The first time I went to New York City, I had a list of things that I must do. Go to Central Park, grab a slice, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, get a hotdog from a street vendor, and arguably most importantly, get a bagel. The thing about New York is that there are always sooo many bagel shops. How is a tourist like me supposed to know where to get a true, iconic, New York City bagel?
The long answer – do some research, read reviews, ask friends and acquaintances, and make a decision based on the information that you’ve meticulously gathered.
The short answer – go to Ess-a-Bagel.
A great way to tell if something in New York is worth it is if New Yorkers (not tourists) are willing to wait in line for it. The line at Ess-a-Bagel doubles back on itself multiple times, and since time works differently in New York City, these New Yorkers are practically waiting a lifetime for these bagels (or about a day depending on which New York Minute standard you use). If they can wait that long, then surely I can wait 15 – 20 minutes for a bagel. (and don’t call me Shirley)
There are a multitude of choices and options at Ess-a-Bagel, but I opted for an Everything Bagel with Plain Cream Cheese. A classic.
Whenever I think of a New York bagel, this is exactly the bagel I think of. The exterior is chewy and absolutely covered with the everything bagel blend. The interior is warm, soft, and slightly dense. All the energy you need to talk on the phone, exclaim as a pedestrian to automotive traffic exactly where it is that you’re walking, and complain about the Knicks.
You cant get bagels like these anywhere else in the world (well, I mean, technically you can since Ess-a-Bagel can ship their bagels directly to you, but you get my point), and they are definitely worth the effort and a New York lifetime waiting in line.