Given the number of transplanted New Yorkers in the NC Triangle, it’s pretty common to hear the refrain “There are no good bagels around here…” But as you can guess, with the growth of the NC Triangle, some aspiring entrepreneur fills that gap! And one great, new option for bagels is the popular Brandwein’s out in Chapel Hill. The place had hit my radar screen months back ago when it opened in the summer of 2020. Several visits later and I can honestly say it is one of the best bagels around, curious to hear what the NYers think!
Located on Rosemary Street which runs parallel to Franklin, Brandwein’s Bagels sits on a busy street corner decked out in white, painted brick. Usually, you’ll find a cadre of Carolina kids munching away on breakfast outside in the sun. Even after a renovation in 2022, it’s a super simple setup. Order counter with two registers, you can also order online and pick up at the counter to avoid any lines.
The menu here at Brandwein’s is pretty simple: bagels as singles, half-dozen, and by the dozen with or without cream cheese. There’s about 12 or so common bagel flavors along with the occasional bialy (baked, not boiled). Brandwein’s also offers up a variety of cream cheeses, spreads, deli salads, along with bagel sandwiches. Wash it all down with a coffee, tea, or drink from their refrigerated case.
While Brandwein’s is mostly grab and go, there’s some shaded seating outside under the eaves of the building along with a handful of indoor tables next to a retail merchandise shelf. It’s all basic and functional here because the bagels are g-o-o-d! I’ve tried a variety and the bagels are puffy and fluffy with a good, tender interior and nicely chewy bagel skin on the outside. Toppings are generously spread out on the sesame and everything bagels.
I’ve also tried their hot honey turkey bagel sandwich which was nicely stuffed with sliced turkey meat, cheese, and thin-sliced veggies, nicely built, and a mouthful. A happy thumbs-up from me, I definitely want to try more off their sandwich menu!
Overall, I think Brandweins may be boiling and baking the best bagels in the Triangle but I need to check out a couple of spots in Cary to compare. And maybe, there might be one less thing for Northerners to complain about after moving to the Triangle… 🙂