Is The Bagel City some super fancy new five-star restaurant worthy of a trip to Bangkok? No, but I only eat at the best of those a couple times a year — and this is the kind of place you’ll eat at a couple times a week.
Text & Photos By Paul Cypert
Satisfying your cravings for the fancier foods from home is fairly easy in Bangkok. There’s no shortage of fine-dining Italian, French, and other culinary favorites but it’s a bit harder to find the simpler, local-nuanced meals that are found in the corner stores or along the street. Sure we eat our business dinners of steak and foie gras every now and then, but it’s the quiet staples that get us through the day: a quick bagel from the bodega for breakfast, cheap tacos from a cart for lunch, and a greasy slice for dinner.
The Bagel Cafe (TBC) brings not just homemade bagels, but also sandwiches, desserts, spreads, and other odds and ends to Soi Ekkamai (all homemade daily). Not quite a “corner” store in the strictest sense of the word, but it is located well enough along the business soi to be a regular stop for the various people who work or live in the area.
We actually came to the TBC from a recommendation of friends as a sandwich shop, which isn’t a slight on their bagels, but more of an appreciation for their sandwiches. The menu is simple, concise, and covers the classics such as BLT, tuna salad and the tuna melt.
But the standout sandwiches for us have been a couple of their “fancier” creations like the “Outlaw Gondola” with its coppa, tomatoes, salami, dill pickles and cheese. The Outlaw Gondola is the perfect sandwich when you want something that’s going to fill you up but still leave you feeling fresh.
Other creations worth noting are “The Cuban” and “The Sweet Rueben,” both warm sandwiches that accurately reflect the origin locations. We’d probably give a slight favor to the Reuben for it’s heaping of pastrami topped with that gooey Swiss cheese, thousand island dressing, and sauerkraut. The perfect sandwich when you want to eat something a bit heartier.
Desserts, like everything else at the restaurant also all homemade and there are two American classics done in a closer style to any examples you’ll find currently on offer in Bangkok. The brownies are dense, chocolaty bombs rather than the airy cake style usually found in coffee shops here. The NYC style cheesecake has delicate flavor without resorting to heavy cream or fancier toppings. We’d recommend either with a cup of coffee and then just sit in the cafe and watch Ekkamai’s varied foot traffic.
The Bagel Cafe succeeds in bringing authentic Western taste to Bangkok. Is it some super fancy new five-star restaurant worthy of a trip to Bangkok? No, but I only eat at the best of those a couple times a year — and this is the kind of place you’ll eat at a couple times a week.
The Bagel Cafe
Soi Ekkamai (on the street shortly before reaching Big C)