Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Jun 14, 2013 01:29 PM

New York style bagels

Help, please!!
I am from New York, and like my bagels HARD!
Brueggers in my neighborhood used to be somewhat reasonable, but now they too are making big, plump bagels, that are way too soft,
Is there anyplace in the greater Lexington, MA area where I can find decent, firm bagels??I am desperate!


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Have you tried Ray's New York style bagels? I find them in the
    frozen food section of my local Shaw's. Combined with
    Zausner's whipped cream cheese from WF...great way
    to start the day

    1. Same answer as every other bagel thread, go to Katz in Chelsea, there is no alternative

      2 Replies
      1. re: Luther

        Definitely agree with Katz and pickup corned beef + chopped liver at Arthurs.

        I am curious if anyone has tried Brooklyn Water Bagels in Framingham as I have yet to make it out that way. Marketing shtick for sure, but I am still interested in trying it.

        1. re: itaunas

          I had a sesame with Miami lox cream cheese. Dense and chewy outside with a nice moist inside. Cream cheese a little fishy.

      2. Iggy's are harder and more Montreal-style but they may be closer in texture to what you are looking for. Rosenthal's in newton center make the best bagels locally.

        24 Replies
        1. re: teezeetoo

          I really like Iggy's but I can't compare them in a material way to an NY bagel. The closest is Katz's. Rosenfeld's - note the spelling - makes a very good bagel but it's not NY.

          Another choice is Bagel Rising on Comm Ave near Harvard. Decent bagels. Really good bagel sandwiches.

          1. re: lergnom

            I never would have thought to try Bagel Rising, thanks for the tip

            1. re: Luther

              2nd for Bagel Rising. It's not a good NY bagel, but in Boston it's the best of the rest and has been consistently good for a long time.

              1. re: Luther

                Yeah, Bagel Rising is pretty good. Do they still carry them at Espresso Royale?

              2. re: lergnom

                Rosenfeld's is just ok - we trekked out to Newton a couple of weekends ago to try out these much lauded bagels. They're not bad, but they're still not quite right.

                1. re: gini

                  This is true. Rosenfeld's due score high if you're marking on a curve, which is to say they are in the running for Boston's best, but Boston's best bagels fall short of greatness.
                  However, friends in NYC tell me that the quality of bagels there have markedly declined in the past decade of so. If true -- and I have nothing more than this anecdotal evidence -- maybe the great New York bagel no longer exists anywhere except in our memories and dreams.

                  1. re: katzzz

                    There are bad bagels and good bagels, but I think everyone's "best" bagel among good alternatives is a matter of taste. However, Rosenfeld's is better than anything I've had in New York City. Rosenfeld's bagels, however, must be consumed with minutes of purchase. Even a few hours later they become harder and stale. Bagel Hut in Great Neck, NY, however, has the best bagels I've ever had. There are no longer Jewish neighborhoods in New York City, but there are on Long Island, so its not surprising that the best bagels have migrated to the suburbs.

                    1. re: lipoff

                      Totally off topic for this board, but yes the best bagels are in fact now on Long Island.

                      1. re: mkfisher

                        actually the best NY bagels I've had are at Great Barrington Bagel Company on Route 7 in Great Barrington. Far and away the best bagels I've found.

                        1. re: mkfisher

                          Queens and Brooklyn are part of Long Island...Still some good bagel stores there too..Such as Utopia Bagels in Whitestone, NY

                        2. re: lipoff

                          My non-scientific research tells me that lifespan of a fresh bagel from Rosenfelds is less than 20 minutes (that's how long it takes me to get them home) before they need some toasting to bring them back to life.

                          I have great memories of the bagels from some small shops in Rockland/Bergen counties of NY/NJ. Even Goldbergs (small chain which made good, but not the best bagels) are better than anything I've had in this area.

                          1. re: lipoff

                            bagel hut is pretty good, but let there be bagels in port washington is better. :)

                            there are a few good bagel places left in manhattan (including a random one near penn station in the depths of the garment district), but the best are definitely on long island.

                      2. re: lergnom

                        Iggy's bagel's toast beautifully. Far more interesting flavor than oversized fake NY bagel's everywhere.

                        If you're looking for the old-fashion NY bagel that was smaller and firmer (and non-existent today) try Iggy's.

                        1. re: Grubstake69

                          I actually think Iggy's is much more of a Montreal-style than a NY style. Not that Montreal bagels don't have their merits, but a NY bagel it is not.

                          1. re: gini

                            TOTALLY agree, as an NYC boy myself, while a nice piece of bread, New York Style, Iggy's bagels are not.

                          2. re: Grubstake69

                            While I adore Iggy's breads, I'm not a fan of their bagels, which are not at all like old- or new-fashioned NYC bagels: they're the right size, but they're too tough and too chewy. Nor are they like the Montreal bagels which Iggy's allegedly is trying to emulate; again, right size, wrong texture.

                            1. re: katzzz

                              Just to be clear on Iggy's, according to their website they are not claiming to emulate Montreal-style.They started out trying to do so (presumably without the wood oven) but then developed their own style.


                              1. re: deglazer

                                Thanks for pointing out the non-Montrealness of Iggy's bagels. Many years ago, before Iggy's started making bagels, I was talking to Mrs. Iggy (a former Montrealer) and she told me they were planning to start making Montreal-style bagels. I always assumed that remained the intention, but clearly, as you point out, it is not. Amazing what you can learn from a web site! But I still don't care for their bagels. Like biting into something created for a teething toddler to chew on for hours.

                                1. re: katzzz

                                  The trick with Iggy's bagel is a long toast time. More than I would toast a regular bagel. Almost till they're crispy. I love the multi-seeded with cream cheese, and whatever - capers, ripe tomato, salt, cracked pepper.

                                  Purists will correctly point out that this is not a true NY bagel, or even Montreal. But it has become my favorite.

                                  1. re: Grubstake69

                                    That assumes you *like* a toasted bagel, which I do not. Fresh and chewy is best for me....

                                    1. re: Science Chick

                                      If its fresh and chewy you should without a doubt check out Newmans in Swampscott.

                                  2. re: katzzz

                                    I actually see plenty of Montrealness, just pointing out what their website says. I think if you lined up all Boston bagels against one of the classics from Montreal, Iggy's would be the closest by far.

                                    Wondering if Area 4 has been mentioned? They have a bagel that's soft and bread-y but I still liked it quite a lot.

                                2. re: katzzz

                                  Agree about the tough and chewy. I toasted one once and it took me a half hour to eat it and my jaw was sore! Tasty but a whole lot of work to get down. Hmm..maybe you burn off all the calories by the time you get to the end? ;-)

                                  1. re: Jpan99

                                    My husband picked up some sesame bagels from Iggy's this morning shortly after 7. They were hot, and after a brief toasting they were absolutely delicious. They are loaded with sesame on both the top and the bottom, and the seeds get toasted a bit more which really accentuates the flavors.

                                    I have no idea if they are authentic in any tradition, but we love them.

                          3. Not NY style per se, but my favorite in the area is Newmans in Swampscott.. Rye bagel with a schmear of lox spread.

                            1. Surprisingly, Wegman's makes a pretty good bagel. Northborough probably isn't very convenient to you, but once the Burlington branch opens up, check it out. They do them fresh, and properly boiled.