Best Bagels in New York City

Is there any kind of food more iconic than a New York bagel? They are featured on films and television shows as a staple part of a New Yorkers diet, and it’s not hard to see why. If you walk down any busy street in New York you will see many people, native New Yorkers and tourists alike, tucking into a tasty bagel. 

The origin of bagels can be traced back to Poland, and they were introduced in New York by the Jewish community. Bagels have since been adopted as part of New York’s culture, and many different bakeries now produce them. Traditional Jewish delis, Greek bakeries, Italian bakeries, Ukrainian bakeries, and many more – they have all learned how to recreate the traditional bagel. 

Bagels have a unique texture, soft and chewy with a glossy finish. This is because the dough is boiled and then baked. Some bagels are crusted with seeds like poppy or sesame for a crunchy texture. You can get plain, sweet or savoury bagels. Some of the most popular varieties are cinnamon and raisin bagels or caramelized onion bagels. 

When it comes to fillings, bagels are traditionally spread with cream cheese and filled with smoked fish. However, There are many different fillings you can choose from. You can get bagels packed with deli meat, breakfast bagels with bacon and eggs, or sweet bagels filled with cream cheese inspired by dessert flavours. 

Whichever kind of bagel you are looking for, you will be able to find it in New York. But there are so many bagel shops and bakeries to choose from, how do you know which ones to visit? We have put together a list of the best bagel shops in New York, along with some recommendations of what you could order. Keep reading to find out more. 


Ess-A-Bagel has been serving up delicious bagels in Manhattan since 1976, but before that the owner had a doughnut shop in Brooklyn. These bagels are the perfect blend of doughy and fluffy. The menu is packed with great options and you can build your own bagel with a variety of toppings including unusual ones like chopped liver.

There is lots of choice for the bagel itself, with seed crusted varieties and tasty cinnamon bagels. The queue for this popular bagel shop is quite long, but it will be worth it!

Tal Bagels

Tal Bagels have multiple locations across Manhattan, and even still the queues are pretty long! Getting a bagel here can be quite a hectic experience, but the service is fast and you will be getting an authentic taste of New York.

These delicious, hot bagels are incredibly popular with native New Yorkers. Whether devoured greedily the morning after a big night out or sat with friends on a park bench, A Tal bagel is bound to bring a smile to your face. Their sesame bagel is especially good, with a rich brown crusted and deep toasted flavour. 

Absolute Bagels

This Upper West Side bakery is an excellent spot for a tasty bagel. With 15 different types of bagel, a variety of cream cheeses, including blueberry, sun dried tomato and walnut raisin, and plenty of meats, fish and salad to choose from, you will be able to build your perfect bagel.

The bagels are big, glossy, delicious and worth waiting for in the queue that often extends out of the door. The chewy onion bagel is a firm favourite, smeared with pimento-olive smoked cheese and topped with smoked white fish or fat dappled salmon. 

Murray’s Bagels 

Murray’s Bagels has been operating in Greenwich Village for over 20 years. There are 15 varieties of bagels, including poppy, sesame, and cinnamon raisin. The bagels are big and light with a crackly crust and a nice amount of chewiness.

Murray’s Bagels offers all the standard fillings- cream cheese, smoked fish, and egg etc- but they specialize in bagels stuffed to the brim with deli meat. Salami, corned beef, chicken- whatever you can think of will be piled generously into a bagel. Get there early to avoid a long wait. 

Black Seed Bagels 

Black Seed Bagels have multiple locations across the city, all with an excellent menu of tasty, hand rolled bagels and various fillings. These bagels are made Montreal style, which means they are lighter and sweeter than New York bagels and cooked in a wood burning oven for a smoky flavour.

The menu offers classic combinations, like cream cheese with lox and dill, alongside more inventive options like sichuan peppercorn bagels and chilli chicken salad. 


This business on the Upper West Side started out as a smoked fish shop when it was opened in 1934 by Ukrainian immigrant Louis Zabar. It now offers a range of kosher foods, cheeses, and even cooking utensils.

The delightful bagels are made with malt and barley flour and come with a range of toppings. You can even get them delivered- perfect for a lazy morning. 

Russ & Daughters

Russ & Daughters is a Jewish Deli on the Lower East Side that has been serving customers with great food since 1914. They have since opened several other locations across the city, including stores by the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the Jewish Museum.

Their hand rolled and boiled bagels are chewy, and the perfect blend of soft and sturdy. We recommend filling your bagel with pastrami and cream cheese- a winning combination. If you want a traditional Jewish style bagel, this is the place to come. 


Getting a bagel from Sadelle’s is a full sensory experience. It has a takeout deli with marble countertops and a three tiered dining room with exposed brick walls and industrial wood and metal furniture. You will hear the shout of ‘hot bagels’ over the bustling noise as a fresh batch comes out of the oven.

The smell of freshly baked bagels will fill the restaurant. In terms of flavour, Sadelle’s is considered one of the best places in Soho to get Jewish preserved fish. The bagels have a lovely, crackly surface and you can even get gluten free bagels. 

