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are H&H bagels still the best??

  • m

and if not, which bagel is best

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  1. 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. 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. 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

          are H&H bagels still the best??

          You betcha they are! :-)

        2. 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. re: guttergourmet

              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. Aren't there more than one H+H?

              5 Replies
              1. re: chaz

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

                1. re: nativeNYer

                  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

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

                    1. re: nativeNYer

                      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

                        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. H & H definitely has my vote...

                1. 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. My vote goes to Ess-a-Bagel.

                    1. 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

                        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

                          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

                            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

                              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

                                aha -- thanks for the explanations!

                                1. re: ESNY

                                  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

                                  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

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

                                    1. re: meatme

                                      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

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

                                        1. re: ajs42548

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

                              2. 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.

                                  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

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

                                    1. re: LNG212

                                      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. 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. 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

                                      I believe they bake their own bagels.

                                    2. ugggg. they never were, read below

                                      1. 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. 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. 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

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

                                                1. re: intrepid

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

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

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: anna_harlem

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

                                                  1. re: anna_harlem

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

                                                  2. 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

                                                      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

                                                        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

                                                          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

                                                            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.