San Francisco Showdown: Bagels

Katz Bagels, plain bagel with lox, cream cheese, capers, tomatoes, and onions. Photo by Melissa Vogt

With so many restaurants to choose from that serve similar fare, The Local Dish has decided to start a “Showdown” series to determine which places have the best eats. Please join us as we pick dueling dishes, put them through strenuous tastebud testing, and pick a winner!

Katz Bagels Vs. House of Bagels

Bagels are easy to come by in a food-lover’s city like San Francisco. Real bagels on the other hand, are few and far between. Katz Bagels and House of Bagels both boast a traditional style of tasty boiled bagels, but which location does it better?  The Local Dish sampled the lox bagel from each bagel joint to see who has tastiest option!

Katz Bagels, located in the trendy but gritty Lower Haight district, presented a tasteful and traditional style of the lox-bagel combo—with just the right amount of cream cheese, a perfectly-sliced piece of lox, a few onion rings, a sprinkling of capers, and a single slice of tomato, this bagel has just the right amount of each ingredient to let you take a decent-sized bite without making a mess. The bagel itself is soft and fluffy, but firm enough to hold all the ingredients in place. At the price of $6.50 for one of these delectable lox bagels, you can’t go wrong, unless the lox are too salty. If the lox had been a little smokier and a little less salty, Katz Bagels would have had the upper hand.

House of Bagels, located in the relatively residential Inner Richmond District, has a slightly more unique take on the lox-bagel combo—all the same ingredients, but served on an asiago bagel and with a much more plentiful amount to devour.  The bagel itself is cooked to the right texture, and at $11.50 for this bad boy, you’re getting a meal as well as leftovers! The high point of this rendition is the flavor of the lox—definitely smokier, and less salty, making this my favorite of the two.

The winner: House of Bagels!

With a similar assortment of cream cheeses at both locations, the overall variety really came down to the bagels themselves. House of Bagels really shined with its impressive variety, consisting of nearly fifteen types of bagels, while Katz Bagels only had about six varieties. For quantity, quality, and variety, my vote is for the Inner Richmond’s House of Bagels—they won’t disappoint.

House of Bagels with Lox and Cream Cheese. Photo by Melissa Vogt


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