The bagels at Rose Foods were one of two Maine bagel bakeries – the other is Rover Bagel in Biddeford – to make Bon Appetit’s best bagels list. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Bon Appetit magazine has named bagels from two Maine bakers among the country’s “very best” (outside of New York City).

The magazine’s list of the top 24 bagel bakeries beyond the five boroughs, published Tuesday, included Rose Foods, on Forest Avenue in Portland, and Rover Bagel, in Biddeford. Neither place is a stranger to national recognition. Rover Bagels was named among Food & Wine’s Best Bagels in America in 2021, while Rose Foods was named to Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurants in 2018. Bagelsaurus of Cambridge, Massachusetts, was the only other honoree from New England to make the bagel roundup.

The writeup for Rose Foods from reviewer Wilder Davies notes, “The shop uses a mix of sourdough and traditional yeast leavening and boils the bagels in a lye solution, like pretzels, albeit slightly more diluted. The resulting bagel has a plushy and accommodating crumb for ample toppings, and a glossy crust that has a nice yield to it — while still tender enough to avoid sloppy bagel sandwich side-spill.”

Local food writer and Bon Appetit contributor Joe Ricchio wrote that Rover bagels are “wood-fired and combine the best of both worlds: the pleasant chew of a New York–style bagel and the outer char and crunch of those favored in Montreal. All are made using a sourdough starter and a combination of locally sourced flour from Maine Grains and the old standby King Arthur.”

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