I Bagel to Differ

A quest to find the perfect bagel


Remember playing with Play-Doh? It’s just like making a New York-style bagel! You roll it out into an eleven inch snake, pinch both ends, and wrap the snake around your hands to connect both ends together. It’s that easy!

These New York-style bagels are soft, chewy, doughy bagels that are boiled before being baked in the oven. They are then cut open to and be spread by butter or a nice thing of cream cheese. There are a lot of New York style bagel shops in the North Shore, and although they are all delicious, some are better than others. So, we went to the four top rated bagel shops in the area so you don’t have to. 

On a Friday morning, we drove through the crowded streets of downtown Newburyport in Paige’s two-door Jeep Wrangler to do our first review at Abe’s Bagels. It was 6:30a.m., a peak time for bagel shops to be crowded with students and commuters getting breakfast before a long day. Despite this, Abe’s was running smoothly, getting customers in and out with their bagels and coffee as efficiently as they could, resembling an assembly line. The atmosphere was quiet, however there were a few customers in the building, making it overall excellent on our checklist, and we were two of only six customers not ordering their bagels to go. We ordered a plain bagel with butter and a cinnamon sugar bagel with vanilla cream cheese. At most bagel shops, there is no option to toast a cinnamon sugar bagel. Instead, you are given the alternative option of getting your bagel microwaved. Despite Abe’s microwaving the cinnamon sugar bagel, the vanilla cream cheese that was packed onto the bagel seemed to make up for the untoasted bagels. The two bagels were cheap for being made in the building at about 5 dollars each, however Abe’s is only open in the mornings, making it hard to find time to visit during the week. 

    After a good run at Abe’s, these two blondes went to the town of Ipswich to dine at East End Bagels. An empty street and empty store greeted us, with no other customers. While walking into the unoccupied shop, we waited a couple of minutes before a single worker made her way to the counter to serve us. With no one in the store, we expected to be served more abruptly. However, after ordering, we waited about fifteen minutes, much more time than proposed, for only two bagels and two coffees. Although the service was slow, we stuck with getting a plain bagel with butter and an Asiago bagel with cream cheese. The plain bagel with butter had a good ratio of butter to bread. Both bagels were cut in half, therefore in four pieces, which made them easier to eat. Along with this cane a nice chewy texture with a soft crust, and the bagel was not overly toasted, yet not untoasted. With a savory taste and the cheap price of $1.39 a bagel, it is a toss up whether the poor service and long wait is enough to say this bagel place is not in our top two. However, if you ever want a cheap bagel with good taste and have some time to waste, then East End bagels is your place to be. 

                Another Bagel place we visited is Andymans in Amesbury. It is a bagel and bakery shop just off the highway near 495. This was not the first time we two blondes have been there, but on Wednesday the 18th, we went back. We both agreed that usually Andymans has a lot of different types of bagels, but we usually order on Saturday mornings. Since Saturday is Andymans’ busiest day of the week, they have every employee working and more batches of bagels are made in the store throughout the day. On any morning, there will obviously be more selection to choose from, considering the morning being the first batch of bagels, which is always the biggest batch. Since it was a weekday, not as many batches were made, and since it was the afternoon, Andymans had already seen its fair share of customers for that day. Once we got there, there were few to no bagels left on the self. The store was very busy after school, so the workers were trying to move as fast as they could, but there was only a couple of employees working considering most of Andymans workers were students. Both of us ordered our bagels and coffee, and our friend and fellow classmate at Triton, Ava Ford, ordered two bagels. The way Andymans takes customers orders is much different than other bagel shops and bakery. Since they only have two cash registers, two or three workers will be taking coffee orders while customers wait in line to order food and be rung up. This system seems to get customers their coffee more efficiently, but either way customers have to continue to wait in line to be rung up, and therefore it creates chaos. When Ava ordered an Asiago bagel toasted with nothing on it and an everything bagel with cream cheese, she received an Asiago bagel with cream cheese and no everything bagel. Clearly upset and knowing this was the fault of one of the workers being worried about Ava’s order and the order of coffee behind her, she punched in Ava’s order incorrectly. On top of that, the worker making the bagel could not make another bagel, considering that was the last Asiago bagel in the last batch. As anyone would be, Ava was upset, and even though the plain bagels we got were toasted perfectly, they were loaded with cream cheese, making them difficult to eat. The cream cheese was so loaded onto the bagel that we agreed we were eating cream cheese with a bagel on it. Along with an overload of cream cheese, the service and was insufficient. However, bagels with butter are a mere $2.29 with butter and $3.29 with cream cheese, which made up for the chaos of the bakery.

               Best Bagels in Seabrook New Hampshire was the last place we went to in order to finish our journey of bagels around the North Shore. We walked in to a few people sitting around tables enjoying their bagels and employees ordering coffee at the counter. We again went with the plain bagel with butter and Asiago bagels with cream cheese, and just like East End, it was cut into fourths. Of course, we agree that cutting each piece of the bagel in half makes it easier and more comfortable to eat, especially if you’re bagel is packed with cream cheese. The bagels had a nice gold exterior with a nice crisp crunch to them. The insides of the bagel were very air. The bagel did not have a lot of chewiness but more like melt inside of your mouth. A bagel with just better is $1.75 and with cream cheese it is $2.50. For two high school students, it’s a great deal when you need something quick and good to eat. With good price, you also get good customer service, along with nice and polite people trying their best to work the inside of the store and the drive through. If you want a fluffy bagel but crunchy surface with a cheap price, extra bonus drive though, and might have to drive a little out of the way to get to Best Bagels could be your place.   

Overall, the most efficient and satisfying bagels were from Abe’s bagel shop. They were toasted perfectly, the workers were timely, and we were in and out in minutes. Although the hours of Abe’s is inefficient for anyone who wants a bagel or coffee in the afternoon, the price of a bagel made in the building is cheap and worth it.