The Best Bagels in New York City

Take a bite of this Big Apple favorite.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and tasting it in New York City is the perfect way to start your day. One breakfast treat that always satisfies the city is a classic bagel. Whether you sit down and eat it or take it with you on the go as you explore NYC, there’s nothing better than to enjoy one combined with your favorite flavors and the perfect amount of schmear spread across the middle. If you’re looking for your new favorite spot, look no further than these shops across the Big Apple.

New York City's Best bagels

Liberty Bagels

Liberty Bagels knows what people like. Since 1995, this shop in Midtown has been serving one of the most extensive and most unique bagel menus in the city. Each flavor is more different than the last, with some being exclusive to the shop itself! Its signature “Liberty Bagel” may be a plain flavor, but customers can’t get enough of its bright colors that change each month. Other special flavors include “Asiago Cheese,” “Jalapeno Everything,” and even a “French Toast” to combine two breakfast favorites in one. No matter what you’re in the mood for, there’s no better place to start your day. 

The Liberty Bagel at Liberty Bagels New York | WHERE Traveler®
The Liberty Bagel (Courtesy Liberty Bagels NY)

Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company

One of the more popular spots in the city is Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company in Chelsea. This shop makes all of its goods delicious and healthy thanks to its usage of unbromated and unbleached flour. Each flavor is hand-rolled and kettle-boiled to create the taste of a bagel made from scratch. Its menu offers all of your favorite flavors as well as seasonal picks that you won’t find anywhere else. What really makes Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company stand out is its wacky cream cheese flavors. While you can add a classic spread, you can also add a different taste such as cannoli, garlic & herb or honey bacon sriracha. 

Bagels From Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company New York | WHERE Traveler®
(Courtesy Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company)

Best Bagel and Coffee

The “best” in Best Bagel and Coffee’s name isn’t a lie. This shop in Midtown offers some of the freshest in the city seven days a week. Each one of its bagels is hand-rolled and baked on premises, so you’ll always have a promise of quality with every bite. The menu offers classic flavors, such as plain or sesame, and it even has unique flavors, such as its brand-new blueberry. Its spreads also stand out above the rest, as you can add grape or strawberry jelly alongside cream cheese to make yours into a sandwich you can enjoy all day long. 

Fresh Bagels | WHERE Traveler®
Fresh Bagels (©Alejandra Cifre Gonzalez)

Tompkins Square Bagels

One of the more recent shops to open in the city is Tompkins Square Bagels in the East Village. This shop is a proper breakfast destination thanks to its extensive menu of pancakes, eggs and omelet dishes, but it’s the bagels you won’t want to miss. Its selections are a mix of classic and specialty flavors like “French Toast” and “Chocolate Chip,” and each one can be prepared in any way you like. You have the option of tasting one with flavored butter, your choice of lox spread or even gluten-free! Tompkins Square Bagels is open seven days a week, so you always have a chance to step inside and get a taste of your new favorite.

Bagels From Tomkins Square Bagels New York | WHERE Traveler®
(Courtesy Tomkins Square Bagels)

Bagels & Schmear

For over 20 years, Bagels & Schmear has offered flavors everyone knows and loves inside the Flatiron District. If you’re looking for a classic plain, poppy or everything option, you’ll find it on its menu. If you’re feeling a little rebellious, top yours off with one of its flavored cream cheese spreads like avocado, raisin walnut or sun-dried tomato. It also offers salad spreads like egg salad or baked salmon salad so that you can turn your morning choice into a brunch treat. The fun doesn’t have to stop at bagels, though, as it offers a full menu for customers to enjoy its works of art throughout the day. 

Bagels | WHERE Traveler®
Bagels (©Patrick Perkins)

Leo’s Bagels

If you’re looking for a true variety in your options, look no further than Leo’s Bagels in the Financial District. For fifteen years, this shop has been changing the game regarding its bagels, creating some of the craziest menu options in the city. While you can take a bite of a classic or gluten-free option, you can also try one of its “Flatties,” a flattened version with reduced carbs for health-conscious customers. You can also top it off with a cream cheese spread; its “Tofutti” spread combines cream cheese with tofu or even Nutella to give yours the perfect added flavor. 

Bagel Stack | WHERE Traveler®
Bagel Stack (©Diane Alkier)