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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?

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  1. 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.

    1. Kossar's has pretty good bagels, which they don't make themselves. I hate H&H -- they're grotesquely oversized, lack any substance and are nearly as sweet as cake.

      I've read about but not been to a place on 1st Avenue at 13th Street.

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      1. Your title mentions bialys, and for those, of course, there's the one and only Kossar's. They also make bagels though I've never tried them.

        http://www.kossarsbialys.com

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

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            Ess-a-Bagel
            359 1st Ave, New York, NY 10010

            1 Reply
            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              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").