May 3, 2024 - Food and Drink

Nashville is in a bagel boom

The everything bagel with chipotle chicken salad at Crieve Hall Bagel Co.

The everything bagel with chipotle chicken salad at Crieve Hall Bagel Co. Photo: Adam Tamburin/Axios

From Donelson to West Nashville, some of the buzziest restaurants in town are new bagel shops boasting long lines, creative schmears and satisfying sandwiches.

Why it matters: For many years, Nashville was a relative bagel desert, but that's a thing of the past.

Flashback: Proper Bagel in the Belmont area earned a loyal following, and the O.G. Star Bagel Cafe held down the fort in Sylvan Park. But considering Nashville's booming culinary scene, it was rather odd to see so few bagel shops.

Dig in: The problem has been solved over the last few years, and the newcomers are spread out across the city — meaning there's probably a worthwhile option near you.

  • Here are four relatively new bagel shops we visited this week.

Crieve Hall Bagel Co.

Shoutout to Axios Nashville pal Lizzy A. for suggesting Crieve Hall Bagel Co. as the meeting spot for a recent catch-up session.

  • The only thing more enjoyable than swapping old newsroom stories was the bagels. Nate ordered a simple cinnamon sugar bagel.
  • A second location in the Inglewood neighborhood is in the pipeline.

💭 Adam's thought bubble: The everything bagel at Crieve Hall Bagel Co. is an instant favorite. It was loaded with flavorful toppings that put a capital E on Everything. (That's great because there's nothing more deflating than an anemic everything.)

  • During my first visit this week, I had a chipotle chicken salad sandwich that was a blend of chicken and cream cheese. I was tempted to turn around and get a second helping later the same day.

The buzz: Crieve Hall Bagel Co. was born out of a love of sourdough. (News Channel 5)

Benji's Bagel & Coffee House

A display case of schmears at Benji's Bagel & Coffee House
The display case of schmears at Benji's Bagel & Coffee House. Photo: Courtesy of Alison Carmona Rau

A hallmark of Nashville's cool new bagel shops has been long lines of loyal patrons clamoring for their morning fix.

  • Benji's displays its variety of cream cheese schmears in a glass case, ice cream shop-style.
  • Nate's better half Ali recommends the spicy cucumber dill.

The buzz: Benji's Bagel & Coffee House has seen lines grow since opening in January. (Tennessean)

Bagelshop

Really Hot Roast Beef sandwich from Bagelshop
Really Hot Roast Beef sandwich from Bagelshop. Photo: Nate Rau/Axios

Donelson has one of the fastest-growing neighborhood food scenes in Nashville, and Bagelshop is one of the most popular newcomers.

  • The Really Hot Roast Beef sandwich — which comes with jalapeños, pickles and horsey cream cheese — was the perfect lunch for Nate this week. Although it packs some heat, it wasn't too hot, like the name suggests.

The buzz: Bagelshop launched its Donelson location in December with neighbors in mind. (WKRN)

All or Nothing Bagels

A bagel from All or Nothing Bagels and coffee from Weak Coffee Co.
A nothing bagel with coconut cream schmear from All or Nothing Bagels and iced lavender mocha latte from Weak Coffee Co. Photo: Nate Rau/Axios

Leave it to Nashville to make the parking lot of a drum store the epicenter of its growing breakfast and coffee options.

  • Weak Coffee Co. operates out of a kiosk inside Nelson Drum Shop. Weak is known for its creative lattes and loyal customers, who gather with their coffees at picnic tables outside the shop.
  • At the other end of the parking lot is the purveyor of the best bagel we had during our Bagel Bonanza this week: All or Nothing Bagels.
  • They keep it simple, as the name suggests, pairing your choice of everything or plain bagels with a delightful list of schmear options. The coconut cream schmear was all Nate could think about this week.

The buzz: All or Nothing was named best new bagel shop last year. (Nashville Scene)

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