If you’re from a big city, there’s a few things you need to seek out while you’re in London to make sure you sustain that balanced diet of street food and old world classics. Finding a great bagel place is one of those things, but you’re in luck, because we’ve done all the work for you.
We watched a video in class about Brick Lane one day, and in the video we learned about the great groups of immigrants that moved into the area. Jewish people, my people, was one of those such groups, and they left their mark.
Getting there: If you get off the Aldgate East tube stop (District Line toward Upminster), and exit the Whitechapel way, take a left onto Brick Lane and run (don’t walk, we ran/speed-walked once and made it to the Beigel shop and back to the tube in 15 minutes) until you see two neon signs right after each other boasting 24 Hour Beigels (Bagels). Enter the first shop (the second is better for deli food, i.e. you’re going to bring home a bunch of bagels and eat them later) for a sensory experience you’ll never forget.
As a Jewish girl growing up in the North Shore of Chicago, I was lucky enough to have places like Manny’s, Max & Benny’s, Once Upon a Bagel, and because Jewish people were so widely accepted in London at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, these luxuries still surround me.
What to Order: This bagel place launched me right back to my roots with a hot, inexpensive (£3) salt-beef bagel with pickles and mustard. I had a cream cheese and chives bagel (£1.50) for dessert (yes, it’s dessert) and it was magical.
Because this place is an East End institution, you have to make the pilgrimage, and because it’s open 24 hours, you can go anytime. We suggest a lazy Saturday morning or at the end of a long night clubbing on Brick Lane.