National Bagel Day is January 15. Bagels have a history that is richer than your favorite cream cheese spread! These rounds of dough can be found just about anywhere: breakfast joints, coffee shops, supermarkets, or even your kitchen pantry. In fact, 2018 saw more than 354 million bagels sold.
History of National Bagel Day
Bagels have a long and highly documented history that travels from the Jewish families of Poland in the 1600s to wrapped up in parchment paper in your hands today. And, unlike many things created nearly five-hundred years ago, bagels are remarkably unchanged. Sure, cream cheeses and butters and flavors and toppings may have evolved over time but bagel is a beigel is a beygal.
Bagels made the jump to America with a massive Polish-Jewish immigration in the 1800s that firmly entrenched itself in New York City where it thrived. In fact, an entire union was created in the early 1900s called Bagel Bakers Local 338 to support the growing, immigrant-led industry. That also begat the “bagel brunch,” that we still enjoy to this day with little to no changes: lox, cream cheese, capers, tomatoes, and red onions.
While bagels were hugely popular in New York City almost immediately, they didn’t make their way to the national scale until the mid 20th-century where automation and bread slicing (the coolest thing!) made mass manufacturing much more efficient. Since then, bagels have taken off to include a variety of flours, toppings, dips and smears but still remain – by and large – exactly as they were in the 1600s.
National Bagel Day timeline
The beginnings of the modern bagel can be traced to the Polish obwarzanek, a thin, boiled, then baked ring of dough.
The first known written records about bagels appears in Krakow, Poland which dictated that bagels should be gifted to women soon after childbirth.
Over this century, the popularity of bagels spread through the growing Eastern European and Jewish-immigrant communities in New York City.
Bagels are sold in supermarkets across the nation and surpass the donut as an essential breakfast item.
Traditions of National Bagel Day
National Bagel Day Stats
National Bagel Day FAQs
When is National Bagel Day?
Should I eat a bagel on National Bagel Day?
What's the difference between a bagel and a donut?
National Bagel Day Activities
Have a bagel at every meal
Take this day as an opportunity to appreciate the versatility of the bagel, and feel free to use it as an excuse to try as many flavors as you would like!
Share the bagel love
What office, classroom, or group of friends doesn't love bagels? Scope out your local bagel shops for exclusive National Bagel Day deals and spring for a dozen delicious bagels to share.
Find the best bagel in town
Everyone has their favorite bagel place, so maybe it's time to figure out which one is the best. Maybe each place has its own specialty bagel — be adventurous and try it out!
Why We Love National Bagel Day
There are countless varieties
Have you ever walked into a bagel shop and noticed all the different flavors available? From bagels weaved with cinnamon raisin swirl to the classic everything bagel, there is always a variety to satisfy your sweet or savory cravings.
Bagels are versatile
Many of us have had bagels for breakfast, but how about as a deli sandwich or maybe a pizza bagel? The chewy and dense texture make bagels a perfect vehicle for toppings, spreads, anything else delicious you can think of!
They are convenient
You can find bagels at grocery stores, coffee shops, and even gas stations. You can eat them toasted or just plain. Either way, they are still a delicious and easy choice when you are on-the-go.
National Bagel Day dates