Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Feb 11, 2009 09:59 AM

Best Bagels

Sorry, we are newbies to NYC. I fondly remember an old Jewish deli from my youth that has long closed. Since then I have yet to find a great bagel: Crusty outside, chewy inside. We are in Manhattan next week. Any suggestions please?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: italianagambino

      I got some bagels from them recently. Granted that I got them in the evening and ate them the next morning, but that said: Their big (regular sized) onion bagel was nothing special, but their poppy and sesame mini-bagels were very good. I would highly suggest getting bagels there but restricting your purchase to mini-bagels only.

      1. re: Pan

        The girlfriend and I are Absolute Bagels regulars (she gets the everything bagel, I get the poppy, both with cream cheese, plus a coffee most times). You must go in the morning and ask them what's the freshest and you won't be disappointed.

        As with most places, the best bagel varieties at Absolute are going to be your old standbys - plain, sesame, poppy, and *maybe* everything. A dozen split between those varieties will serve you well.

        Absolute Bagels
        2788 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

        1. re: politicfool

          Onion bagels are certainly a venerable old flavor. Any good bagel shop should do well at them, and I'll bet that when Absolute has onion mini-bagels, they're good.

          Unfortunately, I live downtown, so the chances of me being able to go to Absolute in the morning are very low.

    2. Hey There,

      I'm a big fan of the bagel and I would say you want to go to H&H Bagel on the UWS (I think like 79th and Broadway) - they have amazing bagels and they are always fresh and hot. The only downfall is that they don't schmear it for you but Zabar's is literally right next door.

      There is also Ess-a-Bagel on 20th and 1st avenue (I think) and they have every schmear you could want - this is a full service bagel joint. I would say they lean more towards the crusty outside, chewy inside bagels.

      Hope this helps!

      1. You will find as many opinions on this as there are people on this board. As a lifelong New Yorker and virtually daily bagel eater, I must say I am not an H&H fan (I don't like the taste or texture) and Ess-a Bagel's are way too bloated and thick to my mind.

        My favorite are at EAT on Madison (80th St.) -- super crusty and chewy -- though I normally get the ones from Gourmet Garage (various locations up-, mid-, and downtown) because there is one a block from my home and they are also very good.

        4 Replies
        1. re: City Kid

          I agree with Ess a Bagel...WAY TO doughy and not very flavorful..

          1. re: City Kid

            We have 2 days and 2 nights and I am going to schlep my soon to be bought bagels back to MA. We will be staying near 200 West 12th Street, I believe the meat packing district. Is EAT or Gourmet near there??

            1. re: mrwynter

              Here are the locations for Gourmet Garage, the village one is within striking distance of you:

              EAT does not have a location near you, but Murray's on 6th Ave near 13th St. is very good and not far from you

              If you feel like venturing a bit farther (lower east side where there are other great food finds, just search this board for "lower east side") there is Kossar's, a real, old-time New York institution for their bialies and bagels, and my favorite, their pletzel, which is a large, chewy onion-sprinked disk and fabulous! It is definitely worth the shlep for the authentic experience.

              1. re: City Kid

                Kossar's is awesome. Do keep in mind that they close for the Sabbath. And while you're down there, you can hit up Russ & Daughters for some salmon:

          2. Empire City Bagels
            Tal Bagels
            Use to review menu and address


            1. If you're staying on West 12th, just walk straight over to 6th Avenue to Murray's. You will not be disappointed!

              2 Replies
              1. re: sea97horse

                Murray's bagels are overpriced, to my mind. Try Bagel Bob's on University, between 10th and 9th.

                1. re: sea97horse

                  Another vote for Murray's. There's another location about a block from my apartment at 23rd & 8th. Now if only they'd toast...