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Fourth Place: Bagel Art Cafe
January 27, 2023
My Saturday morning ritual consists of waking up, picking up a friend or two (or sometimes flying solo), and heading to Bagel Art Cafe where I order my usual: Lox n’ Key and a Thai Iced Coffee, and then head to my spot by the lake where I enjoy my delicious bagel and the company of my best friends or whatever album I’m currently loving.
To me, Bagel Art is a hidden gem–tucked away on the corner of Dempster and Sherman–full of wonderful employees where I always feel welcome and am never disappointed by the consistently amazing bagel sandwiches and coffee that they make. Every time I walk in, I am greeted with a kind “Good Morning!” and a beaming smile on the face of an employee ready to take my order–I think they might recognize me by now. As I watch them carefully make my bagel, the anticipation begins and my stomach starts to growl. When they call out my name at the other end of the bagel-making assembly line, I can’t help but smile while sipping on my coffee. The energy inside of the cafe is just the best. Even though I rarely stay there to eat, when I do, I really do enjoy looking out the big windows and listening to other customers ordering what they love. The iconic bright walls and little tables scattered around really contribute to the positive and comforting atmosphere.
Though I’ve tried a few different bagel sandwiches at Bagel Art (they are all phenomenal), the Lox n’ Key is my go-to. The layers of bagel, chive cream cheese, tomato, onion, capers, and of course, lox, always hit the spot. A close second, and also one of my frequently ordered items, is the Egg Cheddar n’ Avocado. It’s outstanding. And of course, you can’t go wrong with a simple bagel and cream cheese to pair with whatever your favorite coffee is. I really think that there is something for everyone there with their wide variety of bagels and combinations that they’ve made, and of course, the ones made up by customers.
I am quite loyal to my usual order and haven’t ventured away from the delectable Thai Iced Coffee, but some of my trustworthy and tasteful friends have told me that other lattes and teas are some of the most delightful in town. I think that’s saying a lot, considering the other wonderful cafes scattered around Evanston.
One main reason why Bagel Art is so special to me is its location. Dempster Street (and the surrounding area) is full of some of Evanston’s best places to grab a bite of food. With Bagel Art for breakfast/lunch, Union and Union Squared for dinner, and Frio Gelato for dessert, I’d say you can’t go wrong. The Mexican Shop is also right down the street, a sweet store with something for everyone. It’s in the best part of Evanston, a few blocks away from the lake, and walking distance from downtown, it doesn’t get better than that.
Bagel Art has seen me on my great mornings, and on days when I need a pick-me-up, and has never failed to make me happy. It has truly become one of my comfort places in Evanston, and though I’m new to going at least once a week, I don’t plan on ending this tradition of mine anytime soon. I hope that I’ve convinced you to take a trip to Bagel Art and give a wonderful Evanston-local cafe a try.