After Amanda O’Shannessy saw a photo of Loxsmith Bagels on Facebook, she started scouring social media for a chance to try their product. “I’ve eaten a lot of bagels in different places,” she says while sampling one with shmear and salmon at the “Bagel Bar Mitzvah,” a pop-up hosted by Loxsmith in April on Capitol Hill. It lived up to her expectations: These are the best she’s found in Seattle, she says.
Loxsmith Bagels, a creation of stay-at-home dad Matthew Segal, first caught locals’ eyes on social media last year. They’ve been available through Caviar’s food delivery service and at occasional pop-ups as Segal searches for a permanent space. Modeled after the Miami bagels of his youth and mixed with culinary creativity (Sichuan peppercorns, black garlic, beet with fennel pollen), Segal’s bagels are long-fermented and have a shiny outside and a pillowy interior. But finding a home has been a process: Segal needs a space with specific machines to render the process efficient and profitable. An announced Ballard walk-up window fell through, because he would have grown out of it too soon.
In the meantime, the current favorite among Seattle’s bagel eaters, Capitol Hill’s New York-style Westman’s Bagel, is expanding. Owner and restaurateur Monica Dimas opened Westman’s Bakeshop on Wilson Avenue in Seward Park in April, a production facility where her team can churn out bagels in larger numbers to sell to caterers. Dimas is also looking into kosher certification from the Seattle Va’ad. “I want to make sure our bakery is there for the community,” she says, referring broadly to Seattle’s bagel lovers. A café, Dimas’s third location, is on track to open this summer in Pioneer Square.
Ironically, one of the city’s best places for bagels is the Ballard restaurant Porkchop & Co., a brunch spot from Jewish ex-vegetarian Paul Osher. His house-made bagels joined the menu in March to high praise from connoisseurs. You can’t yet buy them by the dozen, but like the rest of Seattle’s best bagel bakers, it’s only because he, too, hasn’t managed to find enough space to do it.