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Best bagels in Tristate area?

A small backstory...on coming out of Pepe's many years ago, my father announced to the waiting crowd: 'BEST pizza I've had in 76 years'.

I felt that way (although not 76 yet) after biting into a Bagelworks bagel. Bagelworks is at 65th and 1st Ave., I believe, in Manhattan and until then I had never felt rhapsodic about a bagel.

How to describe it...it's not doughy, although it's boiled. It's not too high, not too low, but just right. It's crunchy on the outside and delicious on the inside. The 'everything' is chock full of everything and my very favorite is the flat bagel.

On trying out yet another bagel (albeit stale, although I have frozen Bagelworks and they are still delish when eaten weeks later) this morning from a place on Rte. 119 in Greenburgh, and being sorely disappointed, I thought of this place!

If you haven't been to Bagelworks, please go! And, if you know of a bagel similar to theirs, or IOW from where is the best bagel you've ever had, I would greatly appreciate the info. TYIA.

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  1. best bagels: fair lawn, nj - corner of saddle river rd and morlot ave, 'hot bagels'.

    the lines out the door on the early weekend morning are ridiculously long. yes, they cook them the way they're supposed to be, and people travel from many other towns in bergen county for them.

    i lived in hoboken, and couldn't find places in hoboken or a few i tried in greenwich village that was anywhere near as good.

    and now for an interesting twist...i live 90 miles north of nyc now (near poughkeepsie), and this may sound sacreligious, but price chopper's salt bagels and other kinds are real good *for up here*. better than most (dutchess county) bagel shops' bagels, where dunkin donuts' bagels are considered ok by some (NOT me).

    however, whenever i go back to fair lawn (or relatives come up here), i grab a few bagels from 'hot bagels' for up here.

    8 Replies
    1. re: bob gaj

      Completely agree with HOT BAGELS in Fair Lawn, NJ. I grew up there and now live in NYC and still haven't found one that compares to it.

      1. re: bob gaj

        Yes! "Saddle River Road Bagels" are the best! There also used to be a good place on Cedar Lane in Teaneck but I haven't been there in about 15+ years.

        I live near Poughkeepsie now (New Paltz). I have my doubts but I'll try the Price Chopper... The Bakery in New Paltz isn't too bad although they're more "artisanal" than real bagels.

        1. re: edwinasam

          one word of warning (advice?) - their (price chopper in poughkeepsie) bagels ARE inconsistent. i've found them best when they're large and thus, more fluffy. if they're thinner/smaller, there's really no difference between theirs and anyone else's.

          is the bakery (new paltz) similar to something like panera?

          here's something funny - a pretty decent bagel place opened in fair lawn on fair lawn ave, near the train station, about 10-15 years ago. they're still there, and i used to get a bagel from them in the morning when i took the train down from there. well, a panera bread opened across the street (i think where goodman's hardware used to be). i just don't think that's 'the' place a panera should open up...

          1. re: bob gaj

            Since when is a bagel supposed to be fluffy? They're supposed to be chewy. and certainly not "light" or filled with air, which is what fluffy implies. According to my Webster's "fluffy" as an adjective means "soft and light." I can't imagine worse attributes for a bagel.

            1. re: ahermannblue

              ahermann, you are correct, and i agree with all you said. substitute your words for mine (about the variance in p.c.'s bagels), and it's right.

              why i'm not a professional food critic.

          2. re: edwinasam

            I think more factory produced par-baked, than "artisinal"

          3. re: bob gaj

            I grew up in the 60's in Fair Lawn and my friends and I lived at "Hot Bagels." Call me crazy but I still take regular Sunday morning bagel runs to this place with my sons from my home in Connecticut. No other bagel shop holds a candle to FL Bagels - each bagel weighs a ton, is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Best of all, there's never been a time when the bagels weren't "hot" out of the oven. They're constantly cranking out hot bagels. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about munching on one of their "everything" bagels with a little butter. Long live FL Bagels!

            1. re: schutz

              Used to sneak out of TJ Jr. Hi School at lunch and ran to Hot Bagels in the late 60's for 15 cent bagels. Still the best of all the places I've ever tried in tri-state area.

            1. re: gudeatz

              You must be from Ohio or Utah...

            2. Highland Park NJ. Raritan and 1st.

              1. Bagel Boss in Hicksville, made there. They send to their other stores, not sure if any of the other stores make them or just get them from Hicksville.


                1. On Long Island....Bagel Boss (any location) and I also loved Gabby's in Syosset/Woodbury....

                  1. the venerable utopia bagels, 19th avenue and utopia parkway in whitestone

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: byrd

                      Nothing like a timely reply (3 years later). Goldberg's Bagels & Deli 777 Central Park Avenue, Yonkers, NY - on the access road to Route 87 South has great bagels and the best flagels ever. A flagel (for those who may not know) is a flat bagel. Basically the crusty outside of an oversized bagel with much less of the doughy inside.

                    2. Wow, thanks all.

                      But nothing in Westchester. Fascinating!

                      1. Need to go out to Millburn NJ to Bagel Chateau, followed closely by Livingston Bagel.

                        Live in CT now and there is no such thing as a good bagel out here in Bruegger-land

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: jfood

                          Time for a Bagel, Morris Plains, NJ, across from the train station. Great texture, great crunch. The Black Russian bagel, a pumpernickel infused with garlic and covered with sesame seeds, is a paragon of bagelry. This one's a keeper.

                          1. re: jfood

                            Billy's bakery in fairfield makes great bagels. Not as good as my Brooklyn memories, but lightyears ahead of brueggers and einsteins.

