To say that I haven’t had a really good bagel since I left New York City might be a bit harsh. Still, when a friend told me that the bagels she tried from 5-Borough Bagels took her straight back to her first true New York bagel experience, I had to head to the Clive eatery the first chance I got.
Adding immensely to the experience: You’ll find no 16-year-olds running this spot. The exceedingly personable owners, husband-and-wife team Toney and Sarah Chem, work the counter almost every day. He’s from Pella, she’s from New York state. They met while living in New York City, where he worked in hospitality and she in graphic design. Sarah’s artistic skills explain their shop’s cute interior, with its plastic plants in metal buckets atop blond-wood tables, a happy place for a casual bite. — Wini Moranville
5-Borough Bagels is at 13435 University Ave., Suite 300, Clive; 515-809-1807; 5boroughbagels.com.