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10 Best Bagels In NYC Ranked (+ Insider Tips)

10 Best Bagels In NYC Ranked (+ Insider Tips)

New York City is known for having the best bagels in the world. You can choose from numerous bagel flavors including popular options such as everything, blueberry, egg and onion. But in NY, you can also top your bagels with smoked salmon, egg, avocado, garnishes and various kinds of cream cheese.

In this guide, we’re going to show you the 10 most popular NYC bagel places including honorable mentions and insider tips only locals would know.

Our NYC Experience

Kristen is a New York state native and we lived in NYC for a few months in 2021. We moved to the city so we could create the best content possible because you can’t just visit New York City for a weekend and claim to be an expert.

Bagels are just as famous as New York City pizza with hundreds of places to choose from so it’s almost impossible to pick the best one. When we lived here, we personally ate at most of the bagel places on this list several times. And we always try new spots every time we revisit so we have a pretty good idea about where to recommend.

About This Guide

If you’re looking to find the best bagels in NYC, you’ve come to the right place. With over 200 bagel shops in the city, where do you start? It’s no easy task trying to find the perfect bagel in a city especially known for the delicacy.

Many other online publications randomly list bagel shops with no rhyme or reason when featuring bagels in New York, but we’ve decided to take it a step further.

We’ll always be scientists at heart and try to use data to back up our conclusions. So we’ve pulled in various ratings and reviews from multiple sources to showcase the very best bagels in New York City.

Throughout the main sections of this guide, we list NY bagel shops in alphabetical order. Each section contains review ratings from Google, TripAdvisor and Yelp with a review out of 5.0 and the number of reviews from each platform. Then at the end, you’ll find a conclusion with an interactive bagel map so you can easily find each one.

We’ve only included bagels store that have received thousands of reviews because larger numbers provide more accurate results. We’ll regularly review this guide to incorporate new shops when applicable.

Without further ado, let’s find the best bagel spots in NYC:

1. Absolute Bagels

Cream cheese for sale in a refrigerated case in an NYC bagel shop
A large selection of schmear in New York City
  • Google: 4.6 (3.2k+)
  • TripAdvisor: 4.5 (500)
  • Yelp: 4.4 (1.8k+)

We like this traditional no frills joint on the Upper West Side serving hand-rolled bagels and numerous cream cheese or deli meat options. You can expect to pay about $1.75 per bagel, but the prices increases to $5.50 if you add cream cheese. They also serve Tofutti which is soy-based and dairy free.

  • Address: 2788 Broadway, New York, NY 10025
  • Location: Google Maps

Travel Tip: Absolute bagels takes cash only.

2. Bagels & Schmear

Storefront for Bagels and Schmear in NYC
The Bagels & Schmear storefront early in the morning
  • Google: 4.5 (1.2k+)
  • TripAdvisor: 4.5 (270+)
  • Yelp: 4.1 (600+)

Opened in 2000 in the Flatiron District, this is a place we always find ourselves gravitating back to for another bagel. With an extensive breakfast and lunch menu, you’ll have trouble deciding what to choose with almost 30 schmear or salad options. The line may be long, but it always moves quicky.

Travel Tip: Try the House Special with fresh lox, cream cheese, tomatoes, onions, and capers. Visitors also rave about the multiple flavors of tofu cream cheese.


3. Best Bagel & Coffee

Storefront for the Best Bagels and Coffee
Best Bagel and Coffee in Midtown Manhattan
  • Google: 4.6 (5.2k+)
  • TripAdvisor: 4.5 (1.6k+)
  • Yelp: 4.5 (4.7k+)

This is a popular spot in Midtown offering hand rolled and kettle boiled bagels that are baked right on the premises. It’s a great location if you’re checking out some of the best things to do in New York City. You can find everything from spreads, sandwiches, breakfast platters, omelets, smoked fish, cold cuts and more.

Travel Tip: The cinnamon walnut raisin cream cheese is one of our favorites. Or you can be adventurous with the bacon honey sriracha.

4. Broad Nosh Bagels

Multiple bagels sitting on a table
  • Google: 4.9 (3.7k)
  • TripAdvisor: 5.0 (15)
  • Yelp: 4.4 (200+)

Only opened a few years ago in 2020, this is one of the newest places in New York to get your bagel fix with 2 locations. While TripAdvisor and Yelp ratings are lower in volume, it has the highest Google ratings on our list so we had to give it a chance. Here you’ll find 16 bagel options and 18 cream cheese flavors including vegetarian and vegan options.

