I Tried 5 Grocery Store Bagels and Nearly All Were Better Than Thomas'

bagel taste test

Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
bagel taste test
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Bagel Bests

We all know that bagels are probably better off fresh-baked from your local shop, but not everybody has access to a gift that wonderful. Some of us have to get grocery store bagels, and it's only reasonable that we should know which ones are worth our money.

To find out, I hit some local supermarkets and grabbed every brand I could find. Here are five popular bagels you can find in grocery stores, ranked.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Related: I Tried 7 Frozen Breakfast Sandwiches, But None of Them Put Starbucks to Shame

Whole Foods Plain Bagels
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Best: Whole Foods Plain Bagels

$6.49 at Whole Foods

Shop Now

These came fresh out of the Whole Foods bakery, so this probably shouldn't be a surprise. While Whole Foods bagels don't have the depth of flavor or perfect chew that an East Coast bagel might get you, they are leagues better than the others I tried. It really wasn't even close – these are toothsome, eggy, and delightful.

Related: Whole Foods on the Cheap: The 8 Best 365 Products at Whole Foods, According to Superfans

Dave’s Killer Bread Plain Awesome Bagels
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

2. Dave’s Killer Bread Plain Awesome Bagels

$6.48 at Walmart

Shop Now

It seems that Dave's is trying to convince us these bagels are somehow healthier than others. They've got some good protein I guess, but it's hard to get a straight answer out of the packaging as to why you should pay $6 for a bag of bagels. 

Maybe they're healthy, maybe they're not. They have a lot more flavor than other brands, despite a slightly more crumbly texture. But look, they're pre-sliced, and I sincerely appreciate that.

Related: 20 High-Protein Breakfasts That Are Easy On Your Pocket

One Mighty Mill Mighty Stone-Milled Classic Plain Bagels
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

3. One Mighty Mill Mighty Stone-Milled Classic Plain Bagels

Available on Instacart

Shop Now

Love the bite, love the chew. Don't love the strong flavors of wheat you're left with at the end, but if you dress this up nice enough as a sandwich or cream cheese, you might be able to avoid it. The real issue is that I paid over $7 for a four-pack. Yeesh.

Related: 33 Cheap, Easy Breakfast Ideas to Start the Day Right

Thomas’ Plain Bagels
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

4. Thomas’ Plain Bagels

$4.18 at Walmart

Shop Now

Is there any brand more easy to find? Thomas' has shelf-space everywhere, and for good reason: This has to appeal to the masses in a way most things don't. It's squishy and just about devoid of any flavor, but Thomas' bagels toast up nicely and will always get the job done. 

For more taste tests and fun food stories, sign up for our free newsletters.

Trader Joe’s Plain Bagels
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

5. Trader Joe’s Plain Bagels

$2.69 at Trader Joe's

Available In-Store

Truly, these taste like nothing. If Thomas' is "just about" devoid of flavor, these are legitimately devoid. You really never expect a clunker like this from Trader Joe's, but the bread aisle has never been where TJ shines. Pay the extra two bucks for Thomas.

Related: Frozen Finds: 3 Trader Joe's Croissants, Ranked