This is it! The best bagels on Oahu! No – really. The business is called “This Is It” and they have two locations! Their main location (“This Is It Bakery”) is in Kakaako, and their second (“This Is It Too”) is nestled among the hustle and bustle of downtown Honolulu.
Growing up in New Jersey, bagels were always a favorite of mine. Bagels with butter…bagels with cream cheese… taylor ham egg and cheese on a bagel…you can’t go wrong! So, you can imagine my disappointment when I moved back to Hawaii. As beautiful as the beaches and lush mountains are in Hawaii, one thing Hawaii is NOT known for are bagels haha. Sure, bagels are sold in grocery stores, Starbucks, and even some local stores, but any bagel I’ve ever had in Hawaii did not taste like the ones in New Jersey or on the East Coast. Every time I had a craving for a bagel, there was nowhere to satisfy it – until I stumbled upon This Is It!
The bagels at This Is It is not skinny like some store-bought bagels, but are instead full, plump, fluffy (not dense) and flavorful! Not only do they have a wide variety of types, but they ALSO have a wide variety of cream cheeses. While the main location has more cream cheese options, both locations offer at least Regular, Walnut Cinnamon Raisin, Strawberry (with real chunks of Strawberry), Jalapeno, Chives, and Lox flavors.
In addition to delicious bagels, both locations also offer bialys (more on this later), sandwiches, soups, breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and some local goodies like Lilikoi Butter, Guava Jelly, and fruit juices!
Every time I go to fulfill my cravings, I always get either a bialy or one of their bagels. A bialy, which is not as well-known as a bagel, is made of gluten flour and is a more flattened and “light” alternative to a bagel. It is often topped with poppy seeds or onion, or both.
My favorite way to order a bialy is to have it toasted and then slathered with butter (yum!). With the (onion) bialy cut in half, you can see it looks like a cross between a bagel and an English muffin (also, can we just admire how it lovingly absorbs the butter to give it a glossy sheen?!)
Another one of my favorites is, of course, the Everything Bagel – which I get toasted and with one of their cream cheese varieties. Here is a picture of one with chives cream cheese.
As you can see, they do NOT skimp on the cream cheese. When you eat the warm toasted bagel, the cream cheese begins to slightly melt and oozes out when you take a bite. Also reflected in the picture is how fluffy and chewy the bagel is on the inside while retaining a good crunch on the outside from being toasted. ABSOLUTE HEAVEN!
While of course the food is what I’m raving about, the service of this family business is nothing short of impeccable itself. At the main location, the employees cook and prepare the orders very efficiently. At the downtown location, Josh and his crew are just as efficient and always brighten people’s day! Whenever I go to court nearby, I stop to grab a bagel and always love talking story with Josh and never fail to leave with a smile across my face. When first getting acquainted with the downtown location, I remember being impressed when Josh would not only remember my order (after only a couple times of being there), but remembering other people’s regular orders too!
Anyways, that’s enough of me talking about this place. Go and try this place for yourselves and thank me later 🙂
This Is It Bakery (Main location)
443 Cooke Street Honolulu, HI 96813
This Is It Too (Downtown Honolulu location) (near the Jack in the Box in Tamarind Park)
1001 Bishop St., Suite #102, Honolulu, HI 96813
Check out their Facebook page for This Is It Bakery and This Is It Too!
**This review is strictly based off of my own opinion and not meant to be an advertisement, marketing partnership or any type of affiliation with this company. I have not been compensated in any way in exchange for this review.