Of all the foods you might associate with New York City there is perhaps no more quintessential New York food than the humble bagel.
As simple as this bread based savory is it remains the most popular choice for a Big Apple breakfast.
Eaten plain, or with the traditional cream cheese schmear, or even a fresh slice of lox, there is something about a real NYC bagel that just cannot be matched.
SEE ALSO: Best Pizzerias in NYC
The best bagels in NYC are not to be found at a Dunkin Donuts though, and although there are literally thousands of cafes, delis and even food trucks that sell bagels there are some places that simply offer these round doughy treats that stand out as the places that offer the very best bagels in NYC:
The Bagel Store
This humble looking store is a commuter favorite and serves up fresh, handmade best bagels in dozens of different varieties seven days a week.
And what varieties they are! In addition to the more common options that true bagel purists insist upon, The Bagel Store serves up such chewy and crunchy delights as the salt and vinegar bagel, the super cinnamon, the spinach and artichoke and the one that has brought the store nationwide recognition - the bacon, egg and cheddar cheese bagel.
The Bagel Store also prides itself on the quality and deliciousness of its almost two dozen homemade cream cheeses, including the current teen favorite, Nutella Cream Cheese.
The Bagel Store is located at 754 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn
Few bagel aficionados would argue that, despite the plethora of delis in the area, the very best bagels in the Village are to be found being sold from this tiny blue-awninged store front.
It is actually rather hard to pinpoint, in words at least, just what makes Murray's bagels so special. However, the outsides of the bagels are deliciously crispy, but they give with to a soft, fluffy interior that almost melts in the mouth so that may simply be it.
There are fifteen different varieties of Murray's Bagel available, none too outlandish but all deserving of at least one try. If you have the time stop in for the amazing breakfast bagel buffet, which is offered every morning, that will allow you to sample them all, along with a wide variety of cream cheeses and both fresh lox and whitefish.
Murray's Bagels is located at 242 8th Ave
72nd Street Bagel
Perhaps the most famous and celebrated bagel store on Manhattan's Upper West Side was called H&H Bagel. Unfortunately, despite its popularity with the locals, that institution closed its doors in 2011, although the company continues to manufacture their freshly baked bagels - which are still distributed all over the country - from its factory location in midtown.
Now that H&H is gone, 72nd Street Bagel has stepped up to claim its crown. The modest joint serves up a selection of classic bagels but its most popular offerings are the diet friendly mini bagels, delightful little doughy offerings that retail for just eighty cents. Many patrons also take advantage of the fact that they can choose to spread their smaller snack with fat-free lox spread, something that is very hard to find anywhere else in New York City.
72nd Street Bagel is located at 130 W 72nd St
The Atlas Cafe
Unlike the other stores mentioned here, the Atlas Cafe does not bake its own bagels. Instead, it serves the H&H Bagels that Manhattanites love so much, a good enough reason to pay them a visit in itself.
There is, however, one secret that experienced Lower East Side party-goers discovered a long time ago. and that is that possibly the best and most effective cure for a bad hangover is an Atlas Everything bagel topped with homemade cream cheese and fresh lox. Why that is no one is quite sure, however, it seems to be just the right balance of carbs and vitamins to soak up any remaining alcohol and chase headaches away!
The Atlas Cafe is located at 73 2nd Ave