We tried to find the BEST bagel and lox in NYC

  • New York City is known for its bagel and lox sandwiches.
  • Siblings and bagel lovers Aly and Charlie Weisman set out to find the best bagel sandwich in NYC.
  • Contenders include: Russ & Daughters, Ess-a-bagel, Tompkins Square Bagels, and Absolute Bagels.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Aly: Hey guys, it’s Aly. I’m here with a very special co-eater today: This is my brother. Charlie,

Charlie: good morning, guys.

Aly: Living in New York City, we have access to some of the best bagels and lox in the country. But which holds the esteemed title of best of the best? We polled our Instagram followers, read countless reviews online, talked to friends to see which places to try today, so we could narrow it down and see.

Charlie: Which is the best bagel in New York City?

Aly: Do you think we’re gonna agree on stuff?

Charlie: We don’t agree on anything.

Aly: I knew Charlie was just the man for the job of helping me find the best bagel and lox sandwich in New York City. Not only is he a connoisseur, but he loves bagels so much that he even proposed to his fiancée at our first stop, Russ and Daughters.

First, if you see this line, it’s crazy. We gotta take a number. So we are number 651, and they’re only on 629. We’ve got a ways to go, but it’s worth the wait.

Russ and Daughters is a fourth-generation family business, and there’s a reason it stood the test of time.

Charlie:This place started in 1914. It’s over a hundred years old. It’s gonna be here for the next 500 years.

Aly: So unlike most bagel places that really just focus on the bagel, Russ and Daughters equally emphasises the smoked salmon in addition to the bagel, so that’s what makes this place a real top contender.

Well, we got the goods, let’s go. All right.

Charlie: So we can see the ratio of salmon to bagel is about half salmon and then half everything else. So Russ and Daughters is all about the fish.

Aly: I don’t know how I feel about all of that salmon. I feel like this could be a little overpowering. But we’ll see. Mmm. Whoa.

Charlie: It’s fantastic.

Aly: So what I really love about this sandwich is that the cream cheese is on either side of the bagel, so each bite is the perfect bite, and it is a really silky, salty, perfectly flavored lox, so I love this.

From Russ and Daughters, we raced over to the always popular Tompkins Square Bagels. Tompkins Square Bagels makes everything fresh on-site. Bagels are hand-rolled, kettle-boiled, and oven-baked daily.

Customer: This is my Saturday tradition.

Customer: It’s the best bagel place in the city.

Charlie:Perfect, beautiful.

Aly: This looks delish.

Charlie: Right off the bat, you can tell a huge difference from the last one. This is so much more bagel. It’s huge. It’s cakey. It’s really kinda fluffy and soft.

Aly: Listen, I’m done talking about this bagel. I’m ready to eat it. Three, two, one, go.

Charlie: There’s a lot of bagel here. There’s a lot of cream cheese. There’s a lotta lox.

Aly: This is like the hangover bagel joint, and you know about hangovers. I’m hungover right now.

Aly: We weren’t the only ones who liked it.

Customer: It’s my first time in the US, it’s my first time in New York, and my friend Krista says, “Well, you need to have breakfast like a real New Yorker. Let me take you to a really good bagel place,” and she brought me here.

Aly: From Tompkins Square Bagels, it was time to venture further uptown to Ess-a-Bagel, known for its variety of delicious bagels since 1976.

Melanie Frost, COO: So my aunt actually started the business over 40 years ago. My uncle had a doughnut shop in Brooklyn, and they weren’t renewing the lease, and he had three kids to support, and she said, “Don’t worry, we’re gonna find something.” They combed the papers. They found a bagel store. They said, “Doughnuts, bagels, they both have holes, we’ll figure it out.”

Aly & Charlie: Whoa!

Aly: It feels like every bagel place we go to, the bagels get consecutively bigger.

Charlie: This is definitely the biggest bagel yet. This bagel doesn’t have a hole. It’s just kind of a lot of dough, maybe a teeny little pinhole, but it’s just dough, and I’m not complaining.

