10 Ways To Take Your Bagel Game To The Next Level

True bagel connoisseurs order their favorite combinations with the same ease as spouting off their phone number. That said, it may be time to think outside the cream cheese box? The humble bagel is a wonder unto itself and the perfect base for any meal. In celebration of the many ways to enjoy the holiest of foods (that’s right donuts, we said it!), we’re sharing our favorite suggestions to unlox the best ways to eat a bagel.

1. Exchange morning blear for a cup of Joe and a schmear.

Nothing elevates a morning bagel run like a coffee and a spread or two of cream cheese. Treat yourself!

2. Get back to breakfast basics with nutritious sides.

Opt for a plain, toasted bagel and a side – a great start to the day on its own. And if you’re feeling so inclined, a side of fruit or Greek yogurt makes a great companion. If you need a little caffeine, too, we understand.

3. Get in on the avocado craze.

Have a delicious morning or a nourishing afternoon snack by topping a Whole Grain bagel with sliced avocado. Add a little fruit – yes, avocados are fruit – to your bagel routine!

4. Never leave a bagel behind – yesterday’s forgotten snack is today’s bagel chip.

DIY gurus? Take this challenge. Sliced into thin layers and toasted, a single bagel becomes a wealth of dip-able, snack-able bagel chips. Pairs well with soup or dipped in cream cheese, peanut butter or hummus. And good news: you can get your bagel bread-sliced at your Panera bakery-cafe.

5. Mix it up: Eat breakfast for dinner!

Make an Asiago Cheese bagel a pizza bagel at home to start the day, or add Hazelnut Cream Cheese to our Cinnamon Crunch bagel to end the day. When it comes to bagels, the rules were made to be broken.

6. BYOM(arshmallow).

Don’t get us wrong, peanut butter is great on its own; we’re just saying that adding marshmallow cream makes for a sweet treat. Or, take a page from Elvis’s book and add sliced bananas for an extra special snack.

7. Find your better half by offering your other half.

Go splitsies on a bagel with an old friend, a new flame or a friendly seagull (or should we say ba-gull?). Who knows what could happen?

8. Invent a new classic.

Peanut butter and jelly? Lox and cream cheese? Egg and cheese? Try all the classics and then create your own favorite combos—a month of free bagels offers plenty of time to change the food world.

9. Make some “me” time during “b” time—savor your bagel.

We know that your phone is ringing, you’re late for work, your parents are visiting…but even with all that chaos, we hope you’ll stop and take the time to enjoy every bite.

10. Figure out the bagel flat.

For bagel traditionalists, this object is still shrouded in mystery. Bagel flats deserve a chance, and with a month of bagel days, why not go outside your comfort zone? These are a great sandwich base if you’re feeling wild.

Hungry yet? We sure are. Take advantage of the bagel ideas at your fingertips and make this month memorable. Or, do what you love and eat the same bagel for a month (though watch out for “Groundhog Day” syndrome). The point is, the fun of a bagel is making it your own, however that may look. Whether you challenge your taste buds or emerge still wedded to your go-to order, there’s no wrong way to enjoy Panera bagels.