Bagel Union - The Best Bagels West Of New Jersey

4.51 stars Review Philosophy

Bagel Union Takeaway. The best bagels west of New Jersey I've ever had. Perfect texture and flavor. $2 per bagel or $10 for six makes them expensive for bagels. Very small bagels relative to NJ and NY. $1 "yesterday-gels" are great for freezing. No traditional deli meats, instead lox and turkey sandwiches - both start over $10, again expensive. I drive 15 minutes both ways every Sat or Sun with my son because these bagels are that good. A line out the door means a 20-30-minute wait.


Table Of Contents: Experience | Food | Atmosphere | Receipt


Bagel Union Plain Everything and Cinnamon Raisin

Details

  • 8705 Big Bend Blvd, Webster Groves, MO 63119
  • (314) 320-7556
  • Website
  • Facebook
  • Yelp - 4.4 stars - 90 ratings
  • TripAdvisor - 1.0 stars - 4 ratings
  • Google Maps - 4.4 stars - 156 ratings

Hours

DayHours
MondayClosed
TuesdayClosed
Wednesday7 AM–2 PM
Thursday7 AM–2 PM
Friday7 AM–2 PM
Saturday7 AM–2 PM
Sunday7 AM–2 PM

Map


Bagel Union Experience Summary

I'm a huge bagel snob.

Bagel Union bagels are the best in St. Louis. I came on opening day, waited an hour plus in line, and was not disappointed. They're the closest bagels I've had to an authentic New Jersey bagel since I left New Jersey.

Bagel Union front display

My favorite spots in New Jersey are O'Bagel in Basking Ridge and Bagel Barn in Princeton. The flavor and texture of Bagel Union rival those great New Jersey bagel places.

I've also had bagels from the best places in New York City - The Bagel Shop and Murray's. Bagel Union would play in flavor and texture right along with those big guns.

The big downside to Bagel Union is that it is expensive. At $2 per bagel, that is significantly more than the ~$1.70 at Manhattan's bagel shop or the ~$1.65 you pay in New Jersey.

Additionally, the bagels are small. They're maybe three-quarters to half the size of a typical New Jersey or New York bagel.

Bagel Union menu

So, how do you get the most bagels for your buck? There are a couple of ways:

  1. Always order a half dozen bagels

  2. Go for day-old "yesterday-gels"

  3. Bring your own cream cheese

You should always order a half dozen bagels because you get 6 for the price of 5. After spending hours in line, I got bored and did the math. That's $1.67 per bagel. You can also get a baker's dozen for the price of 12. That's $1.84 per bagel because you pay full price for the 13th bagel.

And $1.67 per bagel (for 6) is in line with NJ and NY pricing, where they typically don't give you a baker's dozen pricing.

Bagel Union outside line

Day-old "yesterday-gels" are 6 for $6. So, this is the way to go if you want to stock up for the week.

And lastly, at $4 for a tub of cream cheese, we bring our own.

Overall, these bagels are so good that they bring me back to being a kid in NJ. I make the thirty-minute round-trip trek with my sons every Saturday or Sunday morning.

The Food At Bagel Union

I've had almost every bagel from Bagel Union.

On opening day, I had the "tzitzelnickel," a St. Louis-specific bagel, because it was all they had left when I finally got it. It is some kind of rye and pumpernickel with toasted cornmeal on the outside. That's not a bagel I'd ever get again, but it was delicious for what it was.

Bagel Union tzitzelnickel bagel

My standard favorites for the weekend are everything and cinnamon raisin. They are usually warm, crunchy on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside. Every bite bursts with flavor without the extra being overpowering.

I'm on a diet now, so I have to limit myself to one. I could easily eat three.

I got the cherry crunch bagel once, which cost an extra $.50. Those venture into pastry land from standard bagel fare, but they are very, very good. Sweet and crunchy is a good combo.

Bagel Union everything bagel

My sons always get sesame and plain. And everything bagel is too spicy. They have also collected the Bagel Union stickers; we now have three on the car window.

Bagel Union started offering free slicing, so I get all my bagels sliced now.

Cream Cheese

The base cream cheese sold at Bagel Union is solid. I got vegetable cream cheese once for my wife, who enjoyed it. But I'm cheap, and the cream cheese is relatively expensive, so I bring my own.

I haven't tried the scallion or jalapeno cream cheese there, but those would be the next thing on my list to try.

Sandwiches

The oddest thing about Bagel Union - and the one that differs the most from East Coast bagel shops - is the lack of meat-based (bacon, sausage, or pork roll) bagel sandwiches.

Bagel Union specialty sandwiches

Bagel Union creates most, if not all, of their sandwiches based on lox and turkey. I've never tasted anything bad at Bagel Union or the parent organization's Union Loafers, so I'd have to imagine they are delicious. There's a guy slicing fresh lox every day.

The sandwiches, like the bagels, are surprisingly expensive. I'm not going to pay $13 for a breakfast sandwich when I can get a proper New Jersey breakfast sandwich with Taylor ham, egg and cheese, salt and pepper ketchup for like $6 or $7.

It makes no sense to me to get a $13 bagel sandwich, but I see plenty of people ordering them.

Others

Bagel Union also serves coffee and makes bagel chips.

Bagel Union bagel chips

Bagel Union Atmosphere And Miscellaneous

Ordering bagels is pretty fun - you walk in to see an old-style deli ticket machine. Take your ticket, and that is your place in line.

Bagel Union Plain Everything and Cinnamon Raisin

My son and I now go at 7 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, or exactly when they open, to avoid any giant lines. On the day that it opened, once the line started moving, it was about an hour from 5-6 six stores down outside.

When we returned a month later at a reasonable time, say 9 or 10 a.m., we were a couple of storefronts down, and it took about half an hour.

Outside, they have a little seating area with three or four tables. Inside, there's a very small bar with maybe four or five stools looking out the window.

Bagel Union front signage

Parking At Bagel Union

Parking can be a pain in the butt at Bagel Union.

They have a 5- to 10-space parking lot attached to the building. So you can park there If you get there at 7 a.m. or get lucky.

Otherwise, they have parking along the main street and two public parking lots around the back. We had to park in those lots on the first day it was open and on those hectic days when it was new. The parking lots can be anywhere from a three to five-minute walk away.

Bagel Union Receipt

Bagel Union receipt
Join The Newsletter

Weekly reviews of restaurant, parks, and things to do All Around Saint Louis.