The best bagel shops in NYC are all well and good, but what about when you stumble out of some random person's bed at 7am and are in desperate need of an everything oozing with cream cheese but are NOWHERE NEAR any of those best bagel shops? WHAT THEN, HUH THRILLIST?
Then this: 30 neighborhoods, 30 bagel shops, all ready to feed you on your stumble of shame home.
A bona fide East Village institution, weekend lines at Tompkins Square Bagels routinely go beyond the front door. But with hand-rolled bagels, cream cheese flavors like chipotle avocado and jalapeño cheddar, and a large selection of specialty sandwiches for $8 or less, TSB is well worth the wait... for the intern in your office who’s getting everyone bagels.
Customers can watch a variety of bagels, flagels, and mini bagels being baked on premises at this Downtown shop, a rare treat that’s sweetened by the massive selection of spreads, sandwiches, and salads.
After nearly five decades in business, Bagel Oasis has definitely earned its name. An expert in old-fashioned bagel preparation (the shop uses malt instead of sugar, a key to that perfect crunchy outside, soft inside texture), its sizable selection of spreads and sandwiches only add to its cozy neighborhood appeal.
The lines are always long at this Greenwich Village hub, but with freshly made bagels, a solid selection of cream cheeses, sandwiches like the Red Hook Brooklyn (roast beef, Swiss, and roasted peppers), and that Crossy Road app you just downloaded on your phone, it’s totally worth the wait.
Little Italy is known for a lot of things, but great bagels aren’t one of them. That’s why we’re thrilled to have discovered Baz, where the bagels are crisp, the service is reliable, and egg sandwiches are served all damn day.
This unassuming bagel shop gets the job done with a variety of circular breakfast options and cream cheeses, cheap prices (just $2.50 for a bagel w/ cream cheese), and egg sandwiches served ‘til 3pm daily.
A Columbia campus favorite, this Jewish deli-meets-bagel shop specializes in traditional bagels and spreads, plus it's got famous black & white cookies, which, turns out, aren’t even actually cookies (whaaaaaa?).
This Insta-famous standout is one of the hottest bagel shops in NYC, and there are plenty of reasons why. With bagels that’re rolled by hand, boiled in honey water, then baked in a wood-fired oven, Black Seed’s bagels have an unmistakable texture and taste that no one in NYC is matching anytime soon. And when you order up a No. 13 (egg, cheddar, and maple-baked ham) on a toasted multigrain everything? That’s what we call #EEEEEATS magic.
All ordering at this no-frills establishment is done through a walkup window, an old-school attribute that only adds to the retro appeal of the classically baked bagels and simple menu that focuses on doing the basics right.
Efficiency can be a rarity amongst bagel shops, but Bagels on the Square has it covered. With rapidly turned orders, an impressive selection of bagels and cream cheeses, and 24-hour service (yes, we’re serious) there’s nothing we don’t love about this West Village outpost.
Specializing in old-fashioned bagels served in a neighborly setting, The Bagel Store whips up an impressive selection of bagels including the buttery salted pretzel, egg challah, and an utterly epic bacon, egg, and cheddar cheese bagel.
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Adam Pomerantz (co-founder of Murray's Bagels) is behind this classic New York shop, so expect the same caliber of bagels that his breakfast alma mater delivers. The bagels are all hand-rolled and baked in small batches on site, and you can top them with a bevy of cream cheese flavors, in addition to lox or the classic bacon, egg & cheese combo. Leo's offers lunch options as well, from soups and sandwiches to salads, and effectively caters to a community of both workers and residents of the Wall St area.
Right by Tompkins Square Park, this Alphabet City bagel shop has a ton of unique homemade cream cheeses (bacon scallion, chocolate chip cookie dough, birthday cake, chipotle avocado, etc). The plump and chewy bagels range in flavor from plain, sesame, and poppy to French toast, pumpkin, and spelt. The line typically goes out the door on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and note: it's cash-only.
Gezunte, which also goes by the name Books and Bagels, is a cozy kosher bakery serving bagels, sandwiches, and coffee alongside books on Jewish spirituality and food. It's a far cry from the packed bagel shops in commuter-laden areas, as you're invited to sit and enjoy within the cafe. In a unique twist on New York bagel preparation, if you ask for yours toasted you'll be getting it flattened in a panini press. This gives more all-around crunch and warmth to the bagel, so we're not complaining about this unique method.
Hidden behind a weathered, nondescript facade, Bagel Oasis shelfs some of freshest NYC bagels across all varieties, including salt, whole wheat, egg, and bialys. Best of all, it's open 24/7, so even your post-3am sliced-nova-on-pumpernickel cravings can be satisfied.
