Stop by any of the three Bagel Street Café locations, including shops in Brentwood and Antioch, and you’ll find a menu board that offers more variety than menus at your average restaurant. Of course you can always buy a regular bagel, but the Café also offers bagel sandwiches and special breakfast bagels, known as the Eggwich, which come with eggs, cheese, ham, bacon or sausage. But that’s not all. Bagel Street Café is also home to salads, pastries, smoothies and gourmet coffees.
“People see the name Bagel Street Café, and they think we only sell bagels, so it’s always easy to spot a new customer – it’s like their eyes light up when they see all the options,” said Bagel Street Café owner Stephanie Tran. “We do have a lot of bagels, but we sell salads and sandwiches and desserts, so we’re more like a deli. We have so many things to try that you could order a different thing every day.”
Tran arrives at her Antioch store at 3 a.m. every morning to start baking the bagels so they’re hot and ready when the doors open at 5. It takes two hours prep time because she and her team make a variety of 33 flavors of bagels, including chocolate chip, jalapeño, marble-rye and strawberry. Bagel Street Café also offers gourmet bagels, including cheddar and pepper jack, plus specialty bagels such as pesto and tomato mozzarella.
Tran and her team also offer made-to-order salads and made-from-scratch cream cheese spreads featuring flavors such as honey-almond and walnut-raisin. Fruit salads are designed by the Bagel Street team, so nothing comes prepackaged. Everything aside from the brand-name chips are made fresh at the shop.
Any of the 33 bagel flavors may be used to create a sandwich, such as the Bagel Street Special, featuring chicken breast, avocado, lettuce, tomato, onions, sprouts, pickles and peppers. Sandwiches are also available on sandwich rolls, croissants, wheat or white bread.
“I want my customers to have plenty of options,” Tran said. “They may pick and choose what they want on their sandwich. I make suggestions, but it’s all up to the customer. Tell me what you like and what you don’t like, so that you get exactly what you want. I’m happy when I see that my customers are happy.”
And Tran has been making customers happy since 1995, when she opened her first store in Martinez. She later opened a shop in Antioch, where she lives, so that she was close to home. She made a name for herself in East County, but as more people moved to Brentwood, her Antioch loyalists suggested she open a third location in Brentwood.
“People always tell me, ‘You need to open a bagel store here or there,’” Tran said. “As people started to move to Brentwood, or move their business to Brentwood, they kept telling me I needed to set up another location, so I told them that if they knew of a place, just give me a call. Then one day one of my regulars told me about the new location on Balfour, so I called the landlord, checked it out, and that was it for me. I’m grateful to have such loyal customers. They’re like my extended family.”
Bagel Street Café is located at 4815 Lone Tree Way in Antioch, and 3181 Balfour Road in Brentwood. For more information, visit www.bagelstreetcafe.net.