It is ironic that BagelFest Day was established by Lender’s Bagels (those faux bagels found in your freezer case) as the really good bagels, found right here in New York City, are a far cry than those handy but very cardboard tasting treats. Real NYC bagels are reputedly best due to the city water and traditional family methods to prepare them.
Many visitors to the city ask me where one can find the best bagels in the city and I used to direct them to H&H but they went out of business some time ago (don’t be fooled by that name today – they are not true H&H). Acceptable are Murray’s Bagels and those from Russ & Daughters, but I have recently tried what I consider to be the current best.
Ess-A-Bagel has three locations (831 Third Avenue – near E. 51st Street, 324 First Avenue – near E. 19th Street, and 108 West 32nd Street – near Penn Station and Herald Square). You can order shipping and you may desire to bring some home from your trip, but true NYC bagels are perfect for only about 6 hours after baking. So eat them there or bring them back to your hotel room or take them on a NYC picnic. But seek out Ess-A-Bagel while in the Big Apple. You won’t be sorry.