In Charlotte, a good bagel is hard to find. The art of perfecting the delicate combination of crispy round crust and warm chewy inside eludes many bakers. Whether you prefer a plain schmeared with plain cream cheese or an everything loaded with everything, your bagel chase has come to an end. This is your guide to finding the best bagels in the Queen City.
LOCAL MOM AND POP SHOPS
Owen’s Bagel and Deli (South End)
2041 South Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28203
Hours: Everyday 7am – 4pm
This is the hip entry on the list. Owen’s is located in the up and coming South End, a booming neighborhood full of new businesses and young professionals. A vibrant, talkative staff serves guests. The decor is eclectic and there’s a medium sized dining room, so getting a seat is possible. Parking, on the other hand, can be limited. Do what the regulars do and park on the other end of the strip mall. It’s only about 30 second walk and it’s easier. (BONUS TIP: Best Nova Lox in Charlotte!)
Poppy’s Bagels and More (Myers Park)
2921 Providence Rd, Charlotte, NC 28211
Hours: Mon – Fri 6am – 3pm and Sat – Sun 7am – 3pm
This place has more of a family-friendly vibe. The owners are from New York, where the bagel was invented, so you figure they know what a good bagel tastes like. They don’t make their own cream cheese, but they do stir in their own flavors. The ordering process isn’t streamlined, and Sundays things can get a bit hectic. But these fresh bagels are worth the wait. Parking isn’t an issue.
NEW AND GREAT BAGEL SHOPS
Fourth Ward Bread Co. (Uptown)
312 N Graham Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
Hours: Tue – Sat 7am – 7pm and Sun 7am – 3pm and Mon Closed
Since they opened in September of 2013 in Uptown Charlotte, the new paint on the historic brick building this neighborhood bakery occupies is a welcome sight to residents. A great place to become a regular for Uptown residents and employees, and the newest must visit for Charlotte tourists. Remember, they’re closed on Monday. Park in the big gravel lot on the side. (BONUS TIP: They have cronuts!)
The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel (Ballantyne)
15105 John J Delaney Drive, Suite F, Charlotte, NC 28277
Hours: Everyday 6:30am – 4pm
This chain, new to North Carolina, turns the art of bagel making into a science. According to their website, they use water treated at a plant in Florida to mimic the composition of the water in Brooklyn. The restaurant is new and shiny, but it doesn’t have the same local feel as the other entries on the list. However, the dedication to preserving their recipe produces delicious results. This one is in a shopping center in Ballantyne, which is quite a drive if you aren’t already working or living in south Charlotte.