A quick and easy lunch to rival any croque-monsieur or panini, the New York-style bagel has slowly become a well-established and respectable on-the-go meal for busy office workers and homesick tourists in Paris. With various chains like Bagelstein and smaller independents like Mo’Bagels now flogging their produce across the city, it can be hard to choose a specific vendor, so here’s our pick of the very best bagel shops in Paris.
The best bagels in Paris
With five outlets across the Right Bank, Ari’s stands out from the Paris bagel crowd thanks to the quality of its bread. Perfectly toasted on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, whatever variety you go for (onion, sesame, multi-seed), the bagel is as much a pleasure as the filling. But those are good too: we recommend the original house ‘Ari’s Bagel’, with its canny combo of pastrami, cheddar, honey mustard and crispy fried onions.
The capital’s ongoing street food craze has prompted a sudden rise in demand for American eateries of all stripes. Capitalizing on this trend, Bagels & Brownies brings you just that: the most essential of Stateside snacks, served with simple class. Walk in and you’re confronted with a dizzying array of bagels, each named after a region of the US. We opted for the San Diego (cream cheese, pastrami, cheese, tomato, avocado and mustard) – a tad small, but also filling, creamy, and sweet and savoury in equal measure.
The Bagelstein mini-chain offers an alternative to the classic baguette or croque-monsieur with bagels made in situ and freshly filled to order. Choose from a variety of bagel types (plain, sesame, poppy seed, shallot) and an even greater range of fillings. The best sellers here are ‘Le Gab’ (cream cheese, pastrami, marinated red peppers, onion) and ‘Le Léontine’ (cream cheese, smoked salmon, cucumber, onion), but you can also ‘pick and mix’ to create your own perfect filling.
Following on from the wildly popular Bob's Kitchen and Bob's Cold Press, Bob's Bake Shop extends the winning formula to baked goods, and bagels in particular. The (excellent) coffee may be locally produced, but the shop channels the same yuppified American vibe as its sister venues. Everything, from the the scrumptious pies to the bagels themselves, is baked onsite, and served with the freshest veggie ingredients.
This bagel shop in the 9th gets a fair amount of footfall (there was a queue out of the shop on our weekday visit) and it's not surprising. Inventive bagel fillings are named after big Hollywood stars so you can sit at one of the high-top tables to munch a Natalie Portman, Clark Kent or even an Obama. The most substantial has to be the Schwarzenegger, a protein rich combination of pastrami, turkey, cornichons, tomato, cheese and fried onions (€7.70).
Despite being tucked down the quiet Rue Louis Blanc, a regular stream of customers come and go from this bagel shop in the 10th arrondissement. The smiley team inside is led by founder Olivier Ottavi, a talkative, bearded chap who makes you feel at home in the cosy, log cabin-style space.The bagels themselves – alluringly stacked up in wooden baskets – strike a decent balance between crisp and chewy. They come in all different types.
With its three busy staff simultaneously handling takeaway orders, the queue and service, this bagel shop on the Rue Saint-Lazare can feel slightly chaotic at times. But even if it can take upwards of 10 minutes to get your order in, the highly original bagels and fillings are worth it. L’Atelier’s standout bagel flavour is the punchy emmental and chilli, a perfect match for the ‘Burrata’ filling (creamy burrata, sun-dried tomatoes, aubergines, pesto and rocket). Generous fillings spill out the hole in the middle.