Of all its signature foodstuffs—pastrami sandwiches, New York pizza—bagels are arguably the most synonymous with Gotham, and the best bagels in NYC are great proof.We use them as the base for sandwiches, layer them with smoked fish, and load up on dozens from the city’s best New York delis. Here’s where to get the best bagels in NYC.
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Best bagels in NYC
This neighborhood gem has been showing up better-known Upper West Side bagel establishments for years, serving freshly boiled bagels in their most perfect form. A respectable array of toppings includes cream cheeses (blueberry, sun-dried tomato, walnut-raisin), Tofutti, deli meats, salads and silky smoked fish—but trust us, all 16 bagel varieties here taste just fine by themselves.
Large, crusty bagels with pillowy insides are hallmarks—along with notoriously long lines—at this beloved shop, which launched in 1976 on 21st Street before expanding to Midtown East. Expect 18 varieties of house-made cream cheese, from sweet (apple cinnamon, blueberry) to savory (sundried tomato, jalapeño).
Despite decor that Jewish mothers might call “schmutzy,” this legendary deli is a madhouse at breakfast and brunch. Enormous egg platters come with the usual choice of smoked fish (such as sturgeon or Nova Scotia salmon). Prices are high but portions are large—and that goes for the sandwiches, too. Or try the less costly dishes: matzo-ball soup, creamy egg salad or cold pink borscht served in a glass jar.
The Park Slope bagel counter specializes in hand-rolled, kettle-cooked bagels in 17 varieties (cinnamon raisin, pumpernickel, garlic), which you can trick out with flavored cream cheeses (mixed berry, guacamole), smoked fish or with those corner-deli staples, bacon, egg and cheese.
Bialys may be the namesame at this historic Lower East Side Jewish bakery, which opened back in 1936, but the bagels are nothing to sneeze at. Made in three stages—kettled boiled, baked on burlap boards and finished on stone—the bagels have a natural sweetness courtesy of pure malt syrup.
Looking for donut to go with that coffee?
Chazz Palminteri Ristorante Italiano
Over the past few years, New York City has indulged its obsession with ‘old-style’ Italian red-sauce joints trying hard to look like they sprung fully-formed out of central casting. Although it only opened October 2015, Chazz Palminteri Ristorante Italiano meets the mark effortlessly. The foyer of this 140-seat restaurant features photos of the big man with his celebrity friends, including Cher, Sharon Stone, Robert De Niro, and Billy Crystal. Tables are filled with businessmen tired of the steakhouse, bridge-and-tunnel families, and ‘wise guys’ enjoying dinner over a few laughs. The dark wood walls absorb the din, and low lighting tempers the conspiratorial mood. In addition to a full bar, they offer a very civilized collection of Classic Cocktails, several featuring Palminteri’s own BiVi Sicilian Vodka. A Classic Manhattan ($13.95), with Michter’s Straight Rye, Italian Sweet Vermouth and Angostura bitters, was mixed by an expert hand. They also offer a 250-bottle wine list, with an impressive roster of by-the-glass options. Palminteri takes pains to feature dishes from his native Sicily, especially seafood. An appetizer of Calamari Fritti ($12.95) showcased lightly-battered rings of squid with zesty marinara, and a special appetizer of creamy Burrata ($13.95) was a riff on the classic Insalata Caprese. A hearty selection of risotto and pasta dishes includes Linguini Nero (MP), lobster and mixed seafood over al dente black linguini. A Bronx Tail ($49.95) —a mammoth 16 oz
Venue says: “Upscale Italian eatery featuring classic Italian meat, seafood and pasta dishes, as well as antipasto and traditional Italian desserts.”