On the 254 or the 253 heading towards Clapton and Hackney, one rides along Seven Sisters Road when coming from Holloway. On Seven Sisters in Finsbury Park, not far from Finsbury Park’s tube station, there is a bagel place I’d passed quite a few times before , one bleary morning heading home from Hackney, I hopped off the bus and made my way over to the place lined in blue neon: The Happening Bagel Bakery.
I should say that I haven’t had a bagel yet in London. I know of, and have recently seen, the 24-hour bagel place on Brick Lane, but have yet to go in. Apparently, there’s some debate as to who in London has the best bagels: the North or the East (though for all I know, the West and the South may have something to say about that). Since I am a North Londoner in my three months of calling N7 home, I thought it fitting to taste North London bagels first before I try them anywhere else in the city. And although I pass by Grodzinski’s in Stamford Hill pretty much just as often, I thought I’d go to The Happening Bagel Bakery because it’s some place I hadn’t yet been to.
A half-dozen order of plain bagels was £2.10 at The Happening Bagel Bakery, and the gentleman behind the counter grabbed some from a pile that was off to the side. I also ordered a pan au chocolat as well, which was the biggest pan au chocolat I’ve ever seen. I took my baked bounty home in a bag that advertised “The Happening Beigel Bakery.” Note the spelling. My friend and former Finsbury Park resident Derry had mentioned The Happening “Beigel” Bakery, saying that the sign had a different way of spelling bagel. However, I didn’t find this to be the case outside.
Once I got back to my little Fox Hole in Holloway, I turned my oven on, ready to toast my little bready rounds, but it turned out the bagels were still warm. Ah, freshly-baked tasties still warm are always a good thing. A great thing, even. I heated up water for a cup of tea and prepared to dress up the two bagels, cut in half, with jam and butter on one and Philadelphia cream cheese on the other.
Funny thing to note: according to Abby, another American on the MA Anthropology of Food course I’m doing at SOAS, people call Philadelphia cream cheese “Philly” here. It isn’t “cream cheese,” but they actually use a shortened version of the brand name–Philly.
The bagels definitely made my morning–and afternoon, because I brought a couple to work as well. I had the last couple Friday morning, and they were good as well. The Happening Bagel Bakery is located pretty close to me–just a few stops away on the bus. I’ve already made another stop since last week, so I might be a regular unless I find another bagel place I like better.