"I've been eating at Dunellen Bagel my entire life, even when it was 'Manhattan Bagel' 10 or so years ago. The location is perfect. It is a block and a half away from the town high school and kids would line up there most mornings and especially afternoons during mid-term and finals periods. Whenever I return home, I have to get a pork roll, egg and cheese on an everything bagel. The best is the guy at the counter that asks in one syllable if you want salt, pepper or oregano on the sandwich -'saltpepano?' The question is like a password - totally incomprehensible to the uninitiated - but to those in the know, is a sign of the perfect breakfast sandwich to come." -
As a family business, Portik said that its the consistency of the owners which has led to Dunellen Bagel's huge popularity. Plus, as he is "obsessive" about how things run in the shop, he uses the best ingredients possible to make the best bagel possible. He said, "We don't do a lot of fancy things or crazy varieties but we do the basics very well."
Dunellen Bagel 390 North Ave Dunellen, NJ Bagels - MapQuest
If you want a real bagel - not just "round bread" - Dunellen Bagel has it. I know of no better or more authentic bagels to be found anywhere. My favorites here are bacon, egg, and cheese on a sesame, poppy seed, or onion bagel and the bacon cheeseburger on a bagel. I didn't take off for appearances, because it's not a sit-down place. You order food in an always-busy queue and take it with you (or eat outside at self-serve, patio tables in the summer). The bagels are special, and the place always seems to be packed when it's open (breakfast and lunch), especially on weekends, when they also have a couple of baked goods, and people have more leisure to go to their favorite places.