We have yet to try Broad Nosh so leave your comments below if you’ve been as we’d love to hear your thoughts!

Need help organizing your visit to NYC?

Our popular 50+ page New York City Guidebook can help you with planning every aspect of your trip.

5. Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company

Cinnamon raisin bagel with strawberry cream cheese in NYC
Cinnamon raisin bagel with strawberry schmear from Brooklyn Bagel
  • Google: 4.5 (3.2k+)
  • TripAdvisor: 4.5 (500+)
  • Yelp: 4.3 (1,9k+)

The Brooklyn Bagel and Company is one of our favorite New York bagel shops because they offer so much variety with special fan-favorite rotating flavors. If you’re not feeling a bagel, you can also try signature sandwiches, breakfast wraps or something from the bakery. Brooklyn Bagel is spread out between five locations so they must be doing something right.

Travel Tip: Ordering can be a bit confusing here because you’ll have to order food at one counter and pay then order coffee at a second counter and pay again. But trust us, it’s worth it!

6. Ess-a-Bagel

A menu of speciality egg sandwiches and hand rolled bagels
A menu listing different kind of bagels and speciality egg sandwiches
  • Google: 4.1 (3.8k+)
  • TripAdvisor: 4.5 (1.7k+)
  • Yelp: 4.0 (4.5k+)

Established in 1976 by an Austrian baking family, this NYC bagel shop has withstood the test of time. Now run by the younger generations, Ess-a-Bagel has a very loyal following with 3 locations. In addition to bagels, you can also order sandwiches, fish platters, cold cuts, salads and knishes.

Travel Tip: We love their fresh squeezed orange juice.

7. Liberty Bagels

Workers preparing bagels for the morning rush at Liberty bagels
Employees at Liberty Bagels working hard during the morning rush
  • Google: 4.6 (2.9k+)
  • TripAdvisor: 4.5 (400+)
  • Yelp: 4.5 (1.5k+)

Liberty is one of our regular bagel stops when visiting New York City. The line is usually long but it always moves fast across their 4 locations. With an extensive menu featuring unique flavors, you can find whatever you’re craving. We love the french toast, egg everything and rainbow bagels.

Travel Tip: Download their user friendly app to receive 25% off your first order.

8. Russ & Daughters

Smoked fish and cream cheese on top of the sesame bagel
Smoked fish on a sesame bagel
  • Google: 4.6 (3.7k+)
  • TripAdvisor: 4.5 (1.2k+)
  • Yelp: 4.3 (2.8k+)

In operation since 1914 by four generations of the Russ family, this is a long time NY specialty food shop offering high-end smoked fish and caviar in multiple locations. It’s very different compared to other bagel shops on this list, but it’s one of the best places in the city to try smoked salmon. Gluten free options are also available.

Travel Tip: Try the Russ and Daughters Cafe for a more intimate experience. This is one of our favorite brunch spots in the city, but it will be extremely busy.

9. Tompkins Square Bagels

A plain bagel with bacon, egg and cheese toppings
A traditional plain bialys (bagel with no hole) with bacon, egg and cheese
  • Google: 4.5 (1.7k+)
  • TripAdvisor: 4.5 (200+)
  • Yelp: 4.2 (1.5k+)

With 3 locations, Tompkins Square Bagels is one of the few options on this list offering visitors a place to sit down. You’ll find the typical classic options, but they also serve unique speciality cream cheese flavors such as cucumber dill, chocolate chip cookie dough and carrot cake.

Travel Tip: We also love the bagel breakfast sandwiches with fun names at Tompkins. You can order beyond meat and gluten free options too.

10. Utopia Bagels

Bacon cheddar jalapeno, strawberry and raisin walnut cream cheese
Large tubs featuring various kinds of cream cheese
  • Google: 4.5 (2.2k+)
  • TripAdvisor: 4.5 (100)
  • Yelp: 4.2 (1.1k+)

Located in Queens, this is a simple establishment serving up fresh New York bagels and delicious sandwiches. In addition to bagels, you can also order Belgian waffles, pancakes, French toast and plant-based options. They’ve been featured on Insider Food and you can watch it on YouTube here.

Travel Tip: The bagels at utopia are hand rolled, kettle boiled and then baked in a 1947 carousel oven.

