Berkeley Bagels Are Spreading the News
Boichik Bagels gives the East Bay an authentic taste of New York.
Boichik Bagels has taken over the original Noah’s New York Bagels shop on College Avenue.
Photo by Cali Godley
What makes a New York bagel a New York bagel? That’s what Emily Winston, the owner of Berkeley’s Boichik Bagels, was determined to find out after her beloved H&H Bagels on Manhattan’s Upper West Side closed in 2011. The East Coast native launched a five-year quest to re-create the bagels of her childhood—evenly browned with crunchy crusts, chewy interiors, and just the right amount of malt sweetness—and bring them to California.
A former mechanical engineer with no prior baking experience, Winston took classes, did intensive research, and made batches and batches of bagels until she perfected her recipe. “What I wanted was the bagel that I love to eat,” she explains. “When I started to do this, there was no plan to have a business.”
That changed, however, once she began selling her bagels at pop-ups in the East Bay. In late November, Winston's brick-and-mortar shop on College Avenue had its soft opening.
At Boichik, Winston follows a very traditional boil-and-bake method, using a Dutch oven and 45-gallon boiling kettle. “It’s a very physical process,” she says. “It [creates] more flavor because it’s so much more work.”
The menu is old-school, too. Made with local and organic ingredients, bagel options include plain, sesame, poppy seed, onion, salt, everything, and salt and pepper. The shop also sells cream cheeses, batch-brew coffee, bagel chips, and smoked fish. Stay tuned for bialys, sandwiches, and more.
As Winston puts it: “I’d like this to be the next best thing to buying a plane ticket and going to New York.” boichikbagels.com.