"Salt Beef Bagel Anyone?"
Reviewed 21 January 2014
Don't worry, the Sunday queue goes down quickly - As does the bagel! So this is what a real bagel tastes like? Now I know!
Visited January 2014
5 of 5 stars Value
5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
5 of 5 stars Service
5 of 5 stars Food
Now you would think a much-anticipated visit to London by this self-professed San Francisco foodie would warrant a special trip to a fancy restaurant run by the likes of Gordon Ramsey or Heston Blumenthal. But no, Jamie W. and I are basically cheapskates and made this our very first dining stop. That's because I noticed that the London Yelp community manager rated this as the must-eat stop (photo: bit.ly/Olscev). Londoners must feel the same way about this hurly-burly spot like New Yorkers do about the Halal Guys cart at 53rd and 6th. I can see why. First of all, it's open 24/7. I could well imagine a midnight pub crawl that would end up here.
Because we didn't know any better, we came in the midst of Sunday UpMarket when Brick Lane is wall-to-wall. Beigel Bake turns into a virtual assembly line, and you better know what to order lest you get a tongue lashing from the somewhat curt staff (photo: bit.ly/QQCBB9). Luckily I knew to order the £ 3.70 Hot Salt Beef Beigel which was quite a meaty concoction. I went full gonzo and ordered it with "salad" and mayonnaise for 30 pence extra (photo: bit.ly/1lBf8hA). Salad, in this case, meant two slices of tomato and a slice of cucumber. Might as well get dessert while I'm at it, right? So I spontaneously ordered an Apple Strudel for just 60 pence (photo: bit.ly/1lBfbKj).
Now finding a spot to eat these delectables turned out to be the much bigger challenge, and after about ten minutes of milling through the swarming crowds, we were able to land on an empty bench. The bagel, which they indeed spell "beigel", is perfectly tender with just enough chew to satisfy (photo: bit.ly/1gy60os). The stuffing was quite tasty with slabs of pink, juicy meat with just enough gristle to make me feel guiltier than usual. I could have easily had another and another. The apple strudel was not as impressive. Sure, it was good and fresh but genuinely pales next to its more savory creations from my perspective. Oh yes, I can see why Limey Yelpers flock here.
FOOD - 4 stars...pleasure awaits with the savory beef in fresh bagels
AMBIANCE - 3 stars...it's a blur to me now
SERVICE - 2.5 stars...know what you want or prepare to be bypassed
TOTAL - 4 stars...forget Gordon Ramsey, this is where Londoners go for the big bite
This bakery has to be one of the best in London if not the world!!! I find myself making pilgrimages across town at all times of the day & night to get myself a bagel.
I swear that refueling with a salt beef bagel at 3am after a night of heavy drinking has actually halted my hangover the next day!
It's not just the legendary salt beef bagels that are amazing, but the salmon, & peanut butter ones are to die for. They also do a Nutella bagel mmmmn.
The great thing about this bakery apart from the tasty goods on offer, is the price!!
A plain bagel is 20p, and there doughnuts are 30p.
I can't recommend this place enough it is an East London institution. I've taken many friends here for a salt beef bagel. I've said that I am going to start taking pictures of their faces after they've taken a bite. They all have the same "Wow, where has this been all my life" look about them.
24 hours a day 7 days a week!! You can't go wrong.
24 hours a day 7 days a week. Drooling thinking about it!!! If you are on Brick Lane you must go here.
The bottom line: chewy soft plain bagels (not toasted) but gooey oozy yummy goodness with hot fatty salty beef (corned beef as we know it). Not the sliced kind, the kind they take a big fat chunk of, stick in a bagel with some mustard and you stand not the street and eat it, and then want to go back for more. Maybe a 2nd one? 3rd one? It's a no frills kind of place, no seating. There was a line but it went quick and they worked like a well oiled machine. The workers were quick and within seconds-BAM in my tummy!Thank goodness I am very far away from here, or I can see myself being very very very addicted.
I have to stay that this place isn't as good as the one next door - It's always my second choice, although occasionally I'll try it out again!
Not sure what's in it, but these are a little more sour to me. I think I need to buy from each and do a taste test.
That said there is very little in it.
