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Boichik Bagels to open in Palo Alto Thursday morning

Uploaded: Nov 9, 2022

Boichik Bagels, a popular Berkeley eatery recognized by the New York Times as being part of a “West Coast bagel boom,” is opening in Palo Alto. (Courtesy Boichik Bagels.)

By Kate Bradshaw

The long-awaited Boichik Bagels outpost in Palo Alto will hold its soft opening tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 10, starting at 7 a.m., according to an Instagram announcement.

The Berkeley-launched bagel business opened its first storefront in 2019 and quickly grew in popularity, thanks in part to a writeup by food critic Tejal Rao of the New York Times who said Boichik bagels looked like "Labrador puppies curled up for afternoon naps: soft and pudgy, golden roly-polys" and were "some of the finest New York-style bagels I’ve ever tasted."

The bagel shop is part of what the author called a "West coast bagel boom."

Emily Winston is opening up the first Peninsula location of her popular bagel shop Boichik’s in Palo Alto’s Town & Country Village. (Courtesy Emily Winston.)

The location in Palo Alto’s Town and Country shopping center was announced in January. Situated between CVS and Wildseed, it will offer the same chocolate malted iced coffee, bagels and sandwiches as the original Berkeley eatery.

Founder Emily Winston made headlines over the summer when she announced her plans to raise capital from residents to fund new bagel retail locations by selling "Bagel Bucks" –- discounted gift cards – and through a $1 million bond offering managed through SBMX, a crowd-funding site.

A platter of bagels and spreads from Boichik Bagels. (Courtesy Emily Winston.)

The funds are intended to help build a bagel plant in West Berkeley where the raw dough for each retail store will be produced, and to bake and freeze bagels intended for wholesale. Bagels not baked at the individual retail stores will be made at the factory, which can make up to 12,000 bagels an hour. It will be open to the public.

Boichik bagels can also be found at additional Peninsula locations, including Bianchini's Market in Portola Valley and San Carlos and Piazza's Fine Foods in San Mateo and Palo Alto.

Boichik Bagels, 855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto; Instagram: @boichikbagels.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Erin Hawke, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Nov 10, 2022 at 10:33 am

Erin Hawke is a registered user.

Are these bagels chewy to the point of becoming rocks the following day?

This is the test of a true bagel.

The former Bagel Works on Lytton Avenue in downtown PA perfected the NY bagel.

All others have failed miserably as they are essentially bread with a hole in the center.

Most Palo Altans couldn't tell a good bagel from a doughnut.

Posted by Joe Harper, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Nov 10, 2022 at 11:27 am

Joe Harper is a registered user.

> Most Palo Altans couldn't tell a good bagel from a doughnut.

well clearly it is of zero importance, or there would have been a replacement for them sometime in the last 22 years.

Posted by Butch Logan, a resident of Barron Park,
on Nov 10, 2022 at 1:43 pm

Butch Logan is a registered user.

I too miss The Bagel Works. They closed awhile back after relocating from Lytton Avenue to a building near the now long-gone Blue Chalk Cafe across the street from City Hall.

"Most Palo Altans couldn't tell a good bagel from a doughnut."

^ This is because 75% of them either 'settle' for whatever is currently available or they have never had a real bagel.

Posted by Just Another Parent, a resident of Fairmeadow,
on Nov 10, 2022 at 1:57 pm

Just Another Parent is a registered user.

I can't wait to try and over-priced West Coast bagel!!!
I bet it taste like gold.

Posted by CalAveLocal, a resident of Evergreen Park,
on Nov 10, 2022 at 2:42 pm

CalAveLocal is a registered user.

I'm looking forward to trying Boichik; but hands down - Izzy's on California Ave is the best bagel I've ever tried east of Brooklyn.

Posted by Lucy Caldwell, a resident of Midtown,
on Nov 10, 2022 at 2:44 pm

Lucy Caldwell is a registered user.

• I can't wait to try and over-priced West Coast bagel!!!

A good bagel should never cost more than 75¢ - $1.00 at best.

Most run about $1.75+ apiece and are not authentically made.

Posted by Jessica Zhiang, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Nov 10, 2022 at 3:41 pm

Jessica Zhiang is a registered user.

"Izzy's on California Ave is the best bagel I've ever tried east of Brooklyn."

I have tried Izzy's bagels and they are similar to what another poster described as 'bread with a hole in the center.'

My Jewish neighbor once told me that the term 'Brooklyn style' is often misleading when used to describe west coast prepared Jewish food because most Palo Altans have never been to Brooklyn and wouldn't know the difference anyway.

The same can be said of California-inspired Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches. Outside of going to Philadelphia or its outskirts, a California-made Philly Cheesteak is an oxymoron.

The only exception might be Mexican food.

Posted by CalAveLocal, a resident of Evergreen Park,
on Nov 10, 2022 at 5:28 pm

CalAveLocal is a registered user.

@Jessica Zhiang - I am Jewish :) and have spent quiet a lot of time on the East Coast... I am sorry you had a bad experience. I still stand by my statement :)

Posted by Green Gables, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Nov 10, 2022 at 6:33 pm

Green Gables is a registered user.

Feigels Bagels in Providence, Rhode Island. the bagels here are indeed bread with a hole in the middle.