                            1. re: jfood

                              I'm also in CT, and it was not until last week, after living in CT for nine years, that I discovered Ami's on Thomaston Avenue in Waterbury. It is not far off 84 or Rt. 8. Bagels from Ami's are nice and chewy on the outside. The place is tiny, only a small counter along the wall to sit. They sell about 14 types of bagels, varieties of cream cheese (including one from Israel that is certified something or another), and some fish salads/spreads (whitefish, etc.). It seems to have far reaching appeal--three young men from the nearby yeshiva were there (the bagels are kosher), what looked to be construction workers from a nearby site, and some business attired folks all patronized the place. After I had the bagel, I told my husband that we no longer had to have my sister bring up H&H bagels from the city or have his parents bring Bagel Boss bagels from LI.

                              1. re: jfood

                                Based on my experience, same situation in Upstate NY (Albany/Schenectady area). Sad to say, another Bruegger-land. LI was pretty weak on the bagel front when I lived there. I'm an Ess-a-bagel and Kossar's bialy girl.

                                1. re: jfood

                                  If you are near Danbury or Brookfield, CT, try Bagelman located at 3 locations. Awesome stuff.

                                2. Sammy's in Scarsdale. And,the people who run it are extremely nice, too.

                                  1. Im from LI but go to school in westchester. I would have to say nothing in westchester even compares to LI when it comes to bagels. If you're ever on LI try A&S Bagels on Hempstead Tpke in Franklin Square. Definitely the best i've ever had. Huge selection of different types of bagels and shmears.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: PBnBanana

                                      A&S has awesome bagel sandwhiches, my favorite one is the Wally. My favorite bagel there is the French Toast bagel. Awesome!! There website is http://www.aandsbagels.com/

                                      1. re: tamerlanenj

                                        I like Stein's and they have bagel flats. The whitefish salad from the Kosher Konner nearby is great

                                        1. re: kamn9089

                                          Alas, Steins is no more. There's a new bagel shop in the old storefront but I haven't tried it.

                                      2. It was Sonny's in South Orange, NJ - best bagels around. I've heard they had a fire and are no longer around. Next best is Bagel Chateau - very good bagels and great bagel sandwiches.

                                        1. Fanwood Bagels in Fanwood, NJ, on Martine Avenue, around the block from the train station. You'd never think in such a tiny town you'd find such good bagels but these are really quite respectable, made on the premises. I'm from Brooklyn originally, so I'm kind of biased about what constitutes a decent bagel.

                                          1. My vote:
                                            Let There be Bagels
                                            475 Port Washington Blvd,
                                            Port Washington

                                            Although I live in Westchester, I'm fortunate to have family in Port Washington so I can go to Let There Be Bagels.
                                            Very good bagels, but I have to admit ... their veg. tuna is amazing .. worth the trip alone!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: SLO

                                              Bagel Time in Port Washington on Manorhaven Blvd is way better than Let There Be Bagels, IMHO. They're bigger, more dense, and yummier.

                                            2. Super Duper Bagels in Livingston is probably one of the best places in the tristate area. Its a TINY place. No tables. If you go on a sunday morning be prepared to wait, but its well worth it. Just an FYI: they are closed on saturdays because the owner is very relgious.
                                              Livingston Bagels is OKAY. not the greatest. Super Duper is MUCH better!

                                              1. Having searched for more than three decades for a great bagel, I finally found it:

                                                The Bagel Bar & Deli
                                                1085 Bridgeport Avenue
                                                Milford CT 06460

                                                This is the bagel of my boyhood. Thin, crisp, hard, shiny crust. Soft enough, chewy crumb with fine texture (plus some large eyes). It's tough enough that you can spread cold, nonwhipped cream cheese or cold butter on it without tearing, but it's tender to the tooth when you bite into it. Firm without being dry, in other words.

                                                And this guy isn't into yuppie flavors. You got yer plain, poppy, sesame, onion, everything. You got yer egg bagel and pumpernickel bagel. And as a sop to the goyim you got a cinnamon raisin and some yucky green thing (spinach, I think). No sun-dried tomato or asiago cheese, tenks got.

                                                The last time I had bagels this good was before this guy was born. Support this young baker. These are GREAT bagels!

                                                1. Sounds good, dmargulis.

                                                  Have you been to Bagel Works on the East Side?

                                                  At least Milford is easier to navigate from White Plains than is 60th and First. At least I think it is.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: dolores

                                                    Dolores, have you tried Bagel Power yet? It's in the Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center near the five corners in Scarsdale. They are really, really, really good. Also others up here swear by the one in New Rochelle in the Wykagl shopping center - I don't know the name and haven't tried those yet but am planning to.

                                                  2. Yes, the bagel store near the camera store in Wykagyl does have good bagels, best of all my travels so far.

                                                    What else is in the Golden Horseshoe SC? Other than Central Ave., when I try to navigate Scarsdale I may as well be on Mars. Thanks for the reminder, laylag.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: dolores

                                                      I don't actually go there for anything else, Scarsdale isn't my stomping ground as I'm southeast of there but, there's a kosher grocery/butcher, an ice cream/candy store, a shoe store and other stuff. To give you a geographic point of reference, if you know where Balducci's is at the corner of Palmer and Wilmot or if you know where the Heathcote Tavern is, then you're right there. The shopping center is just a drop (500ft?) further down Wilmot directly across from the Scarsdale JCC.

                                                      1. re: dolores

                                                        Dolores, I tried the bagels in Wykagyl today and they were quite good. I think Bagel Power in Scarsdale is better though. Have to do a blind, side by side taste test one day.

                                                        1. re: laylag

                                                          Thanks for the update, laylag.I still haven't made it to Bagel Power.

                                                      2. Having moved from NYC 7 years ago, where H&H was a fixture in the bagel pantheon for us, we were very impressed with Bagels on Hudson in Croton. Continue to go there regularly, so we recommend them for Westchester (upper) folks.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Nancy C

                                                          I really don't think bagels on hudson can be mentioned in the same breath as h&h or any of the top nyc bagel joints. The dough is just way too sweet.

