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Best bagel near Penn station?

Staying at the TRYP hotel on W 35th street. We're only there for 2 days, and I really don't want a hotel breakfast. Any other non-bagel breakfast places appreciated, also

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  1. Breakfast near Penn Station:

    Where to Eat Near Penn Station:

    If you can go for a short walk, I love breakfast/brunch at the Breslin at the Ace Hotel. One of the best and most creative breakfasts/brunches in the city.

    1. I don't know of any excellent bagel places nearby Penn Station but there may be. If the weather permits walk over to Ess-A-Bagel on 1st Ave and E 21 St. It's not a short walk but worth it for an outstanding bagel.
      For breakfast try Penelope on Lexington and 30th St. A shorter walk.
      There is also Route 66 on 9th Ave. Sorry, not a short walk either.
      The Tick Tock diner is close but awful I.M.H.O..
      The Skylight Diner on W34 just off 9th Ave is pretty good if you keep it simple.

      11 Replies
      1. re: Motosport

        Ess-A-Bagel used to be great but with so many great bagels these days, I wonder if they are still considered good.
        I bought a dozen a few months ago and I was rather disappointed.

          1. re: Motosport

            To be honest, my town in NJ has one of the best tasting bagels in my opinion..it's funny that a bagel shop in a small NJ town has good bagels but they are amazing. My husband is from Great Neck, NY and I was very disappointed that I couldn't find any good bagels from that town either with so many Jewish people. I also liked the bagels from a shop called the bagel store in Brooklyn.

            1. re: Monica

              .......and the name of the NJ Bagel Shop???? Might be worth a trip.

              1. re: Motosport

                Celebrity bagel shop in Tenafly NJ. We usually get them in the morning when they are hot....so hot I almost burnt mt hands once. Crisp outside and nice and doughy inside. They really are good. Another shop you should try is Bergen boulevard bagel shop in palisades park NJ. They too make exellent bagels. Tenafly is about 10 min north of GWD. Pal Park is also about 10 min from GWB. Give them a try if you get a chance.

          2. re: Monica

            Agree. Ess-A-Bagel's are no longer good, even fresh and hot. I used to love them.

            Loading them up with schmear and other toppings probably helps disguise how bad they are now.

            1. re: sugartoof

              Crispy crust, doughy inside and massive amounts of coatings makes my day. They are a bit big but I finish that off at lunch. Ess-A-Bagel is one of the few water bagel places. Too many bread rings posing as bagels.

              1. re: Motosport

                I've had cardboard with more flavor than a current Ess-a-bagel.

                The bread ring epidemic has been replaced by a Ess-a, Pick-a-bagel epidemic, or the lifeless things they sell at Whole Foods and elsewhere.

        1. If you're interested in bagel take out nearby -- or eating in a small, very modest place -- Zaro's Bakery inside Penn Station is pretty good, fresh and usually warm. I personally wouldn't go out of my way for Ess-a-Bagel, bloated and too bready, but I know there is a divergence of opinion on this subject.

          6 Replies
          1. re: City Kid

            Zaro's is indeed pretty good. I'd never even considered getting bagels from there, but I recently picked up a half dozen and was impressed: hot, fresh, "correct" amount of stuff on them. (Whole Foods sells bagels - Iggy's, maybe? - that are completely blanketed with sesame seeds. They're ridiculous.)

            1. re: small h

              Zaro's are bread rings and not water bagels.

              1. re: Motosport

                I would've made a flip remark like that myself, had I not very recently had Zaro's bagels and liked them. They were properly chewy, not like bread rings at all.

                1. re: small h

                  Agree about Zaro's, I didn't expect much and was very pleasantly surprised. Nice and chewy and not at all bready.

                  1. re: City Kid

                    Water boiling produces the nice crispy crust.

            2. re: City Kid

              I make it a point to grab a Zaro's bagel whenever I have to make a connection in Penn Station.

            3. Zaro's is a really good choice and its in penn station BUT Bagel Maven on 30th and 7th is SOOOOO good!!! definitely recommend- great spreads and awesome tuna/deli

              1. Brooklyn Bagel on 8th ave and 25st would be your best bet in my opinion.

                A second option would be Murray's Bagels a bit further south but also on 8th ave.

                5 Replies
                  1. re: dyrewolf

                    And 22nd & 8th. Which isn't what I think of as "near Penn Station," but it's not that far, really.


                    1. re: small h

                      Yeah, that is why I suggested Brooklyn Bagel first. I like Murray's better but it is a few blocks further south. Worth the walk though if you ask me. Both have good bagels but I think Murray's has better food.

                    2. re: dyrewolf

                      I was recently underwhelmed by my old favorite Ess-a-Bagel, they seem a bit flavorless.