I love the used, old school and practical vibe of this place, it's functional and really, what else do you need. At least there is honesty in the cracked and well worn tiles!
This is one East London Cultural icon that I really hope Brick Lane never looses.
Open 24 hours you can expect a whole plethora of plump fillings... although if you haven't you need to try a hot salt beef Beigel, it knock the socks off of after drinking kebab houses - there's literally no comparison and in the morning you won't awake feeling like death!
Cream cheese and locks is also a firm favourite... great breakfast or lunch food.
Still unsure about the waxy cakes... the jury is still out on them!
Being a fan of bagels and having heard many good things about this place I went in with high expectations. The line extending outside also attested to the quality I was about to experience. Needless to say the hot salt beef with mustard bagel was worth the wait. I don't even like mustard but decided not to forgo merely for the experience. And what an experience.
My order was quickly taken by one of the many fast working employees, my money taken from my hand and change returned with a bagel wrapped in a paper baggie alongside. The first bite of that bagel and I was hooked. The hot salt beef is perfectly balanced among the sweetness of the soft bagel and rush of heat from the English mustard. I was so impressed and I will definitely be back for more. This place deserves all the hype it gets.
Amazing Yummy, Chewy, Crispy, Tasty Tasty Bagels.
There is nothing to shout about decor wise for Beigel Bake, nor the service. But the bagels are just epic and speak for themselves. They taste exactly what you would expect the best plain bagel you've ever had in your life to taste, and quietly your tastebuds tell your brain as you're biting through one filled with Cream Cheese, Smoked Salmon and Salami. That this. This piece of mildly salted bread is your addiction. An addiction of neither impressive form or sensory overload.
It's simply the best bagel and you know it.
This old school bakery has excellent late night 'drunk' food. Our go-to used to be doner kebabs but in this neck of the woods it's always a salt beef bagel.
But let's not forget they're actually a bakery. So if the time is right I'd suggest taking home some baked bread or bagels to enjoy later. We usually at least take home a dozen of the fresh baked bagels - it's pretty cheap and delicious!
Best bagels in town. Flat out. I buy a dozen and freeze them to keep them on hand. So good.
Never had their sandwiches but people seem to like them.
The very definition of 'institution'. You can be in and out with a fresh bagel in minutes, and for less than the change in your pocket.
But... it's not like it's all that amazing.
It's decent, don't get me wrong. But it's far from perfect. Since they don't toast, you're basically eating a chewy roll. And whilst I enjoy chewy rolls with cream cheese, I enjoy *thin and toasted* a great deal more.
Beigel Bake is an experience to remember. A through the darkness to the holy grail of late night food stops where nothing else will satisfy but this need for meat and mustard on top of soft, delicious bagel experience. Have you had this before?
If it sounds like a religious experience, it is. A shining north start guiding your way down Brick Lane at whatever hour it is, for this space remains open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Come in, come on.
Will you be greeted by a smile? No, you will not. Nor a warm hello, nor a hearty handshake nor anything that resembles the smallest likeliness of friendliness. Instead, a group of women will scowl in your direction over the counter, working hard to make everyone there a sandwich. Smile back anyway, for they are the providers of the hot salt beef.
Yes, there will most likely be a queue, traveller, but stay in, it is worth it and moves hastily. Be ready, know what you would like to order, for the time for you to announce this will be upon you before you know it. And if you know not what you want, all the angels in heaven cannot protect you from these women's wrath.
My suggestion? The hot salt beef with mustard and pickle. Many before me have given that same idea, but there is reason for this. Soft, tender, salty and sweet is this meat, with just the right kick of spicy mustard resting on top and in between. Do not go for the roll, that is a fool's choice! Go for the bagel, the only true way to eat this meal. And behold, it will only cost you less than that fiver you have in your pocket.
But you cannot go wrong with anything here. Bagels be only 25p without anything upon them and are always fresh. Need a different topping atop your sandwich that isn't hot salt beef. The tuna and sweetcorn is an excellent choice as well.
There are no seats, for this is not a place to loiter. Take your meal and be on your way traveller to your next location. And relish in the experience you just had.
THESE ARE NOT NEW YORK STYLE BAGELS!
