There are a lot of things we do in Nashville that no one can touch. Hot Chicken. Biscuits. Bonuts. But up until relatively recently, there were a good couple of things that we… let’s say had a little room to grow on. Flash back 10 years, and any New York transplant would’ve quickly rattled off two of them: pizza, and bagels.
We’ve made huge pizza strides over the past few years, with places like Five Points Pizza and DeSano Pizza Bakery. Last week we made another big bagel step forward as Proper Bagel opened its doors in Belmont, serving (fittingly) proper kettle-boiled and scratch-made bagels and bialys, flying in smoked salmon from Brooklyn and the like.
Indication of how much old-school bagel makery is appreciated here: by day four, Proper Bagel had a line out the door for seven hours straight.
If you, too, are particular about a well-made bagel, here’s where to look in Nashville, in 2016.
These newbies on the Nashville bagel scene came here from New York with traditional recipes and approaches and a desire to mix those with “a new school edge” in their new city. The menu offers tried-and-true New York bagel shop favorites, from the scratch-made bagels and bialys to black-and-white cookies. You’ve also got lots of sandwiches, unique flavored butters and straight-outta-Nashville Barista Parlor coffee, among other options.
There’s some New York similarity in East Nashville bakery Bagel Face’s bagels too, in that boiled-first crunchy-outside/doughy inside thing. Fun thing those folks do to make their offerings extra fun: regular bagel flavor specials that are anything but run-of-the-mill, from pineapple coconut to carrot cake.
The OGs on the Nashville bagel bakery scene, Sylvan Park’s Star Bagel is a must-stop if you’re really particular about healthful ingredients — those folks work hard to focus on fresh, organic, all-natural and local ingredients, and it’s earned Star a devoted following here. It also helps that the bagels, bagelwiches, pizza bagels and such are spot-on — owner Michael Miller did his research (including studying in New York), and it shows.
The coffee’s the initial draw toward Bongo Java, fair enough, but the signature bagel sandwiches at the East Nashville location — which they call bombs — are pretty aptly named, too. The BLT Bomb (exactly what you’d expect) is a tried-and-true favorite for lunch, and the Egg Bomb (scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese, with the option to add bacon or veggie sausage) is a decent sit-in for the classic New York breakfast of egg and cheese on a roll. (They use Bagel Face bagels, too, so…)
by TJ AndersonWith the continued influx of new Nashvillians from more
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