Also known as Nancy’s Bagel Grounds, this is and has been (& always will be) a favorite of mine since my high school days.
Why? They’re just bagels, you may be thinking.
Nancy’s is marvelous for a variety of reasons.
1. A great gal. Nancy herself is nearly always there, right behind the counter running things. A sure sign that you’re bagels are in good hands.
2. Location. Nestled in a lovely area on Frankfort Avenue, which is in my opinion, the 2nd best street in Louisville, Nancy’s is in a great location. Frankfort Ave is home to a zillion other awesome restaurants that I’ve been eyeing, as well as cute boutiques, pubs, & antique stores. It is also just a short drive or bike ride to the waterfront and the downtown area in general.
2. Nance knows her regulars by name. She’s so friendly that this is completely what you would expect, but only when she gets your name does it actually hit you- Nancy knows me. As if she’s some celeb or something. What an angel.
3. Fond memories. I would sleep over at my friend Katie’s house every Tuesday night during swim season. We would wake up for practice at some ungodly hour, and instead of actually going, we’d skip the horrendous a.m. swim practices & go to Nancy’s instead. Katie’s dad happened to stop by Nancy’s one of these mornings & set us on stealth mode. He completely overlooked us, & we both died laughing. This is just one of dozens of memories I have of Nancy’s.
4. Tradish. (meaning tradition…) Whenever my friends are back in town from school, we always make a point to go to Nancy’s to catch up & get some bagels. It’s a crime if we omit an invitation to someone. But we wouldn’t dare. Nancy’s is sacred.
5. Art. The main wall in the seating area features work done by local artists. Talented local artists. Usually paintings & drawings. They are consistently impressive pieces of art. It is always a display of some truly talented individual’s work. I love this idea.
6. Sun-dried Tomato Bagel. Obviously the bagels are good. Otherwise I wouldn’t be such a fanatic. To be truthful, Nancy’s bagels are the best. I almost always order the sun-dried tomato & herb bagel with cream cheese on the side. No joke I could eat three of these. But I don’t. I eat one. And think about the other two for the rest of the week. Varieties of cream cheeses- fantastic cream cheese (really, I don’t even like cream cheese, but I loveee Nancys’), bagel sandwiches, wraps, salads. All of them delicious. But the sun-dried tom bagel has my heart.
7. Fresh without fail. The bagels are always fresh & usually still warm when they reach my lips. Toasting is often unnecessary. While you wait in line, you can see the minions working in the kitchen because the wall has a peek through. The fact that they let you watch them create your food is something many eateries curiously shy away from.
8. It’s always clean. I’ve never dealt with a vile looking table. Maybe a few crumbs on occasion, but you can merely blow them away. The place is typically spic and span. Which I do appreciate, since they’re serving me food.
Essentially, it’s the most quality bagel joint in the world. At least of the bagel joints I’ve been to so far. I really cannot rave about Nancy’s enough.
If you’re ever in Louisville, the only two musts I declare are to go to Nancy’s & then go to the Muhammad Ali Center. That is all.
I’d love to hear about any bagel joints that could perhaps rival Nancy’s. Do you have a favorite?
I hear New York has some baller bagel places.