                                                        2. Dolores,

                                                          This is the "Tristate Region" board, and I thought I'd put in a word for Connecticut ;-) I haven't tried Bagel Works, but next time I'm in the City, I'll check it out and get back to you. All I know is that in the last twenty years of trying various recommended places in New York, Boston, and elsewhere, I've been sorely disappointed.

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: dmargulis

                                                            laylag, thanks, now I know where you mean. Don't know why, but when it comes to Scarsdale (and most river towns), I am geographically challenged.

                                                            dmargulis, I'm all for sharing info, tristate or not. I'll have to put Milford into Mapquest and figure out how to get there.

                                                            1. re: dolores

                                                              You people have this all wrong. The best bagels and bialys can be found at Kossars, located at Grand St. and Essex St., NY,NY. By far the best bagels you will ever have. Worth the schlep.

                                                              1. re: Katonah Food Critic

                                                                Thanks Katonah. Yes on Kossar for bialys if they're still as good as they used to be - not so much imo for bagels. But then again, Kosar's is in the city and "us people" need Westchester and CT recs.

                                                                1. re: laylag

                                                                  The Milford place does NOT have bialys--yet. I'll try to talk the guy into adding those.

                                                                  1. re: Katonah Food Critic

                                                                    Kaytonah - I didn't know Kossar's had bagels . . I have been eating their bialys (they also have sticks) for years and nothing compares . . . NO SUBSTITUTIONS . . .

                                                              2. Better late than never....My fave Westchester bagel is from Bagels-on-Hudson in Croton. The whole wheat everything bagel is to die for.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: marmite

                                                                  I like Bagels on Husdon. The most decent bagels I've found in WEstchester are Hastings Own Bagels in Hastings. Not the best, I'm sure, but the best thus far. Stars and Sunshine in Ardsley are OK, but not great. Any other suggestions in the Rivertowns?

                                                                2. First of all, the bagels taste better and are a much better value on Long Island. Having lived on LI and in Manhattan I can honestly say LI bagels are much better than what you get in Manhattan.

                                                                  Bagel Boss is great. The best on Long Island is Bagel Works in Huntington. Right by Cassis and the movie theater. I always bring a dozen of their whole wheat sunflower back to Philly with me.

                                                                  1. Ess-a-bagel NYC, Village Bagel Stamford & Norwalk, CT.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: woodthrush

                                                                      A negative vote from jfood on Village. There are NO good bagels in fairfield county ct

                                                                    2. Bagel Oasis in Fresh Meadows, Queens, right by the LIE. Open 24 hours, and you'll get hot bagels at all sorts of crazy times.

                                                                      1. The Bagel Hole on 7th Ave. by 13th Street in Brooklyn. Right size, crunchy on the outside, chewy on the in, tasty all over.

                                                                        1. Westchester bagel shops need to get over themselves.I'd like a place where I can get a bagel and not take out a loan. I used to love Bagel Cafe in Eastchester, across the road from Lord and Taylor. But, last week, I ordered an everything bagel with what they call Atlantic City tuna (tuna with cranberries and apples) to go. I was in extreme sticker shock when the cashier asked for $8.00! It seems the "special" tuna came with a premium. Give me a break! these are bagels with maybe a dollar's worth of tuna!

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: lucyis

                                                                            $8.00 for tuna fish?!!! I totally agree with you Lucyis. The sandwich prices at the bagel stores up here are absurd. And never mind if you want whitewish or salmon salad or heaven forbid --- smoked salmon/lox - and then want onion and tomato too. It's crazy.

                                                                          2. laylag, lucyis, my feelings exactly about the crazy prices being charged for tiny bits of food on pretty plates in some restaurants in Westchester.

                                                                            I guess P.T. Barnum had it right.

                                                                              1. Village Bagels- they are in westport, fairfield, stamford & norwalk GREAT bagels
                                                                                The Westport store has the best bialys, whitefish and lox

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: royal719

                                                                                  these unfortunately not even close to NY or NJ. as stated above, there are NO good bagels in fairfield county ct

                                                                                2. i write this fearing that due to the overall length of this thread noones going to bother reading my two cents...BUT, i would say that, being a native northeast jerseykid (passaic) and all, the best bagels THAT I HAVE HAD are to be found right in good old passaic at a place called PASSAIC PARK BAGELS. forget it, theyre amazing. i know i grew up on them so i am totally and completely biased, but cmon, i havent lived there in forever and once in a great while when i have the opportunity and i actually get to have one again i am blown away. perfect size, sprinkled flavorings are just accents that do not take over from the doughy goodness, nice moisture with a slight occasional crunch in the crust...just perfect really. i have had bagels all over the place in NJ and NYC (not in any boroughs actually tho) and never been as happy as when ive had them there. a half dozen bagels and a stray biale (sp???) or two thrown in the bag for a nice sunday morning...jesus, sublime.

                                                                                  ohyeah , dont forget the creamcheese.

                                                                                  1. well jfood, don't know too much about NJ or NY's bagels. But for CT, Village Bagels has GREAT bagels.

                                                                                    20 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: royal719


                                                                                      I am glad you like Village. Others do as well because they seem to have a line very often. I grew up with what I consider great bagels (it could just be a perspective of growing up in NJ) and those at Village just do not do it for me. No biggie.

                                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                                        Village is about as good as you can get in the area. Not saying much. I should add that Spinelli's is not terrible. Again, it's like trying to compare FF County pizza vs. NY pizza.

                                                                                        I believe the Village Bagels on Rte. 7 changed names/hands. Any word?

