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The great bagel debate: Finding the best bagels in and around Vermont

Bagel maker Sam Ung rolls dough into a bagel in the basement of Ess-a-Bagel, Thursday, May 26, 2016, in New York. Ess-a-Bagel's holes are small but the bagels are big. The large size is somewhat of an accident after the family found a baker who shared his recipe, COO Melanie Frost said. "They put them in the oven and for whatever reason they rose and became these huge bagels, but they worked," she said. The word "essen" is German for "to eat." (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens
Associated Press
This hour, Vermont Edition discusses where to find the best bagels and how to make your own.

For the carb lovers among us, almost nothing inspires more passionate debate than bagels. During Vermont Edition's recent show about the art of making bagels, we were thrilled to be inundated with recommendations for the best bagels in Vermont and the surrounding region.

Our on-air guests also shared their tips and tricks for making bagels of all kinds. If you want to learn how to make bagels yourself, be sure to listen back to our live call-in discussion with:

Broadcast live on Friday, May 6, at noon.

And now, the bagel recommendations:

Jonathan in Norwich, Vermont: "Chris Calvin of Baker’s Studio in Hartland makes the best NY style bagels in the Northeast. Most others are simply too big, too sweet, rolls with holes. And please don’t toast a fresh bagel."

Stephan in Brattleboro, Vermont: "I like either Rosemary or Everything bagel, double toasted, lightly buttered with Avocado spread from Bruegger's Bagels."

Josh in Ludlow, Vermont: "The new(ish) baker at Brownsville Butcher and Pantry, Tim Shulga, makes batches that rival the best of NYC or Montreal. [F]or us it's a 45 minute drive. and up here, that's nothing for a legit bagel."

Allison in Peru, New York: "I am hoping to make a pilgrimage soon to either St.-Viateur or Fairmount, even though their offerings don't match my fond memory of the Faubourg deliciousness... I will be excited to throw carb caution to the wind as I joyfully celebrate the lifting of COVID restrictions on cross-border travel. Long Live Montreal Bagels, bon appetit!!"

Joy in Vermont: "Even though I was born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, I have come to love and prefer--and crave--Myer’s Bagels. So much so that when I spent a month in Brooklyn last year and then in Lower Manhattan for another month, my friends and family kept giving me grief because try as I might, I couldn't find a NYC bagel that I enjoyed as much as Myer's!"

Doretta: "Middlebury Bagel and Deli."

Vicky: "I like to think that I've tried most of the bagels in the surrounding Chittenden County region and Willow's Bagels in Burlington are my absolute favorites. They're big and fluffy inside with that perfect crispy crust and their cream cheese even has a unique sourness to it that I haven't found at other bagel shops. I regularly make the trip there to stock my freezer for the next week or two. New to the VT bagel scene is Huddy's in Milton. It's exciting to have a bagel option closer to home now too! We've already visited three times and are looking forward to their grand opening and expanded menu."

Alex: "I have been delighted by K.C.’s [Bagel Cafe] in Waterbury for years. Great assortment & really friendly staff."

Maureen in Rochester, Vermont: "Sandy’s Books and Bakery in Rochester, Vermont, is our go-to bagel place. We love the salt and pepper bagels."

Samantha in Stowe, Vermont: "Two Sons Bakehouse in Jeffersonville and Hyde Park."

Buddy: "Wally's Place in South Hero."

Dan in Colchester, Vermont: "Feldman's Bagels in Burlington."

Kate in Essex, Vermont: "I wanted to give a shout out to West Meadow Farm Gluten Free Farm Bakery in Essex, VT. They make a variety of fresh, gluten free bagels every Saturday morning and have even met our seasonal requests for gingerbread bagels! They are a great option for those with gluten restrictions."

Is your favorite bagel place missing from our list? Send us a message or tweet us @vermontedition.

Mikaela Lefrak is the host and senior producer of Vermont Edition. Her stories have aired nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Marketplace, The World and Here & Now. A seasoned local reporter, Mikaela has won two regional Edward R. Murrow awards and a Public Media Journalists Association award for her work.
Tedra worked on Vermont Edition as a producer and editor from 2022 to 2024.