Robert Sietsema/Eater NY
The bagel may or may not have been invented by Germans living in Poland in the 14th century, but here, it’s associated with Jewish American cuisine, as well as being one of the city’s most iconic foods. Revered by people all over the country, it’s rare to find a faithful duplication elsewhere. True bagels are boiled briefly before being baked. (Turn one over: If it has a grid pattern on the bottom, it was first steamed, and is not a true bagel.) Chewy, glutinous, and highly caloric, one’s a meal and a very satisfying one, especially when schmeared with cream cheese and layered with lox or another form of cured fish.
Even today the bagel continues to evolve, as several points on this map will demonstrate. Here are some favorites, including a Mediterranean precursor to the bagel and some stunt bagels, all good enough to be wolfed down whole without any topping at all.
Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.