These Are Seattle's Best Bagels, According To J. Kenji López-Alt

Food writer and chef J. Kenji López-Alt is a man with no shortage of opinions when it comes to all things food-related. From the best way to cook a steak (the reverse sear) to the best kind of Coke (American, not Mexican) to when to salt your burger (just prior to cooking), López-Alt does not hesitate to share what he considers to be best practices for both cooking and eating

As a man who grew up in New York, López-Alt, needless to say, has some strong feelings on the subject of bagels, feelings that he expressed at great length in his 2015 "The Good Bagel Manifesto" published in Serious Eats. To make the long manifesto short, he feels that bagels should not be toasted because any truly good bagel wouldn't need this. Although he didn't really weigh in on the great Biden bagel-ordering controversy, other than to tweet the semantic quibble "Delis don't serve bagels. Bagel shops do," he likely wouldn't disapprove since a) his manifesto did say "If you really really like toasted bagels, then go ahead," and b) he's aware that Biden's from Delaware, which is not one of your better bagel states. (Neither is its neighbor to the north, New Jersey.) While López-Alt says that NYC and Montreal are the two great bagel cities in North America (and likely the Western Hemisphere, unless Buenos Aires bagels are a sleeper sensation), he's tweeted that he has been able to dig up decent specimens since moving to Seattle.

Seattle's upping its bagel game

While J. Kenji López-Alt's tweet of two weeks ago bemoans the fact that in Seattle "every bagel shop seems to have two dozen flavors of bagel, many that include fruit or cheese, and none that include caraway" (López-Alt being no fan of any toppings that don't make up one of the everything bagel's components), he did admit that "there are good bagels here if you look!" More recently, he tweeted a list of his top picks, the shops he named being (in no particular order): "Pork Chop [Porkchop & Co.], Eltana, Locksmith [Loxsmithbagels], Rubinstein's, Bagel Oasis, Schmaltzy's, Zylberschtein's, [and] Old Salt."

Commenters suggested López-Alt try Dingfelder's (he said they're next on his list), Blazing Bagels, Whidbey Island Bagel Factory, Macrina, Westman's Bagel and Coffee, Mt. Bagel, and Grateful Bread. (Could this last one be any Seattlier?) López-Alt will have plenty of time to try all of those bagel shops and more, since, as he explained when asked what he was doing in the Emerald City, "I am not setting up a new restaurant, and it is not a vacation. We moved here permanently. " It would seem that he picked a good time to do so. As one Twitter user told him, "Most of these spots weren't open when I moved to Seattle in 2016. I had plenty of longtime Seattle resident friends tell me there were no good bagels here. Now there's real competition." Good news indeed for any displaced New Yorkers pondering a move to the "Great Northwet."