Believe it or not, the bagel has grown up in different countries in different ways, meaning that there isn't just one type. Here in London they're a softer, sweeter affair. Once you've got that fact in your head, you'll be fine. You get one type of bagel: plain, and you get it filled with the most amazing salt beef and mustard (or salmon/cream cheese if you are a wimp). You pay your not very much money to the not overly friendly staff and you eat it and you enjoy it. OK? OK.
I've had many a pointless NY-vs-Montreal bagel argument. I like both, so I usually just pick a side and argue it... Next time this happens, though, I'm going to use London as my trump card and win the argument hands-down.
The bagel (okay, beigel) here was outstanding, and the salt beef I had it with was perfect (though I think you roll the dice a little when you order it; I got lucky, but some slices on the counter looked pretty fatty).
And then there the fact that this place is open 24/7; this deserves a sixth star!
My friend always told me about these amazing bagels and I finally tried them yesterday for the first time... what can I say? HEAVEN! they boil and bake them in big trays in front of you and they serve them still warm! there's nothing better than warm bread! Just the best!! (only 25p for a plain bagel!)
To begin with, the bagel was alright. The bread was lovely, but the rest: meh.
I got myself all the way to Shoreditch after reading all these superpositive reviews about this tiny "beigel" shop. My enthusiasm ran away when I saw the storefront. Stacked up bin bags in and around the door, with rubbish crawling its way inside the restaurant. Inside, the floor was filthy and covered in pieces of torn paper. I decided not to let the obviously poor hygiene scare me and queued. After a few tourists tried to step in front of me, I got to order, but not before being yelled at by the woman behind the counter "COME ON!!" she shouted. Well, sorry for saying hello, I guess.
The food wasn't even as good as I expected, or maybe I just got unlucky as my hot salt beef was mostly fat. Probably beef fat, but still fat.
As another reviewer said, "The people who work here are very generally rude assholes". Yes, yes they are. And for me, that's a MAJOR deal-breaker.
I won't be back, even if it was the last restaurant on Earth (and I love nothing more than restaurants).
Update: I walked past it yesterday and it looked just as filthy. They don't even display their hygiene rating.
This place is so delicious I can't even walk by it without getting a bagel. I prefer the salmon and cream cheese, although the salf beef bagel is amazing. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. This may be the best drunk food ever created by man, and I mean that wholeheartedly.
The people who work here are very generally rude assholes, but they can sure make a helluva sandwich, so I forgive them. Just pray they dont mess up your order, because when they do and you ask for your correct order, it's like you just called their mother a pissininny. Whatever that is. The line moves fast so don't be intimidated. These are some efficient bastards, I'll give them that.
Go here if you are near, you idiot. Seriously, stop reading this and just go buy some beigels.
oh god, I'm drooling just thinking of this chewy delight.
DO NOT FORGET THE MUSTARD.
it's of the sinus clearing spicy kind but totally worth it.
they arent stingy w/ the salt beef and it's a very kind price point!
When I'm in London they get my money every time!
I was walking through the market on Brick Lane while visiting London (Oct 2013) and happened to walk by this place. I was dinner time and I was hungry, and wanted something quick and easy. I walked by, saw baked goods, then saw salted beef beigels in the window. Like a kid, I pressed my face against the glass and grunted at the young lady on the other side of the glass.
I walked in and got in line...with 20 other people...
There were 3 ladies in front of me talking about their day and not paying attention. The old lady, who seemed to be in charge, pointed at me and said "what'll you'll have laddy?" I quickly fired back and asked for a salted beef beigel and she quickly grab one and asked if I wanted mustard. You want the mustard...trust me...and a bev...
Talk about simply, yet major flavor overload! The mustard makes the sammich, not to mention the flavor filled beef. Great snack as walk Brick Lane :-)
I'm writing this slightly drunk at 0330 am....lol Ive been coming to this place forever and by this I mean 10 yrs of my 25 on this green earth....god I'm drunk. The service is very quick and efficient. It has to be with the weird and wonderful people that come through there doors...especially as they are 24/7
For me the salt beef beigel wins all day long. Cream cheese and salmon is also up there with the best. I think the salt beef is about £3.40 and comes with pickles and mustard. Ummmmm heaven.
