Breakfast is a beloved meal, and while the East Coast is known for its bagels, Santa Cruz County has its own collection of great bagel spots! Whether you’re looking for a fully loaded bagel breakfast sandwich or a classic bagel with schmear, these top bagel spots will fulfill your breakfast cravings. Explore the local bagel scene in Santa Cruz County as we delve into the distinctive qualities that distinguish West Coast bagels from their traditional New York counterparts. Santa Cruz County has developed its own take on bagels, embodying a laid-back vibe that complements its coastal surroundings. Join us as we unravel the details of West Coast bagels that are typically smaller, less chewy, and often topped with a sprinkle of California creativity. This isn’t just about bagels; it’s an exploration of regional breakfast culture and how the West Coast puts its own spin on a beloved classic.
1.) Firefly Coffeehouse
Firefly Coffee House makes all of their bagels from scratch, and with a huge menu offering, there is something for every bagel lover here! Their bagels are smaller and tighter in structure but have an awesome texture that comes topped with creative flavor combinations or well-executed traditional bagels. Their jalapeno-cheddar bagel is a knock-out flavor combination that makes the perfect base for any of their breakfast sandwiches, or just add cream cheese to really experience the bagel itself! They also have great flavors, including spicy parmesan or pesto, in addition to their classic flavors. For those looking for a serious bagel breakfast, Firefly’s inventive bagel sandwiches are a must-try. The Situation is a mountain of egg folded with potatoes, cheddar cheese, chives, and cream cheese spread. You can add extras as well to amp up the flavor even more by adding ingredients like bacon, avocado, chicken apple sausage, jalapenos, or vegan chorizo. For lovers of spice, the Kitchen Sink delivers perfectly crispy bacon with avocado, jalapenos, fresh tomatoes, chives, and cream cheese. Bagel lovers won’t leave hungry from Firefly Coffee House, and don’t forget to pair your bagel with some of their excellent coffee or a breakfast burrito!
2.) House of Bagels
Tucked away in the heart of Scotts Valley, House of Bagels is a hidden bastion of the New York style bagel right here on the West Coast. House of Bagels in Scotts Valley is one of 18 retail locations for this Bay Area business that has supplied the area with New York style bagels since 1962. Established in 1962 by Sid Chassy, a native New Yorker from a family of bakers, House of Bagels brought their family’s recipe to the West Coast. Today, under the ownership of Sid’s sons, the business has expanded to multiple locations, all locally franchised and run by Bay Area families, including our very own here in Scotts Valley. Their bagels are made fresh daily and can be taken home to delight your family or filled with delicious ingredients to make some tasty bagel sandwiches. Their Smoked Salmon bagel sandwich on their All-in-One bagel, which is a super loaded everything bagel, or their sausage, egg, and cheese are awesome options to try! Committed to their roots, House of Bagels takes pride in being the original New York bagels in the Bay Area, still delivering freshness with quality ingredients daily.
3.) La Marea Café and Pizzeria
La Marea is a brand new hidden gem in Capitola Village that takes the art of bagel-making to new heights. With a name meaning ‘the tide’ in Italian, La Marea beckons bagel enthusiasts with its unique offerings. Baked fresh daily, their sourdough bagels are slowly fermented, airy, tangy and a perfect vessel for their fresh variety of toppings. Paired with specialty coffee from Syllable Coffee, these bagels are not just a treat for the taste buds but a culinary experience. The star of the show is undoubtedly The Scandi, a specialty bagel boasting whipped organic cream cheese, cold smoked salmon, pickled onion, capers, dill, lemon zest, and cracked pepper on a caraway dill bagel. Another standout is The Farmer’s Market bagel, featuring whipped organic herbed cream cheese, radish, Persian cucumber, pickled onion, and pea shoots on a sesame sea salt bagel. La Marea takes pride in using fresh, local ingredients, ensuring that each dish is a symphony of seasonal flavors. While you can’t yet take home bagels from La Marea, their cafe bagel options are a true culinary delight that will make your whole morning!
4.) Bagel Cafe and Bakery
On the south side of Santa Cruz County, Bagel Cafe and Bakery is a haven for delicious bagels and bagel sandwiches that will leave you feeling satisfied all day! Located conveniently in the Watsonville Square Shopping Center, this homey cafe crafts delicious bagels and desserts daily, ensuring a fresh and flavorful experience with every bite. Whether you’re in the mood for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Bagel Cafe and Bakery has you covered with a menu featuring fresh bagel sandwiches, salads, and baked goods. The secret to their huge bagel sandwiches lies in the foundation – great bagels made fresh every day. Choose from mouthwatering options like the Chorizo Omelette Sandwich or the Pesto Chicken Sandwich, each fresh and made-to-order. Don’t miss the chance to take home a variety of fun-flavored bagels, including pesto, jalapeno cheddar, and superseed. The bagels here are big, bready, and full of flavor. Whether you choose to enjoy your meal inside or outside the friendly atmosphere of Bagel Cafe and Bakery or opt for takeout, you’re in for a treat that combines quality ingredients with skillful craftsmanship.
The Bagelry stands as a time-honored institution, crafting traditional boiled and hearth-baked bagels from scratch since 1977. Nestled right downtown, this beloved establishment has been dedicated to satisfying the community’s bagel cravings with affordability and unwavering quality. The bagels, small and dense, are a burst of flavor in every bite, making them a local favorite. Not only do they cater to traditional preferences, but the Bagelry also offers fantastic vegan and vegetarian options for their bagel sandwiches. Among the crowd-pleasers are the classic Bacon Egg and Cheese, the Scrambagel breakfast sandwiches, and the Lox Deluxe featuring sliced Norwegian Lox, whipped cream cheese, tomato, capers, and the choice of red or green onions. The Bagelry’s commitment to authenticity and a diverse menu ensures that every bagel lover finds their perfect match in the heart of Santa Cruz.