Love me some bagels!
If you know me at all, you know how much I love bagels. How much? The question of what would your last meal be? My answer is a bagel with extra cream cheese.
I tried some of the acclaimed best bagels in New York City and here are my honest and heartfelt reviews. Surprisingly, I did manage to choose a favorite among all the places, read to find out which one is it!
I also did a little experiment where I ate bagels for a whole week to see how my mind and my body reacts. (They have both been sublimed of course) You could check out why I did it and how it affected my weight in the end.
500 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10011
This place used to have the top position in my heart, but I have a new favorite. Read on to find out because I save the best for last. But Murray would still be in the second place.
I came to this place after a Rumble boxing class with my friend, so it may be the hunger talking. But they are so good! Even though it’s been some time, I still remember how chewy the bagels are, and seriously, that’s like the first rule to judge a bagel. They don’t serve eggs after lunch, so I added an egg when I got home (I have my standards, ok?) And I ended up finishing mine and eating half of my friend’s avocado one.
Murray’s place would definitely be a “you are going to regret it” if you don’t try it. And the on-the-house coleslaw is a lovely surprise too.
- Plain bagel
- Cream cheese
- Eggs (I added it)
- Spinach (I added it)
- Everything bagel
Multiple locations in the city
I’ve been to this place last year, but I only grabbed a bagel before an event in a hurry, so I decided to give it another shot to provide a better review.
I only got a cream cheese, eggs, and onions one because I need to travel the day after and I need to clear out the fridge. So I added a slice of ham, tomatoes, and avocados from my fridge to create my own combo. Before you call me smart, I just want to say if you haven’t tried combining avocado with cream cheese, you have been missing out much. Just…try it, ok?
The eggs and onions remind me of a signature dish my mom makes – stir-fried onions and eggs. Anyway, the eggs are fluffy just the way I like! They have the choice of lighter cream cheese which is 1/3 fat of the regular one, so that’s pretty cool. Also, the pastries look good too.
- Whole wheat everything bagel
- Light cream cheese
- Ham (I added it)
- Tomatoes (I added it)
- Avocado (I added it)
165 Avenue A, New York
Honestly, I don’t remember how to describe the bagel at this place, but it can definitely be in my top three. I was visiting friends in New York and on the last day before my flight, I decided to have some “me-time” by sending a huge bagel into my mouth.
I got a bacon, egg, and cheese combo since the person behind me told me it was worth a try and it was. Recalling from my memories (because I store food memories perfectly in my brain), the line is long on an early winter morning so it must be good.
Sorry, I can’t give you more details because it’s been some time, but my friends living in the area give thumbs up too for the place.
I need to go back to this place, ASAP.
- Everything bagel
Multiple locations (East Village, Nolita, NOMAD…)
I decided to switch things up for this day and skipped the cream cheese. I just finished an intense morning workout while fasting, so I was craving something greasy and heavy. I got an egg, bacon, and cheese one with a multigrain bagel (still care about the health benefit from the fibers of course).
It’s not a love at first bite kind of situation, but after the cheese and egg entered my mouth at the same time, I couldn’t put it down. The whole place has an aroma of cheese and bagel – which is exactly what you want in a bagel place. They also have gluten-free bagels.
I saw at the counter that they have fantastic Hamantash, but I didn’t have them because I still had a few self-controls left as a fitness professional.
The take away is that a combination of bacon, cheese, and eggs bagel could never go wrong.
- Multigrain bagel
367 Grand Street, New York
I made a mistake because I actually got a bialy rather than a bagel here because they have that in their name so I lost myself. I understand if you want to accuse me of lying about the blog title. I thought they are the same thing because they both start with B… how different can they be?
I was wrong; a bialy is not a bagel. I didn’t like it. The bialy is not chewy enough and the flavor kinds of fall flat without the seasoning, even if the cream cheese tastes thick. However, I blame it on me, not Kossar. I’m sure you are great, and I will come back for a bagel to give you a fair review.
If it helps, the people around me who got their orders right seemed to be enjoying it just fine, and they have a pretty enticing pastry collection.
- Bialy (I’m sorry but I just don’t love you)
- Cream cheese
179 E. Houston Street, New York
I’m not a salmon-on-the-bagel kind of person but I need to give this place enough credits. Their salmon is so fresh like you could taste the deep ocean in your mouth. Selling appetizers since 1914, the place has an old-fashioned vibe that makes you want to linger. They are also famous for pastries like Babka, Rugalech, and Turkish figs, Medjool dates, so make sure you grab something from the counter if you have a sweet tooth.
You need to grab a number then wait to be called. The line is very slow but it’s worth it, because you could tell that the people behind the counter takes the time to make you a best bagel combo. They have a café on the Orchard street, so you could check that out if you prefer a sit down service to carefully appreciate the bagel.
- Pumpernickel bagel
- Scallion cream cheese
- Norwegian smoked salmon
831 3rd Avenue (between 50th & 51st Street), New York
I’ve heard this place for some time because I see their pictures on Instagram all the time. The first bite wasn’t surprising, but the bagel is so good that till the end I didn’t want to finish. I got a Nine-Grain bagel which is probably why the flavor is kind of mild, but the chewy texture made me say “OMG” literally.
