Plenty of places claim to be a “hole in the wall”. I’ve seen so many “hole in the wall” cafes pop up it's not even funny anymore. Vulcan Lane Bagels, however, absolutely embodies the archetype of this kind of eatery. So much so, that your only place to sit is a hanging bench seat on the left of their dispensary counter. You’ll often catch hipsters with feet dangling, enjoying their Atomic Coffee and pulled pork bagel mid afternoon at this very bench.
As you walk up Vulcan Lane away from Queen Street, keep an eye out for an Atomic Coffee sign; a white poster, brown frame, enlightening you of the menu, and the owner poking his head out of the white wall. Yes. It is actually a hole in the wall. There’s a cabinet at the front, but you wonder how these guys make their way into the bagel-ry without jumping the shelf. Serving great coffee, snacks from Scratch Bakers, your favourite All Good Organics and Six Barrels Soda’s, you’re not going to spend more than $15.
Photo cred here
“Superb coffee, made to order bagels with the freshest toppings and a cabinet full of luscious, toothsome pastries. Watch the street, breath in some fresh air and enjoy the heart of inner city by our bagel cove.”
- Vulcan Lane Bagels
The menu is mini, serving bagels, melts, or schmears. Go for the Breakfast, the Pulled Pork, or my favourite, the Chipotle Beef. They’re packed with toppings, to the point where you have to eat the toppings before you even get started on the bagel itself. The chipotle beef is shredded, doused in tomato salsa and a homemade hot sauce, and a bit of sour cream. It all rests atop a soft, Polish style, bagel.
'Melts' are served with melted (obviously) swiss cheese, served hot, with your choice of ham, pastrami, prosciutto, or of all things: vegemite. On of these paired with a freshly made coffee doesn't break the bank at a chill $9. Of course, their schmears involve cream cheese. Soft; go for the salmon and dill, or the avocado smash with lemon and chili flakes. Generous helpings all round. For a humble $5 you can even get peanut butter or Nutella on your bagel. Now that makes me a happy man.
Make sure you check these guys out. They’re not too far from Auckland's central campus universities, or a nice relaxing trip away from the stress of the office – a little vacation in the fresh air and hum of the cobbled streets of Vulcan lane. I’m a big fan of these guys' offerings, and the service is really friendly too.
Title image cred here