New York City is synonymous with many things: towering skyscrapers, bustling streets, and a diverse culture that is unlike any other. But there’s one thing that stands out above the rest when it comes to New York’s culinary scene: bagels.

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There’s something about a New York bagel that’s unlike any other – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and packed with flavor. So, if you’re looking for the best bagels in the city, look no further. Here are five must-try spots that are sure to satisfy your craving.

1. Bagels Oasis – 83-12 Horace Harding Expy, Queens, NY 11365 

Bagels Oasis has been serving up handmade, all-natural bagels since 1961. Their bagels are kettle-boiled, then baked to perfection, resulting in a crispy exterior and a chewy, delicious interior. The variety of flavors at Bagels Oasis is impressive, ranging from classic plain and sesame to unique flavors like egg-onion, everything, and blueberry. With an extensive menu of spreads and toppings to choose from, you can customize your bagel to your heart’s desire. The ambiance is warm and welcoming, making it the perfect spot for a cozy breakfast or a casual lunch.

Operating hours: Monday-Saturday 5:00am-4:00pm, Sunday 5:00am-3:00pm
Contact details: (718) 459-9400
Best time to visit: Weekdays before 10 am or after 2 pm, weekends before 9 am or after 2 pm

Bagels Oasis has been a staple of the Fresh Meadows neighborhood since 1961. They offer an extensive menu of all-natural, handmade bagels that are kettled-boiled then baked. Their bagels have a crispy crust and chewy interior, making them the perfect base for your favorite toppings.

 

2. Absolute Bagels – 2788 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

Absolute Bagels has been a fixture on the Upper West Side for over 20 years, and for good reason. Their bagels are hand-rolled and boiled, resulting in a chewy texture and a deliciously crispy crust. The bagels come in all the classic flavors, but they’re particularly known for their “everything” bagels, which are generously topped with a blend of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, onion, and salt. The queues are often long at Absolute Bagels, but the wait is worth it for the authentic New York bagel experience.

Operating hours: Monday-Sunday 6:00am-4:00pm
Contact details: (212) 932-2052
Best time to visit: weekdays after 10 am, weekends before 11 am or after 2 pm

Absolute Bagels has been serving up some of the best bagels in New York City since 1996. Their bagels are hand-rolled, boiled, and baked on-site throughout the day, ensuring that they are always fresh. The bagels have a crunchy exterior and a soft, chewy interior, making them the perfect vehicle for any topping.

 

3. Zucker’s Bagels – 370 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10017

Zucker’s Bagels has several locations throughout the city, but their Midtown East outpost is a favorite for locals and tourists alike. Their bagels are made fresh daily and are perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Zucker’s is known for their inventive flavor combinations, like their pastrami smoked salmon bagel, which is topped with smoked salmon, pastrami, cream cheese, and pickles. The ambiance at Zucker’s is modern and trendy, making it a great spot for a quick breakfast or lunch.

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Operating hours: Monday-Friday 6:30am-4:00pm, Saturday-Sunday 7:00am-4:00pm
Contact details: (212) 661-1080
Best time to visit: weekdays before 10 am or after 2 pm, weekends before 9 am or after 2 pm

Zucker’s Bagels has been a favorite spot for locals and visitors since 1999. They offer hand-rolled bagels made with high-quality ingredients and boiled in small batches to ensure consistent texture and flavor. Zucker’s also offers a wide variety of cream cheeses and smoked fish to top off your bagel.

 

4. Russ & Daughters – 179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

Russ & Daughters has been a New York institution since 1914, and their bagels are as iconic as their lox and smoked fish. Their bagels are hand-rolled and kettle-boiled, resulting in a dense, chewy texture and a crust that’s perfectly crispy. Russ & Daughters’ bagels come in classic flavors like plain, sesame, and poppy, but they also offer unique varieties like pumpernickel, cinnamon raisin, and even chocolate chip. The shop has an old-school charm that harkens back to a different era, and the lines out the door are a testament to the quality of their bagels.

Operating hours: Monday-Sunday 8:00am-8:00pm
Contact details: (212) 475-4880
Best time to visit: weekdays before 10 am or after 3 pm, weekends before 9 am or after 3 pm

Russ & Daughters has been a fixture of the Lower East Side since 1914. They specialize in appetizing, which includes smoked fish, caviar, and cream cheese, all of which can be served on their homemade bagels. Russ & Daughters has won numerous awards for their bagels, which are hand-rolled and baked in-house daily.

5. Zabar’s – 2245 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

Zabar’s offers some of the best bagels in the city. Their bagels are hand-rolled and kettle-boiled, giving them a crispy exterior and a soft and chewy interior. They come in a variety of flavors, including plain, sesame, poppy seed, everything, and cinnamon raisin. Customers rave about the freshness and quality of the bagels, and many also appreciate the generous portions of cream cheese that come with them. Whether you’re a local or a visitor to the city, Zabar’s is a must-visit destination for bagel lovers.

Operating hours: Monday-Sunday 8:00am-7:30pm
Contact details: (212) 787-2000
Best time to visit: weekdays before 10 am or after 3 pm, weekends before 9 am or after 3 pm

Zabar’s has been a New York City institution since 1934. They offer a wide variety of products, including bagels, which are made in-house and baked fresh throughout the day. Zabar’s bagels are hand-rolled and boiled before being baked to perfection. Be sure to try their homemade cream cheese and lox to top off your bagel.

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