Food & Drink,  Featured

Best Bagels on the Upper West Side

New York City has long been renowned for its cultural diversity. This, everybody knows. All of these different cultures bring their unique style to the food mecca that is New York, a city that contends it has the best of everything. Best sushi, pasta, best pizza – because to any New Yorker, everything we do is the best.

With so many food choices, one particular food item that the city readily claims as its own is the bagel, a food that got its start on the city’s Lower East Side in the early 20th century. All true New Yorkers have a favorite place they will readily recommend, often without being asked. I am no exception! In no particular order, here is something that maybe not everybody knows. Here are my favorite Upper West Side places to get a good New York City bagel.

Absolute Bagels

A laid-back store where you can expect to find Columbia students and locals lined up and out the door, mornings and anytime on weekends. The store is cash only, so come prepared. The shop offers a wide variety of bagels, including traditional flavors like plain, sesame, and everything, as well as a selection of spreads and toppings. Absolute Bagels is affordable and low-key, focusing on quality food. Located at 2788 Broadway between W. 107th & 108th Streets.

Tal Bagels

Tal Bagels offers a variety of fresh bagels, bialys, and other delicacies. Their morning bagels are known for being fresh, warm, and generously filled, making them a favorite among locals and visitors alike. In addition to traditional bagel flavors, Tal Bagels also offers a range of spreads, housemade salads, and fresh-sliced deli meats. One distinct feature of Tal Bagels is that they are Kosher certified. Mornings can be busy, but the line moves quickly. Located at 2446 Broadway between W. 90th & 91st. Streets.


Orwashers Bakery traces its origins back to 1916 when it was founded by a Hungarian immigrant family. It began on the Upper East Side, primarily serving the local immigrant community. It remained in the family until 2008, when it changed hands, preserving and expanding its style and selling to many local retail stores and weekly farmers’ markets. The bakery is known for its wide selection of artisanal breads, pastries, and cookies. Over the years, it has expanded to multiple locations across the city, including the Upper West Side and a cafe on Long Island. Orwashers opened its Upper West Side doors in 2016. Located at 440 Amsterdam Avenue between W. 81st & 82nd Streets.


Founded in TriBeCa in 2006, Zucker’s Bagels & Smoked Fish has seven locations across Manhattan. Known for its hand-rolled, kettle-boiled bagels and a wide variety of smoked fish. In addition to its traditional offerings, the menu features expertly-made sandwiches, fresh La Colombe coffee, and a range of schmears and toppings. Here you will find some of the best bagel deli sandwiches this side of the Hudson. Zucker’s bagels are an excellent choice when visiting the Upper West Side. 273 Columbus Avenue between W. 72nd & 73rd Streets.

While the above is by no means a definitive list of the best of the best, they are among our current favorites on the Upper West Side. Below are three bonus options for those willing to venture farther afield:

Kossar’s (367 Grand Street): Kossar’s Bagels & Bialys, established in 1936, is a historic bakery located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City. This iconic establishment is renowned for its traditional hand-rolled bagels and bialys, offering a wide selection of freshly baked goods. Pinnacles of poppy seed and similar delicacies are made fresh daily. You can get up close and personal with pallets of baked goods on the floor. A new store will be opening in late spring or early summer on the corner of W. 72nd Street and West End Avenue.

Ess-a-Bagel: (831 Third Avenue, and various other locations):
Ess-a-Bagel is renowned for its delectable bagels, flavorful cream cheese, and a wide array of high-quality deli meats. The original Gramercy location has been a staple since 1976, and the shop’s commitment to excellence has made it a favorite for almost 50 years.

Murray’s Bagels: (500 Avenue of the Americas): Murray’s Bagels is known for its contemporary style and wide selection of bagels and smoked fish. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic lox and schmear or a breakfast sandwich, Murray’s Bagels delivers an authentic taste of New York.


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