Any visit to New York would be incomplete without a taste of a chewy, delicious bagel. A typical New York bagel is smaller and denser than most, usually hand-rolled, boiled, then baked to achieve the perfect consistency. Here are places to find the best bagels in New York, whether you take yours topped with plain cream cheese, lox, butter, or whatever topping or filling you choose! 

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Updated 4/29/21

Broad Street Bagels (Hudson Valley)

A picture of a bagel split in half with strawberry cream cheese and chocolate chips
Credit: @upstatesocialny on Instagram 

The small town of Kinderhook in northern Hudson Valley is best known as the birthplace of the eighth President of the United States, Martin Van Buren. A stone’s throw from the house where he was born is Broad Street Bagels, where the main attraction is bagels made from a family recipe dating back to 19th-century Brooklyn. Purists can stick to a sesame with plain cream cheese but Broad Street also specializes in now-trendy offshoots (like French toast and blueberry) and serves all kinds of sandwiches as well. Kinderhook

Nyack Hot Bagels (Hudson Valley)

Representing southern Hudson Valley on this list is Nyack Hot Bagels, something of an institution in a river town that’s becoming known as a foodie haven. At Nyack Hot Bagels, the shop takes pride in its hand-rolled, boiled, and baked bagels, which are often served hot out of the oven. The shop also offers a bialy, a sort of cousin to the bagel with a depression rather than a hole in the middle that’s stuffed with cooked onions. Nyack

The Mud Club (Catskills)

A photo of someone holding an everything bagel  cut in half with bacon, egg and cheese
Credit: The Mud Club

The name suggests they put their coffee first, but at this Woodstock favorite, where there’s almost always a line of hungry patrons, the bagels are first-rate as well. Baked in a wood-fired oven, the bagels pair perfectly with the organic drip coffee on offer. And this being a well-known enclave where the hippie spirit lives on, The Mud Club is currently open Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am-3 pm to help reduce the shop’s carbon footprint. Woodstock

Latte Lounge (Central New York)

Every college town needs a good deli and lounge, and Latte Lounge is Oneonta’s go-to. Students, locals, and visitors alike stop here for fresh-brewed coffee from local Capital City Coffee Roasters and a menu of in-house bagels and clever cream cheese flavors from jalapeno, honey nut, and kalamata olive. Oneonta

Soulshine Bagels (Adirondacks)

dozens of bagels from Soulshine Bagels in Lake Placid
credit: @chris__malone on Instagram

Not only can you enjoy the incredible scenic beauty of the Adirondacks, but you can also find a delicious New York bagel at this favorite spot on Main Street in Lake Placid. The bagel menu includes the Instagram-famous rainbow variety, with colorful swirls baked into the dough, as well as all the classics, from sesame to poppy, to everything. Lake Placid

Forts Ferry Farm (Capital-Saratoga)

A photo of a sesame bagel on a red plate with chili peppers and a honey wand
Credit: Forts Ferry Farm

Two former New York City chefs, husband-wife team Emma Hearst and John Barker, started this heirloom vegetable farm in Latham, outside Albany, a few years ago, adding a seasonal market and cafe overlooking the fields. In 2019, Forts Ferry Farm introduced its bakery, serving fresh bread and of course bagels, all made with responsibly sourced New York–grown wheat, as well as cream cheese made with ingredients from the farm. Latham

Balsam Bagels (Finger Lakes)

A photo of a bagel cut in half with cream cheese filling and salmon slices
Credit: @j7rosenthal on Instagram

Balsam’s tagline promises “More than just bagels!” but while this family-run Rochester mainstay offers paninis, wraps, and soups, it’s the bagel and cream cheese menu here that stands out. There are thousands of possible combinations between bagels (from sesame and poppy to sundried tomato, pesto, and French toast) and cream cheese (bacon scallion, pepperoni pizza, and maple pecan). Plus, non-dairy cream cheeses are available in many of the fun flavors for vegans and the lactose-intolerant. Rochester

