Post overview: Local’s list of the best bagels in Brooklyn
If you find yourself looking for the best bagels in Brooklyn, boy do I have the post for you. I’m a born and bred New Yorker who considers bagels a delicacy.
In fact, if I was on death row I’m convinced a bacon egg and cheese on an everything bagel would be my last meal.
All this to say I’ve done my due diligence and written this post to highlight the best bagels in Brooklyn that you won’t want to miss. Whether you’re visiting for NYC or a tenured local, these are the joints I consider essential.
But hey, enough of the small talk. Let’s get into the best bagels in Brooklyn!
Before we begin, keep in mind we all have different taste buds and different experiences. My favorite spots for bagels in Brooklyn might not be yours (and that’s okay). This post is meant to be helpful to anyone with a curious mind! 😉
Why are New York City bagels so good?
The million dollar question that leaves visitors scratching their heads after tasting a bagel from the Big Apple; what makes New York bagels so damn good?
I can sit here and list off a bunch of conspiracies people have come up with, but if you want the New York answer, it’s in the water.
I’m serious — New Yorkers will die on the hill that it’s the water. The water in NYC has low concentrations of minerals like calcium and magnesium, making the water “soft”.
Since water is a key ingredient in bagels, the soft water affects the gluten in the dough, creating a chewier, and fluffier bagel then anywhere else. The math checks out to me but hell, what do I know.
Look, I’m not a scientist who knows everything, but I do know what tastes good and what I think is worth a visit.
Helpful tips for the best Brooklyn Bagel experience
- Know what you want beforehand: Grabbing a bagel is meant to be a quick thing. The lines are already long so you never want to be the jerk who holds everyone else up. Most bagel shops have displays of schmears and bagels available, so unless you know what you want, stay off your phone and rehearse your order before it’s your turn.
- Try to avoid rush hour: When searching for some of the best bagels in Brooklyn, lines are going to be inevitable. There’s no way to guarentee you won’t have to wait, but you have a better shot if you avoid the lunch rush. I suggest stopping by first thing in the morning or after 2PM. Visiting on weekdays instead of weekends always helps too.
- Download Too Good To Go: Too Good To Go is an app that offers leftover food a restaurant or bakery might have. It sounds weird if you’ve never tried it, but a lot of bagel shops will sell (sometimes bags) of day-old bagels that are still great. This is a perfect option for anyone into freezing bagels or wants to try an assortment of treats for a fraction of the price. I want to note; you don’t get to choose what the place gives you, you just purchase a random assortment.
Best Brooklyn Bagels in New York City
“A bagel is a donut with the sin removed.”George Rosenbaum
#15. Sunset Bagels
This Brooklyn bagel spot is not for the faint of heart. With copious options on the menu, from classic breakfast sandwiches to pasta dishes, Sunset Bagels has it all.
And in true New York fashion, this Brooklyn bagel shop shows no mercy when it comes to toppings. You can expect bagels to come out loaded with whatever concoction you choose.
The best part? All the bagels are hand rolled, boiled and baked the old fashioned way in a 500° oven. There is nothing better than a fresh bagel. Don’t believe me, take a look at Sunset Bagels Instagram or TikTok.
Their feed is full of videos of fresh bagels, straight out of the oven being torn in half as steam escapes the dough.
If you’re looking for the best bagels in Brooklyn and you’re within walking distance to any of the four locations peppered around Brooklyn, consider yourself lucky!
- 4903 5th Ave, Brooklyn NY 11220
- 1501 Foster Ave, Brooklyn NY 11230
- 946 4th Ave, Brooklyn NY 11234
- 5607 Ave L, Brooklyn, NY 11234
#14. Baker’s Dozen Bagels
My favorite thing about this great Brooklyn bagel shop is that you can watch the bagels get made in real time as you place your order, trust me when I tell you it doesn’t get fresher than this!
Beloved by locals, Baker’s Dozen Bagels dons a line most weekend morning, full of New Yorkers in need of airy bagels with great spread options.
Since these are some of the best bagels in Brooklyn, arrive early if you want to avoid the long lines, these plump kettle cooked bagels are popular for a reason.
