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BEST BAGELS IN NYC

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  • BRIAN SCHWARTZ Apr 6, 2005 11:04 PM

What does everyone reccomend for the best bagels in NYC? Thanks

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  1. I swear by Ess-a-Bagel (21st & 1st or 50th & 3rd), but they are admittedly the largest, densest bagels on earth. If you want a less carb-full bagel, you may want to look for other recommendations.

    I love a hot onion or garlic bagel with a big smear of salmon spread (not cream cheese). Otherwise, it's a plain bagel with scallion cream cheese for me.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Steph

      I whole heartedly agree. Ess-a is the place to get a truly authentic bagel, with the 21st slightly better than the 50th street.

    2. David's on 19th and 1st - the perfect bagel.

      2 Replies
      1. re: LaFemme

        Another David's is on 1st just south of 14th. Or is it different?

        1. re: LaFemme

          David's Flagels are the best!!!!!!

        2. 1) If you must stay in Manhattan, go to Murray's bagels in the Village.

          2) If you really want a traditional, small bagel, try Brooklyn (ask on the Outer Borough boards--i like Bagel Hole, but there are others).

          2 Replies
          1. re: Dave

            Murray's bagels are overpriced. Try Bob's Bagels on University between 9th and 10th.

            1. re: Dave

              I agree with your recommendations. I like Murray's in Manhattan. But the absolute best bagels I've had so far are in Brooklyn at Bagel Hole on Coney Island Avenue, near Avenue J. There is also a Bagel Hole in Park Slope but the CIA location is better.

            2. Absolute Bagels (Broadway and 108).

              1. I second absolute bagels. The best egg bagels.

                1. Based on recommnedations here, I did a taste test this weekend by eating Ess-a (53rd and 1st) and Tal (51st and 3rd) bagels in the same morning. I had several family members do this as well with bagels I carried out. Both are excellent. We all agreed that Ess-a is the ultimate in a doughy, chewy bagel, while Tal had a better crust. I preferred Tal because crust in a bread is the be all and end all for me. Most leaned towards Ess-a because they seek chewiness in a bagel.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jjo

                    A Bagel has to be dense, solid and Crusty. If you like a Chewy bagel, get a donut.
                    New York Bagels used to be a complete meal by itself. I love my cement donut.
                    I leave close to NYC and I used to get my bagel via Mail from NYC-Manhattan.
                    One more time, if you want it chewy bagel, get a donut.

                  2. I used to really really like the bagels at Moishes when they had a branch on Houston a few doors down from Russ & Daughters. They were the ultimate chewy bagel of my youth, your jaw hurt after eating one. Moishes on 2nd ave is respectable, but not what I remember from Moishes's Houston St..

                    In the west village I actually like Bagel Buffet at 6th Ave above 8th street for a very respectable bagel. Not as chewy as I'd like, but still quite good.

                    1. I agree with Davy Bagel Buffet is an unsung establishment. Try their mexican fare.

                      1. h an h upper east side. better than the uws h nd h

                        1. Daniel's Bagels on 38 St./3 Ave.
                          Murray's Bagels (although they're getting puffier now)
                          Bagelry in the 20s/3 Ave.

                          Don't care for Tal's, Au Bon Pain or Pick-a-Bagel

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: thesu

                            Just had Daniel's. Very good plain bagel. Not quite Ess-A. But tasted more authentic (bagel, not roll) than most others.

                            1. re: thesu

                              Ditto to Daniel's at 38 St and 3 Ave.

                              It does taste different than the typical giant bread donut that is called a bagel. Whether this is authentic or not, they do something different.

                            2. Murray's (when they're fresh...they're not always fresh).

                              1. H & H!

                                1. Daniels Bagels on 3rd and 38th are the best!

                                  1. it begins and ends with Bagel Bobs on University and 10th

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: ricky7

                                      Agreed

                                      1. re: ricky7

                                        LOVE LOVE Bagel Bobs!

                                        Used to love H&H but they are too pricey.

                                        WON
                                        http://whatsonmyplate.wordpress.com

                                        1. re: ricky7

                                          The Bagel Bob's on the UES is also awesome...5 years up there before I moved to Brooklyn and I miss those guys and their bacon,egg and cheeses like crazy.

                                        2. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I love Times Square Hot Bagels. It's the last outpost of Columbia Hot Bagels left. Good ratio of chew to crusty exterior. Great spreads, especially the olive and pimento, and if I'm feeling in a sweeter mood the walnut and raisin cream cheese is delicious. Although, I recently tried Murray's on 8th Ave and 23rd St, and I have to say they are really really good. Also, Tal Bagels is excellent, as someone mentioned above, they have the right crust at Tal.

                                          1. Kossar's Bialy's on Grand and Essex. No contest. And the counter people are so rude. It's awesome.

                                            1. Just wondering. Last year when we were i NYC we went to Murray's in the Village. My husband stood in line and ordered while a stayed outside. When he came out and game me my bagel it was cold, or at least not warmed. Is this normal? I just assumed they gave it to you warmed. Is it necessary to order it toasted?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Pate

                                                If you get a warm bagel it means that it is freshly baked. Most real NY bagel shops will absolutely not toast a bagel, and don't even have a toaster. If you're in a bagel shop that makes their own bagels (actually same thing in a pizza place that sells slices) a question you'll hear asked a lot is, "What's warm?"