                      Murrays is absolutely worth the walk from Penn Station!

                    3. re: Yaxpac

                      I was also going to suggest Brooklyn Bagel.
                      The bagels actually still have some taste here.

                    4. You can get a pretty good bagel at Bread Factory, 7th ave bet 35-36th st. I think it's only a block or 2 from where you are staying.

                      1. I love my chow peeps! You always come through! I'm fine with walking, but my family may not want to go to far without nourishment. I've made a great list thanks!

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: roxanne207

                          I think I'd skip the bagel, even though you're hoping to get a NY specialty and look for nourishment options closer by.

                          The truth is, our bagel scene isn't really thriving these days, and New Yorkers tend to eat versions that either don't measure up, or aren't as good as we know a great NY bagel should be. You'll get a good bagel, but it's unlikely to be life changing. It's a difficult request.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            I don't think that's true anymore, but a bad NY bagel is more offensive to me than a bad bagel elsewhere.

                            1. re: sugartoof

                              Personally, I'd take a bad, day-old NY bagel (from, say, E-A-B) than a fresh one from a place like Einstein Bros. or Noah's Bagels or some other national chain.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                Yeah? I think those Ess a bagels go stale quicker than most, and can taste like cardboard so that choice would prompt a fair amount of inner turmoil for me.

                                The other problem is Ess a bagel is considered at the top of the NY bagel food chain, and not really representative of what most people in NY eat when they go for a bagel.

                                1. re: sugartoof

                                  I'm confused. This is my first trip to NY. What do most people in NY eat when they go for a bagel?

                                  1. re: roxanne207

                                    People just buy whatever is convenient.

                                    The latest are places that advertise "hand rolled" when they're not even made from scratch. They're not all bad, they just don't compare for anyone who has had the real thing. Usually something is lacking, whether it's freshness, taste/flavor, or texture.

                                    1. re: roxanne207

                                      roxanne207, understand something.

                                      These replies are trying to steer you to the "best" bagel.

                                      NYers, most of them anyway (b/c most are *not* Chowhounds) will eat just about any round breaded product labeled a bagel.

                                      And most NYers think E-A-B is darn good, esp. judging the lines at the place most weekend mornings.

                                      So is E-A-B the best? Maybe, but probably not. Is it the worst? No, definitely no.

                                      I think most people can agree that E-A-B is somewhere between average and pretty good, and for a visitor wanting to try a good exemplar of a NY-style bagel, E-A-B would not be a bad place to start or finish.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        The last time NY had anything resembling a thriving bagel scene, there were always different schools, and distinct preferences for bagels.

                                        The largest factions were either fans of H & H bagel, which is gone, or Ess-A-bagel. Both places were polarizing. Now that only one of those are left, it gets a pass. I was always in the Ess-A camp, so I'm biased, but I think it's fair to say most people today regard it as one of the last bastions of a classic NY bagel, even though it's size and texture is unique to the signature NY style. Ess-A won out in a lot of ways...New Yorkers now expect a giant meal sized bagel.

                                        Lines are no indication they're good. They're just the last of the Mohicans, and that's why I'd send a tourist there.

                                        If we were really talking best bagle, I'm not sure it's in Manhattan anymore.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          "...And most NYers think E-A-B is darn good, esp. judging the lines at the place most weekend mornings. "

                                          95% tourists and out-of-towners.

                                          1. re: RCC

                                            Disagree on the "tourist and out of towner" statement.
                                            Then again, isn't NYC a tourist destination with out of town Chowhounders checking out all of the recs.
                                            I do enjoy chatting up the obvious non locals on the lines. Most are visiting local friends who direct them to Ess-A-Bagel, Katz's etc..
                                            My liveliest conversations are with Boston Red Sux fans who insist on wearing their "colors" in Yankee town.

                                            1. re: Motosport

                                              It's obvious that I buy my occasional breakfast bagel at EAB because it's on my way to work, and it's also obvious that those waiting for 45 minutes in line are readers of NY tour-books where EAB is written about. None of them know that you can get the bagels and the cream cheese spreads without lining up. I always walk in straight to the take out counter without any wait.

                                              And why are we talking about EAB? It's nowhere near Penn Station.

                            2. The best bagel is @ Best Bagel--225 West 35th street !! Found it in Feb while staying at The New Yorker. Now have orders from friends to bring back bagels to Cape Cod on the next trip...Best Bagel is between 7th and 8th Ave.......

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Quahog

                                They don't call it "Best Bagel" for nuttin!!

                                1. re: Motosport

                                  Agreed! there isa Chinesebakery across the street from Best Bagel..Have you been there or know anything about it. Didn'thavetime to check it out....