Bagel Express III is the Gramercy outpost of a dependable and no-frills local bagel chain. The lines get long on the weekends, but the service is fast and reliable. The massive menu includes breakfast favorites like bacon, egg, and cheeses and open-face lox sandwiches, plus a vast selection of cream cheeses including the spot’s signatures like mango, jalapeño asado, avocado cilantro, and banana nut.
Open since 1914, Russ & Daughters is the NYC standard for cured fish, spreads, and other “appetizers,” which are the traditional Jewish food eaten with bagels. This piece of New York history (which, in 2014, opened a more formal cafe that is also located in the Lower East Side) is still the place to grab a bagel and schmear or one of its near-perfect deli counter sandwiches, like the Super Heebster, a mammoth bagel sandwich with Whitefish & baked salmon salad, horseradish-dill cream cheese, and wasabi flying fish roe.
Ess-a-Bagel is known for its deliciously dense, hand-rolled bagels and classic spreads, as well as a great mix of meat and fish add-ons. While its not the original (RIP), this Midtown location is still doing God's bagel work and often has lines out the door.
This counter-serve breakfast spot in Hell's Kitchen supplies all your morning staples. Lighter fare such as oatmeal, fruit, and yogurt, is offered alongside muffins, pastries, and, of course, custom breakfast sandwiches. The casual, NYC chain also sells a range of smoked fish platters, soups, salads, smoothies, and spreads by the pound.
This humble Murray Hill bagel spot and sandwich counter gets the job done with perfectly toasted BECs, lox, and a wide selection of various baked goods (cookies, rugelach, etc.). Known for its classic New York bagels -- at once crispy yet soft, and not too sweet -- Daniel's is a solid go-to for breakfast, coffee, and other deli comestibles.
Black Seed subscribes to the Montreal school of bagel-making, meaning its bagels, which are smaller than the quintessential New York ones, are rolled by hand, boiled in honey water, then baked in a wood-fired oven. Sandwiches made with a variety of smoked fishes and speciality spreads -- like the house-cured beet lox number with horseradish cream cheese -- continuously draw weekend crowds in search of their morning bagel fix.
Park Slope locals have been enjoying these crusty, made-from-scratch bagels from The Bagel Hole since 1985, holding strong as one of the few remaining old-fashioned bagel bakeries with eleven different varieties to choose from. These bagels are all-natural, with no additives or preservatives, and they're boiled instead of steamed. Stuff your bagel with cold cuts, lox, a variety of cream cheeses, or the famous whitefish salad.
A favorite among NYU students and Greenwich Village locals, Babel Bob's is a bustling mainstay cranking out old-school New York bagels in a counter-service setting. The staff makes 14 varieties that can be paired with one of their plain or flavored cream cheeses or used to create herculean sandwiches at lunchtime. There are also homemade muffins, soups, and salads, and prices are perfect for students or the generally budget-conscious. A bagel goes for just 90 cents, and it'll only run you another dollar to pair it with a cup of coffee.
Bagels are synonymous with New York in the same way that "deep dish" is synonymous with Chicago -- they're not only a cultural, culinary signifier of each city, but what we subsist on. As the Big Apple's OG bagel purveyor, H&H has rightfully gained legendary status because of the consistent quality of its bagels. First founded in 1972, H&H set up shop on the Upper East Side, and has been doling out the iconic NYC comestible "a bagel 'n schmear" ever since.
For the best bagels above 100th Street, look no further than this Thai-owned bagelry a few blocks south of Columbia. Absolute greets visitors with a Jenga-esque stack of freshly baked, palm-sized bagels with soft dough, a slightly crusty exterior, and mild sweetness. Service is quick, prices are cheap, and cream cheese is applied generously.
This counter-service only Washington Heights bagel shop and bakery offers a wide selection of deli comestibles (great BEC sandwiches, fresh baked cookies and rugelach, and dark roasted coffee) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Mike's famous bagels (not too soft, but not too crispy) are worth the trek uptown.
Adjacent to Washington Square Park, Bagels on the Square is dominating the West Village breakfast scene. With rapidly turned orders and friendly, 24-hour service, it’s hard not to love this West Village outpost. Bagels are made fresh daily, and are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Plus, for the cream cheese aficionados, there's an impressive selection including bacon and cheddar, scallion, and peanut butter and jelly cream cheese. Slept late and now don’t want to deal with the morning rush? Text your order, and it will be hot and ready when you get there.
Scot Rossillo, the legend behind The Bagel Store in Williamsburg, turns the round-shaped bread obsession into an art form. Using classic old-fashioned techniques and top-notch ingredients, the bagels and cragels that come from his imagination are nothing short of visionary. From the Rainbow Bagel to the German Pumpernickel Beer Bagel, it's clear that no color or ingredient is off-limits.