                                              2. Murray's has the best bagel I have tried.

                                                Also, they absolutely will not toast, which I find refreshing. Anyone who toasts a fresh bagel is outta their mind.

                                                1. TAL BAGELS!!!!! They're on 54th and 1st... not TOO big like ess-a-bagel. Right size, crunchy (a little) on the outside, nice and chewy on the inside. They deliver before you can even hang up the phone! Not as sweet as H&H, which is a good thing. Great whitefish salad and lox spread, too. A real, non-overhyped bagel ....

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: foodie66

                                                    I have been to Tal 3 times and they have yet to get my order correct. Maybe I am just unlucky but them seem so disorganized behind the counter.

                                                  2. To me, Ess-a-bagels are what I remember bagels tasting like from my visits to NYC from NJ in my youth. There used to be a place as soon as you got off NJT (no idea what it was called).

                                                    There is also a place near Peter Cooper Village that is very good. I can't remember if that is just the other branch of Ess-a or what.

                                                    I also think Times Square Bagels are very good. I used to work in the MTV building next door and would go there all the time. One of those "secret" spots that are actually good for being in Times Square (I'd also put BXL in that group).

                                                    I had Tals once and did not like them at all. I'd really need to try them again though to be fair. And I hear they are much better when you eat them as soon as you buy them (I took them all home to Inwood). They seemed more bready style, which I don't really like.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Cuse

                                                      I agree with the Times Square Bagels... the sizes are good and they really pound the cream cheese and the line is generally out the door for the literal hole-in-the-wall! I really like their bagels.

                                                    2. All this talk of bagels and only one H&H reference? That seems unlikely. H&H and Ess-a-Bagel get my votes.

                                                      1. Overheard a conversation in crowded midtown avenue; something like "best bagel around here . . . Jumbo, 2nd and 56th." I tried it--great! Open 24 hours; far superior to H&H & Ess a Bagel in my book (which holds that both are criminally overrated). Also, if you're in Middle Village, Queens, try "Hot Bagels" at Metropolitan and 79th st.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: bake

                                                          The place is called jumbo? Are their bagels oversized? :-)

                                                          1. re: Pan

                                                            Not oversized . . . the same is simply surreal . . . or maybe Dada-ist.

                                                        2. Murray's just opened up a new outpost called Leo's in the Financial District. $1.00 per bagel. Not bad, but it gets a bit pricey once you start adding fillings. They're at 3 Hanover Square at Stone Street and can be found on menupages.com. I don't think their website is up and running just yet. I work down there on the 3rd shift and pick up a few hot bagels on the way home. Most tasty!

                                                          1. Hudson Bagels, Hudson between Christopher and 10th are the very best. And I love their whitefish salad.

                                                            1. I grew up on the Upper West side 3 blocks from Zabars. I loved their bagels especially around St. Patrick's Day because they added green food coloring to the dough. But, recently I heard they got their bagels from H&H. I could have sworn that Zabars made their own. Anyone know?

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: saltnseltzer4me

                                                                I'd be surprised if Zabar's were really H&H, since I find Zabar's markedly inferior. I do agree, though, that H&H are too sweet; it's been a while since I've had a great NYC bagel. (Absolute, Ok). Probably, Kossat's bialy was the last time, but it's been a while since I got down there.

                                                                1. re: woodside1

                                                                  Zabar's definitely gets their bagels from H&H.

                                                              2. Bagelry in Murray Hill!
                                                                They have the most amazing whole-wheat everything flagels.
                                                                Yum

                                                                1. A good bagel bakery MUST boil the bagels before baking them. Too many places steam the bagel or have some other short cut so they end up being bread rings like you get in Dunkin Donuts. My favorite is Esa Bagel!! Many other great bagels in NYC too.

                                                                  1. Do these places all have tables to eat in: Davids, Tals, Ess, Murrays and Bobs?

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: greenwalter

                                                                      Tal Bagels along 1st Ave and 50th, as well as both Ess-a-bagel sites at 1st/21st St and 3rd Ave/50th, have tables to eat in.

                                                                      1. re: RCC

                                                                        Does anyone know if the Ess-a-bagel at 3rd Ave/50th serves acceptable coffee, or whether it's okay to bring it in from elsewhere if you are eating in?

                                                                        1. re: dolcevita_sf

                                                                          The coffee is good and very hot if you drink it black like I do.

                                                                          1. re: Motosport

                                                                            I do in fact drink my coffee black. Thanks for the reply!

                                                                            My husband is more of a cappucino guy. For which I assume we'll have go elsewhere. Any recommendations for something in the general area? (We're staying near 64th/3rd.)

                                                                    2. Best bagels in NYC are at Bergen Bagels in Park Slope - hands down. I live in Manhattan and reluctantly admit that.

                                                                      In Manhattan, IMO the best bagels are David's Bagels on 14th and 1st. If you go on a weekend morning, they are always hot and delicious. Their spreads are also top notch as well.

