The bread which is synonymous with New York City is the donut shaped bread which is known as the bagel. New York City bagels are largely accepted to be the ‘best’ in the world though their supremacy is currently being challenged by bagels that are made in Chicago and Boston.

What makes the New York bagel special?

The New York bagel contains salt and malt and is boiled in water prior to baking in a standard oven. As a result of this process, the New York bagel is puffy and chewy inside and it has a noticeable crust on the outside. Bagels are available in a wide variety of flavors like poppy seed, onion, pumpernickel, whole wheat, cinnamon and raisin and even an ‘everything’ bagel which has all the possible toppings. Lightly toasted bagels which are had with a lashing of butter are a popular breakfast food in New York City. In fact, bagels can be found in several urban centers which have large Jewish populations. On Sunday mornings when New Yorkers generally have more time, these bagels are consumed with all their trimmings in the form of a bagel sandwich with cream cheese, Lox (salmon cured in brine) and a few slices of tomato and onion.

New York City bagels are found in supermarkets, delis, restaurnats as well as special bagel stores that only specialize in bagels and their accompaniments.

Some famous New York City Bagel stores include:

H & H Bagels (

Thought to be the premier Bagel store in New York City, H & H Bagels, which is located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on 80th Street and Broadway, was founded in 1972. H & H bagels, operates 24 hours a day and ships its bagels all over the world. It however has no seating facilities and you are expected to take away your bagels and not consume them onsite.

Russ and Daughters (

This bagel store which is located in the original Jewish neighborhood of the Lower East Side has been serving its bagels since 1914. Apart from bagels it offers cured salmon, smoked fish, caviar, cream cheese and bialys which are Eastern European breads that are similar to bagels. Just don’t ask for your bagel to be toasted here as the store serves them as is and frowns on toasting a bagel as the authentic way to eat a bagel is to eat it as it is.

Russ and Daughters is open for business from 8a-8p on every week day, 9a to 7pm on Saturday and 8a to 5.30pm on Sundays.

Ess-a-Bagel (

If you are counting calories and limiting carbohydrates you might want to want eschew these two bagel stores for a store called Ess-a-Bagel. Ess-a-Bagel has two locations in Manhattan and in addition to traditional bagels it also serves low carbohydrate bagels. The store also offers a variety of cream cheeses, cakes and pastries, muffins, cookies and several Jewish delicacies like rugelach.

Fresh Bread at Amy’s Breads (

Fresh bread is quite easily found all over New York City in supermarkets like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, gourmet stores and at the various greenmarkets that are held in various locations all over the city. However there is one store in New York City which is renowned for its freshly baked delicious breads and this store which initially originated in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City is called Amy’s Breads.

Amy’s Bread offers a wide range of organic, whole wheat, sourdough, black olive, rosemary and other specialty breads that are baked on site every day. Amy’s Bread operates from three locations in New York City – at Hell’s Kitchen, the West Village and at the Chelsea Market.