In a city that’s known for its biscuits and gravy, you’d think it’d be hard to find a good, quality bagel. What I have come to discover is that Charleston is in fact full of great bagels, you just have to know where to look. Recently, I went on a search for the best, most affordable bagels in Charleston. Keep reading to find out where my journey took me.
BLONDIES BAGELS AND CAFE
Blondie’s is located on Daniel Island, among all the other shops and restaurants on the main drag. It is a locally owned cafe, with a focus on homemade bagels and cream cheeses. The cafe has a beautiful, rustic interior and a wonderful selection of various bagels, pastries, sandwiches, and espresso drinks. I opted for a wheat bagel with their seasonal, homemade pumpkin cream cheese. The cream cheese was absolutely delicious. It had real pumpkin flavor and had hints of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Not to mention, it was extra creamy! The bagel was served warm and was soft to the bite. It seemed to just melt right in my mouth. This bagel cost me just $3.25 (cream cheese included!). It couldn’t have been more of a steal.
Renzo is a restaurant on Huger Street in downtown Charleston that is known for its Italian fare, however I’m here to let you in on a little secret. On Sundays from 9am-1pm, Renzo serves up fresh, homemade bagels with a variety of toppings to choose from. I opted for an everything bagel with scallion cream cheese and topped it with cucumbers. The cream cheese was super flavorful, though the bagel seemed a bit dry and not quite so soft to the bite. If you like your bagels toasted more well done however, then this bagel would be perfectly pleasing. This bagel cost me a little more than $5, proving to be not quite as much of a steal as other places I visited. The unique varieties of bagels and toppings however, definitely make it a good bagel splurge.
Eastside Bagel is the smallest and most adorable hole-in-the wall bagel shop you ever did see. This bagel shop is located in the Eastside neighborhood in downtown Charleston on Line Street. The owners of Eastside Bagel have really hit a home-run with their unique spin on a classic bagel. Instead of toasting their bagels, they steam them! If you’re a New Yorker, you’re probably familiar with the bagel steaming practice, and should probably think about making your way to Eastside Bagel next time you’ve got that bagel craving. This bagel shop is counter-service only, with only a few tables to sit at outside. Most people order their bagels to go. For ultimate affordability, I would select anything from their “5 Hollars” section of the menu. I opted for the “Carver Bagel”, which is a PB&J bagel made with homemade peanut butter and jelly. I was amazed at how incredible this bagel was. It had a slight crunch when I bit into it and was soft and warm on the inside. The peanut butter and jelly seemed to just ooze right into my mouth. I savored each and every bite of this bagel sandwich. This bagel cost me a little over $5 but the unique steaming method and the rich favors from the PB&J made it well worth the cost.
Bagel Nation is one of the more well-known bagel cafes in Charleston. Their bagels are made from scratch every morning (you can literally see them making them behind the counter) and they have a wide variety of bagel flavors to choose from. The also have a large selection of bagel sandwiches ranging from sweet breakfast sandwich options to more savory lunch options. These bagels are some of the cheapest bagels in Charleston, with one single bagel costing just $1.25 and only $2.75 if you add cream cheese. Since these bagels are so cheap, I went all in and ordered a half dozen bagels (one of each flavor of course!). My favorite flavors were the blueberry bagel and their seasonal pumpkin spice bagel. Both were sweet, soft and moist. It’s quite obvious why these are the most popular bagels in Charleston!
Mozzo has two locations, one being in Mt. Pleasant and the other on upper Meeting Street in downtown, Charleston. Mozzo Deli is a cafe that serves a variety of sandwiches for lunch, as well as omelettes, pastries and breakfast sandwiches for breakfast. They are best known for their breakfast sandwiches served on their homemade bagels. I ordered an egg and cheese sandwich on a sesame bagel, which only cost me a little over $4. The sandwich was served warm, and was soft and chewy to the bite, while the cheese oozed out the sides as I bit into it. It couldn’t have been a better tasting breakfast sandwich, and not to mention, a great price!
After all my bagel indulging, I came to discover that I don’t need to travel all the way to New York City for good bagel. Charleston has many great options to help you get your bagel fix at an affordable price. Have you been to any of these bagel cafes? What’s your favorite?