Posted by HalPri, a resident of Downtown North,
on Nov 10, 2022 at 7:34 pm

HalPri is a registered user.

On the subject of Izzy's Bagels: I am not an expert on bagel authenticity, but I'm pretty sure Izzy's is owned and run by a Jewish guy from Brooklyn. I go to Izzy's often (with great pleasure), and I see lots of customers that I'm pretty sure are Jewish. I haven't heard any complaints.

And let's not forget House of Bagels, in Edgewood Shopping Center, also a very fine bagel place, and also run by a very nice guy that I'm pretty sure is Jewish, if this matters, though possibly not from Brooklyn. You can ask him exactly how the bagels are made, as I have done, and he will describe it to you in great detail.

Posted by Online Name, a resident of University South,
on Nov 10, 2022 at 7:36 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Have been looking forward to this opening. I like Izzy's, but if these are as good or better, T&C is closer for me. Should be fun doing a comparison test! Welcome Boichix

Posted by Gale Johnson, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Nov 11, 2022 at 12:08 am

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

@CalAveLocal...your GPS has a problem! I'm pretty sure Izzy's is west of Brooklyn.

Posted by Mondoman, a resident of Green Acres,
on Nov 11, 2022 at 2:22 am

Mondoman is a registered user.

Looking forward to trying these out! Decades ago I used to go to a regular summer conference on Long Island and the local bagel shop there had a line stretching out toward the parking lot.

Posted by CalAveLocal, a resident of Evergreen Park,
on Nov 11, 2022 at 7:11 am

CalAveLocal is a registered user.

Gale it was a joke :) Sorry, not a very funny one.

Posted by Harvey Klein, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Nov 11, 2022 at 8:19 am

Harvey Klein is a registered user.

A real bagel is hard to find in California let alone Palo Alto despite any embellished claims pertaining to their NY authenticity and/or owner ancestry.

Like San Francisco sourdough and the buns used in a genuine Philly Cheese Steak sandwich, the mineral content of the local water plays a key role in the overall texture of the dough.

As a result, you will rarely find truly good sourdough bread outside of the SF Bay Area and though the meat/cheese/pepper fillings may be the same, a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich made in California will never be the real deal, just ask anyone originally from Philly.

The key relationship between the local H20 mineral content and the dough itself also applies to the various geographic styles of pizza (i.e. New York, Chicago).

Anyone can vary the thickness or thinness of a pizza crust and call it whatever they want but the authentic 'local' texture will always be a bit off even if the same type of oven and yeast is used.

The only true California-style pizza is Round Table and Mountain Mike's and you can't go wrong with either one of them.

Trivia question...back to local sourdough bread, does anyone here remember the now defunct Paisano and Parisian brands? They were consistently good and Parisian was sold at SFO for travelers to bring home.

Posted by Fritz Weldon, a resident of Los Altos,
on Nov 11, 2022 at 9:22 am

Fritz Weldon is a registered user.

The water factor is a good point as it also affects the overall depth and flavor of former 'imported' beer brands now being produced in America.

Anyone who has had Kirin, Sapporo, Fosters, Heineken, Stella Artois etc. can easily tell that these American-made clones come nowhere near the original imported versions.

Everything is fake nowadays whether it be beer or bagels and most Americans could care less because they don't know any better.

Posted by Cordelia, a resident of Mountain View,
on Nov 11, 2022 at 9:36 am

Cordelia is a registered user.

I never liked bagels until I had one at H&H bagels in NYC. Now that was a bagel. I told my co-worker H&H were the only bagels for me. On her next trip to NYC, she brought back fresh H&H bagels. Has a Product Manager ever done so much for her engineers? Highly doubt it.

There's no real H&H in NYC anymore. There's other bagels were are enjoyable, but they are different.

That said, Boichik is a legit NYC-style bagel. Best you can find in California.

However, the best bagel in the world right now is a montreal-style bagel in Vancouver from Siegel's.

Posted by Gaz, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Nov 11, 2022 at 9:49 am

Gaz is a registered user.

I'm another long-time fan of Izzy's, as are my Brooklyn-born parents. I look forward to trying Boichick.

Posted by Ruth Stein, a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove,
on Nov 11, 2022 at 10:25 am

Ruth Stein is a registered user.

If Boichik gives Izzy's a run for the money, maybe there will be a 'bagel war' where the two proprietors offer periodic discounts and promotions to increase their business revenues.

This would be good for Palo Alto as we will now have an additional retail outlet for bagels and a potential opportunity to experience a newly formed rivalry of sorts...similar to the old Dutch Goose VS The Oasis hamburger debate.

Promotional T-shirts are also in order but charging $3.00 for a bagel is kind of high.

Then again, many Palo Altans do not care what they spend on coffee or bagels because most of rhem do not know the value of a dollar.

Posted by Noelle Whitlock, a resident of Community Center,
on Nov 11, 2022 at 11:47 am

Noelle Whitlock is a registered user.

Despite the pre-opening hyperbole, I don't see a rush to bagels at Boichik though it is only 11:45am at present.

If these are authentic NY bagels, they will not be edible by late tomorrow unless one has steel dental implants like that villain in the James Bond movie.

Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North,
on Nov 14, 2022 at 11:09 pm

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

A bagel without a soft opening is a bialy...

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