Bagels in Rome

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.

You can order online or contact Linda for more information.

You’re welcome!



6 thoughts on “Bagels in Rome

  1. liv says:

    im missing my conveniences too! i just had my mom ship me dill because i couldn’t find it anywhere. and as a california, you understand cilantro, another occasionally epic find. mama also sent me italian seasoning which i felt to be very ironic.

  2. Carla says:

    This was one of my biggest complaints when I was living in Rome. Being from Philadelphia, we love our bagels. I came across this recipe that I used several times. There seem to be some easier recipes out there, but this one came out pretty good. If you have some free time, give it a try. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

    500g flour
    265ml tepid water
    12g instant yeast
    1 tbs honey (or sugar)
    12g salt
    20g soft butter (or 1 Tbs vegetable oil)

    boiling water:
    3-4 liters of water
    1 teaspoon baking soda

    Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. You don’t have to worry about soaking the yeast when you use instant yeast (most yeast sold these days is instant yeast). The dough should feel stiff, but add the extra water if it’s really stiff, or you can’t get all the dry flour incorporated.

    Plop the dough down onto the counter, and knead for about ten minutes, or until the dough is uniform and smooth.

    Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls, and let rest for 10-20 minutes.

    Pre heat your oven to 425 F.

    Now, take each of the dough balls and using two hands, roll it into a little snake on the counter. When the snake is longer than the width of your two hands, wrap it around your dominant roiling hand. The dough rope should be wrapped so the overlapping ends are together at your palm, near the start of your fingers. Now take the two overlapping ends, and use your palm to squish/roll these two ends together. Once the dough is fused, you should have a perfectly circular bagel-to-be! This is the only part of the process that can take a little practice before your bagels will look really professional. Don’t get discouraged if they don’t look perfect, it just takes practice!

    Let your bagels rest on the counter for about 20 minutes, and meanwhile, bring a pot of water with a teaspoon of baking soda to a boil, and grease a large baking tray lightly. You can just rub a splash of vegetable oil and rub it around.

    After the 20 minute wait, your bagels will start to look puffy, and it’s time to get them boiling! Add them as many at a time as you can to your boiling water without crowding them. Boil for about a minute, turn them over, and boil for another minute. Take them out a let dry for a minute and then place them on your oiled baking tray. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled.

    Add the tray to the oven, and after 10 minutes, flip the bagels over, bake for another ten minutes; and they’re done!

    Let them cool for at least 20 minutes, get the cream cheese ready, and feast on what’s got to be one of the best weekend brunch treats possible!

  3. Dena says:

    Looks like a great recipe, will have to give it a try, While you have all that cheese , it reminds me in a blog a while back, of your favorite cheese in ITALY, what were they ? I did try them when i went to italy, and like them also, so i want to find some. I told you your blog info planned my trip. Thanks

  4. Meister @ The Nervous Cook says:

    As a New Yorker who just visited Rome last week for the first time (using so much of your blog as a guide and a reference), I’m only too happy to drop-ship you some delicious authentic New York bagels sometime if you’re in need.

    No, really. I mean come on: Food bloggers need to stick together, right??

    So, do you like onion, garlic, everything…?

  5. Lourdes says:

    I so-bought a toaster from the website – I just can’t stand the fette biscottate, I need some fresh baked toast 🙂

    And I’ve also attempted bagels on two occasions – they were quite a bit of work but oh so good! perfect project for a free Saturday morning.

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