                                                                                        1. re: Fairfield..Foodie

                                                                                          The Village from last year's post was on hope st in stamford at the end of colonial. jfood does even know if they are still. liz su is better at bull's head (not the norwalk location)

                                                                                          Spinelli's are barely edible, onlyif you toast them. if you do not toast them, then jfood thinks they cross into inedible.

                                                                                          where is there a village on route 7? there is one on route 1 in norwalk

                                                                                            1. re: amanda3571

                                                                                              Got it, in the mall next to Enterprise. If jfood remembers you like the place and jfood gave it a shot last year. Could not get on the same page as you, did not think they were very good. Also jfood had a bad reaction to $1.70 for a buttered bagel. Would rather go to Liz Su up 123 if jfood wants to have an overpriced, just ok bagel.

                                                                                              Thanks again A.

                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                I like Pauli's for what it is. Decent bagels close to home. Although Liz Sue is closer, I have yet to try them.

                                                                                                Lucky for me I was in the city last week and picked up a dozen H&H.

                                                                                            2. re: jfood

                                                                                              To call something barely edible is going overboard.

                                                                                              1. re: Fairfield..Foodie

                                                                                                jfood has them delivered once a week to his office. when the toaster was broken, there were many left over. Jfood did not eat any until the new toaster arrived.

                                                                                                Sorry Double F but that's jfood's opinion. If you like them that's cool, just don;t see it that way. And jfood rarely uses inedible, but witout the toaster, hardly anyone ate them in the office, and they were free.

                                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                                  No worries...but I just find it hard to believe that a bagel could be so awful that it's not edible. We're not talking about fish or meat. It's bread.

                                                                                                  I mean even Dunkin Donuts and Brueggers are edible. Awful, but edible. And Spinelli's is significantly better than those.

                                                                                                  1. re: Fairfield..Foodie

                                                                                                    Agreed, no biggie, but jfood places DD and B in the absolutely inedible bucket. and even toasting does not make them edible and the B cream cheese is just awful. jfood does try to be consistent.

                                                                                                    Try Word of Mouth just up Route 123 into Vista inthe same strip mall as Greenwich Produce.

                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                      Will do.

                                                                                                      Guess it just depends how hungry you are.

                                                                                                      1. re: Fairfield..Foodie

                                                                                                        if brueggers in NC jfood will walk to rosies, if DD in NC, just get a coffee roll. it just ain;t happenin' with the bagel just like jfood has never eaten the "ice cream" at BR. Another jfood idiosyncracy. Hey it could be worse.

                                                                                                      2. re: jfood

                                                                                                        Word of Mouth was utterly disappointing...a step up (albeit small) from Lender's. Chewy, tastless, small are the words that came to mind. Good coffee, and the lady there could not be nicer. But the bagels? Blech.

                                                                                                        I'll stick with Spinelli's and Village.

                                                                                                        1. re: Fairfield.Foody

                                                                                                          Oh well, more for both of us at our respective haunts.

                                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                                            My two cents.... Lenny's in Port Chester probably has the most consistent and best bagels..not as good as when I was growing up, but the best in the area.

                                                                                              2. re: Fairfield..Foodie

                                                                                                Hi Fairfield Foodie, Jfood and Amanda3571:

                                                                                                As the cofounder and owner of Village Bagels, I will put the confusion to an end. I own the Wesport (Post Rd. east), Fairfield (Post Rd) and my new baby in Greenwich (Greenwich Ave.)
                                                                                                And as of Oct.2007, Pauli's Bagels (Rte. 7) is now part of the Village family because he proudly carries my bagels.
                                                                                                The VB in Norwalk (Westport Ave.) is my ex partner and NOT my bagels. Neither is Stamford (hope st.) and Cos Cob (west putnam ave)

                                                                                                I hope this helps you understand why you haven't tasted a bagel "close to home" in Fairfield county. Thanks Amanda3571:)

                                                                                                1. re: vb3719

                                                                                                  Jfood feels good that he has not trashed any of your bagels in the past and thanks for the info.

                                                                                                  Two questions:

                                                                                                  - Paulis is on Main st in Norwalk near where Main meets 123, correct?
                                                                                                  - Do you own Pauli's or are they only a bagel-carrier of yours? Are they mode on premises (gotta believe they are)
                                                                                                  - If you charge $1.70 for a buttered bagel at Pauli's it better be real good if you are looking for jfood to be a regular.

                                                                                                  Jfood really hopes the "new" pauli's is good. Coming from NJ and bagels galour, this has been a wasteland for 12 years.

                                                                                                  Thanks again VB. and he'll give your guys a shot on the way to work tomorrow morning. Then he can look at it and Spinellis on his desk and compare.

                                                                                                  1. re: vb3719


                                                                                                    Jfood just finished a Pauli buttered sesame. Yup it's $1.70 but he is a retailer, not a baker/seller so that explains a little bit of the price, and it did not surprise jfood this time. Here's jfood's take, hopefully you can see that he is trying to give honest feedback since he giddy-upped there this morning.

                                                                                                    - Texture - jfood thought the texture of the bagel was very good, not too dense, not to airy.
                                                                                                    - Flavor - somewhat inconsistent. there were parts of the bagel that had a deeper flavor and other parts tasted like water dough
                                                                                                    - temperature - cold. jfood understands it is brought from elsewhere but at 815 in the morning jfood would like very warm, but can accept warm. And now he understands why everyone wanted to toast it. Jfood believes that a good bagel, on the morning of baking, should stand on its own without toasting.
                                                                                                    - quality control - you need (and so does Pauli) better quality control. One-third of the bagel was burnt, not dark, but burnt. This one should never have left your bakery and Pauli should never have sold to a customer. Jfood can not imaging what the end result would have looked like if he agreed with everyone wanting to toast it.

                                                                                                    Was it a "go back" experience. Sorry but can;t get there. Good news is that jfood tried a Spinelli bagel right after and threw it out after two bites.