- 81-09 Lefferts Blvd, Kew Gardens, NY 11415
- 6608 Fresh Pond Rd, Ridgewood, NY 11385
- 788 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
#13. Olde Brooklyn Bagel Shoppe
If you’re looking for some of the softest bagels in Brooklyn then you might enjoy Olde Brooklyn Bagel Shoppe.
These Brooklyn bagels are fresh, fluffy and large in size. You can expect a doughy bagel full of chewy air-pockets and a delectable schemer spread.
I’ve tried the scallion, jalapeño and horseradish dill cream cheeses and I have to say the schemer is the star of the show. You don’t struggle tasting the key ingredients.
Since this are some of the best bagels in Brooklyn, long lines are to be expected on weekends and during the lunch rush. However, there are some perks to long lines in the bagel business — you’re more likely to get a fresh bagel! 😉
Something to note: This Brooklyn bagel shop is a cash-only establishment.
Location: 645 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
#12. Greenberg’s Bagels
Opened in February of 2020, Julian Cavin a co-founder of Greenberg’s Bagels saw a need for a bagel shop in Bed-Stuy and took matters into his own hands.
The timing of the opening was less than ideal (thanks a lot, COVID) but Greenberg’s Bagels managed to not only survive the pandemic make a name for itself. Today, the trusted neighborhood shop serves some of the best bagels in Brooklyn.
These Brooklyn bagels put the ordinary breakfast sandwich to shame, with a plethora of options between spreads, meats and toppings, the combinations are endless.
You have to order a “baconeggandcheesesaltpepperketchup”, and no, that’s not a typo — that’s the true New York way of ordering the perfect bagel.
If you’re willing to let your hair down, might I suggest the grape jelly BEC (bacon, egg & cheese with jelly and butter on a cinnamon bagel ). It sounds strange but trust me! SO good.
Location: 1065 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
#11. Smith St. Bagels
Smith St. Bagels has been a neighborhood staple for 13 years, serving New Yorkers some of the best bagels in Brooklyn.
The Brooklyn bagel shop is charming, bright and airy. I know a common consensus with NYC bagel shops (especially busy ones) is that the service takes a hit, but that’s not the case here (from my experience).
I’ve always received great service and even when lines are long, the workers are quick and efficient.
Smith St. Bagels offers a wide variety of cream cheeses and several vegan options. The bagels are solid and always hit the spot. I recommend the Pumpernickel Everything Bagel with Olive Pimento Cream Cheese, so tasty!
For a $5 bagel + spread deal, I can’t complain and consider Smith St. Bagels some of the best bagels in Brooklyn.
Location: 202 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
#10. Bagel Pub
Bagel Pub to me, seems like the epitome of a true New York bagel shop.
Offering a variety of fresh baked bagels and ample cream cheese options, you won’t leave disappointed. The texture is perfect, airy inside with a satisfying exterior and the spread is always generous, making this some of the best bagels in Brooklyn.
Can’t decide the right combo? Ask the friendly staff for suggestions, they always seem happy to help.
And since the bagels are made onsite, you know you’re getting something fresh when you order a bagel here.
- 775 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
- 57 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
- 287 9th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
- 313 36th St, Brooklyn, NY 11232
#9. Court St. Bagels
Some of my personal favorite Brooklyn bagels come from Court St. Bagels. The bagels are always fresh and the workers lather a hefty amount of schmear (is there any other way?) on the bagels.
As one of the best bagel shops in Brooklyn, it’s not uncommon for the workers to recognize the locals and greet them by name.
What’s more, the bagels are perfectly airy and have a chewy inside. All the bagels are labeled with handwritten signage giving this Brooklyn bagel shop a touch of personality.
Court St. Bagels is on the smaller side with limited seating so this is definitely a grab and go situation
Location: 181 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
#8. La Bagel Delight
La Bagel Delight was established 1986, and has served some of the best bagels in Brooklyn since. There are four locations in Brooklyn to choose from, all independently owned and operated.
I tend to swing by the 7th Ave. location since it’s a 10 minute walk from Prospect Park. I grab an everything bagel with scallion cream cheese and then head to the park to enjoy one of the best bagels in Brooklyn.
