Absolute Bagels

2788 Broadway, NY, United States
Between 107th and 108th St. Upper West Side.
2788 Broadway, NY, United States
Between 107th and 108th St. Upper West Side.
Sesame Bagels Rule!

These bagels are the best in New York City and therefore in all of the US. 🙂
Perfect combination of chewy bagels with crusty exterior and light-airy interior. And they taste great too.

Chewy and airy-light at the same time.
Not dense.

My second choice bagel place in NYC is Russ & Daughters at 179 East Houston Street, near Chinatown. Have tried all the usual other well-known places, but Absolute Bagels has the best bagels.

Eat the bagel without toasting, or lightly toasted. Texture is different when lightly toasted – more crusty exterior and airy interior.
Optional: sliced onions (with lemon juice), sliced tomatoes, smoked salmon, capers.

Sesame Bagels
Absolute Bagels – Inside
Mornings – especially weekends, be prepared for long lines. And if you want sesame bagels, arrive a few hours before closing – they usually run out. This is important for me since every few months or so I buy a dozen plus bagels from NYC to carry back to Boston – really a downer when they run out of bagels. Best to call if you are going to get there late afternoon or evenings. There have been a couple of times when I had to leave without sesame bagels.
Sometimes they have the dough ready and can bake up bagels in under 20 minutes which they did for me once!

When taking a dozen or more bagels home, be careful to let the bagels breathe. Warm bagels will steam up and the steam should be allowed to escape otherwise it will flatten the bagels at the bottom of the bag and make the bagels go all crooked.

Freezing bagels

Bagels easily last 3-6 months in the freezer, and thaw out nicely, and still taste great. (At least NYC bagels do that well.)
No need to slice large bagels before freezing too, in fact, they are better off not sliced beforehand. Montreal bagels are good too, but they just don’t freeze well – they don’t taste as good after a stint in the freezer, have to eat them fresh.
Unlike Montreal bagels, NYC bagels are pretty big. For long term keeping, I think the bigger size of NYC bagels allows them to handle the freeze and defrost cycle better.

My method to get frozen bagels back to edible creations: Sprinkle water or wet the full bagel. Put in microwave on 50% for 25 seconds. Then wait 1 minute, slice bagel, and toast it.
Water trick and then toasting helps with non-frozen bagel that may have slight gone stale or hard too.

Absolute Bagels Price
2020: $1.50 each and $18/dozen (13).
Previously: $15 (2016), $12 (2012).

They have a small seating area, and also offer the usual toppings – cream cheeses, salmon, etc.
Zagat Review
And what about the New York vs Montreal bagels comparisons? Pointless. They are quite different and both are great! Here’s a write-up on the St Viateur Bagels of Montreal.

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