                                                                                                    Sorry for the less than warm feedback, but your quality control guy really let you down.

                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                      Thanks for the constructive criticisim Jfood. A couple of things, Paulie's bagels are delivered at his doorstep 5:30 in the morning, hot, because that is the time he opens his doors.This as you mentioned is a retailer not a baker so he will never have that hot/warm bagel after one hour. I would assume that is why customers toast.
                                                                                                      As far as the bagels being undercooked, overcooked and cooked just right, being in this business for 13 years every customer has there own preference in color. So no, we do not toss any bagels due to our customers preferences.
                                                                                                      Once again, thanks for trying and hope you do find a bagel that suits you just right.

                                                                                                      1. re: vb3719

                                                                                                        Jfood performed a side-by-side-by-side comparison this morning among Word of Mouth (South Salem); Pauli's (Norwalk) and Spinelli's (Norwalk). All were purchased between 8-830.


                                                                                                        Word of Mouth - the size of the bagel was ~4 ΒΌ x 4 1/8; very airy inside; chewy, nutty flavor; not crunchy crust that mimics the inner flavor, no real distinction between outside and inside.

                                                                                                        Paulis - the size of the bagel was ~3 7/8 x 5 (largest of those tested) - very airy inside; lighter but nice flavor; crust takes on very deep flavor on baking, almost bitter in some spots when the crust reaches medium brown, differing inside versus outside flavor.

                                                                                                        Spinellis - the size of the bagel was ~3 3/4 x 4 3/8 (smallest of those tested), dense inside, very chewy; very little flavor, basically watery, no flavor change from inside to outside, very little character in either interior or exterior

                                                                                                        Now the real test since jfood was only going to eat one of them, which did he choose. Spinelli's immediately went in the garbage, not even a contender. Then jfood looked at the two and grabbed the cream cheese and spread it on Pauli's. He ate half of it only and as he writes this review he can still taste the deepness of the crust on his tongue.

                                                                                                        So Pauli's and WOM are on the Not Bad List and Spinelli's still stays on the DNR List.

                                                                                            3. The Best Bagels in Trenton were Kramers but they're gone. Theres a bagel place in the robbinsville shopping center that has very good egg now....DEB

                                                                                              1. Not to put too fine a point on it, but different bagels work for different situations. As a platform for lox etc., the place in Wykagl (which I prefer to Sammy's) does nicely. Outer skin has good resistance and the interior stands up to the lox etc. H & H, right next to Zabar's, unfortunately are too fluffy, too much sugar. As a stand alone treat, nothing beats an out-of-the-oven Kossar's bialy, and yes, it's worth a schlep at some point (besides, it's right next to Donut Plant).

                                                                                                1. Typically, the bagels I find in Northern NJ/Bergen County are big, over-blown, roll wannabees. I think people continue to follow the adage that bigger is better but not true in the world of bagels. Just ask the pumped up croissant about being too big. In any event, I like Spring Tree Bagels in Englewood. There's a crunch and a chew to them and you can still see the hole in the middle. Check them out.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: thaichile

                                                                                                    head south into essex county and go to either bagel chateau in millburn or livingston bagel in livingston

                                                                                                  2. Bagel Buffet in Secaucus has great bagels. They are located in the center of town, in the CVS Plaza.

                                                                                                    1. I've only tried the Village Bagels in Cos Cob (on Rte 1) and wasn't impressed at all. They were underdone and pale.

                                                                                                      I have to disagree with jfood, though, that there are no good bagels in Fairfield County. Another vote for Upper Crust Bagels in OG.

                                                                                                        1. re: berna

                                                                                                          Not sure, but I think my church gets their once-a-month bagels for sale from Sam's. They're definitely among the best bagels I've ever had. There used to be a fresh bagel store in Teaneck on Cedar Lane, right near the theater that was very good. You could see the bagels going by in the boiling trough. What a great smell!

                                                                                                          1. re: Drew E

                                                                                                            Ess-a-Bagel is my favrite. Hands down. They may be rude there, but the bagels are worth the 'tude!

                                                                                                            1. re: Sammy Diaz

                                                                                                              I'm an Ess-a-Bagel girl. H&H works when I'm Upstate and you can find them at The Jonesville Store in Clifton Park.

                                                                                                        2. Wow, I read thru the whole thread - no one put up my favorite, so, though I have posted it elsewhere on this board, I am going to have to put in a nod for the pumpernickel and egg everything bagels at Bagelman in Great Neck. I'm an addict. Alice

                                                                                                          1. Read through all of these and I don't think I saw mention of Scarsdale Bagels, also known as "Garth Road Bagels". That is my favorite bagel place in Westchester by far. No frills: bagels, butter, cream cheese & jelly. I must admit that I haven't been there in a while, so I hope they are still pumping out perfectly crusty on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside bagels. yum - I've go to get up there soon.

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: bosun

                                                                                                              bosun: Scarsdale Bagels are still THAT good and the digs still do not distract from bagel heaven. I live >50 miles away, across the Hudson and still have to make the trip once and a while to Garth Road. Jersey has good bagels, but nothin' beats the perfect outer crisp and inner chew of freshly made Scarsdale Bagels. Mmmmmmmm...

                                                                                                              1. re: imahungry

                                                                                                                Yumm. Maybe I'll try it. I live in Goldens Bridge and every time I go to the city I buy a dozen bagels and freeze them. Scarsdale is closer. That being said, in NYC I like Tal for flats.

                                                                                                                1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                                                                                  We used to live near Tal bagels and loved them, but I have to say that I am completely happy with Park Place Bagels in Bronxville, which has taken a pleace in my heart right next to Tal.

                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                    Hmm - might be worth a trip there, too. Ido find that Tal bagels don't freeze all that well, though.

