Are Bagels Vegan? (All Kinds) + Donkin’, Thomas’ Options

are bagels vegan

Bagels work so well for many purposes, as sandwiches or even plain, but are bagels vegan?

Bagels are not typically vegan as most of them have either honey, eggs, or dairy. Although it’s rather simple to find a vegan bagel. Some kinds like the Montreal needs to be boiled in honey, so that’s not as easy.

However, the New York Style bagel can easily be made vegan. It often contains egg, but many companies opt for egg replacers instead. Meaning it’s entirely vegan as long as non-vegan spreads are not used.

Coffee shops like Donkin’ Donuts have a lot of vegan options. The same is true for many other similar shops. You can see the list of vegan Donkin’ Donuts bagels at the end of this article.

While many places offer vegan bagels, not all do. So you must make sure every time you try a new place. There is no definite answer as to whether or not bagels are vegan. It depends on which kinds, and where you get them.

Are Bagels Typically Vegan

Whether you are on the go, or at a restaurant, bagels have your back. They serve as Delicious food and can even be healthy at times. Although, are bagels vegan typically?

There are a few different ways to make bagels, but they’re somewhat similar. Bagels are formed into shape and boiled in water. Some methods boil with malt, salt or honey, while others use them all. Afterward, they are put into the oven.

The bagel itself consists of ingredients such as flour, sugar, salt, oil, yeast eggs. Not all are the same, but these are some of the more common ingredients.

As you can probably always see, most bagels are not vegan. Many of the most popular kinds are boiled in honey, such as Montreal. While many others have eggs in the actual dough.

So bagels are not typically vegan. Although it’s usually rather easy to find vegan options in both restaurants and bagel shops.

The New York Style bagel often has vegan options. That’s because, it may contain eggs traditionally, but it’s not boiled in honey. -While eggs are so easy to replace that many bakeries do it merely because it’s easier than real eggs.

Non-Vegan Ingredients In Bagels

Bagels come in many different shapes and variations. Not only shape and texture is different but also the recipes. Meaning that some bagels don’t contain the ingredients in this list. However, these are the ingredients that can be present in bagels.

Not all bagels have every single non-vegan ingredient, but these are the ones you need to avoid. Ask your local bagel shop if any of these are in the bagels.


Honey is traditionally used in the Montreal bagel. It’s not in the actual dough, but it’s an essential part of the boiling process. Honey is added to the water to add a sweet flavor, while other kinds of bagels use salt instead.

Honey is not vegan as beekeeping is considered animal cruelty. For one beekeepers take the bees, honey. That has been proven to worsen the bees’ health and stress them. After all, they need honey to survive. -In additional, queens are often artificially incriminated, which is both inhumane and unnatural.

The last issue of honey is that it wipes out the natural pollinators. Bees and other pollinators compete for pollen and sector, which is a limited resource. In return, the native pollinators are out-competed by artificial beekeeping. -Meaning the introduction of many bees in an environment can reduce the number of natural pollinators in the long run.


Eggs are commonly used in bagel dough, as with much other bread. So you never really know when eggs are present in a bagel unless you ask. Especially because eggs are usually not listed anywhere, as dairy is. -At least in shops or restaurants.

You must make sure your bagel is without eggs. The use of inhumane practices in the egg industry is rampant. Chickens are kept in small confinement, manipulated to lay more eggs and male offspring are outright blended alive.

Read the ingredients list or ask before purchase. If you purchase at a grocery store, look at both the ingredients and possible cross-contamination with eggs.


Dairy is yet another thing to avoid. This refers to products such as milk, butter, and cheese. It’s actually not typically present in the bagel itself. Some recipes might have milk or something similar, but it’s not the norm.

However, dairy products such as butter or cream cheese are popular bagel spreads. So it’s not a good idea to buy bagels with spreads. Unless you specifically know it’s made without dairy. Because most of the spreads are dairy.

The reason dairy is considered non-vegan is similar to the one of chickens. Cows are kept in confinement and usually in tiny areas.

Types Of Bagels

One of the reasons bagels are so popular is that they are customizable. They come in many different variations. That’s also the reason it’s tough to give a definite answer as to whether or not bagels are vegan.

Both the texture, look, and recipes are wildly different throughout the world. Although there are 4 major kinds of bagels. These are the most popular kinds in the USA. Some more popular than others -while some are more popular in certain areas.

These are the main types of bagels you will find kind. Although there are way more.

  • Montreal style
  • New York style
  • East Coast style
  • St. Louis style

As previously said, there are many more. These are the most popular, and the ones you will find at coffee and bagels shops. Families and individual restaurants like to have their own take at them, so it’s not always the same.

So while the ingredients might be generally vegan, it’s not always the case. However, this does beg the question as to which bagels are vegan.

Which Bagels Are Vegan

which bagels are vegan

So there are 4 major bagel types of concern. They are typically made a certain way to some extent. Although I need to stress that it’s not always the same, some might use different ingredients or methods. -This is simply the traditional method and recipes of the bagel.

Montreal Style Bagel

The Montreal bagel is considered one of the most popular ones. It’s especially enjoyed in North America. Although it has made its way into almost all parts of the US and even the world.