                                                                      Someone else mentioned Jumbo Bagels on 55th and 2nd. Those are delicious as well.

                                                                      I'd chose these two over Ess-a and H&H (which aren't shabby).

                                                                      Nothing wrong with Pick-a-Bagel either if that's closest to you.

                                                                      1. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Russ and Daughters. It's usually discussed in the same breath as Ess-a-Bagel. CDB also made a good recommendation with Bergen Bagels.

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: solidgold

                                                                          Russ & Daughters' bagels are fine traditional, chewy bagels, totally unlike Ess-a-Bagels which, in my opinion are way too thick and bready. If you make a sandwich with one you practically have to unhinge your jaw to open your mouth wide enough.

                                                                          1. re: City Kid

                                                                            I may be mistaken but: I think Kossar's Bialy's makes the bagels for Russ & Daughter. Kossar's does have the best Bialy's in town IMHO!

                                                                            1. re: Motosport

                                                                              When I asked at Russ & Daughter about the bagels, I was told that they were made in Brooklyn for them. Don't know though if Kossar's makes bagels in Brooklyn.

                                                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                For what it is worth, the last time I was at Kossar's in the wee hours there were several bags with "Russ &" written on them.

                                                                                1. re: Motosport

                                                                                  Sounds like proof to me!

                                                                        2. This morning I did a definitive taste test of my top two best bagel places in Manhattan. Esa Bagel on 3rd Ave and Tal Bagel on 1st Ave.
                                                                          Granted I have not been to them all and I am sure there are others that will compete favorably.
                                                                          I bought the same bagel at each place this morning 6:45 ish for my drive back to the Eastern end of the LIE.
                                                                          I like these two places because they have great bagels and you can get them with lox, cream cheese etc.. Unlike pure bagel bakeries like H&H.
                                                                          I kept it simple: Garlic bagel with butter to go. Nothing fancy.
                                                                          Esa bagel $1.30 bigger and the crust was a bit crispier. Nice and chewy inside. The winner.
                                                                          Tal Bagel $1.40 cost more, not as big as Esa and not as crispy on the outside.
                                                                          So, even though both were fabulous bagels I would have to say Esa Bagel is the winner.
                                                                          The only negative comment (from my lovely spouse) about Esa is "Too big, I can't eat all that!"

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Motosport

                                                                            I'm with your wife about Ess-A-Bagel -- way too big for my taste. They also remind me of stale sandwich rolls.

                                                                            1. re: Motosport

                                                                              Wow, "definitive" may be fighting words for some on this board :)...Essa's bulk puts it out of the running for me. The only way I have eaten them is by scooping out half the pulp.

                                                                            2. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/231140

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                Just curious: why did you bring back this thread (before you posted, last post was July 2009) just to link it to an even older thread (last post Jan 2007)?

                                                                                1. re: therenowtoo

                                                                                  My recent bagel obsession. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/653172

                                                                              2. H & H, crisp exterior with a dense interior. Perfect! I like the pumpernickel, poppy seed with tons of poppy seeds and the everthing, especially.

                                                                                1. I love Ess a Bagel. Their blueberry and strawberry cream cheeses are amazing too.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: steakrules85

                                                                                    http://www.alwayshungryny.com/thought...

                                                                                  2. IMHO, ess-a- bagel's are way, way too big - I like russ and daughters and occasionally murrays. however, I do love ess-a-bagel's scallion cream cheese.

                                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: sourgirl

                                                                                      So, share one or eat half and save half for tomorrow.

                                                                                      1. re: Motosport

                                                                                        no, it's not that, I just find them way too doughy.

                                                                                        1. re: sourgirl

                                                                                          the crust to interior dough proportion is off in the ess-a-bagel

                                                                                          1. re: serious

                                                                                            any of you bagel lovers know the recipe for tals vegetable tofu spread

                                                                                      2. re: sourgirl

                                                                                        my favorite bagels are at kossar's bialys

                                                                                        1. re: daffyduck

                                                                                          Kossar's rocks! Fabulous bialys and great bagels. I prefer Esa A Bagel but Kassar's makes a nice bagel too.

                                                                                          1. re: daffyduck

                                                                                            and they are only steps away from Donut Plant!! Bialys and Donuts, a nice healthy balanced meal.

                                                                                          2. re: sourgirl

                                                                                            i believe russ and daughter's bagels are delivered from H&H (or another store)?

                                                                                            1. re: daffyduck

                                                                                              FYI, from upthread: "For what it is worth, the last time I was at Kossar's in the wee hours there were several bags with "Russ &" written on them."

                                                                                              In any case definitely NOT H&H, which IMO is a good thing!

                                                                                              1. re: City Kid

                                                                                                I have seen the same thing at Kossar's. R&D has great smoked fish, cream cheeses and much more but they don't make their own bagels.

                                                                                                1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                  Since the original question (back in 2005) was for the best bagels in NYC, I I'm justified in putting in a good word for the Bagel Hole in Park Slope, making traditional boiled, not-sweet, bagels for about 20 years now. They're on 7th Ave. between 12th and 13th St., a quick walk from the 7th Ave. F/G stop.