Compared to the average person, I would say I have a pretty close relationship with bagels. As I'm ethnically Jewish, my love for them extends far into my genes. Since I came to UGA, my love for bagels has not died down, but in fact gotten stronger since discovering the plethora of Athens, GA bagels.

Moving away from my favorite bagel shop in Marietta, I felt worried I would not find any Athens bagels that could compare, and after being here for eight months, I realize that this expectation was completely incorrect. Here is my guide to the best bagels in Athens, GA. 

1. Athens Bagel Company

Recently rebranded as ABC, Athens Bagel Company has been around since 2012. They've won the title for Best Bagel from the Athens Banner Herald three years in a row, and rightfully so. With over 10 flavors of New York-style bagels to choose from, plus seasonal varieties, these delightfully crunchy yet chewy breakfast treats will satisfy any bagel lover. 

Open Monday through Friday 7:00 am to 3:00 pm and weekends 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, they serve up not only bagels with speciality cream cheese flavors like jalapeño, pimento cheese, and snickerdoodle, but also house made bagel sandwiches for breakfast and lunch (or brunch).

Make sure to visit early to avoid lines out the door and limited seating. If you can't make it to the DT location, your local Jittery Joe's will sure have them in stock as well. 

2. Ideal Bagel

An old Athens record store called Ideal Amusement Co. closed after 54 years in 2000, only to be transformed into a bagel shop in 2013. Soon after, Ideal Bagel Co. appeared in its place.

Not only do they sell delicious bagels, but their lox variety will only cost you $6, and it's one of the best lox bagels I've tried. They also serve breakfast and lunch bagel sandwiches and carry over 10 flavors of cream cheese.

Visit their location just outside of downtown if you're looking for quality bagels with an old-school aesthetic with record store vibes. Ideal Bagel is open 7:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday through Friday, and 8:00 am to 3:00 pm weekends. 

3. Einstein Bros. Bagels

Einstein Bros. is where you want to go when you're just not feeling the dining hall bagels. 

Although Athens residents (myself included) often bash on chain restaurants downtown, I must admit that Einstein Bros. makes some exceptional bagels. Despite having hundreds of locations in the US, they manage to keep the vibe low-key and homey, as if it were your locally owned small town bagel joint. In addition, they also offer deli sandwiches, pastries, and an extensive coffee bar. 

The DT location on Broad Street only stays open until 5:00 pm, so make sure to visit the SLC (UGA campus' Science Learning Center) for your nighttime bagel fix until 7:30 pm Monday through Thursday.