How To Setup an Easy Bagel Bar

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Want an easy way to throw an epic brunch party? Set up a Bagel Bar! Guests will love making their own bagels with various cream cheese flavors & toppings!

The Bagel Bar is great for feeding a crowd and perfect for both kids and adults. Set up a Mimosa Bar to go with your Bagel Bar and you’re ready for the ultimate brunch party!

 

I love throwing a great party, but I also love enjoying the party myself. This is why I love creating different “make your own” food & drink bars for parties, like Taco Bars and Moscow Mule Bars.

Setting up these delicious food and drink bars before the party starts, allows guests to create their own drinks and meals whenever they arrive. And it allows you, as the host, to actually enjoy your own party!

As I began to look at the holiday calendar this year, I realized that I had no open Friday or Saturday evenings left, so I decided to throw a Sunday brunch party instead. I knew that I wanted to set up a “build your own” brunch bar and decided that a bagel bar would be just perfect!

Various flavors of bagels and cream cheeses, served with a variety of fruits, meats & veggies for toppings, what could be better? The Bagel Bar is so easy to set up, it only takes 30 minutes of prep time and you can even start prepping the night before, if you’d like!

Collage of images of a bagel bar setup

What you’ll need to make a Bagel Bar

  • Various flavors of bagels – I like to provide at least 3-4 flavors, a couple of sweet and a couple savory options. For this bagel bar, I featured everything bagels, onion bagels, cinnamon raisin bagels & blueberry bagels. If there will be children at your party or event, you can also include mini bagels for the kids.
  • Various flavors of cream cheese – on this bagel bar, I served plain, onion & chive, garden vegetable & honey walnut cream cheeses to pair with the variety of bagels.
  • Veggies
    • Sliced tomatoes
    • Sliced cucumbers
    • Microgreens, arugula or spinach
    • Sliced red onions
    • Capers
  • Meats & Protein
    • Smoked salmon
    • Cooked bacon
    • Thinly sliced deli roast beef
    • Scrambled eggs
  • Fruits
    • Strawberries
    • Blueberries
    • Raspberries
  • Juice (optional – add carafes of juice to the bagel bar.)
    • Orange Juice
    • Grapefruit Juice
    • Cranberry Juice
  • Small Appliances
    • Toaster
    • Slow cooker – to keep the scrambled eggs warm.
  • Bagel Stands (bagels can also be displayed on a cutting board, in a basket or on a tiered cupcake stand.)
  • 6-8 Ramekins – for the cream cheese, fruit & capers.
  • 3-4 Cheese Knives or Butter Knives – for spreading the cream cheese on the bagels.
  • 4 Small Spoons – for serving the fruit and capers.
  • 2 Tongs – for serving the meats and veggies.
  • 2 Cutting Boards – for the meats and veggies.
  • Bagel Bar Sign – I used a changeable letter board to make the sign. You could also use a chalkboard or make your own sign on your computer, print it out and put it in a picture frame.
  • Brown Butcher Paper or Craft Paper – this will be the base of the bar. You can write directly on it the types of bagels and cream cheeses displayed. Best part is, it makes clean up at the end super easy!
  • Sharpies – for writing on the butcher paper.
  • Plates – for serving the bagels.

Steps to making a Bagel Bar

  1. Cook the bacon and scramble the eggs.
    • For the bacon: Place strips of bacon on a wire rack on top of a foil lined baking sheet and into the oven at 400°F for 15-20 minutes. (This step can be done the night before.)
    • For the scrambled eggs: Whisk 12 eggs with 1/2 cup of milk, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper.  Add the eggs to a large skillet on the stove over medium heat. Scrambled for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a slow cooker set to warm.
  2. Roll out the brown butcher paper (app 4-5 ft in length) on either a dining room table or kitchen counter.
  3. Display the bagels on either bagel stands, in a basket, on a tiered cupcake stand or on a cutting board.
  4. Use a sharpie to write the types of bagels on the butcher paper.
  5. Place the cooked bacon, smoked salmon and roast beef on a cutting board. Place tongs on the side for serving the meat.
  6. Write on the butcher paper with a sharpie what the types of meats are in front of each corresponding meat.
  7. Slice the veggies and place them on a cutting board, place the capers in a ramekin on the cutting board with the veggies. Place a pair of tongs next to the veggies for serving.
  8. Add the fruits to ramekins and place on the bar with spoons for serving.
  9. Transfer the various cream cheeses to ramekins, then place them on the bagel bar with the cheese knives or butter knives.
  10. Use a sharpie to write what the various types of cream cheeses are, next to the ramekins.
  11. Place a toaster on the bar, along with the slow cooker of scrambled eggs.
  12. Add the “bagel bar” sign and plates to the table.
  13. Optional: add carafes of juice and glasses for serving.

