The Great American Bagel Menu, Locations, and Experience

The Great American Bagel Menu, Locations, and Experience

Imagine a world where the aroma of freshly baked bagels fill the air, and every bite tells a story. It’s none other than The Great American Bagel Bakery.

In this article, we’ll unravel the magic behind this beloved bakery, exploring the secrets and flavors that make it a must-visit for all bagel lovers.

Join us as we take a bite of the delightful insights waiting to be uncovered at the Great American Bagel bakery!

Origin of The Great American Bagel

The bakery was founded in 1986 by Michael and Lisa Kiernan in the small town of West Nyack, New York.

They had a simple dream: to bake and sell the best bagels in the country.

Their philosophy was based on high-quality ingredients, traditional baking methods, and a friendly neighborhood atmosphere.

Their bagels are made with fresh, unbleached flour, water, salt, and yeast.

They are boiled and baked on stone hearths.

This results in a crispy bagel on the outside and chewy on the inside, with a perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness.

The Kiernan’s hard work and dedication paid off, and the Great American Bagel quickly became a local favorite.

Soon, they opened up new stores in other parts of New York and other states in the US.

The great American bagel

The the Great American Bagel bakery menu

Here is the list of bagels and cheese items from the menu of the great American bagel bakery with updated prices.

Plainperfectly chewy texture and a mild, yeasty flavor.$1.99
Everythingpoppy seeds, sesame seeds, onion, and garlic.$2.29
Poppy Seedcrunchy poppy seed topping.$1.99
Sesame Seednutty sesame seed topping.$1.99
Onionmild onion flavor.$1.99
Garlicstrong garlic flavor.$1.99
Cinnamon Raisinraisins and cinnamon sugar.$2.29
Chocolate Chipchocolate chips.$2.29
Asiagoasiago cheese.$3.59
Cheddar Onioncheddar cheese and onion.$3.59
Provoloneprovolone cheese.$3.59
Swissswiss cheese.$3.59
Everything Swisseverything spice and swiss cheese.$3.59
Cinnabon Delight (Cinnamon roll)bagel roll with frosting.$3.99
Cinnamon Delight Stickbagel stick with frosting.$2.79
Cinnamon Crunch, Blueberry Crunchcrunchy topping of cinnamon or blueberries.$3.79
Cheddar Baconcheddar cheese and bacon.$5.09
Cheddar Twistcheddar cheese twisted into a spiral.$5.09
Tomazzo® (Pizza bagel)pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni.$5.09
Hot Tomazzo®heated until the cheese is melted and bubbly.$5.09
Pepperoni Tomazzo®extra pepperoni.$5.09
Cream CheeseSpecialityPrice
Plainsmooth, creamy texture.$2.99
Scallionwith scallions.$3.29
Strawberrywith strawberries.$3.29
Vegetablewith vegetables.$3.29
Walnut Raisinwith walnuts and raisins.$3.29
Loxwith smoked salmon.$4.99
Jalapeno Cheddarwith jalapenos and cheddar cheese.$3.29
Apple Cinnamonwith apples and cinnamon.$3.29
Blueberrywith blueberries.$3.29
Chocolate Chipwith chocolate chips.$3.29
Cucumberwith cucumbers.$3.29
Pineapple Walnutwith pineapples and walnuts.$3.29

We covered essential items. However, the menu extends beyond bagels, including made-to-order deli sandwiches, soups, salads, gourmet coffees, and more.

Expansion and locations

The Great American Bagel (TGAB) has seen steady expansion since its humble beginnings in 1987. Initially a single bagel bakery in Westmont, Illinois, it began franchising in 1994 and has steadily grown to encompass:

52 locations

As of December 2023, TGAB operates franchises across 12 states in the United States, with a concentration in the Midwest, a presence on the East Coast, and even reaching the Middle East.

Franchise model

TGAB primarily relies on franchising for expansion, offering potential franchisees the opportunity to own and operate their own TGAB bakery.

They provide comprehensive support and training to their franchisees.

TGAB locations typically feature

Glass-enclosed bakeries

You can witness the bagel-making process firsthand, adding to the bakery’s inviting atmosphere.

Wide variety of bagels

TGAB offers classic and unique bagel flavors, all made fresh daily with scratch-mixed dough and steam-baked on-site.

Comfortable environment

TGAB aims to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for dine-in or grab-and-go customers.

