Bagel House: A taste of “home” in a foreign land
Bagels were brought to America by Polish immigrants in the late 19th century. The first recorded mention of bagels in America comes from a newspaper article published in 1892 about a “bagel baking contest”.
They are traditionally boiled in water, then baked, which gives them a chewy texture. Bagels are often topped with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, or onion flakes.
In the United States, bagels are most commonly associated with New York City. However, New Jersey also has a strong bagel tradition. In fact, New Jersey was actually home to the first commercially successful bagel bakery in America.
Turks are familiar with something similar to a bagel, called simit. Simit is thinner and usually covered in sesame or sunflower seeds. While you can sometimes find a simit that has a similar chewy interior texture and a crunchy exterior, it is simply not the same.
Bagel House in Kadıköy, Istanbul is home to the best bagels in Istanbul. Stella Faith, originally from New Jersey, has brought with her a taste of home and welcome the world of Istanbul to enjoy.
Bagel House has been open for nearly a year, taking a great leap of faith during a pandemic. As they have grown, they continue to expand their excellent menu.
The menu offers stand alone bagels with cream cheese as well as amazing sandwiches as well as drinks and desserts.
Bagel House Favorites
Let me tell you about my three favorite sandwiches.
- Jersey Bagel (egg, smoked meat, cheddar and a special mustard sauce). This is a go to simple bagel sandwich that can always be eaten. The mustard sauce is light and not overwhelming and gives the added moisture that any good sandwich needs.
- NYC Salmon Bagel (Smoked Salmon, cream cheese, red onions and capers). I fell in love this combination on a cruise years ago. Ever since then, it holds nostalgic value. I have tried replicating it at home, which is fine, but the addition of capers is definitely the icing on the cake, if you will.
- Bacon, egg & Cheddar (just as described) What makes this one special is that it includes real bacon which is a hard find here in Turkey. It always hits the spot when I want a little taste of home.
They also have vegan sandwiches and gluten-free bagels.
As for drinks, they have delicious coffee drinks, both cold and hot, lots of tea options as well as seasonal drinks like an amazing Hibiscus Lemonade. The lemonades go great with a sandwich.
In addition to the things they make in house, their partner company, WestCakery, provides sweet treats like various cakes, amazing cinnamon rolls and the best cheesecake in town.
The cheesecake is so good that I have gone other places in Kadikoy and ordered cheesecake and originally thought it was the best cheesecake, only to find out that WestCakery is their supplier. That’s how you know it is good.
They also have the best staff who are always helpful and kind. The baristas make a great coffee and the cooks prepare sandwiches to perfection.
Bagel House is situated in a Kadıköy neighborhood and does a great job fitting in. They have put a lot of effort to recreate something special to them and invite others to join and enjoy.
Everything is freshly made and absolutely delicious. I haven’t had anything there that I didn’t like. So go! Try one of everything and let me know what you think!
Want to know more about Turkish food? Here are a few posts I have written on 5 desserts in Turkey, 5 drinks in Turkey and 5 foods you simply can’t miss! You can also check out famous foods by their region.
Have you been to Bagel House? If not, are you ready for a special treat?
Catch you on the other side.