Aly: Also, I will note that this is the first warm bagel we have come across, which is my No. 1 thing I look for in a bagel. I like when they are fresh out of the oven, straight into the palm of my hand, straight to the mouth.

Charlie: Ready, aim, bagel. This one’s special. The dough is like, it’s not that it’s undercooked, but it’s really doughy.

Aly: Do I have food on my face

Charlie: No. In my opinion, this is just kind of a perfect bagel. So this is the real deal, this is a lived-in bagel.

Aly: For our last stop, we went all the way up to Absolute Bagels on 108th Street to try the old-fashioned bagels famous on the Upper West Side.

Customer: You cannot beat Absolute. They’re fresh. They have a wide variety. Best bagels, best bagels! I have never been disappointed with any of the bagels I’ve bought.

Aly: Thank you!

Charlie: Thank you so much!

Charlie: First impression, I can tell right away this is a more firm bagel, it’s really…

Aly:Dense.

Charlie: It’s dense, that’s the word.

Aly: This is like a workout bagel. All right.

Charlie: Initial thought: I really like this cream cheese. The cream cheese is good. It seems like it’s maybe more whipped. It’s a little lighter than the other ones.

Aly: Perfect ratio, there’s not too much lox, like, spilling through the back.

Charlie: This is why we live in New York, is to have bagels and lox like this.

Customer: Hey guys, you don’t need to go anywhere else, these are the best bagels in the city.

Aly: I just wanna, like, smush this in your face.

Charlie: Don’t do it. This is the best day of my life, hands down.

Aly: After visiting four of the top-ranked bagel and lox places in New York City, it was finally time to pick our favourite. So before we tell you our all-time favourite bagel in New York City, first, there’s a lot that goes into a bagel sandwich.

So we’re gonna tell you our favourite bagel, the bread itself, our favourite cream cheese, and our favourite salmon.

Charlie: So once we go through all the factors, we’ll see if we agree on what’s the best bagel in New York City.

Aly: Do you think we’re gonna agree on stuff?

Charlie: We don’t agree on anything.

Aly: So first up, our category is the bagel, just the bagel itself, you got that?

Charlie: Let’s get this bread.

Aly: Camera reveal.

Charlie: Best bagel.

Aly: OK, should we see each other’s?

Charlie:Yeah!

Aly: Ahh, yes!

Charlie:OK.

Aly: Same taste buds.

Charlie: It was warm. It was doughy. It was delicious.

Aly: Category two, now what was your favourite fish?

Charlie:Probably the most important ingredient of a bagel and lox sandwich.

Aly:Arguably.

Charlie:Again?

Aly: Ah, I had a feeling.

Charlie: The people behind the counter, they are students of the fish.

Aly: Cream cheese is the next category that we are going to debate.

Charlie: True story, cream cheese is my favourite food, I’m excited to talk about it.

Aly: That’s disgusting. Three, two…oh! Once again, Weismans in agreement.

Charlie: They pack so much flavour into that cream cheese. It was creamy, rich dairy.

Aly: And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for.

Charlie: I’m gonna sing.

Aly: No! Our No. 1 pick, the place you send your friends and your family when they visit New York City, here it is. The winner is… Let’s see. Russ and Daughters!

Charlie: Yes, of course.

Aly: I like all those exclamation points.

Charlie: Of course. I loved it so much, I added six exclamation points.

Russ and Daughters was by far the best for two reasons: One, the fish, absolutely, the lox is delicious, leagues above anything else we tasted, and because of the charm. It’s very unique to New York, and it’s the kind of place that you would want to show an out-of-towner.

What kind of birds fly over the sea?

Aly: I don’t know, what kind?

Charlie:Seagulls. What kind of birds fly over the bay?

Aly & Charlie: Bagels!

Russ & Daughters:

https://www.instagram.com/russanddaughters/

https://www.facebook.com/RussAndDaughters/

Tompkins Square Bagels:

https://www.instagram.com/tompkinssquarebagels/

https://www.facebook.com/TSBagels/

Ess-a-Bagel:

https://www.instagram.com/essabagel/

https://www.facebook.com/EssABagel1976/

Absolute Bagels:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Absolute-Bagels/115290471822373

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