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Bagels – the Made for Brunch Food

It’s happened to everyone. You are in some sort of group and it ends up being your turn to host. How can you put out a spread that will make everyone happy, and still not break the bank – or your sanity? A bagel brunch is a quick, easy way to provide a healthy repast for a small or large group, with minimal set-up and quick cleanup.

The Bagels

Splurge on the bagels – a meal is only as good as its foundation, so ask for New Yorker Bagels that have been made fresh and be certain to get a big selection. Egg, sesame, whole wheat, onion, poppy seed, everything and so-on are always favorites, but don’t forget a few cinnamon raisin and perhaps a cranberry energy bagel or two. Pre-slice the bagels as close to the beginning of your event as possible and stack them with cut sides together to avoid them drying out.

The Toppings

You can’t have a bagel brunch without cream cheese, lox (smoked salmon) and maybe a little caviar, but the topping train doesn’t stop there. Add a variety of sweet, salty, and sour toppings, including flavored soft cheeses, jams, thinly sliced fruits and vegetables, and plenty of deli meats and sliced cheeses. Add a couple of off the cuff items to liven things up – a little jalapeno jelly, a fresh made salsa, and maybe some hummus. Don’t forget salt, cracked pepper, maybe a little chili powder and garlic or basil.

The Presentation

A long table with a file of people going down each side is best. Have plates and utensils first, then bagels. Set up a couple of bagel toasters or rent a rolling oven toaster so you can keep the line moving. Butters and spreads comes next, followed by deli meats, cheeses, vegetables and fruits, and so on. Seasonings are last, along with cups for beverages and napkins.


To make your brunch memorable, add a dessert table holding a chocolate fountain and assorted dipping items, or perhaps a cupcake tree or a variety of petit fours or cookies. Don’t forget a variety of drinks – consider offering punch, iced tea, coffee and bottled water. If alcohol is permitted, mimosas, bloody Marys, and cocktails can be provided.

Your bagel brunch can set the bar for future gatherings, and you’ll come out looking great.