Once upon a time, Matteson Koche took a trip out to L.A. and had a bagel epiphany when he found young dudes rolling bagels using old-school techniques. He came back to Miami and started El Bagel out of his home in 2017. Now, with a storefront on Biscayne Boulevard, he's using those same techniques to put out long fermented sourdough bagels that are deeply flavorful, perfectly chewy and, quite simply, the new standard in what a bagel can be.
If you’re lucky, you remember a time in Miami when the beach was replete with old-school delis patronized by blue-haired Jews who came for the free bowls of pickles and to gossip about yesterday’s mahjong tournament. Maybe grandma took you, or perhaps you stumbled in after a late night at Tantra (yeah, that was an actual place). Of course, you ordered the bagel, toasted and schmeared.
Those were good bagels, even if the New Yorkers said differently. While those delis are mostly long gone, our bagel game and breakfast in Miami have never been stronger. You can still find a few of the old-school places, plastic bins full of puffy discs sold cheaply and toasted up quickly. But now they’re joined by pro bakers and quit-their-day-job upstarts who have proudly taken up the bagel mantle. In our guide to Miami’s best bagels, you’ll find a healthy—albeit carby—mix of all of them.
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