The 24 Best Bagels in NYC, Ranked

Breakfast is served

best bagels in nyc: lox and cream cheese bagel on yellow background

Ah, New York City: land of the free and home of the bagel. Trek one block radius of your apartment and you’re likely to hit a decent place to grab a whole-wheat everything with schmear. But when a serious carb craving hits, only the chewiest, warmest, crispy-on-the-outside, doughy-on-the-inside bagel will do. So, our New York-based editors weighed in to create a handy list of where to get the best bagels in NYC. (Did we mention all of these spots also offer takeout and/or delivery?)

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24. The Bad Bagel

"The thing that stands out about, besides the enormous selection of cream cheeses (and tofu cream cheese varieties for vegans), is their ability to put a fresh, crispy hash brown patty on any bagel sandwich," says PureWow assistant editor Delia Curtis. "The service is fast and it’s located on the main Wyckoff Avenue strip, meaning you can mosey around the neighborhood with your bagel and a coffee and check out the shops in the area or pull up to Maria Hernandez Park to people watch." Our rec? A toasted everything or sesame bagel with sausage, egg and cheddar with jalapeño cheddar cream cheese and a hash brown

23. Knickerbocker Bagel

"With lines to the door nearly every day, Knickerbocker Bagel is a true Bushwick staple," asserts Curtis. "They have a never-ending menu and something for everyone. From loaded bagels and massive sandwiches to fresh squeezed OJ and a pastry case full of sweet treats, it’s a one-stop shop for all your breakfast and lunch needs. The bagels are gooey and warm and perfect for a hangover on a Sunday morning."

22. Leon's Bagels

  • Location: Greenwich Village (169 Thompson St., Ste. B)
  • Delivery Services Offered: Grubhub, Seamless

"Their motto says it all: It's nothing fancy, just some damn good bagels that are fresh, fluffy and never disappoint," raves PureWow executive managing editor Catrina Yohay. "Love the grab-and-go counter in SoHo and that the line always moves pretty quick. I have the appetite of a child, so my go-to order is cinnamon raisin with strawberry cream cheese, but everyone raves about their breakfast sammies."

best bagels in nyc: finn's bagels
Finn's Bagels

21. Finn's Bagels

  • Location: Midtown West (477 10th Ave.)
  • Delivery Services Offered: Sauce, Seamless

If your go-to order is a BEC, head to Finn's for a bagel sandwich with a near-perfect egg-to-cheese ratio. The staff is friendly and attentive too, often greeting regulars by name and having their orders memorized. Now that's service.

20. Bagelsmith

Pro tip: Top one of those chewy wheels of deliciousness with jalapeño-cheddar cream cheese. In addition to their bagels, Bagelsmith is also famous for their massive sandwiches, whether loaded with sausage or avocado.

19. Bagels & Schmear

  • Location: Flatiron (116 E. 28th St.)
  • Delivery Services Offered: Grubhub

A no-frills joint with top-notch bagels and avocado cream cheese? I'm in, especially when you can have it brought straight to your door.

18. Davidovich Bakery

These hand-rolled-bagel wizards also provide their goods to Barney Greengrass for brunch. For now, though, I recommend going straight to the source for takeout. If you prefer your bagels minimally doughy, try their flagels on for size.

17. Bagel Buffet

Don’t be fooled by the store’s unassuming exterior—the good stuff is inside. And you can grab it to go or order online or for delivery. Try the Bagel Addiction, a buttered bagel piled high with sliced lox, scallion cream cheese, tomato and onions.

16. Leo's Bagels

The Financial District deserves a good bacon, egg and cheese, too. Leo's offers takeout to boot, so you can get your fix right away. Treat yourself to some rugelach after you get your bagel on.

15. Shelsky's Smoked Fish

"Shelsky's has the best lox I've had in the city," asserts PureWow senior food editor Katherine Gillen. "Their bagels are just the right amount of chewy. My go-to order is actually the Tuna Super Spicy Funk sandwich, which has tuna salad and chili crisp." (We also recommend topping a poppyseed bagel with lox, sable and creamed herring.) Place a pickup order by phone, or save yourself the work and get it delivered.

14. Zabar's

  • Location: Upper West Side (2245 Broadway)
  • Delivery Services Offered: Zabar's website

No fancy cream cheese flavors here, but this market and its delicious bagels (brought in by a secret supplier) are quintessential New York. And they can be shipped nationwide—score!

