It is no secret that the favorite delicatessen food of New Yorkers is the oh-so-delicious and chewy bagel. At one point in time bagels were considered to be bland and uninspiring breakfast food that was made somewhat palatable by the addition of cream cheese and lox. Today, walk into any bagel shop and you are bound to see more bagel flavors than you can possibly taste in one lifetime. In addition, there are more people who’ve become partial to bagels since they’ve now begun to be used as a base for sandwiches.
A long-standing debate that has raged between two groups of New Yorkers is whether bagels should be toasted or not. While most of them incline towards not toasting a fresh bagel (they say there is no need for it!), some prefer their bagels to be toasted to a crisp. Well, whether you like it chewy or crunchy, large or small, doughy or dense, New York has the finest establishments for all kinds of bagels.
569 3rd Ave. between 37th & 38th Sts
is a short walk away from the Grand Central and considered the bagel Mecca of New York. Don’t bother to ask them to toast it for you, because they won’t. However, their bagels are small and made the traditional style – crisp on the outside and chewy and dense on the inside. After you choose a bagel for yourself, proceed towards selecting the ingredients for your sandwich from among the rows of cheese, cold cuts, whitefish salad, and smoked salmon. As you enjoy and savor their classic bagels, you know your day has already started off well!
Yet another place that refuses to toast their bagels is Tal Bagels, their logic being that you’d never really need to toast fresh bagels, only stale and bad ones. Therefore, don’t cast aspersions on the quality of their bagels by asking for them to be toasted. They’ve got several outlets in New York – 333 East 86th St. between 1st and 2nd Ave., 2446 Broadway (90th), and 977 1st Ave. between 53rd and 54th. So, wherever you might be, a bagel from Tal Bagels is never far away from you.
2239 Broadway, at 80th Street
When talking of bagels and New York City, you have to pay homage to H&H Bagels (2239 Broadway, at 80th Street), the largest bagel manufacturer in NYC. If you are fond of the larger, fluffier, and doughier variety of bagels, you will love the ones that you find here. Their “Everything Bagel” that has a mixture of garlic, onion, sesame, poppy seed, and a whole bunch of other things is a popular favorite.
H&H Bagel is a New York institution and is considered by many to be the single best bagel shop in New York City, and in a city with so many bagels that’s really saying something. The west side store resides on one of the busiest blocks on the Upper West Side.
It is a no-frills take your bagels and run kind of place where the bagels are always fresh as can be. Their Everything bagel literally has everything on it, cinnamon raisin is sweet and flavorful and onion is chock full of onion flavor.. Go first thing in the morning when they are the freshest. They bake them all day, but there is something about the first batch. This is not a fancy establishment. It’s a bagel shop! No lattes, espressos it’s all just do it yourself. I always feel like I am going to a bagel factory. The aroma of fresh bagels will drive almost anyone crazy.
They don’t put cream cheese on for you, They won’t toast it either. They don’t even cut the bagel, and there’s no place to sit. Ita take-your-bagels-and-run.
Customer service it’s nonexistent. Part of that old-style New York charm. It’s Cash only. You should be coming here strictly for the bagels, no extra frills. With that in mind, they are worth it and they are delicious.
Feeling hungry already? Well, roll out of your bed or get up from your chair, head over to the nearest bagel joint, pick out your favorite, choose your fillings, have a sandwich made, open your mouth wide, take a bite, chew on it, relish the taste and thank your stars that you are in the land that’s overflowing with delicious bagels!