May 23, 2022 - Food and Drink

The 2 best bagel shops in Richmond

A picture of lox and cream cheese on a bagel.
An order of bagel and lox from Chewy's Bagels. Photo: Ned Oliver/Axios

With the opening of Chewy's Bagels in Carytown, Richmond is now home to two honest-to-God bagel shops.

Why it matters: Richmond, an allegedly great food city, has long been a bagel desert.

  • The situation is so dire that when Yelp's algorithm attempted to put together a list of the city's top 10 bagel restaurants, it filled four of the spots with different locations of the breakfast chain Einstein's.

State of play: Chewy's quietly opened at the end of April. It joins Nate's Bagels, which opened in 2018 with the slogan, "Finally a good bagel in Richmond." Both bakeries bring something distinct to the breakfast table.

What to expect at Chewy's: True to the name, Chewy's bagels have a beautifully blistered, leathery crust. Inside, they're airy and light with a texture that's almost reminiscent of a croissant.

  • Outside of a standard lox offering, their sandwich options aren't very breakfasty.
  • That's OK because their smear game is excellent, and the bread is the star.

What to expect at Nate's: Nate's bagels are big, doughy and sometimes almost the size of a softball. They're good!

  • But the shop mostly stands out for its inventive sandwich menu and great vegetarian and vegan options.
  • I love the 'Ol Virginny, which comes with sausage, egg, tomato jam, caramelized onion and cream cheese.
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