We’re Addicted to Alexandria’s Bagel Uprising

More proof that great bagels exist in Washington.

Small-batch bagels from Alexandria's Bagel Uprising. Photograph courtesy of Bagel Uprising.

Where can you find a good bagel in DC? Years ago we may have shrugged, but times have changed, and Washington is becoming a bagel town. Sure, New Yorkers will protest, but all that means is more delicious bagels for us. Our newest find: Bagel Uprising at Del Ray’s Four Mile Run farmer’s market.

The man behind the stand is Chad Breckinridge, who began making bagels as a hobby and launched his side-job this year (weekdays you’ll find him at the Federal Communications Commission). Though he lived in New York for ten years, he doesn’t follow the school of thought that good bagels are all about NYC terroir.

“Everyone thinks that the water is why New York bagels are so good, and that’s not true,” says Breckinridge.

His trick: making the dough in advance, and letting it rest overnight to enhance the flavor. Breckinridge rises at 4 am on market days to boil the rounds in a mixture of water (good ol’ Alexandria tap), malt, and a touch of brown sugar before baking them. The result is a bagel that’s very close to the old-school New York variety: small yet fairly thick, with just the right amount of chew and malty flavor. Toppings are traditional, only sea salt, sesame, poppyseed, or homemade “everything” seasoning.

The downside is that Breckinridge loves making bagels as a hobby, but doesn’t plan on expanding the business beyond his home kitchen. Anyone looking for a taste should get to the market early on Sunday; he makes around 350 bagels ($1.50 each), but has been known to sell out quickly. The market may hibernate by December, but he hopes to keep selling the bagels as long as there’s demand, which is where the name comes from.

“The people won’t stand for grocery store bagels anymore,” says Breckinridge.

Check Uprising’s Facebook page for locations beyond the market.

Bagel Uprising. Available at the Four Mile Run Farmers and Aristans Market. 4109 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Open Sundays, 9 to 1.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.