People who move to SF from other states love to complain about San Francisco's lack of decent pizza and bagels. To which we say: Arinell's and House of Bagels. But the whiners do have a point. What is it about San Francisco, the alleged food mecca of the universe, that we can't come up with tasty, inexpensive, savory-based carbs? Pizza and bagels, which should be cheap as well as widely available, should be a cinch.
But allow us to focus on the latter. Our sister site asked: is there a best bagel in New York City? What we want to know is: can we find a decent bagel in San Francisco?
Off the top of our head, we can safely say that Katz Bagels (606 Mission) has a decent selection, not to mention AMAZING spreads with which to pair. (Chive, cucumber, scallions, vegetable, etc.) Also, there was Izzy's on Townsend and Third, but a new owner re-imagined the place, and now their idea of cream cheese spreading is, at best, paper-thin.
On an ungastronomic note, Happy Donuts offers gargantuan-sized "bagels" that are soft, squishy, and plush to the touch. While they aren't authentic, they sure are tasty and filling. (Personally, we love any food that's aggressively bastardized beyond recognition; we would be more than content to exchange a couple of dollars for a nacho-flavored bagel.)
So, readers, let us know of your secret bagel whereabouts. We want the good stuff. (Note: suggestions of "artisan bagels" will be violently frowned upon.)