I’ve never been a bagel person. I’m not from New York; I see cream cheese as just more fattening butter. I trekked over to Spread Bagelry with a sore throat, a list of application deadlines cramming up my gcal and both literal and metaphorical rain clouds above my head. I left with a paper bag of pure happiness. Take it from a non–foodie: Spread Bagelry will be your sunshine on a cloudy day.
Tucked next to the Chestnut Street Wawa, this cozy spot caters to all your bagel–eating preferences. Like, actually all of them. Eat outside on the cute terrace overlooking the ever–scenic Kings Court, inside with the in–house wood oven wafting the smell of rising bread or, if you’re hungover and hoping the carbs will settle your stomach, back in bed after snagging a to–go order. You can even turn bagels into brunch with Spread’s all–day brunches on Saturday and Sunday—they’re BYOV (Bring Your Own Vodka, what a concept)—to go with their signature spicy Bloody Marys.
Spread Bagelry features Montreal–style bagels, which means they’re hand–rolled, boiled in honey water and then baked in a wood–fired brick oven. Translation: The bagels are sweeter than usual, which is a welcome addition to even savory sandwiches. And Spread takes these bagels to a whole new level, adding flavored seasonal spreads like Sweet Berry ($4) and Smoked Nova Salmon Cream Cheese ($5). It’s in their sandwich selection, though, that Spread really hits their stride—gobble The Classic (Smoked Nova Salmon and/or Whitefish Salad, cream cheese, tomato, onion, with a side of a salad,) for $11, or a Frittata Scramble crammed with eggs, cheddar, cherry wood smoked bacon, tomato and amish jam ($7.50) before the food coma settles in.
I opted for a Grilled Cheese whole wheat bagel ($9.72, with tax) that seemed ready to burst out of its foil packaging. I didn’t realize what a difference the bagel itself would make—the sweetness from its honey infused bath plus the toasted texture added a new dimension to a heavenly classic. I’ve consumed a lot of grilled cheeses over my twenty years, and this was indisputably the best: Gooey but not greasy, highlighted by ripe chunks of tomato and crisp strips of bacon. Spread, you’ve officially converted me. Bagels are where it’s at.
LOCATION: 3602 Chestnut St.
TL;DR: Hit up Spread for bagel concoctions you've always needed, but never known about.
DON"T MISS: The Bagel Grilled Cheese. God, that grilled cheese.
SKIP: The guilt after you eat the whole sandwich in one sitting
WHEN TO GO: Before Spread runs out of bagels––while the hours technically end at 4 p.m., they sometimes run out of bagels earlier in the day.