Only one Texas bagel shop makes new Bon Appetit list and it's in Dallas
Bagels are abuzz not just here in Dallas but across the U.S. — and there's a new list from Bon Appetit that highlights the best, including one shop from Texas.
Part of a series called Great Bagel Boom, celebrating bagel culture across the U.S., "The Very Best Bagels in the U.S."
compiles a list of "the finest bagels across America," stating that "there's never been a better time to eat bagels."
The list stretches from California to Florida to Louisiana to Maine, but with only one bagel shop in the entire state of Texas:
- Starship Bagel, the Dallas-based concept founded by bagel artisan Oren Salomon.
Starship Bagel is an old-school bagel shop that serves New York-style bagels made in small batches, in classic varieties such as Plain, Sesame, Poppyseed, Everything, Garlic, Salt, and Zaatar, plus specialty shmears, lox, and coffee.
Salomon, a young entrepreneur with a true passion for making great bagels, started his bagel operation at home before opening his first location in Lewisville in 2021. In 2023, he took the bagel world by storm when he opened a second location in downtown Dallas.
"For me it's about staying true to the process," he says. "Making the dough, then cold-fermenting it for at least 24 hours. Using the right ingredients, then boiling and baking. Some bagel places don't do the long fermentation due to space or time constraints, but I'd rather not sacrifice quality to sell more."
He's earned much acclaim including the No. 1 spot on CultureMap Dallas' list of the Best Bagels in Dallas.
Bon Appetit contributor and Plano resident Diana Spechler, who did the writeup on Starship, gives it credit for being a game-changer in Dallas.
"Gone are the days when the best bagel you could hope for in Dallas was a piece of bagel-shaped bread," she says. "Enter the downtown outpost of Starship Bagels, an order-at-the-window joint that offers only bagels, schmear, veggies, and a single protein: lox. If it doesn’t highlight the bagel, it’s not on the menu."
And she notes that, while many shops on the magazine's list are not hewing to the traditional mold, Salomon is channeling New York.
"It was precisely owner Oren Salomon’s goal to bring New York bagel culture to Dallas," she writes. "Salomon and his crew bake with an old-school bagel board, a wooden plank wrapped in soaked burlap. The board keeps one side of the bagel cool while the other side bakes. The result is that famous New York crunch on the outside and soft chewiness on the inside."
She also praises his precision: "There’s a precision to everything that comes out of Starship's two locations. For instance, Salomon tested 120 versions of the spice blend za’atar before choosing one for the za’atar bagel. For a jalapeño schmear, the team partially ferments jalapeños, achieving just the right balance of heat, sweetness, and crunch. They use the expensive, hard to work with, and somewhat difficult-to-procure malt syrup because, according to Salomon, all the best bagels have malt syrup.
"A bagel is not sandwich bread," she quotes him saying. "It’s the main attraction.'"
The list has 24 entries, with the majority from California, such as Maury's in Los Angeles, Midnite Bagel in San Francisco, and Poppy Bagels in Oakland. There's also El Bagel in Miami, Flour Moon Bagels in New Orleans, Bagelsaurus, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Tali's Bagels & Schmear in Hawaii, plus shops in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Maine, Oregon, Milwaukee, and Washington DC.