels, especially considering New York City’s renowned status as the bagel capital of the world. However, Chicago’s vibrant food scene is not to be underestimated, and those in the know can find some exceptional bagel spots scattered throughout the city. Whether it’s the classic bagel with cream cheese or more inventive creations, the shops that sell the best bagels in Chicago cater to traditionalists and those seeking something a little different.

The quest for the perfect bagel shop can be daunting wherever you may be, but fortunately, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you, so you don’t have to eat a subpar bagel in the Windy City. To guide you to the ultimate bagels, we’ve sourced the seven places to get the best bagels in Chicago recommended by foodies across eight popular websites. This list is designed to entice locals and visitors to the finest options in the city. Did we overlook a bagel shop you love? Let us know below.

Tray bagels fresh out of the oven always taste the best.
Bagels on a baking tray (Photo by Vicky Ng on Unsplash)

The List: Best Bagels in Chicago, According to Locals

1. Steingold’s

At this Jewish deli in Lakeview, you’ll find the perfect everything bagel. According to The Infatuation, this spot is known for its crispy, golden goodness. Each bagel boasts a satisfying “crunch” and comes generously dusted with their signature seasoning. They have ample seating for a relaxed meal, but be warned: weekend lines can get a bit long!

If you want to buy a bagel to go, Steingold’s has a pick-up window. This deli is a haven for all things bready and delicious. They’re constantly whipping up fun, new bagel flavors every month, so be sure to follow them on Instagram to see what unique creations they’ve dreamed up next, Tasting Table raves. And while you’re there, don’t miss out on their incredible bagel sandwiches – their “Egg on a Roll” is legendary!

Steingold’s takes pride in bringing authentic New York-style bagels with a Windy City twist (“New York bagels, the Chicago way”). Everything is baked fresh daily, so you’re guaranteed a warm, delicious experience, hails Thrillist . But Steingold’s goes beyond amazing bagels – they also have a big heart. They donate a portion of the proceeds from their monthly bagel specials to local charities.

2. NY Bagel & Bialy

This bagel haven can be found in a nondescript strip mall in Lincolnwood. It might not have fancy seating (it’s strictly takeout), but they make up for it with piping hot, fresh-out-of-the-oven bagels that are hard to resist, notes Timeout. Plus, they have extended hours – open 24/7 on weekends and until 11 p.m. during the week. Oh, and for the uninitiated, a bialy (pronounced BEYE-uh-lee) is a delicious fusion of a bagel, an English muffin, and an onion roll – definitely worth a try!

NY Bagel & Bialy has been serving the real deal since 1965. You can’t go wrong with any of the flavors, and they even make the often hard-to-find egg bagel, Secret Chicago says. If you can’t get to the Lincolnwood location, there’s also one in Skokie. Be sure to try the Jalapeño Strawberry cream cheese!

This legendary bagel shop is the “pipeline” that supplies dozens of other bagel shops around Chicago. Skip the imitations and experience the real deal – the original location is where it’s at, Thrillist praises. These guys know their bagels, and with their success fueling other shops in the city, you know they’re doing something right.

3. Mindy’s Bakery

You’ll want to get to this specialty bakery right when the doors open because their warm bagels sell out fast. These bagels are incredibly airy, with pockets of deliciousness in every bite, and the chewy crust boasts a beautiful golden brown color. Feeling hungry yet? Take your taste buds on an adventure with their garlic challah bagel – pair it with the chive pesto cream cheese for a flavor explosion, The Infatuation suggests. Just a heads-up: this bakery is open only Wednesday through Sunday, and seating is limited.

This bakery is brought to you by Mindy Segal, a legend in the city’s culinary scene for decades. She’s famous for her incredible bagels, but that’s not all – her coffeecake and other treats are equally mouthwatering, writes Secret Chicago.

Mindy’s Bakery isn’t just a haven for carb lovers. Their gluten-free bagels are some of the best around, and they fly off the shelves even faster than their famous regular bagels and bialys, adds Timeout. So ditch the gluten-free bagel blues and head to Mindy’s – you won’t be disappointed.

4. Tilly Bagel Shop

Tilly’s offers customers some of the most unique bagel flavors such as French onion, cacio e pepe, and garlic rosemary. When you pair one with a custom cream cheese flavor like caramelized onion, you’ll surely be in heaven, Tasting Table raves. Gluten-free bagels are available on the weekends.

Yelp customers love Tilly’s, giving it 4.5 stars. World Chomps gives it a five-star review. They highlight the friendly service and, of course, the “amazing” bagels. Sounds like a winning combination for a delicious and welcoming breakfast experience!

