You have to give New Jersey some credit: it has some damn good food.  Its close proximity to two of the greatest cities means that its going to soak in some of that greatness.  And when I mean greatness, I mean food.  From diners to donuts to those good ol' Jersey tomatoes, the Garden State really isn't half bad.  Because of its border with NYC, that means that Jersey also absorbed one of NYC's greatest foods: the bagel.

Am I making the claim that NJ has better bagels than NYC?  Not even remotely.  But the following list (in random order!) contains the 15 best bagels in New Jersey that make a trip down the Turnpike or the Garden State Parkway worth it.

The Bagel Nook

The Bagel Nook is about to get two images here.

You've probably seen this place on Buzzfeed or Thrillist because of their insane bagel and spread combinations.  I'm lucky enough that my parent's house is only 15 minutes away, so I get to eat combos like Oreo bagels with Oreo cream cheese or Crazy Chocolate Chip French Toast.

Hot Bagels

Hot Bagels is a relatively new bagel joint...barely a year old and nearly everyone in North Jersey is recommending them.  I can see why, too; check out the sandwich in the photo above!

Central Perk

I have a personal love of Central Perk bagels.  I grew up eating them almost every Saturday as a kid, and even though my parents no longer live in Hamilton Square, I still make the drive to get a blueberry bagel with cream cheese, but they're known for their syrupy French Toast bagel.  They are the perfect combination of chewy yet airy and fluffy, with the perfect crust on the outside.  These are my favorite NJ bagels.

Alfa Bagels

At Alfa Bagels, you can expect a packed parking lot and a packed shop.  They don't only just make "Northern NJ's Finest Hand Rolled Water Bagels," their menu includes items like burgers and's the best of Jersey: bagels and diners!

Bagel University

This place does Valentine's bagels with Ghirardelli Chocolate and strawberries.  This is so much better than a bouquet of flowers.

Bagel Street Grill

Bagel Street Grill is a go-to if you're in the Princeton area.  Their bagels have such great flavor and a great chewiness to them, with a thick crust to back up that chew.

Bagel Barn

If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone rave about Bagel Barn, I would be able to buy a barn full of bagels.  But seriously, look at that crumb and how dense-yet-fluffy this bagel looks?!

Rosko's Bagels & Waffles

Bagels of every color and shape...and, wait for it, chocolate covered waffles.  This place is every carb-lovers dream!  It's not far from Six Flags Great Adventure, so carbo-load before you subject yourself to the torturous lines.

Brooklyn Bagels & Deli

These bagels are chewy but not too chewy, have a nice crust, and basically an all-around great taste.  I loved their rainbow bagel because it didn't do something that many other rainbow bagels do: taste like food dye.  There, I said it, hate on me for throwing shade on the never-ending rainbow bagel trend.

Round Dough with a Hole

I've been hearing about this place for a long time and I'm genuinely upset that I still haven't gotten here yet.  Someone from NYC (the Bagel Capital of the World, if you haven't gotten that yet) said these were the best they've ever had.  If that isn't enough convincing, I'm not sure what is.

Hot Bagel Bakery

You know it's going to be a good morning when you see piles and piles of fresh, hot, delicious bagels spilling over each other.  At least that's how I know it's going to be a good morning.

Belmar Bagel Cafe

If you haven't quite caught on yet, the Jersey Shores are loaded with bagel shops.  My theory is, the closer to the beach, the better the bagel.  Belmar Bagels adds big chunks of fresh strawberries to their sandwiches to add a bit of brightness.

Bagel Station

I just want to start off by saying "Bacon and Egg" is a kind of bagel variety here. But something even more unique about this place is that they have gluten-free bagels, so everyone can get in on the carbs.


In order to call yourself a bagel master, you have to be sure that you actually are the Master of All Bagels.  Look at that crust, that airy bread, that cheese!  They deserve the name BagelMaster.  They earned it.

Oh What a Bagel

Take a break from the casinos and the theater shows to grab yourself a bagel from this Atlantic City bagel spot.  I'm telling you, the motion of the ocean really sets Jersey bagels on top of all others.

Bagels are the best breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner and even dessert (refer back to The Bagel Nook's Oreo bagel.)  You can find a bagel shop in every strip mall, on every street, at every turn in New Jersey, and to be honest, they'll all probably be pretty good.  But this list?  This is the definitive list of the best bagels in New Jersey.