Woman spreading cream cheese on bagel at bagel bar

Tips for making the perfect Bagel Bar

  • Always use fresh bagels! Purchase bagels the day before or morning that you plan to set up the bagel bar.
  • Pre-slice the bagels. If the bagels you purchased are not already sliced, slice them before placing them on the bar so that they’re ready to go for your guests!
  • Prepare ahead of time. If your time is limited the morning of your bagel bar set up, pre-slice the veggies the night before, place them on the cutting board, cover them with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. You’ll also want to cook the bacon the night before.

What occasions are good for a bagel bar?

A bagel bar is easy enough to toss together for a weekend get together with friends, but it’s also great for more formal gatherings and parties, like:

  • Wedding Showers
  • Bachelorette Brunch
  • Baby Showers
  • Super Bowl parties or tailgates
  • Holiday parties
  • New Years Day
  • Christmas Morning
  • Mother’s Day Brunch
  • Office meetings
  • Easter Brunch
  • Monday’s, because Monday’s are hard & bagel bars make them better! 🙂

Bagel bar setup on table

Bagel bar setup

If you make this bagel bar for your next party (or Monday!) I’d love to see it! Tag me on Instagram @WhitneyBond on your feed or story!

Have questions about the bagel bar setup? Leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to help!

Bagel bar setup with bagels on stands and bagel bar sign in background
5 from 2 votes
Print

Bagel Bar

Want an easy way to throw an epic brunch party? Set up a Bagel Bar! Guests will love making their own bagels with various cream cheese flavors & toppings!

Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 24 people
Calories 532.88 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 24 bagels variety of flavors
  • 32 oz cream cheese 4 (8 oz) tubs of different flavors

Meats

  • 6 oz smoked salmon
  • 12 slices bacon
  • ½ lb roast beef thinly sliced

Vegetables

  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber sliced
  • 2 tomatoes sliced
  • 2 cups microgreens or spinach or arugula
  • ½ cup capers

Scrambled Eggs

  • 12 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Fruit

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries

Instructions

Prepare the bacon and scrambled eggs.

  1. Place the strips of bacon on a wire rack on top of a foil lined baking sheet and into the oven at 400°F for 15-20 minutes

  2. Whisk the eggs with the milk, salt and black pepper. 

  3. Add the eggs to a large skillet on the stove over medium heat, scrambled for 3-5 minutes.

  4. Remove from the heat and transfer to a slow cooker set to warm.

Bagel Bar Setup

  1. Roll out brown butcher paper (app 4-5 ft in length) on either a dining room table or kitchen counter.

  2. Display the bagels on either bagel stands, in a basket, on a tiered cupcake stand or on a cutting board.

  3. Use a sharpie to write the types of bagels on the butcher paper.

  4. Place the cooked bacon, smoked salmon and roast beef on a cutting board, place tongs on the side for serving the meat.

  5. Write on the butcher paper with a sharpie what the types of meats are in front of each corresponding meat.

  6. Slice the veggies and place them on a cutting board, place the capers in a ramekin on the cutting board with the veggies. Place a pair of tongs next to the veggies for serving.

  7. Add the fruits to ramekins and place on the bar with spoons for serving.

  8. Transfer the various cream cheeses to ramekins, then place them on the bagel bar with the cheese knives or butter knives.

  9. Use a sharpie to write what the various types of cream cheese are, next to the ramekins.

  10. Place a toaster on the bar, along with the slow cooker of scrambled eggs.

  11. Add the “bagel bar” sign and plates to the table.

  12. Optional: add carafes of juice and glasses for serving.

Recipe Notes

  • Always use fresh bagels! Purchase bagels the day before or morning that you plan to set up the bagel bar.
  • Pre-slice the bagels. If the bagels you purchased are not already sliced, slice them before placing them on the bar so that they’re ready to go for your guests!
  • Prepare ahead of time. If your time is limited the morning of your bagel bar set up, pre-slice the veggies the night before, place them on the cutting board and cover them with plastic wrap. You’ll also want to cook the bacon the night before.