Bagel & Bagel - New York Style Bagels in Japan
Western cuisine in Japan can sometimes be hit or miss. Although good there are times when it misses the mark leaving you feeling slightly unfulfilled. On the other time when western food is done well in Japan is can exceed expectations leaving you wanting more Bagel & Bagel is one of those places that you won't be able to get enough of!
Bagel & Bagel is a chain in Japan with locations scattered around the country. Although they are most likely known for their cafes they also have satellite locations where they sell fresh made goods as well as grab-and-go sandwiches.
My journey brought me to the Bagel & Bagel location in Hiroshima Station. I had often frequented the satellite shop located on the basement level but once discovering that they had an actual cafe in the station I couldn't resist giving it a try. The cafe itself is very fitting for its location which is in the center of Hiroshima City's hustle and bustle. Despite being in a shopping center environment the atmosphere is relaxing and intimate yet still feeling like you're in a city with the brick walls that feature various pieces of artwork.
As inviting as the atmosphere was the menu options and food was even better. The menu features a selection of bagel sandwiches all made fresh to order and on one of their signature bagels. Some of the delicious options include pastrami, teriyaki chicken, BLT, smoked salmon with cream cheese and much more. They also have a selection of bagels which are served up with the more standard cream cheese or other toppings like fermented butter and honey.
Being that I visited during lunch I took advantage of a lunch set. This particular location had three available all of which varied slightly and came at a different price. The set I chose was fell in the middle as far as prices goes at 800 yen and came with a sandwich on my choice of bagel, salad, soup, drink and small brownie. The sandwich I chose was the tuna and egg salad sandwich on a volcano bagel and orange juice. Not having known what to expect I was pleasantly surprised once receiving my meal. Being that sandwiches in Japan tend to lack a bit in the filling department I was pleasantly surprised to find that my bagel was overflowing with tuna and egg salad. There was also a variety of vegetables added as well which made for a fantastic texture as well as lots of flavour. The meal also included a salad and soup both of which were the perfect size to compliment the sandwich but not leave you wanting more. The small brownie was also rich, sweet and the perfect button on the meal.
Although the lunch set was absolutely delicious and I would undoubtedly get it again I understand that not everyone has time to sit down for 30 minutes and enjoy a meal. For those of you who are on the run Bagel & Bagel has a variety of other options to include bagels to go, muffins and scones. Although the selection is very much similar to what you might find in a New York bakery Bagel & Bagel also offers a selection of flavors you're only likely to find in Japan like their "Green Tea & White Chocolate" muffin as well as their "Crunchy Kinako Cream muffin. You can also find "Soy Milk & Edamame" and "Green Tea & White Chocolate" bagels. Of course like many things in Japan the flavors change with the seasons so you are always sure to find something new and interesting.
With the outstanding selection, reasonable prices, atmosphere and wonderful staff I can't say enough about Bagel & Bagel. It's a great place to enjoy a light meal any time of the day and bring home some bagels, muffins or scones for later!