Working within walking distance of a bagel store institution in Houston, Adam Faust’s advertising and branding agency office can’t get enough of the city’s hidden mom-and-pop shop:

“Gabe eats there for breakfast and lunch regularly. It’s within walking distance from our office. I was the last one to pay The Hot Bagel Shop a visit. Yesterday, I decided to pick up some for the office. It went something like this:”

Screen shot of image shared on Faust’s post

RELATED: These may be the best BBQ joints in Houston

Faust isn’t quite sure what took him so long to make it to Hot Bagel Shop, further noting how “spectacularly unremarkable” and “clumsily” decorated the store was:

They haven’t given a second thought about their brand, their colors, their story or anything else we deem critical to an organization’s success. Furthermore, who even eats bagels anymore? Bagels are doughy devils! I thought we ate gluten-free frittata bites now?

But with a line out the door, there is clearly more to Houstonians’ appetites than allure or flashy advertising.

Screen shot of image shared on Faust’s post

According to The Hot Bagel Shop’s website, the store’s philosophy is based on quality and hasn’t changed in over 30 years:

“Our bagels are made fresh everyday, never frozen. We strive for freshness!”

With everything from kolaches and sandwiches in addition to “the freshest bagels in Houston,” The Hot Bagel Shop also serves cream cheese made from scratch, and lunch is available all day.

Screen shot of image from The Hot Bagel Shop’s website

According to Faust, the advertising expert in this case, there are three reasons The Hot Bagel Shop is as successful as it is, even though many Houstonians have never heard of this bagel gem:


“1. Branding means bupkis if your product is a bummer (Crystal Pepsi); 2. Everyone loves a hole-in-the-wall restaurant; 3. A brand is more than a sign or a logo.”

“The Hot Bagel Shop’s brand is no brand,” he adds. “That’s what everyone loves about it; that’s what I love about it.”

Open daily until 2:00 p.m., visit The Hot Bagel Shop at their new location, 2015 South Shepherd Drive, Suite 900, Houston, Tex., 77019, or give them a call at 713-520-0340.

Screen shot of Google maps
Screen shot of The Hot Bagel Shop’s website

RELATED: After a weird start in Houston, Tacodeli may be better off in Austin


Stories You Might Like