Believe it or not, delectable bagels can also be found to the west and south of New York City.

Just ask a guy named Wil Fulton who's a staff writer for the food and entertainment website, Thrillist. Wil's assignment: to find the best bagel shops throughout the country. That, my friends, would be my dream job!

How do you like to dress your bagel? For me, it's a fresh, just out of the oven sesame seed bagel from Bagelman slathered in cream cheese with fresh nova lox and a good-sized slice of red onion to round it out. The following are five of Wil's favorite bagel shops in America.

  1. Bagelmasters - (Shrewsbury, New Jersey) - Labeled by many sources as one of the best small towns in America, Shrewsbury is host to one of the East Coast's best delis and the maker of bagels that are hand-rolled, kettle cooked and made fresh daily plus their lox are hand sliced.
  2. Myer's Bagels - (Burlington, Vermont) - Myer's is a legendary destination for bagel lovers. Their bagels are thin, chewy, boiled and then baked in a wood-fired oven. The foodie website, Epicurious named Myer's as the best bagel shop in America and they ship their bagels all over the country.
  3. Kaufman's Bakery - (Skokie, Illinois) - If Skokie can have a full-blown Jewish deli, why can't the greater Danbury area get on board? Since the 1950's Kaufman's has been serving up every imaginable kind of pastry, croissant, homemade beards, cakes, and pies. Their bagels are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
  4. The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. - (Del Ray, Florida) - Supposedly they use a vat of 'Brooklynized' water that's been fancied up to taste just like New York City water. Wil from Thrillest.com says their bagels taste exactly like they came out of the oven in Flatbush.
  5. Wholy Bagel - (Austin, Texas) - A New Jersey native brought the New York City bagel to Austin and set up his own shop. It's as New York as you can get in Austin complete with fresh lox, whitefish, and black-and-white cookies.

In the greater Danbury area here are my favorite bagel stops and my bagel of choice for each.

  1. Bagelman - Oat Bran
  2. Stew Leonards - Cheddar Cheese
  3. Shoprite - Padanaram Rd. Danbury - Sesame Seed and Cinnamon Raisin

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