                                                                                                            2. NYACK HOT BAGELS!!! Perhaps I'm a bit biased because I grew up on these bad boys, but never in all my many years has the soft, slightly springy flesh and sweet crust been replicated elsewhere. The everythings, hot out of the oven, are the most sublime thing ever to deliver five ounces of carbohydrates.

                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: rifkind81

                                                                                                                The average bagel in Connecticut doesn't hold a candle to almost any bagel from Long Island, NYC area and even Westchester.

                                                                                                                Steve's bagels in Ridgefield is the lone exception. I've had many a mediocre bagel from Village Bagels, Liz Sue, Bagel King and others. They are, in a word, ho hum.

                                                                                                                Wait, that's two words.

                                                                                                                As far as Westchester goes, I'll also vouch for the bare bones, hole in the wall, bagel store on Garth Road in Scarsdale. Their name escapes me.

                                                                                                                Thumbs up for Bagel Boss and Bagel Oasis as well on "The Island".

                                                                                                                1. re: rifkind81

                                                                                                                  I like Nyack Hot Bagels in Rockland county also.

                                                                                                                  The local "bagel chain stores" of Davids Bagels and Goldberg's Bagels in Rockland County dont impress me.

                                                                                                                  1. re: frequentdiner

                                                                                                                    Does anyone remember what Bagel Power was named in the late 70s/early 80s. This is the bagel place in the Golden Horseshoe in Scarsdale. I remember getting bagels there fresh out of the oven so hot I couldn't put the bag on my lap.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Boston Penguin

                                                                                                                      I believe it was still called Bagel Power. We moved to the area in 1980 and always went there for bagels and amazing rugalech (sp?) around the high holy days.

                                                                                                                      1. re: momof3

                                                                                                                        Lenny's in Rye Brook. Consistently fine bagels. Also they have $5 lunch specials that include tasty and creative bagel sandwiches, choice of soup or salad and coffee or tea.

                                                                                                                        1. re: momof3

                                                                                                                          I agree, momof3. We lived in the area since the 1960's and I don't remember it as anything but Bagel Power.

                                                                                                                      2. re: frequentdiner

                                                                                                                        i like bagel boys in rockland but am thinking, from all the raves here, that it might be worth a little ride to Fairlawn to Hot Bagels. Does anyone know if they are still good - considering this is an old thread?!

                                                                                                                        1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                          Yup, I head upstate from Manhattan once a month to visit family. I'll be heading by Hot Bagel tomorrow, but they were still great last month.

                                                                                                                          1. re: rifkind81

                                                                                                                            Is the Nyack Hot Bagels the same as the store in Fairlawn?

                                                                                                                    2. Breadzilla in Wainscott, Ny. I am not a fan of the Hamptons, but this is place that does bagels right. Not overblown, tasty and chewy.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: phDuh

                                                                                                                        Hi there.

                                                                                                                        Best bagels in the Tristate area are in New Rochelle. Quaker Ridge Bagels in the North Ridge Shopping Center. I drive all the way from New Canaan, CT to get them. I also enjoy the bagels at Hand Rolled Bagels in Rye.

                                                                                                                      2. Breugger's (Capital Region) is sad but toast-able. I'm an Essa- girl . . .that said H&H bagels can be found at Jonesville (Clifton Park?).

                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                                          Bagel Power is the best in lower Westchester. I have tried all the others mentioned and there is no comparison.

                                                                                                                          1. re: foodrink

                                                                                                                            Totally agree on Bagel Power. They are my favorites. The ones in Quaker Ridge are good but imo don't compare. Hand Rolled in Rye has been hit and miss - some days they're pretty good, other days they are too light, fluffy, no crunch to the crust at all.

                                                                                                                            1. re: laylag

                                                                                                                              We are so lost in Northern Westchester. Any recs for a decent bagel. Every time I go to the city I bring back and freeze.

                                                                                                                              1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                                                                                                Did anyone mention the bagels at Hot Bagels on Gramatan Ave. in Mt Vernon/Fleetwood? I think that was the name... I grew up on H&H and Zabars (literally--I am an UWS jew ;-) and thought the Gramatan Bagels were really very good. Good cream cheeses too. I moved from there a year a half ago so don't know how it doing now. But for the 5 years I lived in Fleetwood it was so good.

                                                                                                                                1. re: jessheslin

                                                                                                                                  I don't care for them. Unfortunately, my daughter lives a couple of blocks from there, and she thinks they are the best bagels going. I know I've failed her in other ways, but I thought at least that I 'd taught her good bagels! LOL

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bigbird

                                                                                                                                    Yes, I tried these after reading a rave review somewhere, and I thought that they were just mediocre. I think that Park Place Bagels in Bronxville is by far the best in the area. They are excellent, and as a testament to their popularlity, they are expanding their store. When we go to Fairway, however, I always buy some there to freeze. My DH used to buy bagels at Stew Leonards, but their bagels, like their baguettes, have really declined in quality recently.

                                                                                                                              2. re: laylag

                                                                                                                                Interesting, I find the Quaker Ridge bagels far superior to Bagel Power. Seems to be the consensus in the area too as the lines at Quaker Ridge are much longer than that of Bagel Power. Maybe I'll have to do a side-by-side comparison taste test.

                                                                                                                                1. re: CTburgerlover

                                                                                                                                  I happen to totally agree with you CT. I just stopped in there yesterday for the first time in quite a while and was so happy I did. They are officially the only bagels in my part of the tri-state area that I will waste my carbs on. My kids are huge fans as well. Bagel Power used to be great like 15-20 years ago, but the last time I had experiences there, they just plain sucked, as did the customer service.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: momof3

                                                                                                                                    as a new westchester resident, i think village bagels in the trader joes shopping center in larchmont on boston post road is the best in the area (larcmnt, mamrneck and rye).

