Rescue Bagels

Food Carts Portland

Rescue 1


Location: SW 6th and Columbia

Hours: Mon-Fri 7 am- 1:30 pm and Sat 9 am to noon

The Story: There are bagels, those baked dough with a hole concoctions found everywhere and anywhere, and then there are BAGELS. “Real Bagels”, bagels with a “chew”. What do we mean? Well, not to stir up controversy, but folks can get a tad persnickety about their bagels: how big they should be, what flavors are true to form, and the tastes and textures of “real bagels”. Let’s face it, while there are other styles of bagels out there (hello Montreal!), in the good old U.S of A, New York style bagels set the gold standard. Real New York bagels have a certain je ne sais quoi about them, that roughly translates to a nice lacquered exterior with a bit of a “bite” that gives way to a dense, somewhat chewy interior. They are boiled, then baked. Not baked solo. Not steamed then baked.  And don’t even get me started on egg vs. water bagels, Oy Vey. It’s complicated.

Yet, sometimes, especially in Portland “real bagels” have been elusive as a warm sunny day in January – sometimes spotted, butalways rare and fleeting.

Enter Rescue Bagels. This cart’s affable owner Kevin Lawler, an Oregonian who fell in love with bagels in NYC several years ago, has recreated a pretty darn close interpretation to something you might find in shops on the Lower East side of Manhattan or traditional Jewish enclaves in Brooklyn. Yes, they are boiled then baked, by the way. And yes, they are water, not egg bagels. REAL BAGELS.

The menu is simple: pick a bagel flavor, pick a cream cheese and there you go. The end. Although, and I’ve said this like ten times to Rescue Bagels directly and in case they haven’t gotten my not-so-subtle hints, I’d love to see some Lox on the menu too though because, “a poppy seed with a schmear* and lox” is my version of heaven.  (*schmear is Yiddish slang for a “thin spread of cream cheese”, by the way. It’s true bagel bro code). Alas, I’m just kvetching over here. (ok, ok, a vegan version and a fried egg are also available as you wish).

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Rescue Bagels also has a few bagel sandwich type offerings and will soon be adding coffee and maybe juices as well to their menu. We haven’t tried the bagel sandwiches, but they seemed popular with customers the recent morning we stopped by. We’d love to see some photos and hear your thoughts as well.

Oh, and as a bonus dear donut burned out office workers, Rescue Bagels offers catering. Perfect for those marathon morning meetings.

In a city swimming with bagels, some great and most, well, just passable, it’s nice to be rescued from mediocre bagels. Welcome to the Portland food cart community Rescue Bagels! A nice addition to the Portland bagel – and- food cart scene.

Sample Menu: 

Bagels: $1.50 

Plain, Sesame, Poppy, Everything, Onion and Garlic offered every day. Daily bagel specials announced on Facebook and Twitter. Specials include Jalapeno-Cheddar, Cinnamon Raisin, Pumpernickel and Whole Wheat.

  • Add butter to any bagel: $.50
  • Add plain cream cheese to any bagel: $.75
  • Add flavored cream cheese to any bagel: $1.25
  • Flavored cream cheeses: scallion, strawberry, bacon-scallion
  • Add smoked salmon cream cheese to any bagel: $1.75

Breakfast sandwiches:

  • Egg and Cheese on any bagel: $4
  • Egg and Meat on any bagel: $4.50
  • Meat, Egg and Cheese on any bagel: $5
  • Meat options include Bacon, Sausage and Ham. Cheese options include Cheddar and Pepper Jack.

Phone:  971-266-4012


  1. These are some good bagels – if you’re sad that decent bagels have become hard to find after the Kettleman’s buyout, it’s worth trying these, especially if you happen to work downtown.

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