THE shortlist

Manhattan Bakery, 31 Seven Sisters Road, N7; tel 0171-263 9007. Bakes fresh batches each day. Has sesame, poppy seed and onion and black rye bagels. Prices from 16p for a plain bagel to pounds 1.15 for smoked salmon and cream cheese. Open Mon-Thurs and Sun 7am-11pm, Fri and Sat 24 hours.

Broadway Bagel Bakery, 394 Edgware Rd, W2 and 92 Cricklewood Broadway; tel 0171-723 4481. Sells fresh bagels daily, with salami, turkey, smoked salmon and cream cheese fillings. Prices from 15-20p for plain varieties, 85p-pounds 1.15 for filled.

Bagel Express, 62 Fleet St; tel 0171-353 0761 (with branches in Argyll St, St James's Park, High Holborn, Ludgate Circus, Broadgate Circle). Sells sixflavours each week, rotating from range of 25. Plain 20p each. Hot fillings include tuna melt, ham and cheese, turkey and cheese from pounds 1.60, cream cheese and other fillings from 85p. Open Mon-Fri 7.30am- 4pm. Argyll St, Sat 10am-5pm.

Bagel King Ltd, 280 Walworth Rd; tel 0171-277 0350. Bakes own bagels, from plain to cinnamon and raisin. Sells fillings like chicken masala and curried chicken, along with speciality pizza bagel, topped with tomato and mozzarella for pounds 1.20. Prices from pounds 1 for 8 bagels. Open 24 hours a day, 7days a week.

Ridley's Bagel Bakery, 13-15 Ridley Rd, E8; tel 0171-923 0666. Has its own factory and sells the basic type plus blueberry, granary and garlic varieties. The shop has a deli counter where customers make their own choice. Prices at 12-15p each for unfilled varieties. Filled bagels start at 65p. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Stenhouse, 211-215 Coatsworth Rd, Gateshead; tel 0191 477 2001. Traditional Jewish bakery making superb fresh boiled and baked bagels. So good all you need to buy is plain: 22p each. Open 9.30am-1.30pm, Sundays only.

MH Bakers, 33-35 Leicester Rd, Salford 7; tel 0161 792 4841. Customers buy bagels plain and fill them with anything they can think of: 18p each. Open Sun 7.30am-1pm, Mon-Thurs 7.30am-6pm, Fri 7.30am-1pm in winter, 2pm in summer.

Parmenters, 58 High Street, Oxford; tel 01865 723152. Toasted with butter and jam or bursting with fillings like turkey, bacon, tomato and cheddar in poppy seed, sesame seed or onion varieties. Prices from 50p. Open Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm, Sat 8.30am-6pm, Sun 9.15am-6pm.

Zeldas, Kenton Park shopping centre, Gosforth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne; tel 0191 213 0013. Kosher delicatessen selling plain, poppy seed, sesame, onion, garlic and cinnamon and raisin bagels. 25p each. Closed Mon and Sat.

Swiss Cottage Bakery, 111 Rectory Lane, Prestwich, Manchester; tel 0161 798 0897. Sells host of types from sesame to cinnamon plus unusual wholemeal and rye bagels at 23p. Open Tues-Thu 8.30am-5pm, Fri 7.30am- 2.30pm, Sun 7.30am-2pm. Closed Monday and Saturday.