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An Ode to New York Bagels featuring Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company

Spelt bagel with bacon scallion cream cheese from Brooklyn Bagel

Spelt bagel with bacon scallion cream cheese from Brooklyn Bagel

Now that I’m living in New York, I have been on a mission to find the best bagel. I’ve been wanting to do an experiment (which I might still carry on with in the near future) where I test all of my neighborhood’s bagels to see which is the best. But, ever since I have discovered this particular bagel place, that experiment has been on hold because it’s fair to say that my allegiance lies here.

I’m talking about Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company.

When Buzzfeed posted their taste test of NYC bagels and BK Bagel won by a landslide, I knew I had to weigh in with my thoughts. Though commenters said that other bagel shops were snubbed, I agree with Buzzfeed that BK Bagel is the best.

Side note: I’ve always wondered why it’s called Brooklyn Bagel when they only have locations in Chelsea and Astoria. If anyone has the answer to this question, please let me know!

What has kept me coming back for more time and time again are their spelt bagels. Spelt is a whole grain from the wheat family. It is better for you than wheat because it requires less fertilizer and has high protein and fiber content. Bagels aren’t the healthiest things to eat, but if it has spelt that makes it okay, right? Right.

Not only do they offer spelt bagels, their cream cheese selection is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The heaping piles of cream cheese remind me of the grandeur of gelaterias in Italy. BK Bagel has the coolest flavors like diavolo chipotle, pimento olive, pumpkin during the fall/winter, and my favorite: bacon scallion. They also have tofu-based spreads for a healthier option, along with a flavor of the week. I tried this week’s FOW today: fluffer nutter. It was incredible! It was the beautiful marriage of peanut butter and cream cheese, which could’ve passed for a light cupcake frosting. And of course I had it on the plain spelt bagel.

Tip: If you want a bold cream cheese, pair it with a plain/low-key flavored bagel, and vice versa. I ordered the whole wheat everything bagel with the bacon scallion cream cheese and my mouth was overwhelmed with all of the flavors.

I’ve also been head over heels for BK Bagel because for the summer, they offer $1 iced coffee in any size on Tuesdays. They brew Toby’s Estate coffee (which is an excellent blend). How could you pass up an offer like that?

Side note: Ever since I’ve been getting really good coffee from BK Bagel and other shops, I understand why New Yorkers dislike Starbucks. They say it tastes burnt, and now I can distinguish the differences in flavor. Local coffee shops have been far more appealing than Starbucks. Sorry, green mermaid.

Blueberry bagel with cream cheese from New York City Bagel & Coffee House

Blueberry bagel with cream cheese from New York City Bagel & Coffee House

One thing that I wish BK Bagel had more of, however, are sweet bagels. New York City Bagel & Coffee House is my runner-up for best bagel in my neighborhood and they do a great blueberry bagel. It’s actually purple and tastes like blueberry juice. While BK Bagel has blueberry cream cheese, NYCBCH offers the same schmear AND you could get it on the blueberry bagel for double the flavor.

It’s almost like a curse to be spoiled with New York bagels because once you have them, the others from chains like Lenny’s or grocery store bagels taste terrible. New York bagels have the right about of crunch on the outside and are chewy and dense on the inside. I’ve read somewhere that the proper way to eat a bagel here is to have it untoasted, and it brings out the full flavor of the bagel. That’s how you know you have a good bagel.

They say that New York bagels taste better because “there’s something in the water.” BK Bagel hand-rolls and kettle boils their bagels, and I say the only way to test this theory is to try one out for yourself.

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