New Yorkers do brunch, but for breakfast we tend to grab-and-go. And to do that "Big Apple"–style, you gotta get a bagel with a schmear (that's a local term for just a bit of cream cheese) and eat it while walking down a packed sidewalk or in the subway. No, really. Here's where you'll get the freshest bagels in Manhattan:
Absolute Bagels. 2708 Broadway between 107th and 108th streets (212/932-2052). The egg bagels, hot out of the oven, melt in your mouth, and their whitefish salad is perfectly smoky, not overpowering.
Baz. 189 Grand St. near Mulberry St. (www.bazbagel.com; 212/335-0609). Home to the “Flagel” which is a flat bagel, aimed at those who prefer the crust. It won’t save you any calories, though, as it has a larger circumference than usual. Top it with one of the fab, house-made cream cheeses, like horseradish and beet or cucumber and dill.
Bob's Bagels. 51 University Place between 9th and 10th Sts (212/523-2627). Always jammed, which means that half the time they get your order wrong. But few complain because the bagels here come out piping hot from the ovens in the back, the coffee is rich and satisfying, and they'll make up another order for you quickly and with a smile if they mess up.
Ess-A-Bagel. 831 Third Ave. between 50th and 51st streets (www.ess-a-bagel.com; 212/980-1010). When it comes to size, Ess-a-Bagel’s are the best of the biggest; plump, chewy, and oh so satisfying.
Kossar’s Bialys. 367 Grand Street at Essex Street (www.kossarsbialys.com; 877/4-BIALYS [424-2597]). We know about their bialys, but don’t forget about their bagels. Also hand-rolled, the result is a slightly crunchy exterior with a tender, moist middle. Sure, you came for the bialys, but you will leave with both.
Murray’s Bagels. 500 Sixth Avenue between 12th and 13th streets (212/462-2830), and 242 Eighth Avenue at 23rd Street (www.mbchelsea.com; 646/638-1335). There’s nothing like a soft, warm bagel to begin your day, and Murray’s does them beautifully. Their smoked fish goes perfectly on their bagels.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.