I share the opinion of most of the people here about the beef bagel sandwich. It's just the same as you imagine it - bagel, salted beef and mustard. There are also pickles but I'd rather not have them. Anyway, that magical trio makes up for a heavenly explosion in my mouth with every bite. The meat is tasty and the bread - oh, so soft and crunchy at the same time.
The sandwiches from this shop are quite the catch despite it being kind of smallish. I guarantee that you'll love it the minute you walk in. It's also open 24/7 for midnight snacks.
The line was ridiculous for this little shop that just pounds out bagels and sandwiches made with bagels.
Had the corned beef ( I believe they call it salted beef) on a warm soft bagel with their wonderful mustard.
It was a foodgasm. The soft warm bagel mixed with that tender salty beef and the tang of the mustard was just great. I would put their salted beef up against most NY delis...that was how good it was.
This place is known for being mobbed after people let out of the pubs....word up.
For a bagel outside of New York, and outside of the U.S., no less, this bagel is okay...I suppose. It's not H&H, it certainly doesn't live up to your run-of-the-mill bodega bagel, and it's not even Bruegger's or Einstein's. It is, however, a tolerable cream cheese or butter carrier, though, speaking of which, I do not care for Beigel Bake's cream cheese at all and cannot endorse it in any way. Way too sour to be legit. My recommendation: grab a bagel, take it home, toast it up, and apply your own store-bought butter or cream cheese.
In other news, do not even think of eating these bagels without toasting. Just don't waste the time, hunger, and calories. Without toasting, the bread is just too soft and chewy and not in a good way. Just tastes like a mouthful of fluffy, white, slightly sweet bread. Not sure if toasting is an in-store option, but I took a few home to toast up and test out. The toasted version was much better than the soft, already prepared and ready-to-go bagel with cream cheese that I was handed from over the counter (side eye).
Additionally, for those who may be looking for a nice selection of bagels from Everything to Salt to Poppy to Egg to you name it, reel in your excitement. Your options, here, are Plain or Plain, as well as Plain. Not thrilled. Plain bagels are a straight up waste of everyone's time and this factor will definitely keep me from returning.
In any event, won't be returning. Think I'll hold out until I can skip back to New York.
I'm not sure what I can already add to the exceptional reviews listed under the Beigel Bake except WOW! Amazing taste, freshly baked and open 24/7, what more could you ask for? Even though I'm not a huge meat-eater I just had to try this famous salted beef bagel which was so simple, yet so effective. Definitely worth a visit or 20, so happy I live so close to this great shop.
I love this place ... It's really cheap, and I love love love their bagels. They're soft, fresh, and the perfect size. The cream cheese is really good and you get them really quickly. I want these all the time.
ALSO THE DOUGHNUTS. ONLY 30p. AND IT WAS DELICIOUS AHHHH
Ordered: Salt Beef Bagel, 1/2 dozen bagels, Apple Turnover
Price: Salt Beef Bagel: £3.70 (I think), 1/2 dozen bagels: £1.50, Apple Turnover: £0.60
Review: OPEN 24/7!!! Salt Beef Bagel is amazing here - if you like a warm soft bagel and salted beef - you have to make a trip to this holy spot for all bagels. I can't think of a better place than this. I've been here many times and it has never failed to impress. If you don't like mustard - ask without mustard as its pretty strong. I get bagels for my flat and bring them home - going to eat them in about 1/2 hour after my roomie wakes up haha. Apple Turnover - uses real apples, but the pastry isn't great. Stick to their bagels - its pretty hole-some...get it hole as in bagel...ok - fail.
Another salt beef-lover must when in East London. Somewhat chewier beef than the other famous beigel place next to it but other than that I would choose in between the two based on the length of the line.
And to be honest Beigel Bake seems to be the one that is a little busier than the neighbouring beigel place. To our small Swedish taste panel this didn't happen to be the indicator of it being the better place but we did love and prefer the smoke salmon beigel here.
