Bagels and Lox Sunday Brunch

This past Sunday, the hubs and I hosted brunch for 10 at our place. Specifically, a serve-it-yourself Bagels and Lox Brunch and Bloody Mary Bar. Trust me when I say this is your next Brunch idea. It’s chill; there is no cooking involved, just great ingredients, set it up, and watch your guests have fun constructing their own.

The inspiration? A recent trip to New York, where I got the best Bagel and Lox sandwich of my life from Russ and Daughters, a Manhattan institution opened in 1914 by a Polish immigrant who started the business to cater to Jewish immigrants of the Lower East Side. But this Bagel and Lox was different – so good that we went there twice on our trip, and upon our return, I found myself daydreaming of that sandwich. So I went on a fact-finding mission to understand why this sandwich tasted unlike any other Bagel and Lox I had ever had. After a little bit of research, I found it’s all about the ingredients, so I went around town to find the best ingredients to make this sandwich.

This recipe isn’t so much a recipe, as it is a breakdown of what you can find to make the best Bagel and Lox sandwich either for yourself, or set it up as a Brunch idea for your nearest and dearest. Pair it with a DIY Bloody Mary Bar, and you got yourself a Brunch Party.

Disclaimer – I’m using the terms Smoked Salmon and Lox interchangeably, as most people do. True aficionados will know that Smoked Salmon and Lox are different, but we’re being colloquial here!

  • Highest Quality Smoked Salmon – I found Catsmo Smoked Salmon to be the best one I could find. It is Scottish Salmon smoked in the Catskill Mountains in New York. You can buy it online at You can also buy it at Eataly. Not convinced it’s top notch? It’s one of Oprah’s trademark “Favorite Things.” ‘Nuff Said.
  • The Everything Bagel – Get it fresh the same day from a bagel bakery.
  • The Cream Cheese – Buy your cream cheese from the bakery you got your bagels – unlike supermarket versions, it likely won’t contain any preservatives. Alternatively, Gina Marie’s has a great cream cheese without any gums or preservatives, and can be bought online at Instacart
  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • Thinly Sliced Red Onion
  • Capers to taste

Lay it all out for your brunch guests to assemble and enjoy. Cheers!

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