A veggie bagel sandwich at Mercy Me with jalapeno-cilantro cream cheese, crunchy cabbage, and pickled carrots. Photograph courtesy of Mercy Me
It’s hard to beat a great bagel shop—so yes, cue the weekend morning lines at Call Your Mother, Bullfrog, and beyond (this New Yorker cartoon really sums it up). But there’s a hack: bagel specialists aren’t your only option. And those shops, we’ll argue, don’t always make the best bagels. We’ve found delicious, sometimes superior versions at bakeries and restaurants around DC—no line standing required (at least most of the time).