Bagel Bites: Boardwalk Bagel in Atlantic Beach likes to go big


We asked Greater Long Island readers to name their favorite bagel shops in Nassau and Suffolk counties — and then we did our research, leaving no sesame seed behind, no raisin unturned. From there, GLI food writer Dana Lostritto hit the highways over the course of months.

And she believes she has found the very best. So here they are, in our Bagel Bites series. Look for more to come

Boardwalk Bagel & Delicatessen

105 Putnam Blvd, Atlantic Beach

Long Island bagels are typically bigger than anywhere else in the U.S. Just sneak a peek at the ones lingering in your local supermarket freezer and you may wonder if those “national” brands are peddling baby bagels.

Have no fear, the good people at Boardwalk Bagel in Atlantic Beach are readily aware that size matters. Boardwalk bagels tip the scales at over 7.2 ounces, looking like the water wing flotation devices you wore as a kid in the pool. We are not mad about it; there’s just that more to love.

Atlantic Beach is a hidden little gem of an incorporated hamlet tucked between Long Beach and the Rockaways. You can see it readily on a flight to or from JFK.

But take our word for it, if you’re planning a day-trip to Atlantic Beach, or just driving through, stop the car for these bagels.

Gerard Foster (pictured) is behind the counter and runs the place with his brother Danny and sister Laurie. It’s truly a family affair — and Gerard is like the uncle you wish you had.

“I love this business,” he told us. “We have been in the food business since I was a little kid. And to be in it, you need to love it and live it every day.”

From Memorial Day to Labor day there’s an influx of summer renters, surfers and members from nearby beach clubs like the Clearwater, Catalina, and Sands. Every summer morning there’s a line of cabana boys on their way to work looking to get a bagel fix before a long day on Atlantic Beach.

On line, we were lucky enough to meet George, who works at the Clearwater and grew up spending summers here on the beach.

“There’s nothing like a Boardwalk bagel before work on a summer morning. The sun is just up and the weather is perfect and you get this amazingly perfect bagel,” he said. “My favorite is a B.E.C. on a sesame bagel. It puts you in a good mood and sets you up for a day on the beach.”

“This is quintessentially Long Island summer for me, and there’s no place better,” he added. 

Boardwalk bagels are hand rolled, enjoy a 36-hour proof in the fridge, and a quick bath in the hot boiling kettle before being baked off in the gleaming stainless steel oven right in front of the store.

They are chewy and crisp and have no room for a hole; there is just too much doughy goodness to sacrifice bagel real estate to an empty space. As in other places we visited, the everything and egg everything reign supreme, but the sesame (thank you, George) bears honorable mention. It almost calls to mind Italian semolina loaves, but when toasted and slicked with butter it’s a thing of incomparable deliciousness.

Everything (and we mean every bagel, salad, side dish and bakery item) is baked and prepared fresh every morning. Also on offer are yummy jumbo black and whites, fresh warm chocolate chip cookies, Hal’s chips and every possible drink you can imagine from Stewart’s sodas, to fresh juices and smoothies. 

Take a drive and check this one out. Grab a bagel, maybe be like a cabana boy and grab a BEC or something toasted with a solid schmear, and head up to the boardwalk and check out the view. Bagel bliss guaranteed. 

GLI food writer Dana Lostritto is a writer and editor with a master’s from the Columbia University School of Journalism and a bachelor’s in nutrition and food studies from NYU, along with a Cordon Bleu certificate. As a former editor of a London food magazine, she is passionate about sharing her insights on food, travel, lifestyle, and culture.

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