Kossar’s Bialys

This deli and restaurant on the Lower East Side began as a Jewish bakery in 1936. The bagels are cooked in three stages- they are kettle-boiled, baked on burlap boards, then finished off on stone.

Malt syrup is used to give them a sweet flavour. This shop also does great Bialys – flat unboiled rolls with chopped onions – another New York classic. We recommend the nova bagel with onions and capers with a smear of cream cheese. 

Bagel Pub

Bagel Pub in Park Slope is a great spot for a breakfast bagel, with hot bacon egg and cheese. They offer 17 bagel varieties including cinnamon raisin, pumpernickel, and garlic. They also offer a range of cream cheese flavours from mixed berry to guacamole. Other menu items include toasted paninis and smoothies. 

Tasty Bagels

Tasty Bagels is an Italian bagel bakery that opened in 1983. They are known for their innovative menu items like the flagel – a flat bagel that can fit in your toaster without being cut in half. They also invented the big wheel bagel, a giant bagel which can be filled and then cut into wedges to feed a whole party. 

Utopia Bagels

Utopia Bagels in Queens has been running for over 35 years. Their bagels are hand rolled into wreaths that are crackly on the outside but soft and buttery on the inside.

You can choose from classic options, like a chewy plain bagel or an everything egg bagel, or you can be adventurous and try the pina colada coconut bagel. They really are some of the best bagels in New York. 

Bo’s Bagels

Bo’s Bagels was opened to fill a gap in the market in Harlem, where good bagel shops were scarce. The bagels are made using traditional methods and the menu consists of classic combinations and more inventive options like the Andrew bagel, which is smeared with scallion cream cheese and filled with egg, sausage, bacon and Vermont maple syrup.

The blueberry bagel is a firm favourite, made with real berries and no added sugar for a balanced flavour. The Black Russian bagel is also very popular, with caramelized onion and a sesame seed crust. This bagel shop is definitely worth a visit. 

Bagel Hole 

This bagel shop is small and simple. It is cash only and there are no seats, but this is one the best places to go for a classic New York bagel with traditional fillings. If you live close enough to call this place your local then you are very lucky!  

Tompkins Square Bagels

This East Village bagel shop is not for fans of the classic bagel fillings, but the extensive menu is very popular with people who like to experiment with flavours. Whatever the latest food trend is, this place will have figured out how to turn it into a bagel.

The Mac N Cheese bagel is very popular, along with sweet fillings like cotton candy cream cheese and cookie dough cream cheese. These bagels are definitely instagram worthy and this shop attracts a younger crowd, eager to experiment and try things their way.

Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company

There are five different locations of this popular bagel chain in New York. The bagels are big and airy and there are many different cream cheeses to try.

The almond cream cheese is a firm favourite, along with bagel varieties like gingerbread, seven grain and sundried tomato. You could also try a rainbow bagel with oreo cream cheese. This is a great place to get yourself a hearty breakfast or lunch with a nice coffee on the side. 

Riverdale Bagels

Riverdale Bagels has been operating out of the Bronx since 1992, serving up traditional boiled bagels.

They offer the classic fillings, along with exciting cream cheese flavours like spicy bacon, sundried tomato, and garlic pepper. You are sure to find something you love on this menu. 

Bagel Talk

Bagel Talk is a modest bagel shop around the corner from Zabar’s, with deliciously chewy bagels. Their most popular menu items are the cream cheese bagel with lox, the whitefish bagel, and the bacon egg and cheese bagel.

If Zabar’s is really busy, this is an equally good option for a tasty breakfast or lunch. 

Forest Hills Bagel 

Forest Hills Bagel is the ideal place to go for a sit-in bagel experience. It is laid out like a diner, with a counter display and plenty of seating. The cinnamon bagel is perfect if you want something sweet, and if you love a crunchy texture then the sesame bagel and the poppy bagel will be right up your street.

As well as offering plenty of cream cheese flavours, there are also reduced fat cream cheese options and a vegan whipped tofu alternative. This is a great place to bring your family or meet up with your friends for a nice brunch. 


As you can see, there are so many great places in New York to get a tasty bagel. 

There are a few other bagel shops that are worth a mention. Hudson Bagels is a no frills or fuss bakery which is a great place to pick up tasty bagels with classic fillings.

Bagel Bob’s offers some excellent sweet cream cheese flavours like nutella and peanut butter, along with a tasty pumpernickel bagel filled with olive cream cheese. The Bad Bagel in Bushwick does an excellent rainbow bagel. 

Wherever you are, you are never far away from a great bagel shop. Whether you are looking for a great choice of bagel varieties, classic fillings, or an extensive menu with the freedom to create your own flavour combinations, there is something for everyone on this list.

Keep in mind that a lot of these places will be very busy at breakfast time and lunchtime- get there early or be prepared to wait in line. However, the service is usually quite fast and it will certainly be worth the wait.