There are a few issues with Montreal style bagels in the vegan diet. This specific bagel is traditionally boiled in honey-sweetened water, with no salt added. That’s an issue as honey is not vegan.

Honey is considered non-vegan as it’s seen as animal exploitation. While beekeeping is not the most inhumane thing, it’s not entirely cruelty-free. In addition to its environmental impact.

The Montreal Style bagel is also traditionally made with eggs. So this type of bagel is not traditionally vegan -and it is tough to make vegan due to both honey and eggs.

Non-Vegan Ingredients In Montreal Style Bagels

  • Honey
  • Eggs

This one is especially non-vegan as it’s hard to replace the ingredients. Without the honey, it’s not really a Montreal Style bagel anymore.

New York Style Bagel

Yet another wildly popular bagel. The New York Style bagel is considered by many as the best bagel out there. Some believe it’s due to the high quality of water in New York. That makes a big difference as bagels are boiled in water.

So can vegans eat this famous bagel? Well, it’s actually much better than the Montreal in regards to the vegan diet. The major differences are that the New York kind is boiled with salt and without honey.

That’s great as it means you avoid honey. It might be less sweet, but the salt it’s boiled adds a lot of flavors. Although there’s still one major issue. Yes, the New York Style bagel contains eggs.

However, replacing eggs is easy. There are many vegan options for egg replacers available everywhere, like on Amazon. So you can easily make it yourself. It also means that many companies make delicious vegan bagels.

Non-Vegan Ingredients in New York Style Bagel

  • Eggs

That’s it. You can easily find a vegan version of this bagel. Restaurants and coffee shops often have vegan options of this kind, and there are plenty of vegan recipes.

East Coast Style Bagel

This style of bagel is both very different yet somewhat similar to the others. The East Coast Style bagel can be made using the same methods as the others. Meaning you can get them with or without honey and salt.

The difference that makes it so unique is that this kind of bagel uses sourdough. It’s actually quite delicious if you manage to find a vegan option. Although you might be thinking, so is sourdough vegan?

This sourdough is made with wild yeast, which is a type of fungus. So it’s entirely vegan, and so is the process to make sourdough. One issue here is that they often contain eggs, although they don’t have to. So it shouldn’t be that much of a problem to find a vegan version. -Or better yet a vegan recipe.

Non-Vegan Ingredients in East Coast Style Bagel

  • Eggs

Again, this is easy to replace. Some companies even use egg replacers simply because it’s cheaper. So I doubt you will have trouble finding a vegan version, or recipe.

St. Louis Style Bagel

This particular bagel is actually not different in method than the others. It’s more of a way of slicing your bagel. Although, I still wanted to keep this on the list. Because it’s often referred to as a kind of bagel.

So what’s this slicing all about? Well, it’s typically sliced vertically into 8 pieces. Meaning it’s not really suitable for a sandwich. In fact, it’s made like this to make room for more spreading. These spreads are usually either butter, cream cheese or similar.

Thus, the bagel is not really the problem here. The bagel itself can contain eggs or honey, but the filling is worse. You need to avoid the regular bagel spreads, which are almost always non-vegan. -Also, making sure neither eggs or dairy is present.

Non-Vegan Ingredients In St. Louis Style Bagel

  • Honey
  • Eggs
  • Cream Cheese
  • Butter

It’s not really a given whether or not it has honey and eggs. So it depends on the bakers’ preferences. So ask before purchase to sure if it’s vegan or not.

Vegan Bagels At Donkin’ Donuts

Donkin’ Donuts is probably one of the most popular coffee chains. Known for their donuts, but their bagels are just as good. In fact, their bagels are much better, as none of their donuts are vegan. -Read more about Vegan Donuts Here.

So here are the vegan bagel options at Donkin’ Donuts.

  • Cinnamon Raisin Bagel
  • Sesame Bagel
  • Everything Bagel
  • Multigrain Bagel
  • Plain Bagel

These bagels are all entirely vegan by default. Although that’s only the bagel itself, which means the filling isn’t always. In fact, it’s mostly not. Avoid any spreads with dairy and other non-vegan ingredients.

Vegan Bagels At Thomas’

Thomas’ is a bakery brand. They are famous for their English muffins, and more importantly, bagels. It might be recognized for its English muffins, but it’s actually a 100% US-owned company. In fact, it’s part of one of the largest baking companies.

So you have definitely heard of these delicious bagels somewhere. -And probably even tried them yourself, but are Thomas’ bagels vegan?

Luckily, there are plenty of vegan bagels options, and some of them are quite good. Here are the vegan bagel options at Thomas.

  • 100% Whole Wheat
  • Plain
  • Plain, Whole Grain
  • Cinnamon Swirl
  • Cinnamon Raisin
  • Everything
  • Onion

These are the vegan options Thomas’ offers. They are available in many stores throughout the US, so you can easily find and try these. I enjoy the Plain with whole-grain myself.


So there you have it. Bagels are not traditionally vegan, as most of them have either eggs or honey. However, it’s rather easy to find bagels without both honey or eggs. Honey is only present in some of the variations as Montreal bagels, so simply choose the New York Style instead. That kind is made entirely without honey. Although it’s often with eggs, so buy with caution. Ask in the store or read the ingredients list before purchase. -You will definitely find a vegan bagel option that’s just as good as the regular kind.

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