Second Helpings

Bagels to Beignets to Doughnuts

The weekly Chronicle feature "Second Helpings" offers readers the opportunity to sample tasty, bite-sized restaurant listings compiled from new and previous reviews, guides, and poll results. This week's entries were updated by Chronicle writer MM Pack from an original publication date of Aug. 23, 2000. When you need quick, reliable information about Austin eateries, check here.

Hot Jumbo Bagels and Deli

307 W. 5th, 477-1137

Monday-Friday, 6:30am-1:30pm

Saturday-Sunday, 7:30am-12:30pm

Hot Jumbo Bagels has staying power. Emerging victorious from the Great Austin Bagel Wars of the mid-Nineties, HJB has been serving the same classic East Coast-style boiled bagels from the same funky 5th Street location since 1979. The 27 flavors of bagels (including such interesting choices as milk chocolate, tomato Florentine, and peanut butter) are kosher-approved. Bagel sandwiches and breakfast tacos are also available.

Einstein Bros Bagels

Five locations Monday-Friday, 6am-5pm

Saturday, 7am-5pm; Sunday, 7am-3pm

Those Einstein Bros, Melvyn and Elmo, are busy not only running bagel shops all over Austin, but all over the country, too. These clean, efficient, and service-oriented establishments offer 21 flavors of steamed bagels (softer than the more traditional boiled style), 12 varieties of schmears, a host of sandwiches and egg breakfasts served on bagels, challah, or sourdough baguettes, and salads, soups, and rollups. The NY lox and bagel with cream cheese, chopped onion, capers, and a slice of tomato is very nicely done.

The Bagelry

Five locations

Monday-Friday, 7am-5pm; Saturday, 7am-2pm; Sunday, 8am-2pm

The Bagelry is a locally owned chain-ette that has supplied steamed bagels from the shopping centers of West Austin since 1993. In addition to the daily bagel specials (including Hawaiian pineapple, pesto, and jalapeño flavors), muffins, cookies, brownies, and breads, they also have a line of bagel deli sandwiches that feature Boar's Head cold cuts. For a hearty portable breakfast, try the Baco (rhymes with taco) -- egg, ham, and cheese baked in a thick tube of bagel dough.

Crescent City Beignets
Crescent City Beignets (Photo By John Anderson)

Crescent City Beignets

1211 W. 6th, 472-9622

Sunday-Thursday, 7am-11pm; Friday-Saturday, 7am-1am; Lunch, 11am-2pm; Dinner, 6pm-9pm

A bit cheaper and a lot less muggy than a sojourn to New Orleans, a quick jaunt to Crescent City Beignets in West Austin addresses that classic Big Easy culinary craving -- chicory coffee and hot beignets. These are the real deal -- fluffy squares of crisply fried dough, smothered in powdered sugar, meant to be consumed immediately. Don't expect to breeze right in and out -- even on Sunday mornings when the place is packed, a single, busy guy both rolls out the dough and mans the deep-fryer, painstakingly making these babies to order.

Ken's Doughnuts and Pastries

2820 Guadalupe, 320-8484

Daily, 24 hours

Fortunately for UT denizens, there is a doughnut fix handily within shouting distance of campus, and it is available when they need it, which is to say all the time. While Ken's physical plant is unassuming to say the least, it houses a wide selection of high-quality doughnut-shop fare, including several flavors of cake and yeast doughnuts, éclairs, those jelly- and cream-filled favorites, bismarcks, and of course, doughnut holes.

Mrs. Johnson's Bakery

4909 Airport, 452-4750 Daily, 8pm-noon

An Austin institution since 1948, Mrs. Johnson's must have passed millions of hot fresh doughnuts out the little drive-in window to generations of early morning commuters, after-church crowds, and famished students who, er, need to run out for something sweet in the middle of the night. In addition to the classic glazed doughnuts, there are apple fritters, cinnamon rolls and twists, cookies, brownies, and sausage kolaches. You can also pick up your dunk of choice, cold milk or hot coffee. Note that Mrs. Johnson's is open all night, but not in the afternoons.

Lone Star Bakery

106 Liberty, in Round Rock, 255-3629 Tuesday-Saturday, 4am-3:30pm

Sunday, 4am-2pm

Closed Monday

Lucky for everyone, the Lone Star Bakery quickly recovered from a devastating fire last year. In every Austin high tech establishment I've ever worked (more than a few), there is always some kind soul -- some benevolent Round Rock resident -- who takes pity on the rest of us and regularly schleps in the renowned Round Rock Doughnuts for happy, group consumption. I have visions of these soft, warm, baby-chick-yellow clouds of pastry wafting out over the city each morning.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

12586 Research, 219-0119

701 E. Stassney, 851-8888

Drive-through open 24 hours

Lobby hours: Monday-Thursday, 5:30am-12pm; Friday-Saturday, 5:30am-1am; Sunday, 5:30am-11pm

To the delight of its many fanatics, Krispy Kreme is the newest player on the Austin doughnut scene, with both north and south locations opening this year. Founded in 1937 in Winston-Salem, N.C., the franchise is famous all over the country for two things: its secret-recipe, yeast-risen doughnuts and the glowing red "Hot Doughnuts Now" signs. Hint: They make hot doughnuts from 5:30am till noon and again from 5:30pm till closing time.

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