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any bagel that's comparable to H&H bagels?
I love H&H bagels but it's just too far.

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    1. re: margaret

      that's right..=)
      midtown west, east village area please.

      1. re: mac

        Not much of note in midtown west besides H&H. You might try Ess-A-Bagel on 21st and 1st, though the bagels are very different ((much denser) than H&H. Also, my favorite bagel in the city is from Murray's, which has branches at 22nd at 8th, and 13th at 6th.

        1. re: a&w

          hot out of the oven onion bagel from ess-a-bagel, 21st and first,= dinner for four...mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

        2. re: mac

          If you are in the east village, you must go to David's on 14th & 1st.

          I moved from the EV to Hell's Kitchen and I cannot really find a decent bagel near me.

          1. re: CDB

            Everyone has different preferences when it comes to bagels it seems. I didn't like H&H the one time I tried them. Like most of the bad bagels I've tried around the city, they were too bready rather than doughy.

            I've been trying to find good bagels in midtown. I'd heard recommendations for Pick-a-Bagel, one of which is near me. But I thought they were pretty bad, also bready. Then I tried Times Square Hot Bagels on w. 44th and broadway and was super surprised to find that they are rather decent - fairly doughy like I like 'em.

            1. re: allkindsoffood

              I'm not such a fan of H&H -- or for that matter Ess-A-Bagel. I prefer Murray's...

              1. re: allkindsoffood

                Yes! Times Square Hot Bagels is Columbia Bagels. (See my post below.)

              2. re: CDB

                I'm partial to H&H myself. There is one in Hell's Kitchen on 46th right by the river.

                1. re: chris

                  too far for me...im in the 50s by 9th...im stuck with either Pick a Bagel on 57th & 7th or Biggie Bagel on 57th & 10th.

                  NOt the best, but not terrible either

                2. re: CDB

                  I know. :( I live in the Kitchen as well and spent my first year there in denial that there weren't good bagels - have now just come to accept it. No one on 9th knows how to toast a bagel, it's burnt and flattened city.
                  Must be especially hard for you coming from the EV!

            2. Have you tried TAL on the Eastside?

              1 Reply
              1. help! I am a New Yorker living in Mississippi -- nobody here knows nothin' about bagels. I have tried to make at home but they shrivel while baking. I have heard that high-gluten flour is the key. Can you advise? thanks!

                2 Replies
                1. re: dchessin

                  Don't waste your time. Contact your old NYC favorite and have them air out 1 or 2 dozen. They freeze very well for a few months if stored right. Just let them thaw, reheat in a 300 degree oven, and kvell. What the heck, it's only money.

                  1. re: pizzafreak

                    You're right...I need to just do it. I appreciate the advice!

                2. H&H is overrated. Absolute is absolutely the best!

                  1. I also live in HK and agree that nothing comes close to my fave, which is Murray's. I'll suck it up and head to Bagel Stix (formerly Pick a Bagel) every once in a while.

                    1. absolute bagels on the far upper west side and murray's down in chelsea and the village are the two best bagels i've had in manhattan. if you're willing to travel to brooklyn, i really like bagel hole in park slope and bagel spot in borough park - my two favorites in the entire city.

                      1. OK, Columbia Bagels on 110th St and Bway used to have some of NYC's best bagels (Eli Zabar used to sell them at Zabar's, as well as Murray's Sturgeon Shop and Barney Greengrass, not sure if that's still the case), and they were consistently ranked up there in Top Tens all over the city from all kinds of publications. And then, just like *that* they were gone. I lamented the fact they closed down with no information when Columbia decided to demolish the site and put up another dorm on its remains...HOWEVER, the story isn't finished...

                        I used to work in Times Sq, and avoided most of the "delis" in the area as a matter of course, but one day I had a real craving for a bagel, any kind of bagel, and stopped at the bagel shop on 44th Street across from what's now the Nokia Theater. I had an eerie feeling, the menu looked familiar - the format, the items offered, the fonts even - they had T shirts and the design was also kind of familiar...and I ordered a poppy seed bagel with olive & pimento cream cheese, and THAT was definitely familiar too. Turns out Columbia Bagels is NOT gone, they're there on 44th St. I think they're called Times Square Bagels, or Midtown Bagels. You could easily pass by the place for years like I did and never know what you're missing, it's very innocuous. But GREAT bagels, they haven't changed a bit.

                        So all you Hell's Kitcheners listen up! 44th Street and Broadway, right next to Ollie's, you'll find some of NYC's best but forgotten bagels. Don't ask them to toast them, (a) they don't have a toaster, and (b) they're good enough that you don't have to anyway.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: ballulah

                          I remember Columbia Bagels well, and agree with you about their great taste. Thanks for the heads up. Next time in NYC that's where I go to bring some back with me. Why is it that LA bagels suck?

                          1. re: pizzafreak

                            Everyone says it's the NY water. But if that's the case, then why does the pizza outside of NY mostly suck as well?

                          2. re: ballulah

                            Columbia Bagels is much missed. As also is the gone but not forgotten Westside Supermarket at the same site. But, you wrongly malign Columbia U when you say "Columbia decided to demolish the site and put up another dorm ...." The site was/is not owned by Columbia and the new building consists of more of those expensive condos that dot the stretch of Broadway between 96th and 110th.

                            Thanks for the heads-up on CB at Times Square. Will try to visit the next time I gather enough courage to venture onto Times Square!

                            1. re: gumnaam

                              If you have not been in NYC for some time, and still remember Times Square, especially 42nd st as full of porn shops, hookers and other unsavory things, it has gone thru a complete rennaisance. It's safe, crowded and clean. On 44th W of bway is Carmines (Ital red sauce) and Ollies (NY style low end chinese), both huge portion foodie favorites as well as tourists, and 9th Ave has too many ethnic restaurants to mention.

                              1. re: pizzafreak

                                I think the courage gumnaam might be trying to muster is to brave the throngs of tourists and screaming teens in front of TRL around the corner! Haha. Am I right? I think that's faaaaaar worse than the hookers and porn shops of yore! I used to work right there on 44th, and everyday I had to muster the courage to go to work!

                                Sorry to have wrongfully maligned Columbia, gumnaam! I wasn't looking carefully enough at what sprang up from the ashes of Columbia Bagels AND yes, Westside Supermarket (RIP!!). However, I would place betting money on the fact that even if there are condos on the spot, Columbia owns the land. I have to say, even though I loved them, I never forgave Westside Supermarket for taking over the Marlin when they expanded, so maybe that's a little bit of karma, eh?

                                1. re: ballulah

                                  Yep. It's those throngs of tourists and teens that scare the beejesus out of me!

                                  Columbia does not, to the best of my knowledge, own the land under the condo. If they did, believe me, they would build faculty residences there. Even the university is priced out of the condo market these days.

                                  But, this is getting off topic. H&H, IMHO, has become an enterprise these days and you can find their branded bagels everywhere. In all honesty, I can't remember the last time I bought a bagel at their store but will definitely give them another shot. Meanwhile, the place to go is Absolute Bagels, fresh and warm every morning. Bliss!