                                                                                                                                    now if someone can tell me where i can find good lox and whitefish salad in the area...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mark r

                                                                                                                                      In Fairway when it opens in Pelham in a few months mark r. Until then, Le Maree on Waverly in Mamaroneck is good - not what I consider an "Appetizing" type of place stuff as smoked fish and cheese shops were termed by my Brooklyn relatives but they have good smoked fish.

                                                                                                                                      I live not far from Village bagels and while we often default there when not wishing to travel for bagels I wish I could agree with you on their quality. While they're not bad, I find they often have a "dusty" aftertaste to them - especially the topped varieties- garlic, onion, sesame, et al. Either they don't cover the bins of the toppings or they don't clean the bagel bins at the counter but either way - yick. That's not saying there's anything better in the three towns you mention - there isn't. And you can add Rye Brook to that list too.

                                                                                                                          2. I grew up in NJ and have tried many bagels from all over the tri-state area. Hands down, the best bagels are from Hot Bagels in Fair Lawn, NJ. Since I was a little kid, we use to stop there for bagels after church. The line is always out the door on Sunday mornings, but moves quick because they serve bagels, and only bagels. They don't do egg sandwiches, deli sandwiches, and they don't put butter or cream cheese on the bagels for you. You just get bagels - the best bagels! In my entire life, I have never had a better bagel. Like someone else who wrote in the post, I now live in CT but always go to Hot Bagels when I am home in NJ. They very well could be the best int he country!

                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: dsoko

                                                                                                                              Problem with most of the ubiquitous bagels all over the NY Metro these days is "bigger is better". NOT! These giants are pumped up with air and are huge. And the owners say, it's not their fault. make a smaller bagel and the customers complain.

                                                                                                                              Well, I like small, chewy bagels. These 8-ounce air pillows are a tasteless mass.

                                                                                                                              In Ne Bergen, the place in Closter in the Heidenberg Plaza used to have small bagels. Really good. But in the last year they have caved and are blowing up their bagels.

                                                                                                                              But alas, there still is a small bagel place. Paul's Emerson Bagels, on Kinderkamack Road, just across from Picnic, has wonderful, small, delicious bagels. No air. Can't sleep on them.

                                                                                                                              Hope Paul's Emerson bucks the tide and continues to make the small bagels. I'll keep coming, Paul.

                                                                                                                              1. re: dsoko

                                                                                                                                Word up! These are the best bagels PERIOD. I've tried a lot of bagel places around Bergen County. Some good, some not so good. Hot Bagels on Saddle River Road makes the best bagels by a landslide.

                                                                                                                                BTW, they do serve buttered bagels (not sure about cream cheese) and coffee. And the deli a couple of doors down (I think they're called Joe's) has great muffins and crumb buns. They're an unbeatable breakfast combo!

                                                                                                                                1. re: zhelder

                                                                                                                                  is this the same place that people are referring to as Hot Bagels in Fairlawn?

                                                                                                                              2. In the Norwalk, CT area, the best bagels are from Stew Leonards on US Route 1 (Post Road) in Norwalk.

                                                                                                                                They are fresh baked on the premises. A wide variety are available.

                                                                                                                                My favorites are the Onion and Everything bagels.

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: eThink

                                                                                                                                  Maybe they're better in Norwalk than in Yonkers, but the Stew Leonard Bagels at the Yonkers store have become extremely doughy, and I have found recently that all of their baked goods seem to have declined in quality. Their baguettes, which were OK are now completely terrible.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                    Re: Stew's Bagels
                                                                                                                                    Yup, today I went back to Stew's in Norwalk and the bagels were awful. I've been there a few times in the past month and they were really GREAT so they've apparently got more then 1 recipe being used (or a team not sticking to the plan) and they're not to be counted on. Doughy uncooked tasteless globs. Topping quantity was also way down. Almost unpalatable.

                                                                                                                                2. I'm a woman of a certain age who grew up in a Bronx neighborhood in which there were bagel bakeries in which the bagels were made by actual bagel bakers who did nothing else but bake bagels. They were mixed and formed by hand, then boiled in steaming vats of water somewhere on the premises. They made two kinds: water or egg and offered only two or three flavors: onion, salt, and maybe garlic. Those bagel stores also made bialy[stock]s and the only other thing they might sell was milk and packaged cream cheese. For lox you had to go to an appetizing counter somewhere down the street because slicing lox properly is another lost art.

                                                                                                                                  Boy have things changed.

                                                                                                                                  The stuff that passes for bagels today just aren't. Most of them have glandular conditions pumped with so much air, they're inhaled rather than chewed. They have become fast food and gimmicky. Nowadays genuine bagels are the ones you bake yourself.

                                                                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ambimom


                                                                                                                                    Please forget about Stew's bagels...Nothing that they bake at Stew's is any good at all, it's one of the most profitable and awful sections of the store.

                                                                                                                                    Golds deli in Westport is the place, but check this out. It's only on weekends that they have bagels from H and H in NYC, every Fri Sat and Sun.

                                                                                                                                    During the week?....the bagels are different. Don't know why.

                                                                                                                                    I also bought some fantastic novi at Gold's yesterday. Sometimes it's better and not, but yesterday it was fatty and fresh and fantastic. They sometimes have killer pastrami, sometimes not. Be sure to order the already-warmed pastrami that they carve in the back of the store.

