It was New Year’s eve and my wife and I were wandering around Ely looking for a bit of lunch. Unfortunately, many places were surprisingly closed (despite it not being a bank holiday). Luckily, for us, The Bagel Bar, a micro roastery located just off Ely market, was open and serving, so we decided to pay them a visit.
What I like about Bagel Bar is that it tries to work with as many local producers as possible. Most notably Silver Oak Coffee but also an unspecified local bakery. Everything is done sustainably with recyclable and biodegradable packaging but also with a huge emphasis on not working with large corporations, which have historically been responsible for harming the environment.
Historically coffee producers have received a pretty raw deal from large multi-national food corporations. This has meant producers have received inadequate remuneration, been forced to decimate rainforest to increase production and use chemicals such as DEET to control pests. The knock on effects of these practices include increased rates of illness amongst workers, the removal of animal and bird habitats resulting in ever decreasing numbers and the dumping of billions of tons of waste product into river systems. All this is to provide cheap instant coffee, of which the UK is one of the largest consumers.
My wife went for the “big easy” which consists of sausage, bacon, Gouda cheese, and a “local” fried egg. This came to £6.50.
I went for the Frazzle with a seeded bun, which consisted of roast ham, coffee maple bacon, melted brie and Gouda cheese.
Sizes of the Bagels were modest for £6.50/£6.95 but considering that ingredients were locally sourced and sustainable this was probably a fair price.
The coffee was excellent, as you would expect from Silver Oak. I highly recommend the chocolate flakes as it really makes a difference. For me, this is probably the best coffee in the city.
My wife and I were both in agreement that the chips were (surprisingly) the star of the show. They are simply hand cut chips served crispy but they really stood out to us. Portions were decent for £2.45 but also came with some absolutely delicious (what I assume is) home made tomato sauce and garlic mayo. I highly recommend it.
The weather was not overly pleasant on the day but it was great sitting in the little courtyard near the Ely market square and watching the world go by. They provide little gazebos so you can sit outside and people watch no matter the weather, so it’s always worth a visit, especially if you are a dog owner. Dog treats and water are provided.
For more information, visit The Bagel Bar website.