This place is a legend. Even though I'm not the greatest fan of bagels (isn't it just a roll with a hole), I still had to step in here when I spotted it
Open 24/7, it always seems busy whatever the time of day. Perhaps the customers all have my Chinese Thrift Gene because the prices are extremely reasonable
Perhaps, I can end this review by saying that it's virtually the only place on the planet where I'd come specially to eat a bagel
Cheap, good and tasty.
Try the smoked salmon and cream cheese!
Finally, a cheap place to eat in London! Where have you been hiding all my life *___*.
As per yelp recommendations, I got the hot salt beef beigel with mustard. And it did not disappoint! Warm beigel. Hot, juicy, thick, tender beef (~woah there~). And the perfect kick with the mustard in every bite. I should have ordered two. One to eat on my way home and another to eat when I get home.
This is something I will miss when I am back in California, that's for sure!
Salt Beef Bagel (Beigel?) with hot English mustard and gherkins.
Good any time of day, in any state of sobriety or inebriation.
When you smell fresh bagel smell wafting out of the bakery, you know it is time to pop in and get at least one fresh, plain bagel. Totally worth it even if you're not hungry. Its good enough to eat plain.
Are you drunk and hungry? Does the idea of a greasy kebab fill you with alternating feelings of desire and nausea? Well worry no more - Beigel Bake to the rescue! To be fair, this 24/7 shop is a good idea at any time but I inevitably only find myself there after a night out in East London. And for good reason - it's open no matter what time you stagger out of the club, the food is fresh and smells mouth-wateringly good in the way no kebab ever does, and the no-nonsense bagel slingers keep the line moving at an epic pace.
So Beigel Bake (as you might have guessed) sells bagels. I had to look this up but apparently "beigel" is an acceptable alternate form of "bagel". Actually, it's probably the correct spelling but the US nicely changed it to be match the way it sounds as it would be too challenging for some of the population otherwise. Anyways, you can get pretty much any bagel type known to man with a variety of fillings from cream cheese and salmon, to egg & mayo, and even cheese (who has cheese on a bagel?!). However, my staple is the salt beef and spicy mustard which is just epic. And I'm not just saying that cause I'm drunk (when I eat that bagel...not now...mostly).
For £3.70, you'd be hard pressed to find a better deal and I can promise that there isn't one anywhere at 4am on a Friday night/Saturday morning. Pick your bagel, say yes to mustard, and within seconds you'll have a neatly folded bag full of beefy bagel goodness. This is a takeaway only type of place (the few seats are always filled by old men who mock the drunk "young professionals" and hipsters that flock here each night) but feel free to tear into your food immediately. The joy is that you feast and in a minute or two you are full and happy. The salt beef is incredibly tender, impossibly moist and juicy, and flakes away in each bite. The bite of the mustard clears your head for a little while which is just enough time to make sure you get home and the soft chewy bagel is almost worth eating on its own.
Beigel Bake, I salute you. You've given us the solution to drunk hunger without the usual bout of food poisoning the next day. Actually, just thinking about it makes me want one and I think I'll be dropping by to see you tomorrow morning on my way to the fish markets!
I was shocked when I saw the prices in this place! Where in London can you find anything that CHEAP???? And it is tasty as well!!!
Nearly too good to be true! My cream cheese beigel was great but the egg beigel my friend got is the reason for the missing star. It was really dry and actually looked a bit weird too. But then who cares if you pay less than a pound?
Great great place and I really can't get over how cheap it is!!
IT IS SO CHEAP!! :)
I once went here on a date. (It wasn't the destination but it was a good refuelling point en-route). In the queue we discussed my Jewish culinary heritage and our preferences for bagel fillings and how pleasing it was, as financially overstretched Londoners, that against all the odds this place remained so ridiculously cheap and yet generous with ingredients. The man who was lucky enough to be sharing my time ordered two with salt beef and I thought "what a gentleman". We watched them being made, reached the tills, then he picked them both up, turned to me and said "Aren't you getting anything?"
So I can confirm that, as with many things, Beigel Bake is better attended as a diehard singleton. They overfill the bread casing to such an extent that however hard you try to look dainty, it will get messy. You'll spill mustard down your top and smear salt beef all over your chin but who cares? It tastes epic and that's all that matters.
If memory serves, we never went on another date. But I do maintain my relationship with Beigel Bake.