                                                                                                                                    Sometimes the roast beef, up front in a case, is better and worse, you gotta look and see.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: shark_attack

                                                                                                                                      my choice for suburban Manhattan best bagel place is called Glen Corner hot bagela and deli
                                                                                                                                      24-18 Maple Avenu Fair Lawn, New Jersey
                                                                                                                                      201 300 6483
                                                                                                                                      great taylor egg and cheese on a bialy or onion bagel
                                                                                                                                      yet the piece d resistance, is a flat bagel, scallion cream cheese nove or lox thin slice red onion and the kicker thin sliced cherry hot peppers.
                                                                                                                                      the last ingredient puts the sandwich into the trabcedentlevel
                                                                                                                                      nice coffee nice pastry nice people nice prices
                                                                                                                                      right off of 208
                                                                                                                                      trust me you will be happy
                                                                                                                                      murray's in manhattan almost as good

                                                                                                                                      1. re: foodismylife

                                                                                                                                        have you tried hot bagels on saddle river road?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: bob gaj

                                                                                                                                          Paul's Emerson Bagels on Kinderkamack Road. Not blown up with air like most of the standard bagels. With bagels, bigger is NOT better, IMHO.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: Ambimom

                                                                                                                                      I remember those stores too. One shop, two doors - one bagels one bialy. They had nothing fancy - just fabulous bagels - I'm thinking Jerome Ave near Schwellers and Burnside and Jerome also.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                                                                                                        wincountrygirl: I'm thinking Lydig Avenue, southern end of Pelham Parkway. Only you and I really understand how a bagel is supposed to taste and smell. Alas, you can't get a decent onion roll or pletzel anymore either! LOL We're the lucky ones....at least we know.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ambimom

                                                                                                                                          Maybe it would be better not to know - then maybe we could stand the bagels they have now...........sun dried tomato anyone?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ambimom

                                                                                                                                            gosh u r so right
                                                                                                                                            i in my misguided youth would eat a beyond wonderful onion roll with butter and raw onions
                                                                                                                                            no wonder i couldn't get a date
                                                                                                                                            by the way kossar's on grand st neart he donut plant east of Essex does pletzels and bulkies
                                                                                                                                            well worth doing
                                                                                                                                            bialys only so so
                                                                                                                                            i fear the bialystokers are long gone to their deserved rewards

                                                                                                                                            1. re: foodismylife

                                                                                                                                              I believe a Kosher bagel bakery has the best bagels. They cannot use the additive that keeps bagles soft. Bagel Power in New Rochelle (Scarsdale) is kosher. The bagels turned to stone an hour after leaving the oven. It was sold several years ago. I am not sure they are as good now. I will stop by and report back.

                                                                                                                                              In Cedarhurst there was a kosher restaurant in Central Ave. and Maple St. that also had amazing bagels.

                                                                                                                                              Otherwise shelf life has prevailed over quality.

                                                                                                                                              Also the smoked salmon at La Maree (Portier) in Mamaroneck is extraordinary. It seems much better at the smokehouse than at the supermarkets. The counter man said at the factory you buy today's product.

                                                                                                                                              Freezes great too.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Barrels41

                                                                                                                                                Huh? What additive can't they use?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Scott_R

                                                                                                                                                  Yes Jerome Ave, (near Schweller's) and the bagel shop on Lydig Ave. had the best bagels ever, too bad their long gone. I recently tried Goldberg's Bagel shop in Yonkers on the service road along side the Major Deegan opposite Cross County Shopping Center; they remind me of the old days nice and crispy and chewy. It's a keeper.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: victoria060

                                                                                                                                                    WOW!!! yes, the bagel/bialy shop next to Schwellers was really good. someone recently told me about Goldberg's, I will have to try them since I know your standards for bagels are like mine!

                                                                                                                                      2. Stumbled upon a great site for Westchester/CT foodies while Googling Hand-Rolled Bagels in Rye (which I revisted last weekend and absolutely LOVED).


                                                                                                                                        1. The best bagels EVER are Sunrise Bagels in Kingston, NY. I grew up on these. Always warm when you get them, huge, and cheap. Always good and there's always a line, which is a good thing of course since everyone in Kingston knows and loves them. They are PERFECT!

                                                                                                                                          1. The best bagels are up here in Hopewell Junction, NY, in Hopewell Hot Bagels. It is the only New York style bagel north of Manhattan, or maybe Westchester. Honestly, it is a really great bagel.

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: bernie47

                                                                                                                                              Brookside Bagels in Simsbury, CT are outstanding. I know it is hard to believe that great bagels can be found in a Hartford suburb that is something right out of the Preppy Handbook. But these were my favorite bagels in CT or MA. Coming from Boston, I was a big fan of Rosenfeld's in Newton. But Brookside was even better.

                                                                                                                                            2. Essa Bagels CANNOT be beat for taste, texture and size. We make the trip from Jersey all the time.

                                                                                                                                              End of conversation.

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: syakoban

                                                                                                                                                Have to go back to Essa next time I'm in the city. Best bagels have to be from NYC or one of the boroughs!!!

                                                                                                                                                1. ok - so i am confused - I have read about Hot Bagels in Fairlawn - on Saddle River Rd and Morlot - but I have also read about Hot Bagels on River Road in Fairlawn - and when I googled Hot Bagels in Fairlawn - both locations came up ---- WHERE ARE THE BESTEST BAGELS?????

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                                    I have eaten bagels all over this country and the absolute best bagels are made by Jewish Russian immigrants at Super Duper Bagel off South Livingston Avenue in Livingston NJ. Lines are long in the early mornings, closed on Shabbat, and do NOT complain if they're temporarily out of a flavor you desire... the bagel Nazi as we refer to the old woman running the place... will throw you out faster than you can blink with nothing in your hands and she doesn't care... the bagels are simply that good...

                                                                                                                                                  2. Boxcar Bagels in Bogota...especially when you get a bagel while it's still hot since they make them all right there. And the bagels are almost as big as your head!

                                                                                                                                                    1. Bagel Station - Red Bank, NJ ( right near the train station)

                                                                                                                                                      1. My vote is for Sam's Bagels on Hamburg take in Wayne. They are hand rolled.