REVIEW: The Better Bagel Keto Bagels (All Flavors)
Flavors Tried: The Everything, The Classic, The Cinnamon, The Pretzel, The Sesame
Price: $40 for 12 bagels ($3.33 per bagel)
Nutrition (varies slightly by flavor): 160 Calories, 2g Fat, 40g Carbs (35g Fiber), 26g Protein
A couple of years back, I tried “The Better Bagel,” which was a very exciting addition to the high-protein snack world at the time.
With the promise of being very similar to a real bagel, but with virtually no carbs at all, I immediately needed to try it. At nearly 200 calories and 27 grams of protein, they were undeniably healthy, but their flavor profile was marked by an earthy undertone, something that didn’t sit quite right with me.
The texture of the bagel was very chewy, and while that did improve once toasted, it was still quite chewy overall. When all was said and done, I enjoyed the bagels for what they were, but the earthy flavor really took away from the experience for me.
Fast forward to today, The Better Bagel has revamped its recipe and released a ton of new flavors. Now at 160 calories, 26 grams of protein, 5g net carbs, and an eyebrow-raising 35g of fiber (which, to my surprise, didn’t wreak havoc on my stomach), it’s time for round two.
In my initial review, I only tried “The Everything” because let’s be honest… these bagels are expensive. I figured that an everything bagel was the safe bet, so that’s where I put my money.
For this updated review, The Better Bagel has graciously sent me all 5 of their current bagel varieties to try. Don’t worry, this review is going to be 100% fair and honest.
The Better Bagel: First Impressions of the New Formula
Considering The Better Bagel has dropped its calories from nearly 200 to 160, I was worried that the size of these bagels would take a hit, but they are still surprisingly large.
And while some of the bagels got a little bit squished during the shipping process, there is no denying that these truly do resemble real bagels.
But, looks aren’t everything. Does The Better Bagel actually taste like a bagel?
Short answer: kind of.
Bagels are known for having a firm crust and fluffy interior, but these bagels are soft throughout. Unfortunately, these are much chewier than regular bagels.
I’ve come to expect a level of chewiness in low-carb foods, but the chewiness really takes away from the experience. Unlike a regular bagel that you can easily tear apart and enjoy plain, you absolutely have to toast these bagels for maximum enjoyment.
On looks alone, the interior looks like any other bagel, which had my expectations extremely high. But, that chewiness will sneak up on ya really quickly.
Once toasted and eaten with butter or cream cheese, the texture definitely improves a bit. While still chewy, it makes the experience much more pleasant.
My preferred method for enjoying The Better Bagel is as a breakfast sandwich. Adding eggs, bacon, and cheese, really takes these bagels over the top.
One of the appeals of these bagels is that they are plant-based, so obviously, adding these ingredients knocks it out of that classification. But, it really improved the overall flavor and texture for me.
While still a little soft for my liking, the overall taste was incredible. And, when all was said and done, I was able to enjoy a breakfast sandwich with about 50g of protein and right around 500 calories… that is unreal!
I’ll get into each individual flavor below, but I will add this: The Better Bagel completely eliminated that “earthy” flavor that was present in their original formula. If you tried The Better Bagel before the reformulation, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
Rest assured, there is absolutely no plant-based protein flavor in these bagels.
Don’t mind the horribly ugly photo- these bagels clearly took a beating during shipping.
But if you’re looking at this bagel and thinking “That looks like a roll,” then what you see is exactly what you’ll get.
This bagel is soft inside and out, not to mention quite puffy, so it resembles a Kaiser roll much more than it does a bagel.
In terms of taste, this very much tastes like plain white bread. I was nervous when I tried this one because I figured there would be nothing to mask the earthy flavors, but this very much tastes like basic white bread.
And while light & airy, don’t take that to mean that it’s not chewy, because it is still significantly chewier than a regular roll or bagel.
The flavor is what you’d want it to be, but it lacks that true bagel texture we’d all love.
The Everything was easily my favorite of the bunch. Everything bagels are my favorite type of bagel, so this isn’t much of a surprise to me, but they really nailed this everything seasoning.
For whatever reason, the texture of this bagel seemed to hold up better than the others (which might be evident by the fact that this one looks like a real bagel).
This bagel was still very chewy, but once I toasted it up and used it for my morning breakfast sandwich, I found it extremely enjoyable. Once combined with all the ingredients of a breakfast sandwich, it definitely doesn’t feel quite as chewy.
Adjust your expectations and don’t expect a classic bagel texture, and this one is very solid.
I was extremely excited to try The Pretzel, but this one fell short for me.
The color certainly resembles a pretzel, but the lack of pretzel salt on top was super disappointing, and the flavor was severely missing salt. Without it, you just don’t get an authentic pretzel flavor.
Overall, this one doesn’t taste much different from The Classic. You taste a very slight pretzel flavor, but it is extremely subtle, and I likely wouldn’t have identified it had I not known this was a pretzel bagel.
Some pretzel salt on top would help set this one apart, but without it, this isn’t much different from a plain bagel.
I was never a big fan of sesame seed bagels, mostly because those bagels are loaded with sesame seeds. As you can see from the photo above, that is not exactly the case here.
I tried this one side-by-side with the plain, and I had a very difficult time identifying the differences. The addition of sesame seeds adds a very slight nuttiness to this bagel, but much like The Pretzel, this just tastes like a plain bagel.
When you open this one up, you can quickly smell the cinnamon, which is a great start.
Unfortunately, like most of The Better Bagel’s other varieties, the flavor is pretty subtle. There is enough cinnamon flavor in this bagel to set it apart from The Classic, but it is nothing like a cinnamon swirl or cinnamon raisin bagel.
A sweet cinnamon swirl bagel with cream cheese is one of my favorites, but this doesn’t really eat like a sweet option. If you took a plain bagel and added some cinnamon to it without any added sweetness, that’s what you have here.
Overall thoughts on The Better Bagel
Are these bagels an improvement over the first iteration? I’d say so.
The bagels are still just as chewy as the original version, but the Earthy flavor has been eliminated which is a BIG plus. You can’t expect a normal bagel experience when choosing these, but considering they are virtually carb-free and have 26 grams of protein, you cannot expect a regular bagel.
While these don’t blow me away, if you need an easy way to get some extra protein into your breakfast, these are a great way to do it, ESPECIALLY if you eat low-carb and bagels are off-limits for you.
Since they’re expensive, they won’t become a staple in my diet, but I can definitely see the appeal of enjoying a breakfast sandwich with a ton of extra protein in it.
If you’re on a keto diet, these become significantly more appealing. As someone who isn’t low carb, these don’t get me crazy excited, but I can definitely see the appeal.
As long as you don’t go into it expecting The Better Bagel and taste just like an authentic bagel, I don’t think they’ll disappoint.
REVIEW: The Better Bagel Keto Bagels (All Flavors)
The Better Bagel is a very chewy bagel, but it works for what it is: a super low-carb, high-protein alternative to traditional bagels. They're expensive, so they're not going to be a staple for me, but I can see a huge appeal for the keto crowd.
Very high in protein
Very generous size for only 160 calories
Very chewy (improves slightly when toasted)
The soft texture more closely resembles a roll than a bagel