Family-run Fine Bagels has been delighting Berliners with their authentic New York-style bagels since 2013. Laurel Kratochvila’s bagel adventure dates back to 1897 when her great-great-grandfather, Hyman Cooper, said he was moving to New York for one simple reason: “Bagels are better.” Although he ended up in Boston, running a hardware store, his statement paved the way for four generations of bagel devotion in the family.
What started as a small addition to the English-language Shakespeare and Sons bookstore has grown into a destination in its own right. Laurel brought her family recipes to Berlin, recreating the authentic homemade bagels she missed from her New York roots. His partner, Roman, who owns other bookstores in the Czech Republic and worked at the famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris, completes the dining experience with an extensive collection of English books and a few French ones.
The bagels are hand-rolled daily in small batches. The overnight proofing, rapid boiling and hot cooking process imparts old-fashioned flavor to everything from poppy seeds to raisins to cinnamon and sea salt to rosemary. A variety of homemade schmears and toppings, including sandwiches with lox and whitefish salad, keep the bagel game interesting for a devoted legion of regular customers.