The Great Washingtonian Bagel Tasting

Who makes the best everything bagel in town? Our office weighs in.

Bagel Boom! Who makes the best around Washington?

Few things light up our office Slack channel like the subject of bagels. People have opinions—strong ones!—about the breakfast staple. So we decided to hold a taste test, in which 19 staffers tasted and ranked everything bagels from ten local shops, without knowing where each was from. Here, our results, with sample comments. Let the arguing begin.

The Winner: Bethesda Bagels

Bethesda, Rockville, Arlington, Navy Yard

“Golden-brown, chewy crust, perfect amount of seasoning on both sides.”

Second Place: Bagel Uprising

2307-A Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria

“Excellent spice and salt—crucial in an everything bagel. Very good snap on the crust.”

Third Place: Bullfrog Bagels

Eastern Market, H Street, Tenleytown, Brookland

“A perfect balance of chewy and soft. It almost tastes like caramelized onions are involved—a winner for onion or garlic lovers.”


Fourth Place: Brooklyn Bagel

2055 Wilson Blvd., Arlington

“Chewy exterior, soft interior, and great seasoning and color.”

Fifth Place: Chewish Deli

807 Pendleton St., Alexandria

“Golden-brown deliciousness—insert the song ​‘Brown Eyed Girl.’ ”

Sixth Place: Pearl’s Bagels

1017 Seventh St., NW

“The bagels have a nice softness to them—I imagine they make a great sandwich.”


Seventh Place: Goldberg’s New York Bagels

Rockville, Silver Spring, Potomac

“No seasoning, poor look, but good for bread.”


Eighth Place: Call Your Mother

Park View, Georgetown, West End, Capitol Hill, Bethesda, North Bethesda

“Why is it so sweet? Maybe this would be good in a sandwich with lox, bacon, or salty ingredients, but it’s a sugar bomb on its own.”

Ninth Place: Buffalo & Bergen

1309 Fifth St., NE; 240 Massachusetts Ave., NE

“These were like softballs—too much dough, not enough seasoning.”

Tenth Place: Georgetown Bagelry

5227 River Rd., Bethesda

“Too much seasoning even for an everything bagel—and seems kinda stale.”

This article appears in the April 2022 issue of Washingtonian.