They now have the option to let you toast your bagel first. I filled it up with avocado, turkey, eggs, and tomato because I wanted to try if a bagel without spreads could be as good, and it turned out that bagel needs its cream cheese. So I’ll come back to this place for a bagel with a dense layer of cream cheese.
They have a whole wall of bagel combos so if you have no idea what to start maybe that’ll help. For me, I was actually overwhelmed by all the choices, but next time I’m here, I’ll make sure to try one of the signatures.
- Nine-grain bagel
Multiple locations (Astoria, Chelsea, West Village…)
I got the bagel from this place as a gift from a friend, and he even took a picture of the spreads for me to quote “fuel my bagel content.” People on Yelp say you almost always need to wait in line for BB & CC, (cute name, isn’t it?) but there are multiple locations like Chelsea and West Village, none in Brooklyn though.
They don’t serve eggs after 3 pm, so I couldn’t have my signature “cream cheese with eggs.” However, it was a chance for me to appreciate the scallion cream cheese better, and it was pretty dope. The scallion adds to the flavor of the crispy and chewy dough.
Though I didn’t see the difference, my friend told me he got me a mini-bagel, which seems like a regular size to me. That may be something to consider if you decide to get a regular-sized bagel there. People there are creative enough to come up with unique flavors such as cinnamon walnut and strawberry so please let me know if any creation is excellent.
- Everything bagel
- Scallion cream cheese
463 West Broadway, New York
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner. Sadelle’s has the best bagel in New York City, or at least in my heart.
Sadelle’s is a brunch place in the center of Soho, and it also serves the best bagels in the city. The waiters all wear an exquisite white suit like they are researchers in a lab (wouldn’t it be cool if bagel lab is a thing?) They have the bagels on a strand like a barbecue, and it’s super cute and tempting.
I don’t know if it’s the extra seeds on the everything 2.0 bagel or the fact that I got the whole combo including tomatoes, capers, cucumber, and onions, the small yet dense bagel filled my heart when no guy ever did. The size is perfect because it’s a little bit smaller than a regular bagel, and it’s cheap without the fish, only three bucks.
The takeout line moves kind of slow because only one person is managing the bagel stand, but he’s very fast, and you get to see how he whips your bagel with cream cheese in a close range. If you go to the place, make sure you get their fish and let me know how it tastes.
- Everything 2.0 bagel
- Chive cream cheese
My own (Lexie’s)
There, I said it. My bagels are dope. Even though I mean random bagels I grabbed all over the city then I created my own combo. I could bake a great bagel. However, here I mean the combinations I created. I always make sure I have both sweet and savory ones when I have a sandwich or a bagel, so here’s what I usually eat.
- Peanut butter
- Figs or berries
- Cream cheese
- Eggs (adding milk when you fry them is the key)
- Ham or turkey
- Lettuce or spinach
There are some places that I didn’t get a chance to go to but would love to go someday:
Take out your notebook, here are my two big takeaways from my bagel adventure:
1. There’s no such thing as getting tired of your favorite food even if you have been eating it for a straight week.
I was scared at first that I might lose my passion for bagels after the week. However, by the end of the week, I was like “I could do this forever if any of the bagel places ends up sponsoring me.”
It was probably because I varied the fillings between avocado, cream cheese, or fish rather than repeat cream cheese day after day. But I stand by my point that you can’t ever get tired of bagels.
2. Always ask for the cream cheese or cheese. Bagels without spreads have no souls.
I came up with the idea of doing a bagel review right when I decided to lose a few pounds because I was feeling kind of chunky after my reverse dieting.
My friend was continually saying that you can’t eat xxx and xxx because they are the bad foods and it bugged me so much. I always believe in the rule of “No foods are bad, they have feelings, ok?” so I decided to eat a bagel every day for a week while trying to lose weight. (Nothing more would make a Capricorn happier than proving other people wrong.)
Even though the weight is the last scale I would typically look at to judge my progress, I did step on the scale to show you the results. After a week of bagel eating, I lost 4 pounds (which is a little more for a reasonable weight-loss plan, but it may be because I had a stomach problem the last day – from drinking alcohol, not from the bagels, I’m sure.) For the week, I dropped my calorie intake to around 1900-2000 while creating a 200 calorie deficit by cardio. But what I ate daily remained pretty much the same, which means I didn’t eat salads for all the meals besides the bagels.
So the conclusion is pretty clear here, to lose weight, you must create a calorie deficit, and the type of food you eat comes second.
However, just like Natacha Océane said,
“All foods are friends. But like friends, there are some you want to spend more time with than others.” It’s always better to eat a balanced and nutrient-dense meal.
Bagels are usually categorized as the bad guys because people always eat them with extra cream cheese and they may have more saturated fat and cholesterol than other foods. But if you eat the bagels right, they can be a perfect meal consisting of carbs, proteins, and fat. Therefore, bagels are not bad, and we shouldn’t hold a bias towards any food. (repeat after me three times: bagels are good.)
So here’s the end of my bagel review and my experiment. I had so much fun eating and writing the bagels, so let me know if you like this kind of content.
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