A guide to the best bagels in Tenleytown


Margot Durfee

Wilson students have nearly unending options when it comes to breakfast, lunch, or after-school snacks. But it can be hard to know where to go if you are looking for something in particular, especially bagels. To help you out, I went to Whole Foods, Starbucks, Panera, and Dunkin’ Donuts to try their “everything” bagels. Here’s what I found:

1. Whole Foods

If you don’t know, an “everything” bagel has sesame seeds, poppy seeds, roasted garlic, and a little bit of salt sprinkled on top. The Whole Foods everything bagel had just the right flavor and texture — the bagel wasn’t too hard to bite into, and the inside was fluffy and a little chewy, with a hint of sweetness. Sadly, it doesn’t come prepared, so if you want cream cheese or butter on the bagel, you’ll have to buy a block from the refrigerator section of the store. But, what I really like about it is that they are by far the largest bagels out of the four I tried out, and the cheapest, at just $1 per bagel. Granted, these are not New York bagels, but for northwest DC they aren’t bad.

2. Starbucks

The bagels at Starbucks are a $1.50 each, with an option of butter or cream cheese (which has an additional charge). It comes sliced and toasted. It is a bit smaller than the Whole Foods bagel, but it has an extra topping — cheese sprinkled on top along with the poppy and sesame seeds. It has a good texture, slightly chewier than the Whole Foods bagel, but it still has a soft inside. The Starbucks bagel is a good option if you want to eat it right away — you can order it to go and it will come with a plastic knife (perfect if you want to bring it through security to eat for lunch).

3. Panera

Panera offers a wide variety of bagels, ranging from plain to cranberry-walnut flavored. The everything bagel at Panera is $1.09, and you can request to get it toasted and sliced. There is a choice between butter and cream cheese, the cream cheese being an additional $1.30. The bagel is about the same size as the one served a Starbucks, but it was not as flavorful, and the outside was too hard, making it a challenge to bite into. Overall, it is a decent bagel, with a perk that it is ready to eat when you buy it.

4. Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts makes great donuts. But their bagels, not so much. When I was there, they were out of the everything bagel, so I got a multigrain bagel instead, figuring it might be similar. The Dunkin’ Donuts bagels are the smallest out of the four, as well as the most expensive ($1.59 without cream cheese, and $2.79 with cream cheese). Although it comes sliced and toasted, all the toasting seemed to do was warm it up. The bagel was too soft, almost like a loaf of sandwich bread, and it tasted way too sweet, like a donut. To my dismay, more than often I bit into the bagel to find sunflower seeds or unidentifiable grains. On top of that, there is not an option for butter, so if you don’t want cream-cheese, you’ll have to eat it plain.