Non-corporate bagels in the Twin Cities?
June 2, 2009 12:02 PM   Subscribe

Minneapolis MeFites: Is some non-chain store place in the Twin Cities metro area where I can get a decent bagel?

I'm looking for bagels the way they ought to be: Crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and delicious, made fresh daily at the kind of store or deli that knows damn well lox is a standard bagel topping, and doesn't call it a "sandwich" and add a $6 markup just to drop 1/4 ounce of Nova Scotia goodness on top of the cream cheese. Lots of flavor combinations a plus - I don't want a place that only offers three or four types of bagel.

I am so sick of the chain stores. Surely there's a locally-owned and operated place in the metro that can do it better than a chain store, right? My wife and I haven't been able to find any place so far that fits the bill.

Bonus, for anyone who's spent time in Ann Arbor (or East Lansing back in the early 90s): My ideal match would be someplace approximating the Bagel Fragel. Awesome bagels, tons of topping combos, reasonable prices, and darn good deli sandwiches to boot - lunch was never more than $5 and change. Damn do I miss that place. I'd kill for another go at the "experimental" flavor bagel batches.

Crap. Now I want a fragel, too.
posted by caution live frogs to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried Common Roots Cafe?
posted by stopgap at 12:12 PM on June 2, 2009

Another vote for Common Roots. They have lox and the bagels are good (though they're not Zingerman's, which I preferred to Bagel Fragel).
posted by clavicle at 12:25 PM on June 2, 2009

+1 on Common Roots. You can also get beer.

There used to be some non-chain bagel shops over by Macalester College. But I believe that they've all closed.
posted by iwhitney at 12:42 PM on June 2, 2009

Cecil's Deli in St. Paul might have bagel options on their cafe menu, being a sort of Kosher grocery and deli. I know they serve lox but I can't remember if bagels were actually involved or if they were any good. They do have delicious fresh baked breads and hamentaschen, though.
posted by dahliachewswell at 6:08 PM on June 2, 2009

Response by poster: Man. I was sure there'd be more options. I have tried Common Roots (after seeing an article in the local free paper touting the bagels there) but we were disappointed to find that the bagels consisted of a small basket of perhaps a dozen or so bagels, total. The article made it look like they had a huge pile of them.

Have not tried Cecil's, and will probably have to do so.

(Zingerman's might have been good, clavicle, but I was based in East Lansing, so was a regular at the Bagel Fragel there, until a combination of slow catering service and cutthroat pressure from Bruegger's shut the place down. And then, as soon as there was no competition, Bruegger's prices doubled. To rub salt in the wound, Bruegger's hours had them closing at 4 PM, where Bagel Fragel used to be open until way late - a must in a college town for any local eatery. Same damn thing happened to my favorite local record store - Tower undercut the prices, ran them out of business, then closed themselves due to low sales volume. Stupid chain stores. It saddens me to see a once vibrant and interesting community of small local stores at so many colleges and universities slowly turning into a generic wasteland of McDowntowns thanks to consumer apathy and price gouging.)
posted by caution live frogs at 10:23 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I was just at Cecil's for lunch, and came back here to recommend them. I haven't actually tried the bagels, but they did look delicious, and this place really knows their deli stuff. Selection in the take-out case was limited to maybe 5 varieties.
posted by vytae at 11:11 AM on June 3, 2009

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