As an extra to my post on East London Food, here are some pictures I took at Beigel Bake a while ago. As you can see, they bake their beigels on the premises and they are exactly how I expect a beigel to be; chewy and a bit of a struggle to pull a piece away. I grew up when it was spelled beigel, and pronounced buy-gel, as they do here. The modern, doughy, bread-with-a hole-incarnation, the bagel, bay-gel, leaves me cold. Boiling them briefly before they’re baked is what gives them their chewiness.
Beigel Bake, on Brick Lane, not a café but more than a sandwich bar, is open twenty four hours a day and has a constant line of customers, a glorious mix of locals, tourists, the young and the trendy. I love how food can join such different types of people together in one good cause. Places like Beigel Bake are one of the joys of London’s food culture. We are richer for it.
Beigel Bake,159 Brick Lane, London E1 6SB. It’s not the sort of place that has a website.