In a year and a half, Rubinstein Bagels has transformed from popup to deeply hidden downtown gem to pandemic-fueled delivery operation and, at last, a proper bagel shop. Owner Andrew Rubinstein has turned the former juice bar inside Via6 into a trim counter supplied with 12-ish types of bagels, coffee, and bagel sandwiches of both the breakfast and lunch persuasion.
His location at Sixth and Lenora, near the Spheres, isn’t far from Rubinstein’s previous home at Cortina Cafe, an Ethan Stowell Restaurants satellite all but hidden inside Two Union Square. Setting up shop in the kitchen each morning, the baker quickly entrenched his wares in Seattle’s (admittedly verrrry small) pantheon of great bagels. These are bagels so carefully wrought and structurally correct, toasting a fresh one feels beside the point.
Over 2020, Rubinstein developed a pretty impressive local delivery system, but now runs its program out of the new shop (Via6 is also part of the ESR realm). Here, flavors like shallot, sea salt, and jalapeno white cheddar fill wire baskets, schmears come infused with black truffle or mango chutney, and the menu ventures beyond bagels. A few hearty salads (tuna, a chop) round out bagel sandwiches like pastrami, egg and avocado, or ham and gruyere. Perhaps even more exciting: the duck fat matzo ball soup. I’ve long harbored a quiet (and, yes, specific) dream of finding a good matzo ball soup near Seattle Met’s offices, but even my wildest fantasies didn’t dare imagine it would come with such good bagel chips.
Rubinstein Bagels is open every day from 7–3; you can also order online.