The snack that connects – Brooklyn Bagel opens by Margaret Bridge


  • Zsófia Nagy

20/06/2022 10.33am

It is the snack that transcends religions and denominations. At Brooklyn Bagel, just opened by the ZSILIP Cultural Centre, operated by the EMIH-Hungarian Jewish Association, a dozen tasty options are on offer, including a kosher variety shipped in from Hamburg.

The riverside district of Újlipótváros, the historic home of a significant Jewish community, is the perfect location for Brooklyn Bagel. The chef and manager live in the area, and know and love this part of the city.

Furthermore, two experienced owners behind kosher restaurants, the Tel Aviv Café and the Carmel Restaurant in the Dob utca Synagogue, Dániel Preiszler and Dávid Klopfer, have set the whole thing up.

Photo: Brooklyn Bagel

And who doesn't want bagels? Everything is laid on to create a convivial little meeting point next to ZSILIP, where practising Jews and non-Jews can breakfast together or brunch, and enjoy the delicious flavours.

Huge windows and a pleasant terrace have a clear view of the Danube and Margaret Island, while the interior is decorated with trendy green tiles and gold features.

At first, it might not occur to the visitor that they’re next to a synagogue and that this room has a direct entrance to a house of worship – the goal here is to provide great food when you’re hungry.

Photo: Brooklyn Bagel

Bagel-type pastries are found in 13th-century Arabic cookbooks, but the modern version you will already be familiar with is Jewish. According to legend, the first bagel was a gift from a Viennese baker, who thanked King John III Sobieski of Poland for expelling the Turks from Vienna.

The pastry is said to have been in the shape of a stirrup, referring to the king’s riding abilities, and its name comes from its German equivalent, Bügel. Thanks to Jewish bakers, the bagel first spread in Poland and then came to America from there.

Photo: Brooklyn Bagel

As soon as the delicacy left Europe, it began to conquer the big cities of the USA. New York is considered the capital today. The traditional version is with cream cheese and marinated salmon, lox and schmear.

If you visit Brooklyn Bagel, we recommend you start with this version (HUF 2,350), here also provided with a little avocado (HUF 2,850). Another favourite is one of the simplest varieties with olives and cream cheese (HUF 950).

The savoury variations come with Israeli salt, but you also find sweet options with Nutella (HUF 850) or peanut butter and blueberries (HUF 1,050).

Photo: Brooklyn Bagel

Savoury toppings and salads are made locally, while kosher bagels come from Hamburg. They are not so easy to make locally, as the pastry is made in a special way because the leavened dough is first cooked in hot water for a short time and then baked, so it will be compact and supple, and the outside is good if it is soft.

And for a food to be kosher, a myriad rules must be followed, from the separation of dairy products and meat to the fact that food can only be prepared on a fire that a rabbi turned on and started.

Photo: Brooklyn Bagel

The dozen on offer at Brooklyn Bagel are mostly vegan, too. You can also choose from super locally made desserts, also kosher, such as babka sweet bread, which can even be accompanied by alcoholic beverages.

Photo: Brooklyn Bagel

Venue information

Brooklyn Bagel
1137 Budapest, Újpesti rakpart 1
Open: Mon-Thur 8am-8pm, Fri 8am-4pm, Sun 8.30am-5.30pm

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