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are H&H bagels still the best??

MarkG Mar 15, 2008 04:08 AM

and if not, which bagel is best

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  1. a
    addictedtolunch RE: MarkG Mar 15, 2008 04:14 AM

    They never were, though they are fine for most purposes. A bit too much sugar, overly soft interior as a vehicle for lox etc. Depends on what you are using the bagel for.

    1. l
      Lucia RE: MarkG Mar 15, 2008 09:27 AM

      A lot of people like Ess-a Bagel, which I tried once and didn't love. Other contenders are Absolute Bagels and Murray's Bagels.

      1. n
        nativeNYer RE: MarkG Mar 15, 2008 10:23 AM

        i really prefer h&h over ess-a-bagel by far. actually, i don't feel there is any comparison and i just don't understand their appeal. but, then again, i prefer a soft interior.

        absolute bagels is also very good. murrays is not bad either. i still can't find an equivalent manhattan bagel to the ones i 've had in the outer boroughs or nj. i love those bubbles on the crust with a soft interior and more porous with a crispy exterior but nothing too heavy.

        i also appreciate the fact that h&h has fresh bagels no matter what time you saunter in there. even as late as 1am, you can actually get a fresh bagel (sometimes even hot) . any other place will either be long closed, out of bagels or toss a stale bagel at you for being stupid enough for wanting a bagel outside of the only time you are ever supposed to eat bagels (6am-11am)!!!!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: nativeNYer
          idia RE: nativeNYer Mar 15, 2008 10:27 AM

          are H&H bagels still the best??

          You betcha they are! :-)

        2. LNG212 RE: MarkG Mar 15, 2008 11:23 AM

          absolutely the best. And as nativeNYer pointed out, you can go in there almost any time of day and get a fresh one, still hot from the oven. Crispy exterior, soft interior.

          1. guttergourmet RE: MarkG Mar 15, 2008 03:00 PM

            Ess-a-bagel kicks H&H's ass.

            1 Reply
            1. re: guttergourmet
              charlie_b RE: guttergourmet Mar 15, 2008 04:49 PM

              i like H&H fine, although i will say i've never had one direct from them.

              i really like Tal bagels, and think they're awesome, esp. the sesame (my personal favorite).

            2. c
              chaz RE: MarkG Mar 15, 2008 05:48 PM

              Aren't there more than one H+H?

              5 Replies
              1. re: chaz
                nativeNYer RE: chaz Mar 15, 2008 08:45 PM

                yup. there's one on 80th and brdwy and the other is on 46th and 12th. never been to the latter.

                1. re: nativeNYer
                  LNG212 RE: nativeNYer Mar 16, 2008 08:19 AM

                  Yes, and those 2 are related. However there's apparently also a place on the east side calling themselves H&H that is emphatically not related to the west side ones (according to the west side people).

                  1. re: LNG212
                    nativeNYer RE: LNG212 Mar 16, 2008 09:19 AM

                    wow. i guess they are getting away with it b/c the original is 'h&h bagels'?????

                    1. re: nativeNYer
                      LNG212 RE: nativeNYer Mar 16, 2008 11:31 AM

                      Maybe. There was a big sign hanging in the 80th St. location. So, of course, I had to ask. :) The people were emphatic that the east side "H&H" had nothing to do with their venerable operation. The disgust dripping from their words about that other place was palpable. But since I'd never heard of the east side place, I'm not familiar with any *history* or anything -- and wasn't about to ask about it either!

                      1. re: LNG212
                        nativeNYer RE: LNG212 Mar 16, 2008 08:08 PM

                        this would be my nightmare if i owned a business. i would hope their customers would know the difference without question like us. as far as the other place is concerned,... well, never mind, i'll just be deleted.

              2. 1
                10yrresident RE: MarkG Mar 15, 2008 06:59 PM

                H & H definitely has my vote...

                1. vvvindaloo RE: MarkG Mar 15, 2008 09:16 PM

                  My personal favorite is Murray's, but H&H bagels are still great, IMO, and probably still considered the gold standard by most NYers. I do not care for Ess-a-Bagel at all.

                  1. scarlet starlet RE: MarkG Mar 16, 2008 07:36 PM

                    My vote goes to Ess-a-Bagel.

