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These are the 6 places to try when you crave a really good bagel (and a bagel sandwich)

Bagels are just one option for the breakfast sandwich lineup at house-cured meat specialist Cure Delicatessen and Cafe

Chef and owner Matt Butler makes a bagel breakfast sandwich at Cure Delicatessen and Cafe in Durham.
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Chef and owner Matt Butler makes a bagel breakfast sandwich at Cure Delicatessen and Cafe in Durham.

A monthly roundup of ethnic eats, counter service chow and other tasty bargains. This month, we explore the local bagel scene — and find the landscape sprinkled with a variety of options as eclectic as an everything topping.

Bagel Bar

Two locations: 630 Weaver Dairy Road, Suite 109, Chapel Hill; 104 City Hall Plaza, Suite 101, Durham

919-929-7700 (Chapel Hill); 919-294-6661 (Durham)

bagelbarbagels.com

The Canadian Comeback (local Canadian back bacon with scrambled eggs and cheese on your choice of 20 house-made bagels) will get your day off to a solid start. For lunch, try the Roadrunner (turkey, green chiles, lettuce, tomato and pepper jack with salsa jalapeño cream cheese). By all means, spring for the optional avocado.

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The Bagel Bar has a location in Durham and one in Chapel Hill. jleonard@newsobserver.com Photos by Juli Leonard

Bagels Plus

100 Dickens Road, Fuquay-Varina

919-285-4980

bagelsplusfuquay.com

A little slice of New York in Fuquay? You bet. Bagels (and bialys!) are baked on the premises daily, with topping options running the gamut from basic cream cheese schmear to whitefish salad. And if you can resist the New York-accented siren call of the pastry case — some two dozen temptations, from black and white cookie to raspberry cigar — my hat’s off to you.

Cure Delicatessen and Cafe

245 East NC Hwy. 54, Suite 105, Durham

919-797-0355

curedelinc.com

Bagels are just one option for the breakfast sandwich lineup at this house-cured meat specialist. You can opt instead for a croissant or house-baked biscuit. Once you’ve made the bread decision, you’ll face the far more difficult dilemma posed by fillings ranging from the Number One (smoked salmon "bacon", baked egg, pickled onion, herb cream cheese) to the Number Five (fried smoked chicken thigh, baked egg, pimento cheese).

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Bagels are just one option for the breakfast sandwich lineup at the house-cured meat specialist, Cure Delicatessen and Cafe, in Durham. The Number One is a smoked salmon "bacon", baked egg, pickled onion and herb cream cheese served on a poppyseed bagel. Juli Leonard jleonard@newsobserver.com

Grub

1200 W. Chapel St., Durham

919-973-3636

grubdurham.com

Don’t let the name fool you. The Tiny will leave you with a full belly and a smile on your face. It's an open-face whole wheat bagel, loaded with house-made peanut-almond-cashew butter, a whole sliced banana and Grub’s signature maple honey nut granola blend.

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GRUB in Durham has booths, tables and bar seating indoors in addition to their extensive outdoor seating. Juli Leonard jleonard@newsobserver.com

The Morning Times

10 E. Hargett St., Raleigh

919-836-1204

morningtimes-raleigh.com

Looking for lox in all the wrong places? It’s house-cured here, and served with spring onion cream cheese, capers, tomato, spinach and onion on a house-made bagel.

New York Bagels & Deli (Raleigh); New York Bagels & Deli III (Cary)

7909 Falls of Neuse Road, Suite 121, Raleigh; 2050 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary

919-848-1310 (Raleigh); 919-851-9050 (Cary)

nybagelraleigh.com (Raleigh)

newyorkbagelsanddeli.com (Cary)

Technically, these are two distinct restaurants, each owned by a different brother. Bob (Raleigh) and Tom (Cary) Nurrito are third-generation bakers with a New York baking pedigree. (Their father baked the New York-style cheesecake for Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow’s wedding). The menus are virtually the same, though, offering some two dozen varieties of house-baked bagels and an extensive selection of toppings ranging from nova lox to Taylor ham and egg.

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