Best Of 2018

Best Bagel with Big Flavor for Being So Lil': Lil’s Bagels

Best Bagel with Big Flavor for Being So Lil'
click to enlarge HAILEY BOLLINGER
Hailey Bollinger

Made with chutzpah, Lil’s Bagels is a tasty and twee experience nestled beside Roebling Point Books in Covington. A sign sits out front of a stone pathway, lit by twinkly lights, which leads to the best lil’ bagels in Greater Cincinnati. Order through a walk-up window (windough) like a champ and pair your bagel and smear with a local Smooth Nitro Coffee. The menu includes sweet and savory spreads — options like plain cream cheese, Dolly’s Caviar pimento cheese and Judy Garden, with beet, roasted veggies and goat cheese — and a whole buncha bagels. Lil’s are hand-rolled, boiled and then baked and come in flavors ranging from sesame and salt to Old Bay and cranberry cardamom. The bagels and menu choices change frequently (based on how quickly they sell out), but expect to see creative sandwiches that turn deli staples into gourmet mashups. The Gawd Father comes with schmaltzy pastrami bacon, pimento, pickled green tomato and lettuce; you can add chopped liver for $2. And the famous egg salad lives up to the hype on the delicious Notorious RBE, with perfectly portioned egg-to-mayo salad, pickled beet and wasabi-roe cream cheese on a sesame bagel. Lil’s Bagels, 308 Greenup St., Covington, lilsbagels.com.