                    1. c
                      cimui RE: MarkG Mar 16, 2008 09:03 PM

                      I'm going to ask a dumb question: How are H&H and Ess-a-Bagel bagels different? I've had bagels from both the UWS H&H and Ess-a-Bagel. I thought they were both great. But I didn't do a side by side comparison. H&H bagels innards are soft, but not without bite. I think I remember Ess-a-Bagel bagels being similar. Can someone enlighten me as to the stylistic difference?

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: cimui
                        guttergourmet RE: cimui Mar 17, 2008 09:58 AM

                        I am an Ess-a-Bagel fan. If you don't like your bagels big, hot, crusty on the outside and soft on the inside with about a pound of onions, garlic, poppys or other toppings then go with the other guys.

                        1. re: guttergourmet
                          cimui RE: guttergourmet Mar 17, 2008 12:59 PM

                          Hmm. So I'm basically hearing that H&H and Ess-a-Bagel are pretty much the same, stylistically, but Ess-a-Bagel has more by way of toppings. H&H appears to sell bagels that are big, hot, crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, as well.

                          1. re: cimui
                            guttergourmet RE: cimui Mar 18, 2008 01:52 PM

                            ess-a-bagels are just like H&H on steroids, i.e. twice the size and hence twice the amount of toppings.

                            1. re: cimui
                              ESNY RE: cimui Mar 18, 2008 02:19 PM

                              H&H bagels have an inherent sweetness to it that Ess-a-bagles dont. I'm def. an ess-a-bagel guy.

                              1. re: ESNY
                                cimui RE: ESNY Mar 18, 2008 04:17 PM

                                aha -- thanks for the explanations!

                                1. re: ESNY
                                  vvvindaloo RE: ESNY Mar 20, 2008 07:36 AM

                                  Funny, I have found Ess-a-bagel to be more on the sweet side, while the outside is less crispy than I would like. They are definitely the largest, though.

                                2. re: cimui
                                  fsd1116 RE: cimui Mar 18, 2008 09:02 PM

                                  IMHO Ess-a-Bagel and H&H are a breed apart. Ess-a-Bagel has a crisp outside, chewy, dense inside, and is loaded with toppings. H&H are smaller, sweeter and less dense. Each has its strong points and legion of rabid proponents. I grew up near Ess-a-Bagel. Maybe that's why I'm more partial...

                                  1. re: fsd1116
                                    meatme RE: fsd1116 Mar 19, 2008 09:07 PM

                                    Sweet + less dense = not a good bagel, no?

                                    1. re: meatme
                                      a_and_w RE: meatme Mar 20, 2008 09:55 AM

                                      Not necessarily, no. Some, myself included, prefer a more traditional NY bagel that's a bit denser and chewier than H&H.

                                      1. re: meatme
                                        ajs42548 RE: meatme Mar 20, 2008 03:16 PM

                                        Correct, sweet and less dense is NOT what a bagel should be.

                                        1. re: ajs42548
                                          a_and_w RE: ajs42548 Mar 20, 2008 05:47 PM

                                          Oops, I misread the post. I completely agree that sweet and less dense is NOT what a bagel should be.

                              2. Sophia. RE: MarkG Mar 17, 2008 09:25 AM

                                I basically chose my apartment for two reasons, and proximity to Ess-a-Bagel was one of them. a west-side friend made me try H&H once and I wasn't really thrilled...kind of reminded me a little of Dunkin' Donuts. however, I give H&H points for having BLUEBERRY, which my beloved Ess-a-Bagel doesn't offer.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Sophia.
                                  bosox RE: Sophia. Mar 17, 2008 09:41 AM

                                  there is also an H&H on the UES...80th/2nd i believe...i like H&H bagels but i actually had a great bagel from hot&crusty yesterday morning. not my ultimate favorite but still very good...

                                  1. re: bosox
                                    LNG212 RE: bosox Mar 17, 2008 10:06 AM

                                    see my comment above re: the "H&H" on the east side.

                                    1. re: LNG212
                                      bosox RE: LNG212 Mar 17, 2008 10:16 AM

                                      that's so interesting - i was always told they were related. and i've never had a bad experience with the 80th st location! i used to live on block up so it was my regular bagel place.
                                      now i'm on the uws and frequent both zabars and h&h for bagels...

