A few years ago, a trend erupted on social media. Colorful swirls originating from a bakery in New York City flooded the Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts of those far and wide, drawing anyone with a sense of whimsy into the petite, unassuming bagel shop.
Brooklyn was the birthplace but Ocean City continues the rainbow bagel tradition.
In addition to the ubiquitous rainbow bagel, Schmagel’s Bagels also offers traditional choices like cinnamon raisin, poppy seed and egg. I had a hard time choosing between their more unique flavors, though, namely marble onion, asiago and very berry wheat bran. There were also more than a dozen spreads and mounted cream cheeses to choose from, sweet and savory. Fortunately for my decision-making but unfortunately for my rumbling tummy, a line had formed out the door already.
Seven bobbing heads behind the counter busily toasted, smeared and refilled the supply as early morning patrons made their way to the counter. It was a flurry of activity on a normally sedate off-season morning, with the surrounding shops closed but clamoring bagel addicts waiting along their storefronts. When the season is in full-tilt, you’d want to arrive early or on non-peak times to get a taste for yourself.
Off-season, their menu was limited to toasted bagels and coffee drinks, though their full menu will be available from Memorial Day weekend forward. That will include breakfast bagel sandwiches, lunch offerings, smoothies and their trademark Bagelnini (a warm, inside out, pressed and griddled bagel with meat and cheese fillings). They also have a diverse kids’ menu, various iced teas and baked treats for ferrying seaside. Tee-shirts are on sale if you want to show your support for the psychedelic shop.
There are two locations of Schmagel’s Bagels, one on 33rd Street on the northbound side of Coastal Highway, and one farther north in the Montego Bay Shopping Center between 129th and 130th Streets. Franchise opportunities are available, and with the popularity of this shop, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few more pop up in the near future. Not only is it a flavorsome stop for tourists and visitors, but it also provides a great local breakfast catering option, competing with the big corporate boys littered down the highway. None of the competitors offer as many potential bagel and cream cheese combinations, and no one else within the region offers the rainbow bagel, either. If your office appreciates some variety, this might be a go-to for Meeting Mondays.
Off-season, they’re open Fri-Sun in the morning only. Memorial Day through September, their hours expand to suit the increase in population. Call them at 410-524-1121 for more info or to place a catering order. This might be a good idea if you’re planning on visiting and want bagels a few days in a row. Order a dozen, save some money and keep them in your room!
And if you do stop in, don’t mind the brunette with the French Toast bagel slathered in honey pecan cream cheese.