This bakery is run by pastry genius Hannah Tillet, who has perfected the art of the bagel, American Eats claims. These aren’t your average morning carbs – they’re works of deliciousness! Here’s the catch: their bagels are so popular, they often sell out. Head to their website and pre-order online to secure the perfect bagel before they disappear!

5. The Bagelers Coffeehouse

This coffeehouse located on North Lincoln Avenue has embraced “Chicago-style” kettle-boiled bagels. If you want something more authentic, American Eats suggests the Fisherman bagel sandwich, which is topped with all the fixings you would find on a loaded NYC bagel, including thinly-cut smoked salmon.

These bagels are sweeter than a typical NYC bagel. Visitors should chow down on the Bageler Sandwich with bacon, egg, and one of their house-made spreads or sauces. You can order takeout online, Thrillist adds.

Imagine a light, crispy crust that gives way to a soft, doughy interior – pure perfection, according to The Infatuation. Dine in and enjoy the atmosphere, or grab a bagel sandwich to go – either way, you’re in for a treat!

6. Gotham New York Bagel and Eats

Craving a hearty bagel fix but short on time? Gotham New York Bagel and Eats has you covered with three convenient grab-and-go locations throughout the city. Their bagels are “big and bready” with a satisfying chew – perfect for a breakfast on the run, describes The Infatuation. With 12 different flavors to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Their classic everything bagel is a surefire crowd-pleaser, and they even offer a unique pumpernickel option for the adventurous eaters.

Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, these bagels are generous in size, perfect for satisfying even the heartiest appetites. The texture is pure New York perfection – a soft, fluffy interior with a satisfyingly chewy bite, Timeout says. Planning a brunch with friends? This spot offers bagel platters, perfect for feeding a crowd.

The Brighton Beach bagel with all the fixings is a must-try, urges American Eats. They’re not kidding – they describe it as pure “heaven” in a bagel form! Intrigued? Order your Brighton Beach bagel online and skip the wait – it’ll be waiting for you when you arrive, ready to satisfy your adventurous taste buds!

7. Reno

Rounding out our list is Reno, a haven for those seeking something a little different. They specialize in Montreal-style bagels, which are cooked in a wood-fired oven, giving them a unique and smoky taste, writes Timeout.  Looking for a plant-based breakfast? Reno has you covered with a variety of delicious vegan bagels.

This laid-back bagel shop is the perfect spot for your new favorite hangout. Start your day off right with a delicious bagel creation – they offer unique schmears like artichoke, whipped feta, and even berry cream cheese! You can also make it a double-duty destination – grab a bagel for breakfast and then swing back later for one of their mouthwatering, wood-fired pizzas for lunch, Thrillist suggests.

Reno isn’t just about unique bagels – they also serve up some seriously epic breakfast sandwiches. American Eats can’t get enough of the “Cowboy Killer,” a flavor bomb featuring maple fennel sausage, a fried egg, bacon, creamy bechamel sauce, and a kick of rajas (roasted peppers and onions). Feeling a chorizo vibe? The “Nando” is calling your name, packed with their house-made chorizo for a delicious twist.

Editor’s Pick: Chicago Bagel Authority

StudyFinds Associate Editor Sophia Naughton says that if you are in The Windy City, you have to stop for a CBA bagel. “I visit Chicago once a year to visit family that is lucky enough to live right above CBA in Lincoln Park,” says Naughton. “We go there practically every morning when I’m there. Their menu is loaded with unique breakfast sandwiches piled high with flavor. For meat lovers, order a Hangover Helper. It is aptly named and satisfies even the hungriest of customers. They also have vegan options that are just as scrumptious. Other top contenders are the Oak Pork BLT which is loaded with garlic mayo or Aunt Beanie’s, a lighter vegan pick that makes for a healthier start to the day. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, though! Plus, the cherry on top is their super friendly staff.”


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

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About the Author

Amy Chodroff

Amy Chodroff is a recovering Morning Radio Show Host and award-winning broadcaster who recently retired from DFW’s Morning News on KLIF in Dallas. Fondly known as the “Chief Googler” by her friends, it was a seamless transition for StudyFinds to enlist her expertise for their “Best of the Best” franchise. Amy has an innate curiosity and a penchant for thorough research before any purchase and she’s constantly on the hunt for top-notch products. Outside of her digital explorations, Amy loves to explore the world with her husband and is the proud mother of two adult daughters. You can also find Amy on the pickleball court, perfecting her dink and drop shots.

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