Bagels. Glorious bagels. Let’s be honest, not all bagels are created equal. For me anyway, turns out the tastiest are the hand rolled, wood fired kind. My love affair with bagels began when I was a student in Wellington, way back in 2001, and at the time I had only tasted the New York variety.
Why did Best Ugly Bagels decide to go with the Montreal dough? “For a start it's crispier on the outside, yet chewy on the inner. These bagels have an airy texture and are not dense like their southern relations. Montreal bagels also exhibit a slightly sweet edge, and unlike the New York variety, they contain no salt!” There’s just enough crunch to make sure your toppings don’t slide off and you can eat it with your hands!
Owner, Al, wanted to bring the authentic Montreal bagel to New Zealand, so he and his team trained at where they considered the spiritual home of extraordinary bagel, Saint Viateur in Montreal. You can read the full backstory on their website - it’s so interesting.
Best Ugly on Cuba Street
It was Sunday and I was totally ready for bagels. A friend recommended the tuna melt, with mayo, jalapenos, lemon zest and grilled cheddar cheese. The jalapenos and lemon zest took the tuna to another level - the heat from the jalapenos helped cut through the richness of the tuna and mayo. Adding the tanginess of the lemon zest gave it a freshness and actually made it moorish.
Eat bite was just as delicious as the first, if not better because of the built up heat from the jalapenos.
As I sipped my soy mocha (they use Havana beans), I had an important decision to make. I was still hungry, but knew that I could only finish half a bagel. Earlier I spotted Fix & Fogg’s peanut butter on the menu board (for you jam lovers, you can get it too) - this is the second time I’ve come across their peanut butter. The first was a limited edition bliss ball flavour from Real Rad Food, and those were amazing! This was indeed one of those moments that I regretted not bringing my ‘eating pants’ to Wellington, really, who was I kidding?
Fix and Fogg do peanut butter in crunchy, super crunchy and smooth. This was the crunchy kind, and I bought my Dad the smooth for Father’s Dad. Turns out the peanut butter thing runs in the family.
There’s only bench seating inside and on a busy day I can see this filling up fast. Don’t worry, they also do takeaway and Uber Eats. When an order is placed, the team repeats the order from the counter server. I really like that and you can see that they enjoy what they are doing and take pride in their product. A great product with an awesome team behind it means the customer wins every time, that’s something I can rave about for sure.
Location: 5 Swan Lane, Te Aro, Wellington
Phone: 04 803 3563
Best Ugly at Wellington Airport
When I crave food enough, it usually manifests itself. Was bagel on the brain the morning I was flying home? Definitely. Turned out they also have a cafe right next to my gate, so of course I had to get my bagel fix. This time I had their Koko bagel - which was topped with an in-house hazelnut spread.
Bagel + chocolate spread. Enough said. I liked how it wasn’t overly sweet, yet still had this rich chocolate flavour that had my happiness sensors on overload. A really good hug on a bread, that’s what Koko is like.
Not in Wellington?
Do you live in Auckland? Check out www.bestugly.co.nz for their store locations, with their latest cafe just opened at Auckland International Airport. How good is that?
Who is RonnaEats? Ronna Funtelar runs this independent foodie blog, with a philosophy to eat and write about food we can rave about. We don't ask for free meals or collaborate with our reviewed eateries, so you can be assured the reviews are unbiased and all for the love of food. Whether it's a food truck, a hole in the wall eatery, street food, local hangout or fine dining, we want to know where to head to for our next food adventure.