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Sep 18, 2006 11:46 PM

REAL New York Bagels in Strawberry Village (Mill Valley)

Had lunch in Strawberry Village this afternoon at Pizza Antica. The pizza was actually pretty good. We ordered a large pie with pepperoni, calabrese sausage and fontina cheese. It was a bit greasy from the meats, but crisp enough and pretty tastey. The small pies looked a lot smaller and crisper, but I think I'll stick with the large oval-shaped pies on future visits. This is not NY style pizza but it's satisfying nonetheless.

Anyway, after lunch we decided to walk around the village and check out it's offerings. Stumbled upon New York Bagel. Poked my head in and instantly noticed the boiling apparatus set up in the back of the shop. Could they really be boiling their bagels in true NY style? I actually walked out without trying anything because I was pretty full from the pizza. But after passing by a 2nd time I decided to poke my head in for some recon. I asked what bagels were the freshest and settled for an everything with plain cream cheese (~$2). The nice man behind the counter sliced it in half and started to put it in the toaster. I stopped him quickly as there's no way I could properly judge it's quality if it was toasted. A true fresh NY style bagel does not need to be toasted.

Walked outside and had a bite. Delicious! The best bagel I've had since moving out here from New York 8 months ago. Yeasty, chewey and tender goodness.

So good that I reported the place immediately to the person in charge of ordering bagels for our entire company every Friday. They usually order Noah's bagels, which are basically just bagel shaped bread. Thankfully, they seemed keen on giving a mom & pop shop a chance and they're gonna order from them this Friday and see how it works out. I hope it works out for the best, because it sure would make my Friday mornings that much nicer.

New York Bagel
308 Strawberry Village
Mill Valley, CA 94941
415 381 3599

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  1. We like them more than Marin Bagel's -- maybe the freshness factor!

    1. Also like these more than Marin Bagel's. Picked up a dozen for a company event a while back and was impressed. Did not care for the whitefish salad, though -- do not get that, but the bagels were good.

      1. so they taste like bagels from NY right? don't mess with my emotions now, i'm on the verge of tears.

        having a bagel on one of my nyc trips was one of my worst mistakes ever, i can't even look at bagels the same here anymore. they're dead to me.

        ordering them from hh bagels is one thing, having the real thing is...well you might of just answered my dreams.

        3 Replies
        1. re: wchane

          Ok, I can't stand this anymore. I have to disagree.

          I did a Marin County bagel tasting on the same day with two SF joints. New York Bagel, while ok, wasn't close to the top of the list let alone like a New York bagel.

          I found them in a side by side tasting the same as the bagel I bought at Safeway in the same shopping center.

          And the thing that really killed me was the cranberry bagel that was pink like cotton candy that had exactly one cranberry in it and not much flavor.

          What is it with Marin and those odd-colored cranberry bagels? It was the same at Bagel Street Cafe which I found similar to New York Bagel, but a bit better.

          Hillarys on Fourth Street which was formerly the House of Bagels is a place I want to try.

          So, for my tastes, here's my list from best to worst. If I didn't have the bagel on the same day, I bought the bagel within a few days, so my memory of each was fresh (and I had notes). I threw in Sonoma's Homegrown Bakery bagel which I find myself thinking about.

          New York by the Bay Deli & Café (San Rafael)
          So far the only bagel in the entire Bay Area that deserves to be compared to a NY Bagel. The owners even speak ‘NY’ and have a baker in Richmond make them to their specs. Excellent shiny skin (crust?), the bagel was soft, yet chewy. The only mark down might be for a touch of sweetness like a water challah. .

          Sonoma’s Homegrown Bakery
          The outside was nicely chewy, but the interior was slightly bready. I need to revisit this one because I bought it late in the day.

          House of Bagels (From the Mollie Stone’s in San Rafael)
          Good shell, good chew, a little dry

          Marin Bagel (From Safeway in Marin and Mollie Stone’s in San Rafael)
          Dense and chewy, but didn’t like it as much as the other three. It lacked enough flavor for me to buy it again, but rates this high because of good texture.

          Bagel Street Café (San Rafael}
          I found it similar to New York Bagel down to the pink cotton candy colored color cranberry bagel. These bagels are baked and not boiled.

          Safeway (Marin)
          Not bad ... a little soft. Nice dusting of corn meal on the bottom

          New York Bagel (Marin)

          Almost identical to Safeway, but no cornmeal.

          Cranberry orange was a horror. A cotton candy pastel orange/pink. No orange or cranberry flavor. One piece of cranberry. At least I’m telling myself that’s what it was.

          Izzy’s (SF)
          Izzy’s has improved a bit since it opened, but it is still a little too bready. Nice outer shell.

          1. re: rworange

  're telling me nothing that you've tried in the bay area compares to a real NY bagel? my fears have been confirmed =/

            the only bagel i will eat here is the plain bagel from house of bagels - double toasted with plain cream cheese. never was a fan of the 'infused bagels', but i will eat lox.

            well...another reason to visit nyc i guess.

            thanks for the very informative impromptu report.

            1. re: wchane

              New York by the Bay Deli & Café is the real thing for my taste. Much better than House of Bagels. I haven't had a real NY bagel in a long time that after the bagels I tried before this, I was beginning to think I forgot what a real bagel tasted like. Then I had this bagel and it was like ... wow ... yeah, that's it ... I remember this taste. It is near the Marin Civic Center and and easy off of 80, practically at the foot of the Frietas exit.

              And ... at least on my visit they didn't sell mutant bagels in odd colors or California flavors like spinach.

              My post about the joint.

        2. YES, Noah's Bagels are no comparison. Good call.

          1. Noticed on Barndiva's menu that H&H bagels and bialies are featured for brunch.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              H&H ... flown in from NY? Have you tried them at Barn Diva yet?

              1. re: rworange

                No, I haven't been too anxious to return to Barn Diva. But I will say that I've heard that it's taking food more seriously in the past year. Those brunch prices didn't look half bad, if they're correct.

                I'm actually not an H&H fan in NY. I did try one at Crossroads Cafe in SF which bakes them on premise and wasn't impressed.

                Would be interesting to know if Barn Diva brings in bagels baked in Manhattan or bakes on site.