                                2. o
                                  offthebeatenpath1 RE: MarkG Mar 17, 2008 09:58 AM

                                  my vote is for Absolute. Crunchy on the outside and chewy (but not too chewy) on the inside. Also, my second favorite is Daniel's bagels on 38th street.

                                  1. Ora RE: MarkG Mar 17, 2008 10:12 AM

                                    Anyone know where Fairway gets their bagels from? They aren't ethereal, but they are quite a contender for 60 cents! A very good supermarket bagel indeed! Also bagels vary by flavor tremendously. I love Absolute's sesame, but I find the raisin disappointing--not enough cinnamon and color. H&H has a good raisin, but I don't like their sesame. I could go on and on...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Ora
                                      daveyboy RE: Ora Mar 18, 2008 03:28 PM

                                      I believe they bake their own bagels.

                                    2. i
                                      intrepid RE: MarkG Mar 17, 2008 10:23 AM

                                      ugggg. they never were, read below

                                      1. a
                                        ajs42548 RE: MarkG Mar 17, 2008 01:03 PM

                                        As was pointed out already, H&H uses too much sugar. In my opinion, the best bagels are now found in the outer boroughs and LI.

                                        1. m
                                          marlie202 RE: MarkG Mar 19, 2008 08:00 AM

                                          Yes H&H bagels are the best. I have eaten all of the mentioned bagels and prefer H&H-everything bagel and tasty whole wheat bagel are my favorites.

                                          1. a_and_w RE: MarkG Mar 20, 2008 09:45 AM

                                            The best depends on your preference, but I don't like that H&H serves a non-traditional NY bagel that's softer and sweeter than most. Some prefer Ess-A-Bagel, but they always reminded me of an enormous stale sandwich roll. I really like Murray's, which are more manageable and provide a nice balance of density and crust, esp. when fresh out of the oven. As Goldilocks would say, just right...

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: a_and_w
                                              vvvindaloo RE: a_and_w Mar 20, 2008 10:15 AM


                                              1. re: a_and_w
                                                intrepid RE: a_and_w Mar 21, 2008 10:40 AM

                                                most hole in the wall places in brooklyn and queens are better than H&H, way better

                                                1. re: intrepid
                                                  ajs42548 RE: intrepid Mar 21, 2008 02:40 PM

                                                  Yup that's what I said previously. The outer boroughs and LI have better bagels on average than most places in Manhattan

                                              2. a
                                                anna_harlem RE: MarkG Mar 21, 2008 11:50 AM

                                                no way!! Absolute bagels at 108th and Broadway are the best.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: anna_harlem
                                                  intrepid RE: anna_harlem Mar 21, 2008 12:02 PM

                                                  ok, new yorkers have a thing with " the best", cant be good,, gotta be the best...go ny go lololol

                                                  1. re: anna_harlem
                                                    cimui RE: anna_harlem Mar 24, 2008 03:49 AM

                                                    I just tried them for the first time this past weekend. They are good!

                                                  2. b
                                                    bodoben RE: MarkG Mar 23, 2008 12:29 AM

                                                    What ever happened to Columbia Bagels near 110th and Broadway? Those were the best bagels I've ever had. I'd take guests from out of town and they'd nearly collapse with pleasure. Did they move, or is the whole operation gone?

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: bodoben
                                                      nativeNYer RE: bodoben Mar 23, 2008 09:50 AM

                                                      columbia bagels has been gone since 2004. dynasty and westside market met the same fate all on the same corner. westside market has returned but the bagel store never resurfaced. i liked their bagels as well.

                                                      1. re: nativeNYer
                                                        Joe Food RE: nativeNYer Mar 23, 2008 05:16 PM

                                                        Yep, the building all three were in was torn down to make room for a new building. Only Westside Market returned.

                                                        Absolute Bagels is only two blocks away and has mighty fine bagels.

                                                        1. re: nativeNYer
                                                          squid kun RE: nativeNYer Mar 24, 2008 11:54 AM

                                                          Apparently the Columbia folks turned up near Times Square ... http://www.chowhound.com/topics/37399...

                                                          Times Square Hot Bagels
                                                          200 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

                                                          1. re: squid kun
                                                            nativeNYer RE: squid kun Mar 24, 2008 02:49 PM

                                                            wow! thanks. I did not know this until now. i just called them. yup, they confirmed they are the same bagel store but they close by 11pm. i gotta give this a try. thanks again.

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