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Not Your Babushka's Bagel: 5 Unique NYC Hotspots

  • bagel plate
  • everything donut
  • long island bagel
  • batman bagels
  • rainbow bagel
  • black seed bagel
Nothing’s more New York than a freshly baked bagel.

Tired of the same old, boring bagels? Oy vey! Here are some unique alternatives to try on your next trip to New York.

When you find yourself in the bagel capital of the world (also known as New York City), why stick to your usual order? From sweet rainbow bagels to delicious flat ‘flagels’, the city offers no shortage of interesting and unique options for bagel enthusiasts to sink their teeth into. Here are some of our favorite hotspots, and the must-try menu items at each location:

1. Black Seed Bagels

Nosh on: Smoked Trout Bagel Sandwich


At Black Seed Bagels, adherence to traditional baking techniques is what, ironically, makes their delicious bagels so unique. Unable to choose between the classic New York bagel and its Canadian counterpart, the co-founders (who come from NYC and Montreal respectively) created a recipe that combines the best of both cities. These insta-worthy bagels are rolled by hand, boiled in honey water, then baked in a wood-fired oven that creates the crispy-yet-fluffy texture that has customers coming back for more. Next time you’re in the neighborhood (there are locations in Nolita, Battery Park, and the East Village), consider trying the smoked trout bagel sandwich. Featuring trout, hard boiled eggs, arugula and dijon mustard, this tasty treat is sure to excite your tastebuds and expand your palette.

2. The Bagel Store

Nosh on: Rainbow Bagel


Although The Bagel Store specializes in old-fashioned bagels (they make a mean egg challah), they’re best known for their rainbow bagel, a recently-popularized recipe that literally has New Yorkers lining up around the block. If you’re curious, this informative video courtesy of Insider explains how these colorful confections are made. Once the public caught wind of these vibrant bagels, sales went through the roof — the Brooklyn bakery even had to take a brief hiatus in February, because they couldn’t keep up with the overwhelming number of orders they were receiving. Since the shop owners refuse to sacrifice quality for quantity, it’s best to head to The Bagel Store early in the day to ensure that you snag a coveted rainbow bagel topped with funfetti-style cream cheese.

3. Bantam Bagels

Nosh on: Everything Bagel with Veggie Cream Cheese


Made famous by their appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank, family-run company Bantam Bagels made it big thanks to their mouthwatering bagel bites. Pre-filled with a tasty variety of cream cheeses — flavors range from sweet strawberry to buttery maple syrup — these bites are sold all over the country, but are only freshly baked at Bantam’s small Bleecker Street shop. While every one of these bite-sized treats is delicious, the everything bagel is aptly dubbed “Everybody’s Favorite” on Bantam’s website. Between the crunch of the flavorful crust, the perfectly fluffy dough, and the rich, creamy center, this unique take on the classic New York bagel should absolutely be on your list.

4. Long Island Bagel Cafe

Nosh on: Flagels


Located across the East River, Long Island Bagel Cafe is famous for its enormous variety of delicious bagels. From green bagels made specially for St. Patrick’s Day to classic bialys, all of Long Island’s carb-loaded creations are hand-rolled and baked to absolute perfection. While there are plenty of adventurous bites you can try on the Long Island menu, you can’t go wrong with their flagels: flattened bagels that feature a satisfying crunch, but still manage to maintain their soft and doughy center. Try them by themselves, or as part of a mouth-watering bagel sandwich.

5. The Doughnut Project

Nosh on: Everything Doughnut


Okay, we know what you’re thinking — this isn’t really a bagel. But when it comes to unique takes on New York’s favorite dish, The Doughnut Project has nailed it. Cue the Everything Doughnut, a tasty treat that features roasted poppy seeds, black and white sesame seeds, pepitas, garlic, sea salt, and a light cream cheese glaze, all on top of a delicious fresh-baked doughnut. Quickly becoming one of New York’s best known culinary goodies, these confections are the perfect blend between New York’s favorite breakfast foods. Remember, this is a popular treat — so be sure to grab one before they run out for the day!