A few months ago I blogged about Feigel’s Kosher Delicatessen in Glenhazel. I was excited to find Feigel’s because they sell authentic boiled bagels, which are hard to find in Johannesburg.

Through my post about Feigel’s I learned about another Joburg shop called the Bagel Zone, which opened less than two years ago. I took one look at the Bagel Zone website and knew I had to check it out. This place offers some things I hadn’t found in Joburg before, even at Feigel’s.

Bagel Zone entrance
The Bagel Zone, in the Genesis Shopping Centre in Fairmount.

Bagel Zone counterLunch rush at the Bagel Zone.

A Parade of Bagels at the Zone

Unlike Feigel’s, a full-service delicatessen with a wide range of kosher foods, the Bagel Zone is a straight-up bagel shop. The Bagel Zone — I’ll call it the Zone for short — does offer salads and a few other extras, but essentially this is a place to buy bagels, cream cheese, bagel sandwiches, and that’s it.

Bagels at Bagel ZoneThe Bagel Zone’s impressive bagel spread.

The Zone reminds me of all the bagel shops I frequented in the U.S., with a long row of freshly baked bagels in a variety of flavors. I was overjoyed to see “everything bagels” (bagels covered with tons of different seeds and seasonings) on offer, although they happened to be sold out yesterday.

I also discovered a new bagel I’d never seen before called za’atar — a Middle Eastern seasoning with oregano, basil, thyme, and other seasonings. Za’atar is my new favorite bagel flavor.

Za'atar bagels at Bagel ZoneZa’atar bagels at the Zone.

The Zone also sells cream cheese in several flavors. I’ve struggled to find really good cream cheese in Joburg, but this is it. The Zone sells cream cheese in plain, jalapeño (my favorite), olive, pesto, and salmon flavors.

For my lunch I ordered egg mayo (egg salad) on a health bagel with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle.

Bagel sandwich in progressMy sandwich in progress.

Bagel sandwich with coffeeReady to eat.

The sandwich was great but to be honest, from now on I’m going to skip the full-on sandwiches and just get bagels with cream cheese. The jalapeño cream cheese is too freaking good not to order every time.

I almost left the Zone without learning about the za’atar bagels or the amazing jalapeño cream cheese. But fortunately Velvy, the manager, realized I was there to blog about the place (my bright red hair and huge camera make it hard to stay anonymous) and brought us a sampler of all the different bagels and cream cheeses to try. Again, I was overjoyed.

Heather and bagelsBagel joy. (Photo by Fiver Löcker)

I left the Zone feeling very full.

The Bagel Zone is at 3 Bradfield Drive in the Genesis Shopping Centre in Fairmount (not far from Glenhazel). Order online or via whatsapp at +27-79-317-8230.

Read the rest of my 2018 Restaurant of the Month series.

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