13. H&H Midtown Bagels

  • Location: Five locations across Manhattan and Queens
  • Delivery Services Offered: Toast, Goldbelly

Not to be confused with the original H&H (may she rest in peace), this also pretty-damn-decent spot is filling the void left by the dearly departed. They're available for pickup and delivery, and like Zabar's, these bagels can be shipped nationwide.

12. Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company

"Brooklyn Bagels in Astoria was my go-to for years," says VP of news and entertainment Phil Mutz. "Such a great BEC or a cinnamon raisin bagel with butter—*chef's kiss*."

"My husband jokes that we will leave New York the day I can replicate Brooklyn Bagel's everything bagel with bacon scallion perfectly," adds PureWow's VP of editorial Candace Davison. "I've studied how to create such a wonderfully chewy-yet-pillowy bagel, so completely barnacled with seasoning, and while I come close, it's just not the same."

Available for pickup and delivery, the hardest part about ordering from Brooklyn Bagel is choosing which bagel-and-schmear combo to go with (but we highly recommend the everything with bacon-scallion cream cheese).

11. Bo’s Bagels

When a Harlem couple couldn’t find good bagels in their neighborhood, they took matters into their own hands—and as their beautifully blistered rounds prove, they’re very capable hands indeed. Grab a half-dozen for takeout or delivery to enjoy an A1 breakfast for days.

9. Bagel Pub

Park Slope residents and beyond, rejoice: This is the perfect vehicle for lox and capers, and you can have it delivered. Bagel Pub's bagels are hand-rolled, kettle-boiled and baked daily for your noshing pleasure.

8. Utopia Bagels

If you aren't within delivery range, you’ll have to travel to where the subways don’t go to grab takeout from this Queens institution, but once you sink your teeth into a fresh-baked salt bagel with all the fixings, the commute will have been worth it. (Psst: If you're bringing the kids, keep an eye out for their rainbow bagels and birthday cake cream cheese. It turns breakfast into a party.)

7. Zucker's Bagels & Smoked Fish

One of the co-founders also started Murray's Bagels, so you know these are the real deal. Takeout and delivery are available, so honestly, what are you waiting for? The pastrami, egg and cheese won't disappoint.

6. Black Seed Bagels

New Yorkers are naturally skeptical of any outsider bagels. But Black Seed’s Montreal-style bagels—boiled in honey, then baked in a wood-burning stove—won our editors over, and now we can’t imagine life without them. Prepare to get to know the delivery folks real well.

5. Best Bagel & Coffee

The name makes a lofty promise, but I guarantee these made-on-premises, kettle-boiled bagels don't disappoint. Might we suggest a blueberry bagel with blueberry cream cheese for fruit lovers?

4. Bagel Hole

  • Location: Park Slope (400 7th Ave.)
  • Delivery Services Offered: Grubhub, Seamless

This Park Slope shop provides the bagels for Russ & Daughters. 'Nuff said. "They actually refuse to toast their bagels!" says VP of design and branded content Angela Pares. (That's how consistently fresh they are.) "But it doesn't matter because they are that good. A classic sesame with scallion and tomato is my jam." Call or order online to grab one—or a dozen, we won't judge—for takeout.

3. David's Bagels

An East Village classic with mind-blowingly awesome bagels and possibly the friendliest staff in town, offering their wares via takeout and delivery. First-timers will love the honey-wheat sesame bagels, promise.

2. Absolute Bagels

  • Location: Manhattan Valley (2788 Broadway)
  • Delivery Services Offered: carry-out only

This Thai family-run bakery is serving little wheels of heaven, warm out of the oven. "Skip the BEC (it's good, but not the best in the city)," advises PureWow editor Abby Hepworth. "Go for the bagel of your choice with any of the cream cheese options. They also have spectacular lox. But the real star of the show are the bagels themselves. They're hands down the best in all of NYC—and, yes, I will die on that hill." (We chalk it up to their shiny, crackly outer crusts and dense, chewy interiors.) They only offer takeout, but it's worth the trek, no matter where you live.

1. Ess-a-Bagel

The original and still-reigning queen, offering takeout and delivery. "I never understood the New York City bagel snobbery until I ate a fresh Ess-a-Bagel," says PureWow senior editor Dara Katz. "Ask for what's hot, so your bagel comes out all steamy and crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, no toasting necessary. I also love their whitefish salad." Please, take our life savings.

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Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.

candace davison bio

VP of editorial, recipe developer, cookbook author

Candace Davison oversees PureWow's food and home content, as well as its franchises, like the PureWow100 review series and the Happy Kid Awards. She’s covered all things lifestyle...