Late night bakeries are a cornerstone of London’s after hours eating, joining fried chicken stops, kababs of all kinds, and the — still small — number of restaurants willing to keep the kitchen going late. Usually the reserve of early risers, some select bakeries stay open beyond midnight, while some remain open throughout the small hours. A distinctively cosmopolitan mix, with most containing elements of European cuisine, Caribbean fillings and Jewish techniques, all add to the long legacy of British baking. Whatever side of town the night ends, the hungry can always seek the warm refuge of London’s bagels.Read More
London’s Best Bagels Aren’t Just on Brick Lane
The late night community of bakeries brings people together over salt beef and and chewy dough
1. The Happening Bagel Bakery
A revellers’ favourite for filling up before an Arsenal football game nearby, The Happening Bakery extends its opening times to aid those very fans who are around after a boozy celebration. By day, customers and clients pick up incredible glazed cakes, creamy eclairs and sticky buns. By night, the place transforms into a fast food outlet dishing out bagels at rapid speed. Equal attention is spent on bagel offerings here. Olive, rye, sesame seed and poppy seed are all exceptional, though the trademark here is the rainbow bagels that are reminiscent of Grateful Dead t-shirts.
2. J Grodzinski & Daughters Bakery
For years, the bakery, simply known to many as ‘Grodzinski’s’ has illuminated the quiet Stamford Hill peak with its golden lights beaming onto its north London high street. Closed on Saturdays for Shabbat, Grodzinski’s stays open till 1a.m. on other days serving up an array of Jewish challah bread and boxes of mini challah rolls, filled with mandatory cream cheese and salad. The rest of the shop is dedicated to a glorious array of celebratory and religious baked goods from stacked gateaus and patterned breads, to cupcakes and bite-sized desserts that are hard to ignore.
3. The Bagel House
London N16 7PL, UK
Open 24 hours, The Bagel House serves as a congregation spot for Kingsland Road’s party and drinking scene revellers. Those wanting a change from oversized pizza and the kabab waiting times should head straight here for a late night feast. While some bagel shops spend precious time in cutting and filling, The Bagel House already has rows and rows of pre-cut and wrapped bagels sitting amongst rows of other baked snacks like Danish pastries, eclairs and donuts. If that wasn’t enough, Cornish pasties and Jamaican patties ensure that everyone leaves happy in the wee hours of the morning.
4. Beigel Bake
While Beigel Bake has an ever growing list of offerings, most look no further than the renowned salt beef filling that is colossal. The next decision to be made is whether to add pickles and mustard and the option of substituting beef for salami for a cheaper option. Red meat abstainers and the less hungry usually opt for the equally tasty smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel with the option of adding extras such as eggs, sweetcorn, mayo and herring.
5. Beigel Shop London
London E1 6SB, UK
Easily identifiable by its yellow and red beaming shop sign, fans of Beigel Shop London stay staunchly loyal to their preferred bagel house and refuse to even acknowledge their nearby rival Beigel Bake. While the latter keeps its offerings relatively simply, the Beigel Shop sets itself apart with prawn bagel, crispy bacon, roast chicken, crab mayonnaise and even liver sausage for the adventurous. All fillings come as sides, so diners can fill up a single bagel taller than the tower of London.
6. Bagel King
An an apex of south London just below the Thames, Bagel King’s location makes for a perfect stop off on the way home after a night out: hence the packed and rowdy nature of the shop after hours. Bagel King caters to a wide array of ethnic communities in the area: expect Chinese and Mexican-style chicken fillings; ackee, saltfish, and jerk chicken. Bagel King follows no traditional rules and lets customers go wild with combinations, so it’s not uncommon to hear someone asking for Jerk chicken, cheese and egg late at night.
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7. Carmelli Bakeries Ltd
London NW11 8HB, UK
Golders Green is the home to London’s other large cohort of Orthodox Jews who dominate the high street with an amazing group of supermarkets and food shops. Carmelli, open for 24 hours from Sunday after the Shabbat, serves rows and rows of fruit cakes, brownies, sugar donuts and almond cookies. The bagels are a favourite for everyone from early morning school children to late night commuters. In traditional fashion, salmon and tuna lead the show, as Carmelli abstains from serving shellfish and pork.