6 Places To Get a Fresh Bagel in Cincinnati, Ohio

March 25th, 2021 by
Sesame Seed Bagel

Image via Flickr by Muffet | Licensed by CC BY 2.0

There’s nothing quite like the hot and chewy taste of a fresh-made bagel. Sure, doughnuts are sweet and muffins are fun. But there’s something about a sliced bagel slathered in cream cheese that can’t be beat. Whether you live in Cincinnati or are fortunate enough to travel through this wonderful city, you’re in luck. The greater Cincinnati area is full of spots where you can get your bagel fix. Keep reading to explore six of our favorites. Maybe you can stop by one of the shops before your next road trip — or do a Cincy tour-de-bagels and sample all six!

Marx Hot Bagels

Since 1969, the folks at Marx Hot Bagels have been boiling and baking some of the area’s best bagels. Certified Kosher, the bagels contain no preservatives. Stop by the classic bagel shop in Blue Ash to try one of the many flavors baked fresh each day. Marx offers all of the usual suspects, from plain and onion to pumpernickel and salt, as well as a wide selection of specialty flavors. Customers with a sweet tooth will love the Apple Cinnamon and Chocolate Chip varieties, while adventurous eaters may want to try Tomato or Jalapeno.

If you come for the bagels, stay for the sandwiches. Marx boasts a full menu of sandwiches that can be prepared on your choice of bagel or bread. Don’t miss their herring, smoked trout, smoked salmon, and hummus. If you fall in love with the cream cheese, don’t worry. Customers can pick up plain, smoked salmon, and other favorite flavors by the pint.

Big Apple Bagels

For a store that is serious about baked goods, look no further than Big Apple Bagels (BAB). This store specializes in premium, made-from-scratch bagels and muffins. Since 1993, BAB has delivered deliciousness to the Cincinnati region, and they have long partnered with charitable organizations to give back “dough” to local communities.

In addition to classic bagel flavors, BAB offers multiple types of cream cheese, cake-like muffins, and a full menu of sandwiches. Don’t miss the breakfast sandwiches, which come loaded with toppings like scrambled eggs, bacon, lox, and more. If you’re not sure what to order, you can’t go wrong with the Coffee of the Month and Bagel of the Month specialty flavors! BAB also offers a mobile app for on-the-go ordering, so you can pick up a dozen as you drive to your destination.

OTR Bagel Bar

A newcomer in downtown Cincinnati, OTR Bagel Bar serves New York-style bagels in surprising flavor combinations. While you can always pick up a dozen of the classics, including plain, poppy seed, onion, and “everything” varieties, those who like to give their taste buds an adrenalin rush will appreciate the wild side of the menu. Recent hits include Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, Fruity Pebbles, Graham Cracker, and BBQ Cheese Nibs flavors! The adventure doesn’t stop in the bagel oven. Customers can try cream cheese “schmears” in flavors like Honey Pecan, Blueberry Lemon Curd, and Habanero.

Gluten-free eaters will be happy to know that OTR Bagel Bar also offers gluten-free bagel options. Order ahead to reserve one of these popular bagels, as they sell out fast. If you’re looking to up your bagel game, order any of OTR’s bagels as a sandwich. Pair that with hot coffee or cold brew, and you have the perfect meal.

The Bagelry

Head to historic Over the Rhine to experience another Cincinnati favorite — The Bagelry. Since 2017, this brick-and-mortar shop has offered handmade, fresh-boiled bagels that customers crave. The owners and workers here pride themselves on their use of tried-and-true techniques like hand-rolling, kettle-boiling, and an overnight rise. While The Bagelry doesn’t offer trendy flavors, it has perfected its classic recipes, and there’s something on the menu for every eater. Pick up a dozen bagels topped with sesame seeds, rosemary, asiago, and other flavors.

For vegans, The Bagelry offers the ultimate in vegan cream cheese, from herbed spread to a smoky “cheddar” flavor. Don’t worry: Dairy lovers can find their fair share of delights here as well, including a bacon scallion cream cheese that is the stuff of dreams. The Bagelry also has a robust sandwich menu, where you can find everything from a bacon-avocado sandwich to a classic pizza bagel.

Lil’s Bagels

Trust us: You won’t mind the trek to downtown Covington after you have a dozen of Lil’s Bagels in hand. This fan-favorite shop began as a carryout window but is now a full brick-and-mortar. The hand-rolled, boiled, and baked bagels range from the simple — Salt, Sesame, and Garlic — to the complex, with flavors like Old Bay, Spicy Beet Turmeric, and Salted Chocolate Chip. Bagels can be paired with a full menu of creatively-named cream cheese, including Tina Turnt-her (Spicy pepper and scallion) and Chut the Front Door (made with cilantro, mint, ginger, and coconut).

Lil’s Bagels is especially vegan-friendly, offering a vegan baba ganouj and a savory spread made from beets, roasted veggies, and hummus. When it comes to toppings, customers can enjoy egg salad, whitefish salad, kraut, jams, lox, pastrami, and dozens of other options. Don’t miss out on the bagel grilled cheese, which takes the idea of a bagel sandwich to a whole new level.

Five One Three Bagel Co.

For a tasty bagel paired with a meaningful mission, there’s Five One Three. This bagel shop began as an opportunity for the owner to turn her life around after a stay in rehab. Now, she wants to inspire others to change their lives. To her, bagels are a “little slice of heaven,” and customers agree. Head to Five One Three for classic flavors, but stay for the fruit-forward specialty bagels, including blueberry-lemon and apricot-pistachio.

Hungry yet? While these are some of our top bagel makers in the Cincinnati area, we are always on the search for more. If you know of any tasty bagels in our area, let us know! At Performance Kings Honda, we remain committed to partnering with local businesses, hearing from our community — and hitting the road to find the tastiest eats the region has to offer.

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