Best bagels/bialys in LES/EV?
I tried Russ & Daughters (too hard, dense, and starchy) and Bagel Zone (too bland, not tasty enough). I'm looking for bagels simliar to those from H&H (fresh, soft, w/a hint of chewiness factor)... can anyone suggest a good place in the LES/East Village area?
I live down there and I concur that Bagel Zone somehow manages to make the most bland, tasteless bagels this world has ever seen. I didn't even think it was possible! Anyway sadly, I've never run across any place in the neighborhood that has a decent bagel. Sounds like an opportunity if you ask me. Believe it or not, sometimes I go to Dunkin Donuts on 6th and 1st if I'm desperate for one...they at least taste halfway decent.
I always thought H&H were the suppliers for Russ & Daughters bagels, but I'm not sure where I got that idea or which of the H&H locations.
Kossars for Bialys is it. The large onion flats are incredible too. I love there bagels as well, which I like better then H&H which tend to be undercooked and doughy for my taste. Speaking of which, Kossar's would be the second guess as to where R&S get their bagels, but they're probably softer right from the factory at least. Their toppings are really great there too, plus it's a cool spot, where you walk right into the factory itself.
bialys are easy - another vote for kossar's. they're in a league of their own. [i haven't had one of their bagels since i was a kid, so i'll leave those reviews to hounds who have had them more recently.]
for bagels, if you're willing to travel "all the way" up to stuyvesant town, try the original ess-a-bagel location on 1st ave at 21st.
359 1st Ave, New York, NY 10010
Concur- Kossar'a for bialys (but you need to go right there, it doesn't travel or package that well, but it's sublime fresh) and Ess-a-bagel for bagels (but there are random independent stores, non-chain, all over which do a great job still, and nobody has a lock on "best").