It may be a new year, a new decade, and yes, I am new to the Banter section — but let me tell you, dear reader, I have been dealing with the same bogus bagel opinions for years and I am here to set the record straight. 

This weekend, as I sat down to welcome this semester’s Herald staff and get to know the next generation of student journalists, I asked them the usual information — name, major, a fun thing you did over break — and of course, I got the answers I wanted. But when it came to the important questions, the ones whose answers let the world know who you truly are, I did not get the answers I wanted — no, needed — and it hurt my soul more than anything I have ever known. When I asked the staff their favorite bagel flavor, the overwhelming consensus was asiago. ASIAGO. Asi-a-GO HOME, you’re fired. This is my nightmare.

What gives me the credentials to make such assertions? As The Badger Herald’s resident Shebrew, my bagel opinions are spiritually and culturally relevant. I was named in front of a kosher-style deli, I had a bat mitzvah and I played Chava in Parkside Middle School’s 2012 production of Fiddler on the Roof. So yeah, I think I know what I’m talking about. 

So here we are, as a lesson to The Badger Herald Staff and the rest of the world, I give you the only bagel flavors that matter, ranked.

8. Pumpernickel

Abigail Steinberg/The Badger Herald

OK, full disclosure — this flavor certainly is not the best, but my mom likes it and I trust her. Pumpernickel is certainly an acquired taste, but I’ve never been disappointed by the tanginess of the rye. Slap on some cream cheese and lox, and you’ve got yourself a winner.

7. Garlic

Abigail Steinberg/The Badger Herald

There’s nothing like the crunch of a nice garlic bagel, but beware — one bite and your breath will probably smell for a week. I recommend indulging in these treats every full moon and the entire month of October, as to protect yourself from vampires. See you never, Edward Cullen.

6. Onion

Abigail Steinberg/The Badger Herald

This is for sure Shrek’s favorite bagel. It might not have layers, but it’s savory and delicious. Unfortunately, the same breath-smelling issue I have with garlic bagels is also true for onion, ranking it a mere 6. 

5. Poppyseed

Abigail Steinberg/The Badger Herald

Poppy is my personal favorite and criminally underrated. The texture is fun, the flavor is mild. But to be honest, the slight chance the poppy seeds might make me fail a drug test is enough for me to rank this where it is.

4. Egg


Abigail Steinberg/The Badger Herald

Don’t let egg bagels fly under your radar. Sure, their coloring might be a little odd and there are no fun coatings, but that slightly sweeter dough will make your tastebuds sing.

3. Sesame

Abigail Steinberg/The Badger Herald

Another seeded variety of bagels, sesame definitely has more of a fan-following than my beloved poppy seed. The added crunch and nutty flavor make it a certified classic.

2. Everything

Abigail Steinberg/The Badger Herald

As a carrier of the too-much gene, I know extra when I see it. An everything bagel is not that — it is the perfect combination of texture, flavor and it-factor. 

1. Plain

Now, this may seem surprising, but hear me out. A plain bagel is a blank slate. Do you want a pizza bagel? A breakfast sandwich? Something sweet? A vehicle for lox or whitefish or what have you? Slap it on a plain bagel and you will never be disappointed. It’s the man you’ve always wanted.

So there you have it. To the rest of The Badger Herald staff and the world, go forth and enjoy the only bagel flavors that should ever exist.