Berkeley Bagel Factory
1225 Sixth St./Gilman St., West Berkeley, 510-616-2158. Daily from 7am-1:00pm.
|counter at Boichik Bagels factory in Berkeley, California
Said to be styled after H&H Bagels in NYC, Boichik Bagels has added a California twist to the H&H tagline--“there are no(w) good bagels in California.” The bagels here are organic kosher, chewy, and slightly sweet. The production process involves a pre-fermentation period, then boiling, then baking.
|bagels at Boichik Bagels factory in Berkeley, California
Though this is the second Boichik Bagels location in Berkeley, this enormous new factory space bumps it up to #1 in popularity. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available, and large windows inside provide expansive views of the factory workings. Viewers can watch both a mechanized bagel maker that displays bagels emerging from the oven and a robot that puts bagels on baking sheets into a stacker.
|exterior of Boichik Bagels factory in Berkeley, California
The cafe menu features a variety of bagels, bialys (try one with egg salad topping), and many kinds of schmears--think chive or strawberry, as well as the more exotic horseradish-cheddar-scallion or garlic-artichoke. My husband’s favorite is the Sesame, toasted and with plain cream cheese. My favorite is the delish Everything with lox schmear, which blew me away. It is truly a build-your-own bagel, so you can top yours with butter, jam, or Nutella, vegan cream cheese, or some veggie bits. But if all this requires too much effort for your early-morning brain, you can also just order one of the pre-designed classic sandwiches--The Classic with lox, or The Mensch with whitefish. Coffee is just coffee, nothing to get excited about but it does the job.
Owner Emily Winston thinks that this might be the first bagel factory built and owned by a woman. And BTW, “boichik” is a Yiddish term of endearment for a young boy or a young man. Also at: 3170 College Ave./Alcatraz Ave., (510) 858-5189.
|menu at Boichik Bagels factory in Berkeley, California
|bagel sandwich at Boichik Bagels factory in Berkeley, California