What do you think about when you imagine New York City? What images fly into your head? What is this great city famous for?
The chances are at least one of the following will spring to mind: yellow taxis, subway carriages, Broadway, Manhattan, ferries and islands, the Statue of Liberty, The Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, Central Park, Bronx Zoo, to name just a few.
How about the food? New York is a cosmopolitan, multicultural city that offers an endless list of international cuisines at any time of the day. But it does have a few things which are just very, well, New York.
Pastrami sandwiches, New York pizzas and Meatball subs are some of the dishes most commonly associated with the city. After all who can forget Joey Tribbiani’s famous obsession with pizza and sandwiches?!
However, one thing that Joey didn’t mention as a favourite is probably the thing that New York is most famous for, the humble bagel.
It doesn’t matter if you’re staying in furnished apartments in NYC and you have full cooking facilities. There’s nothing like popping out for a bagel.
The bagel is a city-wide obsession and New York is full of outlets claiming to offer the best egg topped, cheese filled, smoked salmon laden, cream covered, baked bagels in the city.
But where are the best places? Here are a few of our favourites.
Bagel Pub – Park Slope
These bagels are hand rolled and kettle cooked and come in 17 different flavours. There’s also a range of interesting cream cheese flavours to get smeared across it before you choose your customary meat to pile on. The breakfast bagel with egg, bacon and cheese is especially recommended here.
Tompkins Square Bagels – East Village
If you want to watch the bakers actually making and rolling the bagels then the open kitchen here is well worth visiting. Enjoy a fantastic cup of coffee watching the process of your bagel being made from scratch.
Modern bagels have a recognised fluffy texture, but at Tompkins, you can opt for the old school recipes which saw bagels smaller and far more chewy.
Ess-a-Bagel – Midtown East
This is a famous traditional family-run bagel outlet which has been a New York staple since the 1970s. It was so traditional in fact, that it strictly refused to toast its bagels until very recently! Although it has to be said that the home-made bagels they serve are so fresh, toasting is not necessary!
If you’ve got a big appetite then this place is recommended as the bagels are definitely on the larger side. If you ever find yourself in Midtown East have a look out for it. You can’t miss it as there’s normally a line out of the door!
The bagels here are definitely smaller than at Ess-a-Bagel, giving you the added advantage of being able to eat more than one without feeling guilty!
The bagels are boiled before being baked, the latter process sees the bagels removed from the over on a long oak dowel. If you find yourself in the dining area you’ll know this from the shout of “Hot bagels!” which goes up every time it happens!
Best Bagel & Coffee – Midtown
With a name like that you’d better be confident in your offering! It’s certainly located in a decent place, especially if you find yourself coming into or travelling out of Penn Station.
The bagels are freshly baked and large, then made exponentially larger by the sheer volume of fillings that are crammed into them. You’ll need to dislocate your jaw just to get one of these delicious morsels in your mouth!
Baz Bagels – Little Italy
Another old school eatery that’s still employing the boil and bake method to produce delicious, traditional bagels. The rotating tray oven is well worth a look here.
The bagel making may be traditional but when it comes to filling them you can be as traditional or as wacky as you like. Cucumber dill is an old favourite but don’t forget to check out the wasabi-laced cream cheeses too.
The Bagel Hole – Park Slope
It’s a hole in the wall, that sells delicious bagels, hence the very apt name!
Don’t come here if you expect to sit down to enjoy their wares in a nice dining room. There’s no heirs or graces, this is old school bagel eating where the sole attraction is the traditional warm, fresh bagel.
They’re so confident here that your bagel will always be warm and fresh, they don’t even have a toaster in the hole!
Accommodation in New York
Short term apartment rentals in NYC are the best way to stay in comfort in the city. If you’re as bagel obsesses as the New Yorkers, ensure your serviced apartment is close by to one of the bagel artists above.