Back in 2012, I wrote about not being able to find bagels in Rome. At that point, I had lived in Italy for all of one year. And now, 9 years later, I still miss this American breakfast staple. Luckily, things have finally changed and it is now possible to get delicious bagels from Beehive Bagels.
It used to drive me crazy that I could easily find Philadelphia Cream Cheese but nothing to spread it on. (Here, cream cheese is sometimes used in desserts or on a panino). For me, cream cheese is for bagels.
Previously, there were rumors of a woman in Trastevere who would make them to order. There also used to be a deli menu at The Perfect Bun Bakery, but like many things from that establishment, the bagels were overpriced and under-delicious.
You can also find bagel sandwiches at two Irish pubs in Rome (The Abbey Theatre and Scholars), which will sometimes hit the spot because they make a tasty American-style breakfast sandwich with eggs and bacon.
But the game has changed now that the Beehive Bagels is making (and delivering) great bagels around Rome. Steve and Linda are an American couple who have lived in Italy for many years. They are usually busy running the Beehive Hostel, but of course, all of the COVID restrictions and the reality of the global pandemic have interrupted travel.
Steve was often busy in the Beehive kitchen making food for guests at their small cafe, so it was a natural pivot to bagel-making when things changed in 2020.
Beehive Bagels has sesame, plain, onion, everything, poppy seed, cinnamon raisin, and pumpernickel. Most are €2 each and can be picked up 4 days a week at the Beehive, which is very close to Termini. You need to order in multiples of 6 for each flavor. Steve and Linda can also arrange for delivery with a minimum order of €20 + a small surcharge depending on where you live.
All of the photos of bagels here have been kindly shared by Linda because I ate my 18 bagels far too quickly and greedily to snap any shots. We ordered 6 each of the plain, sesame and everything bagels. Plus pickles!
The bagels are hand-rolled and they have the density and chew factor that is lacking in all of the poor imitations that you find being touted as bagels at various street food eateries in the Eternal City. These bagels taste like home!
We ordered extra and followed Steve’s careful instructions to cut them in half before freezing them. Then we could easily toast individual bagels straight from the freezer when a craving struck.
Beehive Bagels also offers sourdough bread, schmears (if you are too fancy for Philadelphia), and dill pickles. You can check out the menu here.
They recently started to offer overnight shipping throughout Italy, so you can enjoy these Roman bagels even if you don’t live in the city.