Pearl’s Bagels is on the Come Up

Visit this dusky-pink, dog-themed bagel haven for the best bagels in DC!

Pastel-pink and decorated with stylized images of DC, Pearl’s Bagels (1017 7th St NW) is a hidden treat only a few blocks away from the Convention Center. This bagel store has had an exciting couple of years since it first opened in August of 2020. Located in Shaw, an area not quite known for its bagel offerings (or food in general), Pearl’s is starting to build itself a reputation. There’s a certain about-to-go-viral-on-TikTok energy buzzing around the store: people queue up expectantly, squeal over the aesthetic, and whisper about how the bagels compare to local bagel behemoth Call Your Mother.

Pearl’s Bagels is named for owners Allee and Oliver’s pitbull, pictures of whom are also on display in the shop. Taking notes from their namesake, the owners designed this store to be incredibly dog-friendly: dogs are always welcome inside the shop, and there are dog biscuits shaped like bagels set up outside for any dogs walking by. The Pearl’s instagram account is plastered with pictures of dog customers, underlining the overall sweetness of the shop.

The first time I visited Pearl’s, I decided to order their Classic Lox sandwich on a sesame bagel. The bagels aren’t fluffy, the way they do it back in NY. However, they taste great: the dough includes sourdough starter and honey, which gives them a great depth of flavor and a lingering sweetness. The classic lox is everything you might expect: lox, cream cheese, capers, red onion, and microgreens, in an interesting twist. The microgreens are a valued addition to the sandwich, giving it some extra crunch. It’s an immaculate good time.

After having sampled more sandwiches, I would without a doubt also recommend the El Pollito: thinly-sliced chicken sausage, cheese, and hot honey combine to melt in your mouth, offset by the inclusion of more crunchy microgreens. Add cream cheese to the sandwich to step up the texture and flavors, but only if you’re feeling ready to make a mess.

Pearl’s Bagels makes the best bagels in DC, and it’s shocking that more people haven’t realized it yet. Head to Pearl’s now, before the crowds descend — because descend they will.

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