Competition is tough for the best bagel in South Florida. Finding them in Miami can be a bit of a challenge because it’s filled with Caribbean and Latin culture. However, in Boca Raton, which has a larger Jewish population, it’s easier. The search started by reviewing websites such as Yelp, Tripadvisor, Grubhub and Google reviews, then limiting the choices to those averaging four stars and up. Nationwide chain restaurants such as Dunkin’ Donuts and Einstein Bros were excluded because they are already well known. At each of the many places visited, we ordered a plain toasted bagel with cream cheese. Keeping it simple often yields the best results.
8177 Glades Road Boca Raton, FL
The new owner of BagelWorks, Robert Levy, kept the business in order. The restaurant is famous for its amazing tuna, freshly made bagels and “ridiculously good food.” On a recent day, the place had a friendly atmosphere and was jam-packed. Items have been added, but the traditional great taste remains. The bagel, the cream cheese and the ratio were just right. BagelWorks for breakfast really works!
TOOJAY’S DELI •BAKERY•RESTAURANT
Glades Plaza, 2240 NW 19th St #700 Boca Raton, FL
TooJay’s first location was opened in Palm Beach in 1981. The restaurant was inspired by classic New York flavors and recipes. With roughly 30 locations today, the place continues to produce food that is delicious, homemade and served with love. When walking in, you can smell the bread and cakes baking. The restaurant is often busy so there can be a bit of a wait, but the bagels are worth it. The one we tried was crispy with a nice, deep golden brown color and was easy to break apart. The cream cheese was tangy but didn’t offend the taste buds.
House of Bagels & Bialys
14449 S Dixie Highway Miami, FL
This restaurant serves breakfast and lunch specials. It is very small, but provides outdoor seating. There is a variety of beverages, salads, breakfast items and a wide selection of bagels. It’s hard not to want to try it all. The staff was quiet on a recent day, but the smell of the bagel was loud. The cream cheese was creamy, rich and savory with a mild onion flavor. The plain bagel was thick with a great, chewy texture.
Roasters’ n Toasters
9465 S Dixie Highway Miami, FL
This restaurant has been a Pinecrest essential since 1984. It offers customers a traditional New York style deli setting, delicious in-house bagels and schmears along with other breakfast dishes. The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming with a fast-moving staff. The plain bagel with cream cheese had a great savory taste. The cream cheese was also unique because it had a satisfying tang. The bagel tore apart easily with few crumbs and toasted well. Although this is the most expensive bagel on the list, it’s well worth trying!
Brooklyn Water Bagel
22191 Powerline Road Boca Raton, FL
The restaurant was jam-packed on a recent day and more people just kept coming. The staff was friendly and funny. One of the staff members said, “What do you mean just a plain bagel with cream cheese? We have loads of great flavors!” Everyone wanted a bite of one of the best bagels South Florida has to offer. It’s the lowest priced on this list. The bagels were high quality and freshly made every day. They were made in Brooklynized® water. Now what’s Brooklynized® water? My best guest is water shipped from Brooklyn, New York. The plain bagel with cream cheese was delectable. The cream cheese was well-seasoned, flavorful and tangy. The bagel was a mouthwatering golden brown and toasted to perfection. It was easy to bite and with each bite, the bagel got better. The only downside is finishing the bagel because you’ll have to order another one. It’s true that “it’s all about the water!”