Best Bagels in New York City: 10 Local Favorites

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It’s no secret that New York is known for its bagels. They are the city staple that brings tourists and locals together, knowing that bagels are an exceptional choice not only for breakfast, but also for lunch, dinner and even dessert. But what, exactly, makes New York bagels superior?

The 10 Best Bagels in New York

Some say it’s New York City water that makes bagels delicious, while others attribute it to a special boiling process introduced by immigrants from Eastern Europe. Whatever the secret, there’s no denying that a well-executed New York bagel is as close to perfection as it gets. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up the best bagels in New York City below. Enjoy your lunch!

10. Russ and girls

If you’ve been to New York City, there’s a good chance you’ve visited this iconic bagel store. Some would call it a historic monument because it has been on the map for over 100 years. You can’t leave this Russ & Daughters without trying the most classic item on their menu – perhaps the most classic item in all of New York City – the lox bagel. Salmon is a delicious type of melt in your mouth. Top it with capers, tomatoes, and red onions and you’ve found yourself one of New York’s best bagels.

$$$$ Bagels, Smokehouse, Bakeries

179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002 • 212-475-4880 ext 1

9. Ess-a-Bagel

Ess-a-Bagel is a classic bagel store conveniently located in multiple locations around town. They will meet all bagel needs at any time of the day. Spanning the spectrum from sweet to savory, they offer a variety of intriguing flavors, such as Jalapeño, Avocado Garlic, Funfetti, and Oreo. Ess-a-Bagel also offers a variety of vegan tofu-based cream cheeses. The bagels are soft on the inside and toasted on the outside, and there’s no denying that they’re some of the best bagels in New York City!

$$$$ Bakeries, Bagels, Delis

831 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022 • 212-980-1010

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8. Murray’s bagels

It is a classic place for the people of Chelsea. Murray fanatics claim this place serves some of the best bagels in New York City, and for good reason: their omelet on a bagel. A combo made in gourmet paradise. The richness of the omelet and cream cheese makes for a perfect breakfast and is incredibly tasty and filling. Bonus points: Murray’s baked goods and drinks are also exceptional. Grab a western omelet bagel here, then walk along the High Line, which is only a few blocks away.

$$$$ Bagels

500 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011 • 212-462-2830

7. Tal Bagels

Another favorite from our guide to the best bagels in New York City is Tal Bagels, which is a quick stop that will cure all your carb cravings. We recommend that you immerse yourself in the vegetarian race on the whole bagel. Fresh vegetables mixed with eggs and jalapeño cream cheese are a blast of flavor. There are so many elements on a single bagel, but it’s refreshing and surprisingly light. Every bite makes you want more, and we won’t tell anyone if you shed a tear when you take your last bite.

$$$$ Bagels, Breakfast & Brunch, Sandwiches

357 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10010 • 212-387-8100

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6. Freedom Bagels

Liberty Bagels is a great place in Midtown for a delicious hand-rolled, kettle-boiled bagel. While they’re famous for their rainbow bagel (with bright, beautiful colors and the regular bagel flavor everyone knows and loves), every bagel here is clearly home made and cooked to perfection. The cream cheese selections are off the charts and there is something for everyone. Even if you opt for a plain bagel and an original cream cheese, you will be blown away by the quality and flavor of Liberty Bagels. Come here for breakfast, lunch or a quick snack to enjoy one of New York’s best bagels!

$$$$ Breakfast & Brunch, Bagels, Sandwiches

260 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001 • 212-279-1124

5. Leo’s bagels

Located in the heart of Wall Street, Leo’s has a bagel that you’ll practically inhale. This boutique is tucked away in the uncut streets of the Financial District, but absolutely worth looking for. Their lox on a pumpernickel bagel is an unprecedented deal. Not all bagels are suitable for the lox, but Leo nails it with a soft, tasty, and fresh lox. After you’ve slashed your delicious bagel, you’ll have the energy to take on the rest of the city. Take one to get there, then walk a few blocks south for a view of Lady Liberty; a quintessential New York moment.

$$$$ Coffee and tea, Bagels, Breakfast and brunch

3 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004 • 212-785-4700

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4. Best bagel and coffee

Best Bagel & Coffee is a hidden gem and conveniently located next to the iconic Penn Station. Loved by workers and local residents, there is always a crowd of people waiting to get their hands on one of the best bagels in New York City, and it’s always worth the wait. A breakfast staple in New York City is the bacon, egg and cheese bagel – you’ll find it in almost every street cart, deli, and bagel store – and no one does it better than BB&C. The bagel itself is soft, chewy, easy to bite into, and has so much flavor. It’s a great stop near a lot of famous and tourist spots, but you might find that these bagels are actually the main attraction.

$$$$ Bagels, Coffee and tea, Breakfast and brunch

225 W 35th St A, New York, NY 10001 • 212-564-4409

3. Tompkins Square Bagels NYC

Welcome to Tompkins Square Bagels, where you’ll find another selection of New York City’s best bagels. Located in the historic Lower East Side, this bagel shop easily offers some of the tastiest bagels you can eat. There are so many unique offers here that you could spend a lifetime trying to decide what to order. Try the expertly prepared Koch with hot pastrami, eggs, cream cheese, green onions and red onions, or opt for the Dylan with pesto and fresh mozzarella. And don’t worry about all the bagels you don’t order this time around, you’ll definitely be coming back for more.

$$$$ Bagels

165 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009 • 646-351-6520

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2. Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee Company

Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee Company is another favorite spot on the West Side, with bagels so perfectly chewy and mushy you’ll wonder why you would venture to another bagel store. The shmears here are rich, creamy, and stand out with amazingly interesting and precisely named flavors. Try a plain bagel with cannoli cream cheese for something sweet and a sausage, egg and cheese on a bagel of everything for something salty. At Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee Company, a mediocre bagel simply doesn’t exist.

$$$$ Bagels, Breakfast & Brunch, Cafes

286 8th Ave, New York, NY 10001 • 212-924-2824

1. Absolute bagels

If you are ready to dive into the best bagel of your life, you have to visit the greatest ever. Located near Columbia University, Absolute Bagels is a cash-only hole in the wall that’s undefeated in the bagel arena. No bagel in New York City compares to the fresh, hot, toasted egg bagel that pairs well with any cream cheese. It’s chewy, it’s delicious, it’s what your dreams are made of. When in doubt, order the strawberry cream cheese made with fresh strawberries for the perfect pairing. You can count on a constant line around the block (even late at night!) Full of hungry New Yorkers and visitors patiently waiting to get their hands on the best bagel in New York City. Eating a bagel from Absolute Bagels may be the best decision you’ll ever make.

$$$$ Bakeries, Bagels

2788 Broadway, New York, NY 10025 • 212-932-2052


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