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Bagels at Battle of the Bagel
Photograph: Carmen Zammit

Time Out hosted a huge bagel competition – here's who won
Written by
Cassidy Knowlton

What happens when you get chefs from four of Melbourne's best bagel joints into a room to compete for the coveted title of best bagel? A whole lot of carbs and 100 very full, very satisfied punters.

We asked Melbourne's best bagel places to submit their ultimate bagel, filled with Philadelphia cream cheese and whatever their imaginations could create. Our editors selected their four favourite, and they battled it out at Au79 on Saturday, August 3, for the coveted title of Melbourne's favourite bagel. 

The contestants were: 5 and Dime, Bowery to Williamsburg, Au79 and Mile End Bagels, and the event presented by Philadelphia cream cheese

The first two bagels out of the oven were Bowery to Williamsburg and Mile End Bagels, which both whipped up seafood-inspired creations.  

Photograph: Carmen Zammit

Bowery to Williamsburg's bagel was inspired by the Bloody Caesar cocktail, a Bloody Mary made with Clamato juice instead of tomato juice. Clamato juice is a mixture of tomato juice and clam juice, and the Bloody Caesar is a classic New York brunch drink. The Philadelphia cream cheese was mixed with Tobasco, sundried tomatoes, paprika and horseradish, then topped with fried buttermilk-dredged clams. It was served on a plain bagel.  

Photograph: Caermen Zammit

Mile End went for a classic combo of smoked salmon, dill and capers, which can be found in every deli in New York. The dill and capers were chopped into the cream cheese, with red onion and a generous serve of smoked salmon placed on top. It was served on an everything bagel, cooked Montreal style (which means wood fired).  

Photograph: Carmen Zammit

Then came the dessert bagels. Playing on the idea of a cheese plate, 5 and Dime created a cranberry bagel for the occasion. Gorgonzola blue cheese was mixed throughout the cream cheese, then served open face, with fig jam and candied walnuts on top, as well as a sprinkling of micro mint. 

Photograph: Carmen Zammit

And Au79's creation was a play on the tiramisu. The cream cheese was sweetened with caster sugar and marsala and joined coffee cream on the bagel. Coffee soil (a mix of chocolate, coffee and sugar) was sprinkled in and on the bagel, which was also drizzled in Kahlua coffee syrup. 

After everyone tasted all four, it was time for the crucial vote. The contest was hard fought and the results close, but in the end only one bagel could be declared the winner. Mile End Bagel's classic combination of smoked salmon, dill, capers red onion and Philly cream cheese was the crowd favourite and took home bragging rights as Melbourne's favourite bagel.  

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