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Where is the best bagel in town?

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  1. Murray's on 13th and sixth ave gets my vote. Just the right size and texture. Most of the spreads and salads are also great (heavenly whitefish salad) excellent smoked salmon as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chalkman

      Agreed -- Murray's is my fave. Ess-A-Bagel is too dense and H&H too cakey. Murray's is the right size and texture for my taste...

    2. I just had a bagel this week at Sable's on 2nd ave & 77 st. I thought it was amazing. Up til then, I thought Ess-A-Bagel was IT, but Sable's blew me away. The cream cheese with chives was also fab. They're known for their fish, but I didn't have any.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mclaurie

        Thanks for the tip - I'm a diehard Ess-A fan, so I'm excited to try this one out.

        1. re: mclaurie

          They are very good bagels, but that's because they get them from H&H. If you go there often enough, you will eventually be around for an H&H delivery, and there is usually an H&H invoice stuck to the wall behind the register. Interestingly, it seems like the H&H guys take fish back with them, so perhaps the lox over at H&H is sourced from Sable's. That would be a very good thing, because Sable's lox is really good. I also love their pastrami - it is the best that I've found so far on the UES. My wife and I go to the Sables eat-in side all the time, despite it's pizzeria ambiance.

        2. Tal Bagel on 54th and 1st, their bagels have the good crisp exterior with a chewy inside.

          1. Ess-A-Bagel gets my vote. I'm partial to H&H's sesame bagels, too. The right mix of sweetness, crustiness and chewiness. Murray's bagels are decent, too. However, more times than I'd like, the bagels have been overcooked and dry. Also, they don't stay well, and turn hard in a couple of hours.

            1 Reply
            1. re: fsd1116

              But the original Ess-A-Bagel on 1st Ave & 21st St. is superior to the 3rd Ave. branch.

              Best old-fashioned chewy bagel in all of NYC is probably at the tiny Bagel Hole on 7th Ave. in Park Slope, but that's a subject for another board.

            2. Bagel Bob's on University and 10th street.

                1. re: ronoc

                  Does Kossar's make its own bagels?

                  1. re: fsd1116

                    It has been making its own bagels since your grandpa's dad was in kindergarten.

                    1. re: jmcdon10

                      And since this post was last active? (You replied to a 2007 post)

                      1. re: chow_gal

                        There are replies from 2009 towards the end of the post. So not THAT ancient!

                2. I just had a Murray's bagel for breakfast this morning, and it was pretty tasty, but my heart belongs to Times Square Hot Bagels on 44th between 7th & 8th Aves (closer to 7th).

                  1. Murray's, definitely! ...and Bagel Bob's is a good alternative.

                    1. Times Square Hot Bagels, Daniel's on 38 St. and 3 Ave., Bagelry and Murray's (but they're getting puffy lately)

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: thesu

                        FINALLY someone ELSE who said Times Sq Hot Bagels!! I thought I was nuts!

                        1. re: ballulah

                          Times Sq Hot Bagels has good chocolate chip cookies, too. Very buttery and chewy. One of my favs in the city.

                          1. re: thesu

                            And I thought I was the only one into Times Sq Hot Bagels! Plus they have rye bagels, which doesn't seem too common in NYC.

                            1. re: josephsm

                              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/23114... I thought I was their only cheerleader, and the only one who "remembers."

                        2. re: thesu

                          i'm not really a fan of Daniel's. I have been there numerous times in the morning and I have yet to receive a bagel that has even a hint of warmth. Not really that big of a deal but it would be nice once in a while. And I know some people will say, just ask for whatever's hot. but i usually go in with a craving for a certain kind of bagel and just order whatever is on my mind at the time.

                          Also, i find their's to be a bit bready. and while i don't necessarily subscribe to the school of and everything bagel being completely covered in toppings, the everything bagels at Daniel's have hardly anything on them.

                          1. re: magfitz

                            I second Tal Bagels on 1st ave. - they are great when they are warm. But like ALL bagel places, it is hit or miss. One day- perfect, warm, crispy-soft perfection - the next day a dry chew toy. I always ask "whats warm?", but sometimes, later in the morning, you just can't win.

                        3. Absolute Bagels on Broadway &107th are the best bagels in the City. The owner was trained by the bagel maker from Ess-a-Bagel

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: aganottitanic

                            I'm not a fan of Absolute. I'm partial to Murrays, but they do not freeze well. (They resemble stale when thawed.) For freezing, get H&H.

                            1. re: aganottitanic

                              Absolute is my pick. I have been to Tal, Ess-a-Bagel, H & H, Murray's etc. and this is always my go-to place.

                              1. re: aganottitanic

                                Another vote for Absolute! I love that place and I don't even like bagels.

                                1. re: uwsister

                                  After reading the Russ & Daughter's thread, I got curious about this topic. I've had H&H and Ess-a-Bagel bagels (both which I like very much). Haven't tried Absolute or Murray's, but have have heard great things about Absolute. I can also say that I don't think either Zabar's or Russ & Daughters' bagels are that good, but I would give a slight edge to Russ & Daughters.

