Hailing from the North Shore of Chicago, I knew that once I got settled into Bloomington my freshmen year, I needed to find one place: where I can get my bagel, lox, and schmear. Fortunately for me, I found them both in welcome week, and the best place in Bloomington to get your fix is Bloomington Bagel Company. Serving the Bloomington and IUB community for over 15years, BBC is located at three convenient locations through this beautiful city – Dunn street (across from People’s Park), Morton Street (right below Smallwood), and on S. College Mall Road, two minutes north of Kroger.
Everything is made in-house – from the delicious bagels, schmear, and fresh cut veggies, to their delicious baked goods and salads. This all occurs at the Dunn location, baking almost 24/7 to ensure you get your bagel needs upon opening in the morning. What makes their bagel the best in Bloomington? They boil their bagels. Boil? What? Like pasta? No no no…out on the East Coast, they briefly boil their bagels before baking them to give them a great shine and soft and chewy inside, plus a slightly crisp outer shell. With just shy of two dozen varieties daily, I’m sure you can find your favorite – from plain and poppyseed to the popular asiago, cinnamon sugar, and soft pretzel bagels.
My recommendation? Start with a large cup of their freshly roasted local coffee, in at least four varieties daily, and grab a soft pretzel bagel with the jalapeño schmear. No joke…this is by far my favorite – when toasted, the bagel resembles that of a ballpark pretzel with its soft, chewy, and salty outer layer followed by the jalapeño cheddar schmear that might as well be nacho cheese with jalapeños on the side. For those who are uninterested in a bagel and schmear, popular sandwiches include Lotsa Lox (lots of lox, capers, onions, schmear and tomatoes), Breakfast Bagel (egg and cheese), or the ever popular Hangover Bagel (egg, cheese, bacon, sausage, and ham). The sugar bombs (cookies), always festively decorated, are baked and decorated fresh daily and are just as delicious as my favorite lemon poppyseed and double chocolate muffins.
Want a free bagel? Hit up the Shoppes location by Kroger and correctly answer their fun daily trivia question for a free bagel. Check this great local restaurant out – they give so much to the community in donations and events, so you should support them and eat local! The employees there are more than happy to serve you with a smile, and the occasional joke, too!
Reviewed by Jeremy Levin