Ever since freshman year I have been searching for a bagel that lives up to the New York bagels I grew up with. During the school year I have been deprived of that essential component of my breakfast, that integral part of my daily routine and that yummy staple of my Jewish heritage. So naturally when I heard about a gourmet bagel food truck right in Philadelphia, I got very excited. This food truck might be the thing to fill that hole (yes, pun intended) in my Philadelphia life.

Schmear It is parked at the corner of 41st and Locust on Sunday mornings – the perfect location for a morning pick-me-up after a long Saturday night. As I ventured there in full Sunday morning garb (aka pajamas and slippers), I noticed there was already a line of faithful bagel hunters looking for a satisfying bagel (note though, that you can place an order online in advance on their website). The upscale appearance of the truck gave me high hopes. It is quite big and even looks like a real storefront. Schmear It has just about every bagel component you can think of: 14 different types of bagels and 11 types of schmears ranging from “classic vegan schmear” to Nutella. They even let you add “schmear-ins” like fruit, nuts, lox or even Sriracha, so you can customize your bagel to your liking. If you aren’t sold on the bagels already, know that they donate a portion of their proceeds to charity, so you can do some good while devouring your bagel and schmear.

Photo by Marykate Surette

Now for the important part: the eating. I went with the simple, yet classic order: a toasted everything bagel with cream cheese, scallions and lox. The bagel was perfectly toasted and crispy, the cream cheese war airy and light, and the lox tasted particularly fresh. While the toppings were stellar, the bagel itself still left me longing for my cherished New York bagels. Though it was probably the best bagel that I’ve had in the area, it had a dense bread-like texture that didn’t live up to the fluffy quality I so treasure in my bagels at home.

Photo by Marykate Surette

Overall, Schmear It is definitely worth a visit. The bagels greatly surpass Einstein’s and Metro, especially because the truck has a much better selection of fix-ins. Maybe the myth that the New York water being the key to a great bagel is true, but until I get 100% clarification, my search for a NYC level bagel in Philly continues….


Address: Subject to change (check Twitter)

Hours of operation: 7am-10:30am, 11am-2:30pm (hours subject to change)

Photo by Marykate Surette