How to Order New Jersey Bagels Like a Local


As an NJ native living in DC going on 6 years now, there’s a lot of stereotypes that go along with actually admitting you’re from NJ. Some of those include, but are not limited to:

  • We are all Italian with last names like Fettucine or Linguini and ties to the MOB
  • We are always in a rush
  • We all have accents, Noo Joisy anyone?
  • We love Diners & Dunkin Donuts
  • We only listen to Bruce Springsteen aka The Boss
  • We are pizza and bagel snobs
  • Our lives are identical to the show Jersey Shore on MTV
I won’t get into the details of each of these now, but I’ll confirm at least one of these is true. We are total pizza and bagel snobs, and for good reason. New Jersey (and New York) simply have the very best bagels and the very best pizza.
So after a few months away from the motherland I decided to head back North and bring my boyfriend along with me. Naturally, my first stop was my beloved bagel shop, Obagel, the best bagel shop east of the Mississippi. There’s something about the familiarity of walking into a bagel shop where the guys behind the counter know your name and know?
However, it didn’t quite dawn on me that not everyone knows how to order like a pro until my boyfriend next to me ordered a “ham, egg and cheese.” That my friends, is a no-no in NJ and why I’m bringing to you a complete list of how to NOT order like an amateur during your next jersey run in. Here are my tips to ordering like a local:
  • Scooped out – sometimes bagels can be a lot of bread, I get it. Or sometimes you just simply don’t feel like your sandwich falling out of the bagel as you eat it. Or if you really want to go there, maybe you’re on Whole 30 and having a major cheat day. This is a great scenario to get your bagel scooped out. Essentially it’s as simple as they remove a few scoops of that bready filling so you are left with more room for your egg, cream cheese, turkey, whatever it might be AND more room in your belly.
  • SPK – Salt, pepper, ketchup. Everyone knows this is how you order a breakfast sandwich. And since we’re always in a rush, please use the abbreviation.
  • LTO – Lettuce, tomato, onion – see above. Do. Everything. Faster.
  • BEC – Bacon, egg, and cheese. You guessed it. Faster, faster.
  • Taylor Ham/Pork Roll– Save yourself, please don’t order a “ham egg and cheese.” Here they are what’s called a pork roll and aren’t made with just any ordinary ham, it’s taylor ham. ALL HAIL. Get it while it’s hot because it’s is only offered in a few New England states, primarily NJ and NY. But prepare yourself, you’ll never look at a ham, egg, and cheese the same way again.

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