Bagels in Dubai: What are They and Where to Find Them?

Bagels are a breakfast food traditional associated with America. Often seen as a staple in New York City delicatessens and a popular item in the Jewish community, the broad exposure to those from other cities and countries led the bagel has taken its rightful place on breakfast tables worldwide. But what exactly is a bagel, and can you find bagels in Dubai? To help you get answers to both of those questions, here is an introduction to bagels and where to go to get one for yourself.

What is a Bagel?

The simplest description of a bagel is that it is a round yeast roll that is shaped into a ring. The dough doesn’t traditionally include egg and often uses malt instead of sugar. The cooking process starts by placing it in water to help hold in the flavour, though this step may be skipped outside of American bagel shops, and then baking it to create the crust. The inside of the bagel is typically described as doughy or chewy, with the crust providing a different texture.

Why Should I Consider a Bagel for Breakfast?

Since bagels are a bread product, they aren’t ideal for individuals interested in maintaining a low-carb diet. Additionally, they can have a notable amount of salt depending on how they are made. However, bagels do offer a range of benefits when compared to some other breakfast options.

First, bagels can be much healthier than certain breakfast pastries as they are traditionally lower in sugar. Second, they aren’t especially high in calories, allowing them to fit into a lower calorie diet plan with relative ease.

Bagels also serve as an excellent foundation for other healthy items. For example, you can pair them with lean meats or eggs to create a breakfast sandwich full of healthy protein. You can also use cheese for additional flavour. For those who appreciate a sweeter flavour, consider pairing a bagel with fruit jams instead of more savoury options, or try peanut butter, Nutella, or traditional cream cheese for something a bit more decadent.

Is There More Than One Kind of Bagel?

While the original bagel was plain, made without any additional seasonings aside from those required to make the dough, numerous variations of the classic recipe have gained popularity throughout the world. Here is an overview of some of the more popular options available today.

Whole Wheat

Many people prefer whole grain options to traditional white bread due to their increased nutritional value, such as the additional fibre and higher amounts of vitamins and minerals. Additionally, it provides a different flavour profile that many people enjoy.

The whole wheat bagel is the most common whole grain form available. It also pairs well with many of the traditional toppings, making it an excellent choice for a breakfast sandwich when combined with other healthy eating options like eggs, lean proteins, and even certain vegetables or fruits.


Sesame bagels feature sesame seeds and oil, adding a higher dose of certain vitamins like copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, and manganese. They also contain protein, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking to ensure they consume enough protein throughout their day.

Sesame bagels work well when paired with savoury breakfast items, like lean turkey, eggs, and cheese, though can also be an interesting twist when combined with fruit jams or other sweet flavours.


Onion bagels have chopped onion baked into the dough, making them a flavorful option when eaten plain or when combined with savoury foods. Since the onion is cooked, it provides a subtle sweetness along with the traditional strong flavour.

The added onion also provides various health benefits including the protection of nerves and the cardiovascular system. They can also improve immune function and may help in the prevention of certain forms of cancer. Additionally, onions have a positive impact on blood sugar, limiting fluctuations over the long-term.


For those who prefer their breakfast on the sweeter side, the addition of cinnamon can be a welcomed treat. It goes particularly well with certain fruits and can be an interesting option when combined with peanut butter or Nutella.

Along with the pleasant flavour and aroma, cinnamon can also play a role in healthy eating. First, it is high in antioxidants, which are critical for fighting free radicals in the body. Second, it has antimicrobial properties that can promote digestive health. It may also reduce triglycerides in the blood after eating an otherwise fatty meal, and can help keep blood sugar steady while slowing stomach emptying to help curb one’s appetite.


An everything bagel is a unique creation that can vary slightly from one restaurant to the next. Often, they feature a combination of flavours and spices designed to work in harmony. For example, many everything bagels include onion, garlic, and various seeds. These often have a flavour profile more suited for savoury meals, though the distinct combinations also make this bagel an excellent choice when consumed plain or with simple toppings like cream cheese.

Since there is no requirement regarding what must or must not be in an everything bagel, each seller can choose a unique combination of additions and spices to create a truly flavorful experience.

Choosing the Right Bagel for You

If you have never had the opportunity to enjoy a bagel, many would recommend starting with a traditional, plain variety. This will let you experience what an original New York City bagel is like regardless of where you are.

If you are looking for a great bagel in Dubai, the Circle Café has a selection of some of the most popular flavours available. You can try them plain, with various toppings, or combined with other breakfast items like lean turkey, eggs, and cheese. Take your time to explore the different options, and you are sure to find a few that fit your idea of a truly satisfying and healthy breakfast.