A couple of weeks ago, Isla Vista’s own beloved Bagel Cafe held its 29th Anniversary Annual Sale, during which prices bumped down to where they were when the restaurant opened in 1991. The tradition dates back to October 2016, when Bagel Cafe had a series of sales to celebrate its 25th anniversary here in I.V. Throughout the month of October, there were special deals on menu items, from bagels to coffee to melts, turning back the clock to a time when a 12-ounce cup of coffee only cost 95¢.
This year, the sale was condensed into a week-long extravaganza, Oct. 12-16, with every day featuring a different section of the menu: bagels with cream cheese, eggles, coffee, lox bagels and, finally, melts. I caught the tail end of the sale, deciding to go get some fresh air as I walked from my apartment in I.V. to the classic cafe on Trigo Road, only two streets up from the beach. As usual, the cafe was busy with a line out the door, but everyone was mindful to stay six feet apart both in line and while waiting for their bagels. A bright, colorful sign announced the sale, attracting students and residents alike who were passing by on the street.
After waiting in line, I ordered an everything bagel with cream cheese and lox, only $4.50 instead of the usual $8.63 it would be if you ordered online. The Bagel Cafe’s close proximity to park picnic tables made it super easy for me to sit and enjoy my fresh, delicious bagel in the warm Santa Barbara early afternoon. While simple, the bagel was super high quality, toasted to perfection, with the sweet cream cheese and smoky salmon creating a lovely pallet of flavor. I saw others, friends and families alike, doing the same as me and enjoying the beautiful day with their delicious (and cheap!) breakfast.
The next day I was in the mood for a cheesy, bready lunch, and once again I found myself at Bagel Cafe — this time for a Deluxe Melt for only $3.95 (vs. $7.77 at normal price), containing an everything bagel, sun-dried tomato cream cheese, tomato, onion, lemon pepper and melted cheddar cheese. The sharp cheddar contrasted perfectly with the fresh burst of tomato, the slightly peppery crunch of the onions and savory cream cheese; a treat anyone would enjoy. I went home satisfied and full of the energy desperately needed to finish up homework.
Bagel Cafe has kept up this anniversary sale to appreciate and celebrate the community here in I.V. where it has made its home for 29 years. It’s a staple, ever-popular and ever delicious; a place where people have come to enjoy Santa Barbara in its finest form, with good people, good food and great weather. I definitely recommend I.V. Bagel Cafe not just during its 1991 sale, but year-round as well. Keep an eye on the Bagel Cafe’s Facebook page for announcements and potential surprise sales, as well as next year’s annual 1991 Sale.