New York City is the place to find some of the best bagles, bialys, and babka. We’ve narrowed down the best shops serving up everything from schmear and lox to whitefish and omelettes. Don’t forget a black & white cookie for the road. By Carly Petrone/Jessica Allen.
273 Columbus Ave.
New York, NY 10023
More: Best Coffee Shops In NYC
Zucker’s Bagels & Smoked Fish has only been around for 10 years, but it’s certainly become a New York City staple during that time. Start your day out with a bagel that is rolled by hand and kettle-boiled in house – the traditional way! Lunch goers can enjoy corned beef piled high, pastrami, or a freshly tossed salad. Don’t forget to grab a cup of coffee on draft from La Colombe, or a fresh juice. Can’t make it all the way downtown? Zucker’s is now open on the Upper West Side on Columbus Ave.
367 Grand St.
New York, NY 10002
If you haven’t been to Kossar’s Bagels & Bialy’s on the Lower East Side in a while, you’ll definitely want to stop by. They’ve fully revamped their 1,100 square foot storefront, along the menu and their selection of products for sale. Customers can now order their bagel or bialy schmeared with fun and delicious options like their very own brand of parsley-dill, horseradish, and pickle cream cheeses. They’re also baking up a storm and offering up sweet treats like rugelach, mini black & white cookies, Hamentashen, and their ever-popular chocolate babka. Kossar’s has been around for more than 80 years, and we can see why!
283 Bleecker St.
New York, NY 10014
If you’re watching your carbs this winter but still want to indulge a little, stop by Bantam Bagels in the West Village. This adorable shop, run by husband and wife team Nick and Elyse Oleksak, is the answer to your bagel prayers. These bite-sized bagel balls are filled with glorious cream cheeses, thanks to awesome flavors like Everybody’s Favorite (everything bagel stuffed with veggie cream cheese), French Toast (cinnamon nutmeg egg bagel stuffed with buttered maple syrup cream cheese and topped with powdered sugar) and Doughnut (sugar glazed bagel stuffed with doughnut-flavored cream cheese.) Does it get any better than that? Actually, it does. Now you can buy dozens of Bantam Bagels online and have them shipped across the U.S. Learn more here.
500 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10011
Murray’s Bagels is certainly the go-to spot for the perfectly chewy bagel. This shop has been around since 1996 and has earned its fair share of regular customers, thanks to its superb service and large menu. This no-fuss eatery keeps it moving, with traditional bagel options like poppy seed, sesame, cinnamon raisin, egg, garlic, salt, everything, multi-grain, onion, plain, and whole wheat. Their tuna salad is outstanding while their omelettes on a bagel will keep you full for hours.
541 Amsterdam Ave.
New York, NY 10024
If you head uptown to Barney Greengrass on a Saturday or Sunday, get ready to wait a while. This Upper West Side institution has been serving up bagels and lox for more than 100 years and it shows no signs of stopping. Guests can even splurge on one of their caviar presentations, like the Red Salmon Caviar, with sour cream, and the American Caviar, made with chopped egg and onion. Of course, nothing beats a nice toasted bagel with schmear. You can also order their bagels and fish online. Learn more here.
287 Ninth Street
Bagel Pub specializes in “authentic American cuisine” made on site at its Park Slope location. These bagels tend to be bigger than some others on this list. They’ve got a nice sweetness, with a supple chew. You can get your bagel smeared with they wide selection of cream cheeses, stuffed with bacon, cheese, and egg, or draped in lox.
United by a love of the carb, two friends—one from New York and one from Montreal, both already successful restaurateurs—got together to create the platonic ideal of the bagel. Each and every bagel gets baked in a wood-fired oven, heightening the bagel’s delicious heft and increasing its crispiness. Then each bagel is cooled in a marble shoot. Sound complicated? Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. But the end result is OMG good. So so so good. Click here for more.
Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company
With multiple locations in Manhattan and Queens, every single bagel is made fresh daily, hand-rolled and water boiled on site. The flour is unbleached and unbromated, and the spelt bagel is out-of-this-world delicious. As are the egg, the pumpernickel, the everything, the whole wheat, the multigrain, the salt, whole wheat everything, and the garlic. And, yes, we really have tried all those flavors, and more.
Dyker Park Bagels
713 86th Street
Because any (and every) bagel store can give you a sesame or a marble, Dyker Park Bagels offer some terrific specialty bagels. Bonus: the Brooklyn location is open 24 hours a day! The hungry hordes (and the Internet) also swear by the restaurant’s Chicken Ridiculous sandwich, made with fried chicken, bacon, lettuce, oil and vinegar, tomato, salt, pepper, and fresh mozzarella.
831 Third Avenue
New York, NY
An oldie, but a goodie. A very, very, very good goodie. The line’s almost always out the door at this restaurant in Midtown, a veritable bagel-making institution. The owners come from a family of bakers back in Austria, so carby goodness is, you might say, baked into their DNA. At any rate, the bagels are dense and toothsome. If you opt for cream cheese, prepare to be amazed by the inch-or-so-thick slab that appears between the bagel’s halves.
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Carly Petrone is the founder of Petrone on the Rocks, a lifestyle site about food, drinks, beauty, travel, and more. She lives in New York City.