                                  What say you in the bagel wars? Are Absolute bagels the best?

                                  1. re: Gigi007

                                    The little bagels @ Russ & Daughters are good. I'll admit loving H&H.

                                    Russ & Daughters
                                    179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

                                2. the bagels at Whole Foods are good. daniel's sucks.

                                  1. Bagel Buffet, 6th Ave just above 8th street. Not as chewy as bagels of yore, but still has good texture. Not ridiculously large or puffy.

                                    9 Replies
                                    1. re: DavyTheFatBoy

                                      Tal Bagels on First Ave. in the 50s is now CLOSED


                                        1. re: tbear



                                          1. re: LeahBaila

                                            YES! i just mentioned this on another post. i drove by yesterday and was horrifed. how can THAT place go out of business?!?!? they are SO good and the only place in at least a 10 block radius!!

                                            1. re: RussianGirl

                                              When I lived in the area I always walked the extra 2 avenues to ess-a-bagel. They were always pretty rude at Tal, not that the guys at ess-a are much nicer, but the bagels were that much better. Still, I'm pretty shocked it closed, it was always crowded.

                                              1. re: ChiefHDB

                                                I live in between the two, have eaten both many, many times. They are very different, but both VERY good...esp. in comparison w/ 99.9% of the bagels in the world. A warm Tal everything bagel was a true joy. Also, GREAT white fish.

                                                Frankly, I expect my NYC counter people to be a little surly.

                                                A real loss in my neighborhood...what next, Ideal Cheese???

                                                1. re: tbear

                                                  I did preface it, the ess-a bagel guys are sufficiently surly, but not unreasonable like they sometimes were at Tal.

                                                  Personally my two favorites are H&H Midtown East in the 80's and Murray's.

                                        2. re: pbjluver

                                          TAL BAGELS will open on September 7th. The sign outside the door said it would be closed for two weeks for renovations.

                                          I think they have the best bagels ... although they've become very pricey. Really good whitefish salad. I wish they had better coffee.

                                      1. I see this is an old thread but what the hell... My favorite is Brooklyn Bagels & Coffee. They're on 8th Ave and 25th St in Chelsea, and also have 2 locations in Astoria. They're awesome! Perfect balance of firmness and fluffiness and toasted on the outside. One of my favorite spreads there is 'cinnamon-walnuts-&-raisins'. mmm... Wish they actually had a Brooklyn location, though!

                                        Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Co.
                                        286 8th Ave, New York, NY 10001

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: MarceloAnez

                                          I've had a great, great bagel from Brooklyn Bagel....glad to see I'm not the only one...I almost didn't give them a chance due to the combination of name, location, and the generic looking bagels, but they really surprised me....the bagel reminded me a little of the taste I've been missing from places like Ess-a-bagel.

                                          Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Co.
                                          286 8th Ave, New York, NY 10001

                                        2. Ess-A_Bagel has been the veteran gunslinger in Manhattan for years and has been my personal favorite, BUT: There's a new challenger in town!!
                                          Vic's Bagels on 3rd Ave just North of E 36 St is fabulous. Various cream cheese spreads are mixed up fresh from a huge selection of chopped veggies, nuts and fruits. The bagels compare with Ess-A-Bagel: just the right amout of crunchy crust and doughy, chewy center with an ample amount of coatings. Slightly smaller and more manageable than Essa. Check them out!!

                                          359 1st Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                          831 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022

                                          Vic's Bagel Bar
                                          544 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

                                          1. I've read about Bergen Bagel in BKLYN on CH and decided to give them a shot Sunday morning after picking up a dozen Bialys @ Kossar's, go figure?
                                            Bergen Bagel was good but no where near our favorites in Manhattan. The toppings on the bagels were sparse as were the "fixins" in the cream cheese. If I still lived on Bergen St it would be my go to place for a morning nosh for convenience sake.
                                            Our favorites still are:
                                            Vic's Bagel Bar, great bagels and my lovely wife loves the custom made cream cheese "fixins"
                                            Ess-A-Bagel, my favorite but lovely wife complains they are "too big!"
                                            Tal Bagels
                                            Kossar's for bialys, no one comes close.

                                            Kossar's Bialys
                                            367 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

                                            Tal Bagels
                                            979 1st Ave, New York, NY 10022

                                            831 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022

                                            Vic's Bagel Bar
                                            544 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Motosport

                                              Nobody has mentioned Columbia Hot Bagels on 110th. Has it closed or something? Because when I lived in Manhattan there were no better bagels anywhere.

                                              1. re: PesachBenSchlomo

                                                Yes, Columbia Hot Bagels has been closed for awhile now. When did you live in the City?

                                                1. re: UWSHomeCook

                                                  From 1971 to 2001. Alas, in ten years I have become a stranger in the city I love.

                                              2. re: Motosport

                                                Agreed. Nothing in NYC or anywhere else in the country comes close to Ess a bagel. Simply the best!