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Boston Restaurant Blog >> 2009 archives >> March, 2009 >> blog entry

Boston Restaurant Blog -- March, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunday Morning at Katz's Bagels, Chelsea

In some ways, the city of Chelsea is a complete question mark to many when it comes to restaurants and other food places. Perhaps this is because of its less-than-stellar (and often undeserved) reputation as a rough place that should be avoided when at all possible. This is a shame, as Chelsea has some very interesting places to eat, including one of the best restaurants for steak tips in New England (Newbridge Cafe) and perhaps one of the top 5 bagel places in the Boston area (Katz Bagel Bakery), which I just happened to try for the first time over the weekend.

photo of Katz Bagel Bakery, Chelsea, Massachusetts Katz's is in a gritty section of Chelsea just north of downtown that nonetheless has an interesting feel to it. Row houses dominate the area, with a handful of independent neighborhood businesses at street level, including Katz's. In some ways, Katz's bears a slight resemblance to the North End institution Pizzeria Regina from the outside, with its old-fashioned sign hanging from the brick storefront and its location on a distinctly urban street corner surrounded by row houses and apartments.

I arrived at Katz's fairly early in the morning and was about the only person there, probably because of the miserable weather outside. The first thing I noticed (in addition to the fact that the place was tiny and with zero atmosphere) was that the person behind the counter was absolutely no-nonsense; you order, you pay, you get out. Unfortunately, the person in front of me didn't seem to understand this, and received some pretty angry looks in the process. The counter person actually gave up and asked me what I wanted while the other person was in deciding what to get, so I rattled off what I wanted as succinctly as possible, gave him my money, and left.

So how were the bagels from Katz's? Well, they weren't quite as crispy on the outside as I would have liked, and the inside was just a bit more dense and chewy than I had hoped for, but overall, these were some special bagels. All of the bagels I ordered had a lot of flavor and just a hint of sweetness, and the pumpernickel and sesame bagels were especially fine--so good, in fact, that I didn't even bother to toast them. In the end, however, I believe that the bagels at Rosenfeld's in Newton Centre are just a little better, and the bagels I've had at Iggy's in Cambridge, Bagel Rising in Boston, and, at times, Kupel's in Brookline are about equal to Katz's. So yes, Katz Bagel Bakery is certainly worth going to, not just for the quality of the bagels but also for the sense of discovering a place that few seem to know about. But if you happen to be closer to one of the places mentioned above, you might as well stick to one of those spots because their bagels are also certainly up to the task.

If you want the address for Katz's Bagels in Chelsea, here it is: Katz Bagel Bakery, 139 Park Street, Chelsea, MA 02150. The phone number is (617) 884-9738.

Katz Bagel Bakery on Urbanspoon

Related Blog Entries: bakeries, Chelsea restaurants

Mickey said:
Not well known? Been around since 1920. If you are from 10 mile circumference from Chelsea, you know about Katz Bagels. Chelsea was a predominantly Jewish city in the 30's,40's and 50' it was a tradition to head on down to Katz's (and you could side door it back then at 330 am!) Katz Bagels IS Chelsea at its very finest. And David is businesslike and effective at the counter. I hope this place stays open forever.
Posted on 4/16/13

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