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The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout


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Battle of the Bagels: Einsteins vs. Once Upon A Bagel


Once Upon a Bagel is Coming to Town!

With the news of a Once Upon a Bagel opening a location in downtown Lake Forest on Deer Path Road, right next to the well-known Sweet’s ice cream store, which bagel shop – Einstein Bros. Bagels or Once Upon a Bagel – will attract the attention of Lake Forest citizens becomes a question.  We prefer Once Upon a Bagel… here’s all the reasons why. 

While each has its own unique flair and approach to the beloved bagel, these establishments have captured the taste buds and hearts of bagel lovers all around, but how do they stack up against each other? Let’s delve into the world of bagels. Which bagel shop has better bagels? Will this new shop opening cause the fall of Einsteins? While both are great options, we have a feeling that Once Upon a Bagel will become more popular than Einsteins in the Lake Forest area.

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Which bagel shop is your favorite?


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Let’s compare the two businesses: 

Walk into any Einsteins, and you’ll be greeted with a wide array of bagel flavors, spreads, and sandwich options. It’s a one-stop shop for those wanting a quick and reliable bagel fix. From classic flavors like plain and everything to more choices like asiago cheese and spinach Florentine, Einsteins has something for everyone.

But don’t let its efficiency fool you – Once Upon a Bagel, with its cozy atmosphere and artisanal approach, brings a touch of old-world charm to the bagel game. Step into Once Upon a Bagel, and you’re transported to a cafe where the smell of freshly baked bagels fills the air. Here, bagel-making is elevated to an art form, with each bagel handcrafted with care and attention to detail. We appreciate Once Upon a Bagel’s commitment to traditional techniques, with bagels baked to perfection for a New York-style taste.

While Einsteins may win points for convenience and variety, Once Upon a Bagel shines in terms of quality and craftsmanship. Also, let’s not forget the spreads – from classic cream cheese to house-made hummus and lox, Once Upon a Bagel takes the bagel experience to new heights with its artisanal techniques and traditions.

Personally, almost every weekend we find ourselves driving the extra mile to Highland Park just for a bagel. You might be asking yourself, why not just go to Einsteins when it’s right in town?

Well… funny you ask! Now with the brand new Once Upon a Bagel opening in town, we no longer have to take the journey to get the best quality bagel. Here are all the reasons why we are ecstatic about the new bagel shop:

Why Once Upon a Bagel?

Once Upon a Bagel is a superior store that has all the things that make a good bagel shop. For example, it has good service, good bagels, and has a fun environment to spend your time in and enjoy your food with friends and family. They have quality food, and a wide variety of choices besides bagels. Their menu shows that, although they are a bagel shop, they continue to expand their options and make their store more appealing to their customers. They have salads, soups, omelets, pancakes, and more.

Delicious bagel sandwich from Once Upon (@onceuponabagel on Instagram).

Why not Einsteins?

Einsteins is not a bad choice… it’s just not our first choice when it comes to good bagels. When we find ourselves in Einstein’s, the service is often slow and the workers are inefficient. They are often out of stock of the majority of their bagel choices, and the store is most certainly not the cleanest. Einsteins has in no way bad bagels, they just do not live up to our expectations of what makes a good bagel – such as a good texture, flavor, and is freshly made. Their menu only includes bagel sandwiches – breakfast and lunch, however doesn’t contain a wide variety of choices compared to Once Upon a Bagel. 

Assortment of bagels from Einsteins (@einsteinbros on Instagram).

What are the differences between the two bagel stores?

  1. Food available to customers, and a wide variety of choices 

Including more than just bagels is what sets Once Upon apart from Einsteins. It appeals to people who may not like/want a bagel at that certain time. 

  1. Cleanliness of the stores 

What makes a store appealing to customers is not only the quality of their products, but the quality of the atmosphere.

  1. The service and efficiency of the workers

One thing that is essential for the overall success of a store is the service and how long it takes for the workers to make your food. This must be efficient and fast as customers get irritated if it takes too long. For Einsteins, they often go slow and take their time while Once Upon a Bagel is often fast no matter how busy they are.

Whichever you choose, one thing’s for sure, both Einstein Bros. Bagels and Once Upon a Bagel have something special to offer, however it comes down to personal preference and what you desire in a good bagel. For us though, needless to say, you can find us at the new Once Upon a Bagel location opening up very soon. We hope to see you there too!

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About the Contributors
Amelia Hansen
Amelia Hansen, Staff Writer
Amelia Hansen is a junior at Lake Forest High School and a first-year writer for the Forest Scout. She is on the Lake Forest Varsity Dance Team. She also is an active Student Council member. Outside of school and dance, her hobbies include spending time with friends and family, listening to Taylor Swift, and walking her dog.  
Kylie Dugan
Kylie Dugan, Staff Writer
Junior Kylie Dugan is a first time writer for The Forest Scout. She loves playing volleyball and plays on the LFHS Varsity volleyball team. Outside of school, she is very involved in CROYA, and loves to spend time with her friends, family, and her two dogs, Ash and Amelia. 
Anna Braun
Anna Braun, Staff Writer
Anna Braun is a junior and first year writer for the Forest Scout! She spends her fall season playing Tennis for LFHS. Anna is super excited to write for the Forest Scout and create various different pieces. She enjoys traveling, concerts, and spending time with her friends and family!  
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Comments (3)

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  • J

    Joe VenkerMay 12, 2024 at 12:39 pm

    I lived in Highland Park for close to 30 years, and moved to Lake Forest a little over 3 years ago. NO ONE makes bagels like OUAB, and their chicken soup is second to none. I am sure the people in the HP store will be thrilled when the LF store opens, as I order delivery at least once a week, and the new store is walking distance from my home. The people (at least at the HP store, it’s the only one I frequented) were personable and extremely competent, the store was clean. They have frozen soups, great sandwiches and salads, and their breakfast items are great. I hope they do as well in LF as they have done in HP!

  • C

    Cyndi AndersonApr 13, 2024 at 11:16 am

    Once Upon Bagel has great bagels, but very expensive. Einstein’s bagels are good, but they win with the best cream cheese available anywhere! It’s great they will both be available, Einstein’s has better coffee and more sitting are.
    I like them both, different reasons

  • A

    AlexMar 15, 2024 at 10:01 am

    This is a great article. It will be interesting to see if Lake Forest residents can actually come around and understand how vastly superior OUAB is to Einsteins. For most of my life, LF has had mediocre food options at best, but that has slowly started to change in recent years. OUAB coming to our bucolic enclave is a bold move that bucks the traditional trend of this community, both from a cultural and culinary standpoint. I hope our residents reward them with their business.