Water Street Bagel Co. (Finger Lakes)

An photo of a cream cheese container that says "water Street Bagel Co." surrounded by bags of bagels
Credit: @cnyfryguy on Instagram

A hometown couple that went away to college, traveled, and then returned to Syracuse started this sleekly designed shop, where the bagels are boiled and then finished in wood-oven for a perfect mix of chew and crunch. The bagel selection skews traditional but has some tasty-sounding standouts like rosemary salt and the regionally appropriate kimmelweck (the bread style of neighboring northern city Buffalo’s famed beef on weck), while house-made cream cheeses include smoked salmon and garden veggie as well as gourmet riffs like bacon horseradish and dill. Water Street also serves coffee from acclaimed local roastery Recess. Syracuse 

Broadway Gourmet Bagel Cafe (Long Island)

This place is like a bagel fantasyland, with mini-bagels, flat bagels or “flagels,” bialys, and traditional bagels as well as marble, Fruity Pebbles, and sunflower seed options. Bagel fans with a sweet tooth will want to scan the Crazy Bagels section, which includes a s’mores bagel and a unicorn bagel made with a rainbow bagel and cotton candy cream cheese! North Massapequa

Better on a Bagel (Long Island)

Most of the bagels on this list adhere to the New York bagel motto that “Smaller is better,” but Better on a Bagel opts for a bigger footprint. Perhaps the thinking is that a larger bagel is a better vehicle for a delicious egg sandwich, which is the main draw at this shop, which serves all sorts of variations on the classic “BEC” (or bacon, egg, and cheese). Miller Place

Bagel Jay’s (Greater Niagara)

Buffalo’s favorite place for a bagel and a shmear (or dab of cream cheese), Bagel Jay’s features a varied menu of classic styles bagels and spreads, as well as some newer favorites like olive and pimento. The way to look like a local is to wash down your Bagel Jay’s bagel with a cup of dark roast coffee from local roastery McCullagh. Buffalo, Williamsville, Snyder/Amherst

Breadhive Cafe (Greater Niagara)

A photo of a plain bagel and an everything bagel on a table next to the Breadhive menu
Credit: Breadhive Worker Cooperative

This worker cooperative–owned cafe offers a homey ambiance and a menu of inventive bagel sandwiches. Many of the sandwiches even sound mouth-watering, such as the Aaliyah, made with house breakfast sausage, cheddar, butter, and maple syrup. Vegans can find something to love here, like the Shania, a tofu scramble with tempeh bacon, and a roasted vegetable sandwich. And in case you hadn’t noticed Breadhive sandwiches are named for famous female singers! Buffalo

Russ & Daughters (New York City)

A photo of a poppy seed bagel with salmon onions and tomato on a Russ and Daughters parchment paper
Credit: Courtesy of Russ & Daughters

Many people trace the bagel's origins back to Poland, and Russ & Daughters, founded in the early 1900s by Eastern European immigrant Joel Russ, has an important part in New York’s food history. The appetizing shop at 179 East Houston St. opened in 1920 and is still there today, serving what’s considered the best bagel and lox sandwich in the city. In 1935, Russ made his three daughters full partners—hence the name—a bold move at the time! Today, Russ & Daughters is still family-owned, by the fourth generation, and has expanded from the original shop to a Lower East Side restaurant, a restaurant and take-out appetizing counter at the Jewish Museum, and a new-in-2019 “Appetizing factory” at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Manhattan, Brooklyn

Bagel Hole (New York City)

This, ahem, hole-in-the-wall Park Slope, Brooklyn shop serves what many consider the best bagels in New York City. They’re classic boiled bagels, small and chewy yet crunchy, and always served warm and fresh. As a result, the hard-working staff at the perpetually busy Bagel Hole respectfully refuse to toast bagels or even slice bagels that aren’t being ordered with butter or cream cheese. For locals, it’s part of the charm! Brooklyn