Whether you’re cramming for an upcoming midterm, in a bad mood, or running to class and in need of a portable breakfast, Street’s got you covered with the definitive Philly bagel roundup.
Located right next to the Institute of Contemporary Art and Kings Court English College House, this is a campus staple. Spread Bagelry has an extensive, mostly–bagel menu, serving signature sandwiches, burgers, melts, and even hot dogs on bagels along with their classic homemade spreads. They put an emphasis on local, fresh, and seasonal ingredients, ensuring a high quality bagel experience where a breadth of options doesn’t compromise quality. All of Spread’s bagels are made Montréal–style, making them slightly smaller, denser, and sweeter in comparison to the classic New York–style. Additionally, Spread’s location on campus has a full bar if you’re looking to unload after a long day or have a boozy weekend brunch. There's an outdoor beer garden and patio in warmer months as well. Whatever bagel craving you have, it’ll be satisfied—from pizza–bagels to egg sandwiches to the ol’ standby: bagel with lox and cream cheese.
Address: 3602 Chestnut St.
Located in trendy East Passyunk, Essen Bakery is known for their decadent Jewish baked goods and James Beard semi–finalist founder, Tova du Plessis. Essen has gained somewhat of a cult following for their bagels. They make one of the best New York–style bagels in town with their own mixture of sourdough and rye that makes a bagel that, even on its own, is out–of–this–world. Also, you can get one of four flavors they make (sesame, poppy seed, everything, and plain) with one of their homemade schmears, which are mixtures of cream cheese with scallions, veggies, or lox.
Address: 1437 E Passyunk Ave.
South Street Philly Bagels
A neighborhood mainstay of Queen Village for over 20 years, South Street Philly Bagels makes all of their bagels on the spot in their kitchen. South Street Philly Bagels doesn't just get to boast their homemade products, but also the crazy amount of options. Not only do they have classics like everything and sesame, but also bialy, chocolate chip, sun–dried tomato, and even french toast! Same goes for their cream cheese flavors, as they serve up inventive flavors like horseradish, pesto, apple raisin, and jalapeño, among others.
Address: 613 S 3rd St.
A noted campus food truck staple, Schmear It has two accessible locations for bagel enjoyment near campus: a food truck that rotates its locations through campus (mostly staying on 38th and Locust), and a brick and mortar location on 36th and Market. Schmear It has a huge variety of bagel sandwiches, from five different types of egg sandwiches (some with egg and lox, others with various veggies, and one Greek–themed, made with spinach, onions, feta, olives, and tomatoes) to lunch sandwiches (turkey with avocado, caprese, tuna melt) to even dessert options (you could have s'mores or french toast in a bagel, people). However, they also offer an easy build–your–own part of the menu that lets you make your own schmear with several different types of cream cheese (vegan included!). If you’re looking for some kind of guidance with your bagel, they have several inventive schmears aside from the classics, including “Flaming Islander,” which features cream cheese, mango, and Sriracha, as well as “Philly Roll” which contains cream cheese, lox, cucumbers, wasabi, and soy sauce. Their menu is diverse and customizable.
Address: 3601 Market St. #5 (closer to Filbert St.)
Philly Style Bagels
Philly Style Bagels gained traction for offering up what they claimed as a better alternative to the New York–style bagel. The Philly Style bagel is boiled in beer. They have enough options that won't make you feel boxed in, but not so many that it's overwhelming. Flavors include cinnamon raisin, salt, garlic, and onion, among the classics as well. Along with spreads like jalapeño cream cheese and whitefish salad and vegan counterparts in the form of Tofutti, Philly Style Bagels also offers up bagel sandwiches like hummus with onion, artichoke, and arugula, and the Italian, which is made with three types of cured meats along with provolone and arugula.
Address: 1451 E Columbia Ave.