Food + Dining Main

Authentic New York Bagels Are Now a Thing in Downtown Naples

Thanks to Brooklyn Dough With A Hole, which opened in late 2017, New Yorkers-turned-Neapolitans now have no shortage of boiled and baked softballs sent from heaven.

BY March 14, 2018


I should have known as soon as I pulled up. A small horde was descending upon a tiny storefront on an otherwise quiet street at 10 a.m.

“I need my caaawww-feeee.”   

My head jerked: This spot, Brooklyn Dough With A Hole, could actually be my one-way ticket to real New York bagels in downtown Naples.

For five years before moving here, I lived one building away from my favorite breakfast spot of the time, a hole in the wall on Second Avenue in Manhattan that had unbeatable Os with the most generous schmears. (Not to mention, growing up in the suburbs of New York City, I was never more than a mile from a real-deal bagel shop.)

Steve Batitsas, who I’ve since learned is always behind the counter at his latest endeavor, is my kind of guy. He owned bagel shops in New Jersey for the past two decades before taking a shot in Southwest Florida. He makes and boils his dough daily for the 24 varieties he bakes, which include three types of “everything” (egg, wheat and regular) along with blueberry, rainbow, jalapeño cheddar and more. He also hand-churns a crazy kaleidoscope of cream cheeses, from the usuals, like veggie, to a lustworthy Nutella and cannoli. (A genius idea I had for my younger, sugar-addicted self: a toasted rainbow with Oreo schmear.)

The real genius of what Batitsas has done with his softballs (literally 3 or 4 inches thick with a spread) is that he’s proven the urban myth about Northeast water to be false—Naples’ finest works just fine. A guy I struck up a conversation with in line with one day said it best, “They’re just so good, so light, so chewy, so fresh, you don’t even need to toast them.” That’s pretty much the ultimate compliment for a bagelmeister—and a particularly good omen for those of us searching for a taste of New York in Naples.


To plan a visit:

Brooklyn Dough With A Hole
933 Third Ave. N., Naples
(239) 231-3159

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