By Jill Donenfeld
From corner markets to bona fide institutions, here’s how to nosh—and schmear—like a local.
Ask most any New Yorker their favorite bagel shop and they will likely tell you the one across from their apartment building, the one on the way to the train station, the one that will deliver in under ten minutes (shout out to Bagel Bob’s on University Place). Even in this carb-crazed, gluten-averse world, a bagel (with butter, with cream cheese, scooped out, toasted, or not toasted) is a New Yorker’s God given right of passage into the day. And, like all things seemingly quotidian in New York, there are the fanatics, the connoisseurs, the obsessives, and the ones who make it their jobs to not just provide a teeming city with what it needs, but with the very best of it.
Most of those New Yorkers will tell you it’s the water that makes their fair city’s bagels supreme, but there’s more to a great bagel than the water. (New York City water comes from the Catskills and has a low mineral content, making it some of the softest water in the country, which does seem to have a wonderful effect on gluten).