Los Angeles isn’t well known for its bagels. Some may call the bagels around town “East Coast wannabes." I have reveled in the deliciousness of a great New York bagel and I am quite discerning on the bread circuit. With school, extracurricular commitments, and pressing social matters, it's difficult to find time to zip off campus and indulge at Brooklyn Bagels. So I set out to find the best bagel that LMU a has to offer. Over the course of a week, I visited and tested every bagel establishment, and suffered a carb-overload in order to save you time and money during your busy on-campus days.

In order to evaluate every place equally, I purchased the classic plain, or sesame (if offered) bagel with plain cream cheese. I took into consideration efficiency, quality, price, and toast level. So, without further ado, I give you the ultimate bagel battle: LMU edition.

The Den

cheese, cream cheese, bread, bagel
Ellery Simpson

According to my dear friend Anna, a worker at The Den, “Every time (she has) to put the pastries out in the morning, (she wants) a bagel.” With that in mind–take her advice. By about 4pm, the fresh-level has certainly decreases. Plus, I had to settle for a blueberry as the plain were sold out. Although there is not toast option, it’s one of the least expensive on campus for $2.50.

#SpoonTip: Always ask for two cream cheese in order to maximize bagel to spread ratio. 

The Lair

butter, brie, cake, camembert, sweet, milk, cheese, cream, dairy product
Ellery Simpson

Since attending LMU, The Lair seems to be a pretty common place for people to grab a bagel on the go. But if you have an adequate amount of time between classes, be prepared to wait up to 10 minutes for a bagel. However, The Lair is able to toast your bagel (although it is more of a “warming effect”), and it has a variety of “schmear” and toppings. My plain bagel with cream cheese is  $3.49. 

The Coffee Cart

doughnut, bagel
Ellery Simpson

Personally, I go here for the Boba; however, the Coffee Cart is able to provide you with coffee cake that tastes like cookie dough, as well as a plain bagel with cream cheese. It's not toasted and it's slightly cold from the display cabinet. The offering had a decent bagel-esq quality to it, but it’s not pre-cut which leads to a messy do-it-yourself pull apart of the halves. This place is a better price compared to most, at $2.75, and is a pretty quick stop in between classes.


chocolate, cream, coffee, bread, cake, sweet, pastry, doughnut, bagel
Ellery Simpson

The Starbucks on campus is known to be slow. So unless you have a large break, do not even try to brace the line. I asked for a plain and got an everything bagel…so listening skills are sub-par at times, but I wasn’t mad at getting more than just a plain dough flavor.

Starbucks is able to toast your bagel, allowing you to evenly spread your cream cheese as thick or as thin as you please as it melts into the bagel. For only $2.25, it definitely meets a satisfactory level.

#SpoonTip: Download Tapingo and order before you leave class to avoid the line. 

Einstein Bros. Bagels 

bread, cheese, dairy product, milk
Ellery Simpson

The newest addition to campus this semester, Einstein Bros. was my favorite bagel of the bunch. The trek to U-hall was not ideal, but if you find yourself with class there, especially a Friday one, the line wait isn’t the worst in the world. This was the best toast quality of all, and even though I stuck with a simple sesame, you can choose any bagel that fits your mood – even a French Toast craving can be fixed. At $2.79, Einstein Bros seemed promising.

U-hall can seem miles away, but the smell of bagels hits you instantly as you hit the first floor level. Worth the hike.

Roski Dining 

If you’re wondering where Roski’s mention is, I wouldn't bother with those bagels. There was still a whole tray of hardened bagels sitting around at 3pm. If you’re going to go there, you’re better off getting some eggs.

There you have it. The LMU bagel battle declares Einstein Bros. Bagel a clear winner. It' a trek, but totally worth it.