Honorable Mentions

Two New York bagels sitting on a table with two coffees
Two coffees and two New York style bagels

If you’ve already been to the places we featured on our NY bagel roundup, here are a few more honorable mentions to try in various boroughs around the city:

  • Bagel Oasis – Known for their chicken salad, you can find speciality sandwiches, chicken cutlets and steak as well as bagels.
  • Bagel Shop – Offering an extensive menu with speciality sandwiches, smoked fish and an ice cream bagelwich.
  • Baz Bagel – Serving popular tie-dye bagels, you can order one for any occasion with nationwide shipping.
  • Black Seed Bagels – With 10 different locations, these wood-fired bagels have been making waves since 1014.
  • Bo’s Bagels – Located in Harlem, this popular place was started by a couple looking for a descent bagel.
  • H&H Bagels – As seen on Seinfeld, the Office, Sex and the City and Entourage, this is a bagel shop you might easily recognize.
  • Leo’s Bagels – We like this simple joint in the Financial District, perfect for pairing with a trip to the Statue of Liberty.
  • Murray’s Bagels – A classic stop offering a large amount of spreads and smoked fish in addition to catering.

Further Reading: Famous and inspirational NYC quotes

Best NYC Bagels By Reviews

The Liberty Bagels storefront in Midtown Manhattan
Exterior of Liberty Bagels in Midtown Manhattan

The best NY bagel is sure to spark a debate between visitors and locals alike. Here are the top 5 bagel places according to multiple sources (please note we eliminated non-bagel and low review places from the list):

Comparing reivews on Google, the 5 top rated options are:

  1. Broad Nosh Bagels (4.9 with 3.7k)
  2. Best Bagel and Coffee (4.6 with 5.2k)
  3. Russ & Daughters (4.6 with 3.7k)
  4. Absolute Bagels (4.6 with 3.2k)
  5. Liberty Bagels Midtown (4.6 with 2.9k)

According to TripAdvisor, the top 5 bagels spots are:

  1. Liberty Bagels Midtown
  2. Best Bagel and Coffee
  3. Bagels & Schmear
  4. Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company
  5. Ess-a-Bagel

According to Yelp, the 5 most popular bagel spots are:

  1. Best Bagel & Coffee
  2. Russ & Daughters
  3. Ess-a-Bagel
  4. Brooklyn Bagel & Company
  5. Liberty Bagels Midtown

And here’s a link to our interactive map showing you where to find the best bagels in New York City. We’ve also included the honorable mentions in case you wanted to try other options.

New York Bagel Tours

A famous bright rainbow bagel in NYC
A famous rainbow bagel featuring an egg flavor with hints of vanilla

New York City is now home to the best bagels in the world, but it wasn’t always that way. As Jewish refugees arrived to the city from Poland in the 1800’s, they brought many traditional foods including the bagel.

The style of bagel popular today was created as an inexpensive snack by these Jewish immigrants and it remained popular only within their community. But by the 1960s, the secret was out and the bagel started to gain popularity with the non-Jewish population throughout the city.

Over the decades, the New York bagel has doubled in size with a wide variety of unique flavors and numerous cream cheese spreads for any palate.

If you’d like to learn more, let a local to show you the best bagel places in NYC on a guided bagel tour. Here are a few options:

Further Reading: Las Vegas secret food tour review

Bagel Tips

We’ve covered a lot of information in this guide, but here are a few tips to consider when trying to find a bagel during your trip:

  • Always bring cash. Some bagels shops only take cash so make sure you always have some on hand.
  • As you add toppings, the price increases. Most dry bagels start around $1.50 and then the price increases to $3.00-9.00 depending on what you order.
  • New Yorkers use the term schmear. This is a Yiddish term referring to any type of spreadable topping placed on a bagel including cream cheese, smoked salmon, peanut butter, etc.
  • Most bagels shops have multiple locations. No matter where you are in the city, you might be able to find another location closer thank you think.
  • Lox is a very popular topping on NY bagels. It’s cured and cold salmon. You’ll find many types and qualities, but the most common kind in the city is Nova Scotia Lox.
  • Expect small spaces. Many of the places on this list have very small store fronts and there may be no where to sit. We always look for a nearby park to enjoy our bagels after ordering.

More New York Guides

Want more New York content? Head over to our New York Travel Guides to explore the Finger Lakes, Adirondacks and the best of NYC.

We hope this guide featuring the most popular bagels in New York helps with planning your visit!

Please let us know if you’ve tried any of the bagels on this list or disagree with these rankings in the comments below.

Happy Snacking,

Mark and Kristen

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