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Quick NY Bagel Poll: H&H or Ess-a-Bagel

Due to time restraints I have to do either of these bagel places for a first time NY bagel and can't consider another favorite of the board, Absolute. Which would you chose between the two? And can someone describe the difference? If it helps I'm in it for not only the bagel, but the lox as well.

1. H&H
2. Ess-a-Bagel
3. OTHER NEARBY EITHER (Please Name and Describe)

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  1. Ess-a-bagel are my favorite in the city. I do not like H&H at all, their bagels are way too sweet.

    1. H&H for a city bagel. I like Wonder Bagels in downtown Jersey City better.

      1. I'm an Ess-a girl :)

        I just had the nova (Russ & Daughters is the best) and white fish salad there recently too.

        2 Replies
        1. re: financialdistrictresident

          When I'm Upstate I found one local place (The Jonesville Cafe) that has H&H bagels . . .I haven't tried them yet but might need to. They're probably not fresh (unless they FedEx them) so toasting will be in order :) Only other option is Breugger's, yuck.

          1. re: financialdistrictresident

            Wait, where do Russ & Daughters bagels come from? Did you buy nova and white fish from R&D and plop it on an Ess-A?

          2. I don't live in NYC but I've had both and for me there is no comparison - Ess A Bagel is the best bagel of my life! I dream about them in New Orleans all year long.

            1. I like H&H but only the West Side branch. I haven't had an Ess-a in about 15 years but as I recall they were good. : ) You really can't go wrong with either.

              1. I haven't been to the UWS H&H in a dog's age, but I don't think they make sandwiches there, although they have packaged lox. Other than that, I'm staying out of this one. I like 'em both.

                1 Reply
                1. re: small h

                  You're right. H&H doesn't make sandwiches so if the OP wants lox on that bagel, it's probably going to have to be Ess-a-bagel. I've had both, though admittedly it's been a long time since I've been to Ess-a-bagel. While I enjoyed Ess-a-bagel, I remember thinking when I first tried an H&H bagel, "Wow, so this is what everyone's been talking about!" And as a West Sider, it's easier for me to get lox and an H&H bagel at Barney Greengrass than it is to trek over Ess-a-bagel for whitefish and a scooped poppy.

                2. I like Daniel's bagel's on First and 19th. Incomparable IMO.

                  1. I just read that H&H got shut down due to past due taxes... I think that knocks one contender out of the running.
                    my foodie blog; http://www.thursdayclubnyc.com

                    1 Reply
                    1. H&H... poppy seed from there with nova from fairway is perfection. Ess-a is too doughy, got to scoop them out to get the inside / skin ratio right... shouldn't need to do that to a bagel

                      1. Ess-a-bagel for sure! I love the chocolate chip cream cheese on a cinnamon raisen bagel. It's definitely worth the wait (or call ahead... they are great about that too).