Three of the Best Bagel Joints in the Country are Here in Maine
Maine has a lot of national accolades already -- some of the best coastal views in the country. The best lobster in America. The best blueberries in the country. And now, we can add another one to the list -- bagels.
The best part? It's not even our own opinion amongst Mainers -- it's just a flat out fact now, after Food & Wine Magazine listed out their Best Bagel Places in America, and Vacationland ended up scoring THREE spots inside of the Top 10!
According to Channel 8 WMTW, those three bagel spots inside of Food & Wine Magazine's Top 10 are Forage, Scratch Baking, and Rover Bagel.
Forage has done so well for itself that there are two separate locations, one in Munjoy Hill in Portland as well as the original location in Lewiston. Part of the reason they were successful enough to open the second location in Portland? The fact that they do something no one else is known to do when it comes to baking their bagels. Owner Allen Smith told WMTW that they use a custom-made wood-fired oven that acts as a turntable and rotates inside, which causes the bagel to not only bake evenly, but also gives other unique characteristics and flavor only Forage can provide.
If you're looking for some of the freshest bagels that are straight out of the oven as soon as they're passed along to you, Scratch Baking in SoPo at Willard Square is your go-to place. Customers on the daily line up at Scratch Baking for bagels and have even since before the pandemic. These bagels aren't just kept under heating lamps until you decide you want it, then tossed in a toaster real quick -- oh no! These bagels are given to you fresh from the oven. Owner Sonja Swanberg told WMTW it's that attribute, plus patience, love, and a sourdough starter that makes their bagels stand out.
Rover Bagel rounds up the three Maine bagel joints inside of the Food & Wine's Top 10 in America, and is the brainchild and pride and joy of Alec and Kim Rutter. It actually didn't start off in Maine, but rather Kim's hometown of Salem, Massachusetts, before graduating up to Maine, where Alec grew up (can you DEFINE a fair trade-off and teamwork more?) Rover Bagel is located in the old mill buildings in Biddeford and known for their wood-fired oven bagel baking, too.
We're officially obligated to try all three of these places since they're some of the best in America, right? (And if we're not, can we be? Please?)