Terra Bagels had all the golden honey warmth of home—and maybe the best latte I’ve ever had


Natalie Mix

Rem, paying for their blueberry bagel and orange mango juice

After the generally failed experiment that was Bagel Kitchen, I held barely fluttering hopes that another bagel shop could redeem such establishments. But when my partner, Rem, suggested that we swing into Terra Bagels in Downtown GR before I dropped them off at work a few weeks ago, I agreed to sacrifice the 30 extra minutes of sleep. 

Not hungry, because it was far too early an hour for me to eat anything, I only ordered an iced latte—the Sweet Almond Latte with cardamom and rose—but that latte stole my heart. It crossed my mind nearly daily for weeks afterward. Sealing the deal, in the short time that we spent inside Terra Bagels, we spotted Snoop Dogg’s cookbook on display—a definite green flag—and a favorite song of ours—“Elastic” by Joey Purp—started playing over the speakers. 

Without much discussion, we knew we’d have to return, with Lorelei, to give Terra another shot.

So a couple weeks later, on another Sunday morning, we found ourselves once again at Terra Bagels. Although it was still far too early an hour for me to eat anything, I got a blueberry bagel and, of course, the Sweet Almond Latte. Lorelei, an avid supporter of the classic everything bagel, stuck to her tried and true favorite, and Rem also ordered a blueberry bagel. 

While our choices lacked variety, they were endlessly promising for what the rest of Terra Bagel’s menu entailed. The bagels were substantial in size, as was the layer of cream cheese spread over them, and they tasted exactly as the flavors suggested they should—a step up from the ambiguity that Bagel Kitchen had delivered. 

Our order, two blueberry bagels with cream cheese and an everything bagel with butter (Natalie Mix)

Lorelei deemed her everything bagel as having “a lot of everything on it,” and Rem, who has been known to eat straight cream cheese out of the container, considered Terra Bagel’s cream cheese “immaculate.”

And my Sweet Almond Latte, a drink I could probably write a love letter to, completely lived up to my remembered expectations—an incredible feat, considering that I had been building it up in my head for weeks and I forgot to order it iced. As I sipped it on my car ride home, I could only think that it was some of the best coffee I’d ever had. 

The bagels are thick and the vibes are sick.

— Rem

Lorelei, dusting everything bagel seasoning off her hands (Natalie Mix)

But the crowning achievement of Terra Bagels is its atmosphere. Situated on a street corner, the ceiling-reaching windows welcome in copious amounts of natural daylight. On both trips, the shop radiated with a honey golden warmth, and the employees operated with kindness and hospitality, welcoming us in and wishing us farewell. Everything about it felt like home, in a somewhat inexplicable way.

While Lorelei had remarked that Bagel Kitchen wasn’t worthy of being a destination, she was deliberate in her assessment of Terra Bagels: not only was it worthy of being a destination, but it was the perfect start to a day brimming with adventures. 

It’s not a question of if, but when, I’ll be back to Terra Bagels, and I think I’d like to stay. I think someday, the love letter I could write to that Sweet Almond Latte might extend to the home I’d like to find within Terra Bagels.