Dallas’ Superlative Salmon Bagels and Where to Find Them

Sometimes you want a salmon bagel. The perfect rich and buttery fish, the perfect sultry smoke or the perfect remedy, the perfect marriage between capers and cream cheese. That’s how I was a few weeks ago.

I happily looked for stacks of ripe tomatoes. I judged maltiness and chew and layers and weight. And I can say that we are in a very good place. A bevy of mostly newbies claim that there are many ways to do this. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) These sandwiches range from $ 9 to $ 12. Here’s a look at what I think is best for the new school.


An awareness mission for bagels with smoked salmon at the modern art commissioner in the city center will result in a plump bagel that will be wrapped in a sheet of parchment and dropped into a paper sack with one real blow. It’s a complex affair with tomatoes, rocket and homemade dill and caper smear – between chewy bagel halves sandwiched in the New York style – that is best suited as a morning ritual with a cortado.

Tribal All Day Cafe

Check out the minimalist artwork! This copy wins for its imagery in my book if you keep the flawless, clean lines of a Nordic aesthetic in mind. It’s unabashedly an open-faced tartine that looks like it’s just meant to catch the pale first morning light and perhaps placed on a marble counter to capture the morning glow. Two slices of toasted local bread keep the still life going: lovely folds of silky Norwegian salmon with pickled onion slivers that blush pale to match the salmon colors, and a couple of capers sprinkled over a luxurious smear of plain cream cheese. It’s wonderfully simple, but a satisfying figure. (The salmon is extra soft and silky too.) I should say I order it with a side of the crumbled mushroom walnut faux sausage because it’s delicious and because I can. And because it’s tribal, they pamper your salmon in grain-free packaging with avocado, mixed greens, cucumber, tomato, and herb tahini sauce as an alternative option.

Lenore’s handmade bagels

Jessica and Seth Brammer set out to “do things the simple and normal way,” Seth will tell you. Type of. The do-it-yourself approach applies to both their wares and the way they were incubated: they started out as a cottage company that focused on ordering hand-formed bagels online from all locally ground heirloom flours with a fermentation based overnight. (You now work in a commercial kitchen.) Choose from a variety of Shmears too, such as fresh strawberries or green onions and hard-boiled eggs, or flavorful, lusciously roasted tomatoes and capers. None of this is commonplace, although the model is straightforward – order bagels, order spreads, assemble yourself.

Lenore’s salmon, smoked with honey-peppercorn, passed out.

Lenore’s handmade bagels / Seth Brammer

Salmon lovers expect two things. There’s honey-peppercorn smoked salmon and homemade jalapeño cream cheese, each with nuggets – yes, smoky, sweet, with flavors as big as Texas. Or there is the cream cheese with finely chopped gravlax (unsmoked salt, sugar, dill salmon) whipped with capers, as well as lemon and dill in fey, freckled spots.

They bring in whole salmon and cure it so you can buy Scottish salmon gravlax or honey peppercorn smoked salmon too. For the latter, Seth actually smokes the honey first; The whole salmon is cured with peppercorn as the only spice. Get it in 4-ounce sous vide packages and fold it into bagels yourself. It blew him away, says Seth, that the Gravlax was the most popular. Choose for yourself. Or grab a tomato, onion, and small gherkin pickle sandwich set to go with a pebble bagel. Look for more regular pop-ups for residency in the near future.

Shug’s bagels

Sometimes you want something mammoth. Something like the exuberance of the pastrami salmon creation at Shug’s. The new deli in University Park is run by an SMU alum, Justin Shugrue, under whose shadow the shop’s alma mater rests. He and his co-owners are responsible for the behemoth, for which you have three options: classic salmon, lemon and beet gravlax, and pastrami brine.

I order mine on a flagel (a flattened bagel) for a vehicle that’s crammed and crammed with the rather innocent spring onion cream cheese and pastrami salmon on a sunflower seeded slice, the toasted, crispy edges of which are the key. They add crispness and dark color to a light exterior that is already in a flurry of texture and flavor.

Capers gush out of a tower of shredded lettuce and ripe tomatoes. This wins out of sheer joy. There’s something to be said for excess, and this bagel will bring you back $ 15, but it’s an argument for hedonism and pure maximalist bliss.

The Market Local Comfort Cafe

It’s no surprise the Gravlax is spot on at this kosher breakfast and lunch deli in Far North Dallas. Co-owner Stacey Clark comes from Brooklyn – just like the bagel dough – and business partner Jordona Kohn worked in restaurants in Israel and New York. “We get our bagel dough from Brooklyn because there is no other way,” says Kohn, assuming that this fact is completely obvious. “We shape, cook and bake it. We cook it right, ”she underlines for this lovely chewing and pulling. The rounds come in sesame or anything or poppy seeds bundled up so thick it’s like midnight.

Regulars know that the East Coaster – or “the classic Jew,” says Kohn – is one of those bagels coated with Schmear, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, capers and the three-day homemade Gravlax. Yes, the Market AM sandwich is good too, with pesto, sweet onion jam, scrambled eggs, cheddar, sriracha mayo, and homemade potatoes sandwiched between malty circles. I will not argue. But only to chew between this legendary classic.

Fount board and table

At Fount Board and Table, salmon from small batch supplier Cambridge House on the west coast is hung on ropes and smoked from a mixture of fallen wood from the nearby Santa Ynez Valley and smoked Chardonnay barrels from local wineries. (If it sounds like idyllic, keep in mind that sylphs might be responsible for dusting fairy dill pollen through the salmon pile.) I get it smeared with labneh rather than cream cheese for the added smell. Or if you want to jump the ship all the way, so to speak, serve a bagel with salmon roe. Lenore’s supplies the bagels and the “additional” accessories come from the local luxury goods retailer Regalis.

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