BEST BAGELS Denver 2006 - The Bagel Store
The Bagel Store sits in a quiet strip mall in the heart of Leetsdale's Little Russia, tucked away in the back tier next to a baby-supply store. It doesn't take plastic, is staffed by young guys who look like the Beastie Boys circa 1986, when License to Ill was first flying off the shelves, and has limited hours, from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. on the dot. But you'll want to go early, anyway, when you can look right through the doors to the huge bakery in the back and see vats of bagels steaming in their water and guys with big arms and flour in their hair working the dough. You can smell the place doing things right. And you can pick up not only a passable version of an East Coast egg bagel (glossy and yellow on the outside, with a thick-chewy skin and pillowy dough inside), but a half-dozen fantastic salt bagels for less than four bucks. The Bagel Store is as honest they come, and it goes to show that there's no regional specialty you can't find in Denver -- if you look hard enough.