I know which lifeless slab of meat I'd rather have in my life.
Disappointed doesn't quite cover it..
I've heard amazing things about this place and was super excited to try it. I was greeted by a rude lady at the till - customer service was non existent. Fair enough it is only a sandwhich shop and the other servers seemed more friendly, so perhaps I was unlucky...
I ordered a salt beef sandwhich on rye bread, was not offered mustard or gherkin (tbf, I also forgot to ask). After paying over £4 I expected to open it up and see generous servings of hot salt beef. Nope. Wrong.One slice. If I'm trying to be fair, one section of of it became thicker in a skewed disproportionate way... Not that it was a positive. The salt beef was nothing to write home about. Rye bread was fine. In my opinion way way wayyy overpriced for what it was and I won't be returning in a hurry!
If I were you I'd head over to Maureen's pie shop in Chrisp street market, poplar for a proper salt beef Beigel/ sand which and superb customer service.
Yes, this is worth the visit here. Bagels and cream cheese are 1 quid each. Wait in line. Get your bagel and run next door to the coffee shop if you desire. I will def be back next visit to London.
On a street once the heart of an old Jewish neighbourhood, and still today popular for its fantastic stalls and markets every weekend, is a place you have to make a stop at during the day. For an amazingly low price, and after waiting in a line that seems to be there all day, you are served what are possibly the best, authentic bagels in London, and if you wish, some thick slabs of Salt Beef with fantastic mustard. Don't forget to pick up some apple strudel or some of the other very inexpensive baked goods on offer. You will have been served a taste sensation and have had a memorable experience at one of London's best hole in the walls bar-none.
Open 24 hours, verp cheap, and located in an interesting part of London.. lots of vintage shops, graffiti artwork, and food from different parts of the world on this street.
There are a few beigel shops on this street but this is the one you want to go to. There was a line when we got inside but the service was fast.
Salt beef beigel. Best. drunk. food. ever.
The OG bagel (beigel?) spot on Brick Lane...don't be fooled by its xanthic-signed, neighboring competitor! For 25p (+, depending on what fillings you get in your sandwich...although the plain buttered one is surprisingly satisfying), these bagels are the best (drunk) food money can buy (but it's really good for a sober breakfast as well, I promise).
Love the disgruntled Cockney ladies who staff the place and give it so much character, as well as the eclectic crowds who pass through this joint. As an essential piece of East London history, I'm so glad it's survived all these years and is still thriving. And baking delicious, soft bagels.
Filling, fast, and cheap -- never leave me, Beigel Bake.
Cheap greasy Jewish eats. I walked all the way here because I was looking for a cheap dinner that satiated my Jewish food craving and was open. The hot salt beef definitely hit the spot. I hadn't eaten anything like this for over a year and missed getting Pastrami on Rye from 2nd Ave Deli or Katz's deli in NYC. When I went to London, this is the closest I could get.
I have never ever ever experienced food like I did here. I haven't been in a year or so but the experience is still fresh in my mind, and I decided to look a while ago and see what reviews were on here, and ever since then I've been craving a salt beef beigel with lots of mustard.
Me and my ex boyfriend were on a night out in shoreditch and he told me we'd take a detour home to get one of these. I kept saying "urgh do we have to", but now I am SO happy we did. At the same time I'm not because I would eat the salt beef here everyday if I could, and I am also a MEGA mustard and pickles/gherkins fan so this is heaven on earth for me.
I crave these things daily if I start thinking about it. The normal beigels are lush too.
My ex boyfriend always told me this was the better beigel shop, but based on reviews I'd say this is better for salt beef and the other place is better if you like smoked salmon.
I've also been here sober (I know most people have been here drunk) and it was even more fantastic than the first time.
Warning to the faint of heart - the mustard will blow your head off (my nose ALWAYS runs).
It's cheap and cheerful, always busy so you know it's good.
If I get an opportunity to go here on Tuesday/Wednesday when I'm going to be in London I will be buying at like a dozen plain beigels to take home with me and I WILL demolish 2 of these things.
BRING ONE TO MANCHESTER I WILL BE ITS MOST LOYAL CUSTOMER
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