Sophie Bolich

Ruby’s Bagels Will Represent Milwaukee at New York BagelFest

Bakers from across the nation will compete for coveted 'Best Bagel' award.

By - Sep 13th, 2023 12:20 pm
Ruby's Bagels trailer, 636 S, 6th St. Photo taken Sept. 12, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Ruby’s Bagels trailer, 636 S, 6th St. Photo taken Sept. 12, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Ruby’s Bagels is headed to the Big Apple. Milwaukee’s own handmade bagel operation will join a lineup of the nation’s best bakeries at the fourth annual BagelFest in New York City.

The two-day festival will take place Oct. 21 and 22 at the Starrett-Lehigh building in the Chelsea neighborhood, featuring more than 20 artisanal bagel vendors from across the country, as well as topping, condiment and beverage purveyors including Oatly and Topo Chico.

Participating businesses will offer bagel samples, themed drinks and bagel-inspired art — all while competing for awards such as Most Creative, Best of the Boroughs and — the most coveted — Best Bagel, which comes with a hefty monetary prize in addition to a lifelike everything bagel-shaped trophy.

BagelFest will also feature demos and entertainment for guests, as well as a chance to vote for the People’s Choice award. Last year’s event attracted more than 2,000 attendees.

Ruby’s, which operates a food truck at Zocalo Food Park, is among a small handful of out-of-state vendors slated for the festival, and the only one from Wisconsin. The mobile restaurant operates a trailer at Zocalo Food Park, serving dozens upon dozens of its ultra-chewy bagels each weekend.

Flavors often include rosemary sea salt, everything and sesame bagels, served with a choice of plain, dairy-free or flavored cream cheese, butter and other add-ons. The food trailer also sells bagel breakfast sandwiches and coffee.

Owner Daniela Varela — whose family often calls her by her middle name, Ruby — launched the bagelry as a pop-up in 2019. Since then, the city has seen a surge in artisan baking — particularly bagel-making. Walker’s Point alone is home to several new spots, including Hen’s Deli, Allie Boy’s Bagelry & Luncheonette and, of course, Ruby’s.

BagelFest won’t be Ruby’s first time in the national spotlight. Bon Appetit magazine recently highlighted the Milwaukee business as one of the Very Best Bagels in the US, calling Varela’s creations “buoyant with a crisp golden brown crust composed of tiny microbubbles.”

Fans of Ruby’s (or Bagel Babes, Varela’s affectionate moniker for her customers) who find themselves in New York City next month can visit the bagel booth — and many others — at the expo. Tickets, $49 for general admission, are available to purchase online.

Here in Milwaukee, Ruby’s Bagels are available Friday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 636 S. 6th St. The trailer is known to sell out, so online orders are recommended.

The business is also planning to expand with a second location on the South Side. This time, it’s a brick-and-mortar restaurant. The upcoming bakery and cafe would open at 1107 W. Oklahoma Ave.

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Categories: Food & Drink

One thought on “Ruby’s Bagels Will Represent Milwaukee at New York BagelFest”

  1. Thomas Gaudynski says:

    You go Daniela (Ms Ruby)!

    Certainly the best in Milwaukee.

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