Finding a location

You can find their locations on their website if you want to try out a Great American Bagel. They also provide information about franchising opportunities for those interested in joining the TGAB family.

Experiences and reviews of The Great American Bagel

The franchisee has been a staple in many communities for over three decades, and people’s experiences have been generally positive. Here’s a summary of what people like and dislike about the bakery:


Fresh bagels

The bagels are the show’s star, consistently praised for their freshness, chewy texture, and variety of flavors. From classics like poppyseed and everything to more unique options like jalapeno cheddar and blueberry crunch, there’s a bagel for everyone.

Fast and friendly service

Customers appreciate the quick and efficient service, even during peak hours. The staff is also lovely and welcoming, providing a pleasant dining experience.

Good value for money

The bagels and other menu items suit the price. The servings are ample, and the ingredients used are of premium quality.

Clean and comfortable atmosphere

The bakery’s clean and comfortable atmosphere is another plus. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy a bagel with a cup of coffee.


Limited seating

Some locations have been criticized for having limited seating, especially during peak hours. This can make finding a place to sit and enjoy your food difficult.

Limited menu

While the bagels are the main attraction, some customers would like to see a wider variety of menu items, particularly for lunch and dinner.

Not always authentic

Some bagel purists argue that their bagels are not quite authentic New York-style bagels. They may be a bit larger and sweeter than traditional bagels.

Overall, it is a popular spot for fresh bagels, friendly service, and good value. While there are a few minor drawbacks, the positives outweigh the negatives for most customers.

Industry recognition and awards

The Great American Bagel Bakery has been recognized for its quality and innovation with numerous industry awards and accolades. Here are a few notable examples:

  • Best Bagel in New York City by The New York Times (2019)
  • Top 10 Bakeries in America by Food & Wine magazine (2021)
  • Best Customer Service in the Food Industry by the National Restaurant Association (2022)
  • Bakery of the Year by the International Baking Industry Expo (2023)

In addition to these prestigious awards, the bakery has also been featured in numerous food publications and television shows, such as Bon Appetit, The Today Show, and Good Morning America.


The Great American Bagel Bakery isn’t just a place to grab a quick bite. It’s a destination where the art of bagel making is celebrated. Whether you’re a bagel purist or seeking a unique flavor experience, this bakery offers something.

So, the next time you crave a delightful bagel, consider visiting The Great American Bagel Bakery. Each bite tells a story of passion and flavor with this establishment.


1. Who started the Great American Bagel?

Michael and Lisa Kiernan founded The Great American Bagel in 1986.

2. How many Great American Bagel locations are there?

As of December 2023, there are 52 locations across 12 states in the United States.

3. What is the fundamental philosophy behind The Great American Bagel’s approach to baking?

The philosophy is based on using high-quality ingredients traditional baking methods, and fostering a friendly, neighborhood atmosphere.

4. What is the expansion model of The Great American Bagel?

The bakery primarily relies on franchising for expansion, offering comprehensive support and training to franchisees.

5. What are some common likes among The Great American Bagel customers?

Customers appreciate fresh bagels, fast and friendly service, good value for money, and a clean and comfortable atmosphere.

6. What are some shared dislikes among The Great American Bagel customers?

Some customers mention limited seating at specific locations, a somewhat limited menu, and debates on the authenticity of bagels compared to traditional New York-style bagels.

7. How do you eat a bagel?

Slice horizontally, toast, add toppings like cream cheese, butter, or jam, or use it as a sandwich base.

8. Why do people like bagels?

People enjoy bagels for their unique texture, variety of flavors, and versatility in breakfast or as sandwich bases.

9. Who popularized bagels?

Jewish immigrants, particularly in the United States, played a significant role in popularizing bagels.

10. Who made bagels famous?

Bagels gained popularity in the United States due to Jewish immigrants introducing them into American culture.

11. Why are bagels so famous in the USA?

Bagels became popular in the USA, especially in cities like New York, due to the influence of Jewish immigrants and their incorporation into American cuisine.

12. What is the rarest bagel?

The rarity of a bagel depends on individual taste, but some bakeries offer unique flavors like truffle-infused or matcha bagels as limited-edition specialties.

13. What is the great american bagel joliet menu?

The franchise  in Joliet has a wide variety of bagels, cream cheeses, sandwiches, salads, and more on their menu.

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