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On the Bagel trail in the Big Apple

July 20, 2015

I love bagels – anytime!

I first tasted a bagel many, many years ago in a little place on Sixth Avenue and have been hooked ever since.

One day, on a recent visit to New York, I decided to do a bagel trail in Manhattan to discover the perfect bagel – hand-shaped, left to rise for about twelve hours, boiled briefly in water, pressed, and then baked. And what a day I had! Flagels, everything bagels, the more usual sesame-and-onion bagels, name-it-and-you’ll-get-it fillings and every kind of schmear – all displayed temptingly on counters.

I started at the Village and worked my way up the Big Apple. My first stop was at Murray’s Bagels in East Village. A pretty blue board welcomed me into what can only be described as a bagel institution. Bins, full of different flavours, waiting for the long lines of bagel fans. Here, bagels are made fresh and in the traditional way – hand-rolled and boiled before baking – with a crispy crust and chewy inside. One thing, however; Murray’s does not toast its bagels! Well, toasted or not, the Murray’s bagel was quite perfection.

Murray’s Bagels, 500 Avenue of the Americas

My next stop was go to link Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee buy priligy in india online Company in Chelsea. The ambience was more cafe-like than just-a-bagel-place. BBC is a star and it was hard to find a spot even at eleven in the morning.The wait, though, was well worth it. I went for a toasted sesame bagel with salmon and cream cheese and my long-overdue morning cuppa. If you want your bagel toasted with a schmear and a nice cup of coffee, then this is just the place for you. They also serve a great, freshly-squeezed, orange juice.

Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company, 286 Eighth Avenue

Cutting across to the East, I went in search of a little place called David’s Bagels on First Avenue near Stuyvesant Park. At first glance, it seemed a small, nondescript place and I walked past it before retracing my steps, determined to check it out. My choice this time was an onion bagel with garlic and chives cream cheese. And what a pleasant surprise – a large, fresh, and perfectly-baked bagel. I would definitely eat that again!

David’s Bagels 273 First Avenue

Next on my list was Ess-a-Bagel on Third and Fifth. I wandered up Third Avenue, happy at the thought of walking many blocks to burn off my morning indulgence. Every block had a neighbourhood bagel place – Gramercy Bagels, Bagel Express, Pick-a-Bagel, Bagel Cafe; not to mention the many street bagel-stands. I peeked into them but saved up for my next bagel at Ess-a-Bagel.

Standing at the entrance of Ess-a-Bagel, with its fading, brown-painted signage, I felt I was walking into the past! It was a grand little place with an ornate design moulded on the ceiling, hanging glass lights and a corner full of stuff ranging from a smiling Uncle Sam to an Ess-a-Bagel T-shirt. And of course, the corner held bagels of every sort with rows and rows of fillings. It was time for an ‘everything’ bagel with jalapeño cream cheese. I settled down and took my first bite with anticipation.

Hmm… A bit of a disappointment. Dense, and a bit hard to work through. Not wanting to waste my bagel calories, I decided to give up halfway through.

Ess-a-Bagel,359 First Avenue and 831 Third Avenue

I did one last stop for the day – in Hell’s Kitchen. Pick-a-Bagel, on Eighth Avenue, has a good selection with a plethora of toppings and salads. But the lines get really long and the wait can be a bit tiresome. As for their bagels, I have to say they were average, but Pick-a-Bagel can be a regular spot if you are in the neighbourhood.

Pick-a-Bagel, 891, Eighth Avenue

I had munched through bagels at five places with a friend(so my share was only two and a half bagels!) adn was ready to call it a day. Bagels in Brooklyn and Upper East and West have to wait for another day.

My faves

  • Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee Company
  • David s Bagels (pleasant surprise!)
  • Murrays Bagels
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About Me

I am a banker by profession, traveller by passion.

I have found time to travel to many countries and live in 2 countries (3 if Scotland ever does becomes one!) and 6 cities during my career in finance. I was a diplomat first and started in the Indian Foreign Service with my first posting being Paris – The City of Light. And began my lifelong love of travel and coffee there! An MBA followed and I’ve been in finance since.

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