Serious Sandwiches: Hot Salt Beef Bagel


Photograph from drewleavy on Flickr

We have no shortage of delicious bagels here in New York City. (Is there a better bagel city in the world?) We also have no shortage of fat laden, drool inducing corned beef. (Is there a better corned beef city in the world?) Yet, explain to me how London is the city that has combined the two into what looks like a pretty outstanding sandwich. It's called a hot salt beef bagel, and it leaves me wondering, "How on earth did we got scooped on this?"

Hot salt beef (or corned beef as we 'mericans call it) is found all over the UK, and hot salt beef sandwiches are as ubiquitous there as corned beef sandwiches here. But it was the Jews, who took up residence in the East End of London in the late 1800s, that started serving their version of the sandwich on freshly made bagels.

Like New Yorkers with Katz's or H&H, most Londoners will point you to the Brick Lane Beigel Bakery ("beigel" being the Yiddish spelling of bagel) for the best hot salt beef bagel. Open 24 hours a day, this East End institution is as famous for breakfast as it is for the lines of clubgoers queued up for a late night snack on their way home from a long night of drinking. You can get your bagel topped with all of the standards (cream cheese and or assorted smoked fishes), but the serious sandwich is the one with hot salt beef, yellow English mustard and sliced gherkins. At only £2.50, it may be the only bargain in all of London.

Brick Lane Beigel Bakery

Address: 159 Brick Lane, London, E1 6SB, United Kingdom (map)
Phone: +44 20 77290616