You can expect lines but the service here is normally exceptional and the line moves quickly. This is all to be expected when you churn out some of the best bagels in Brooklyn, but I promise they are worth the wait.
- 90 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
- 104 Front St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
- 284 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215
- 122 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215
#7. Knickerbocker Bagel
Knickerbocker’s has made my list of best bagels in Brooklyn because the bagels have a lot of flavor and the schmear selection is no joke.
The energy in this Brooklyn bagel shop is always top-tier and the service is fast and friendly. The family owned business along with the spacious shop makes for an inviting atmosphere and great place to enjoy some of the best bagels in Brooklyn.
I recommend trying a classic, the Loxury Bagel (smoked salmon, cream cheese, tomato, onion & capers). I find that Knickerbocker’s is one of the few bagel shops in Brooklyn that is generous when it comes to toppings like smoked fish.
Location: 367 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237
#6. Sam’s Bagels
Sam’s Bagels is one of my go-to spots when I’m in the mood for a hearty sandwich.
This Brooklyn bagel shop will not leave you short-changed when it comes to creating the perfect breakfast sandwich. While New Yorkers debate which breakfast bagel is superior; BEC or SEC, you can catch me in the corner eating both!
I’m serious, the bagels are that good that I have to stop myself from ordering a dozen just for myself.
The staff is always so pleasant and it feels like one big family every time I stop by. Sam’s Bagels has managed to create a small community of loyal bagel-lovers (which I am very much a part of) and is home to some of the best bagels in Brooklyn.
Location: 7715 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209
#5. Shelsky’s of Brooklyn
The first time I tried Shelsky’s I originally came to try their chopped cheese.(For those who don’t know, chopped cheese is a NYC staple. Essentially it is a mish-mash of ground beef, onions and cheese all melted into each other and served on a hero roll with toppings).
Without much thought I also ordered a bagel and lox, thinking you can never go wrong with a classic.
To my surprise, the bagel blew the chopped cheese out of the water. And that’s not to say the chopped cheese wasn’t delicious (spoiler alert: it was), but I was pleasantly surprised by these Brooklyn Bagels and the great smoked fish.
I felt like I struck gold when I discovered Shelsky’s serves some of the best bagels in Brooklyn, but turns out I was just late to the party and everyone else already knew.
The portions are very filling, I suggest splitting a bagel with someone. And I highly recommend trying any of the smoked fish options, you won’t be disappointed.
Location: 141 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
#4. Frankel’s Delicatessen
What can I say about Frankel’s Deli that hasn’t been said before? Locals have been calling them some of the best bagels in Brooklyn for years, and I can’t say I disagree.
Offering all the standard fixings of a typical Jewish deli, Frankel’s velvety lox sets them apart from the competition.
There’s no denying that Frankel’s serves some of the best bagels in Brooklyn. In fact, I’d gladly commute an hour to get my hands on this bad boy, and often do!
Address: 631 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
#3. H&L Bagels
H&L is your friendly neighborhood bagel joint frequented by locals who all agree on one thing, these are some of the best bagels in Brooklyn.
The staff is just as inviting as the charming neighborhood (Bay Ridge) and no matter how busy the small shop gets I always have a great experience. It’s hard not to feel taken care of when the owner is behind the counter working alongside his team.
From the counter you can catch a glimpse of where the bagels get made which is just extra reassurance, they are fresh. My favorite are the flagels, which are thinner versions of the classics (giving me more room for schmear without feeling guilty.
All this to say, if you’re ever in Bay Ridge a stop at H&L bagels is a non-negotiable, they’re some of the best bagels in Brooklyn!
Please note: H&L Bagels is a cash-only establishment but there is an ATM in the shop.
Location: 8818 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209
#2. Terrace Bagels
You know when you ask a parent who their favorite kid is and they can’t really answer but you know damn well they have a favorite?
Well that’s how I feel about Terrace Bagels. New York City is home to so many great bagel spots and each one brings something unique to the table. But deep down you can’t help but find yourself coming back to certain spots.
When someone asks me where to get the best bagels in Brooklyn, more times than not I point them in the direction of Terrace Bagels. Before I get all the hate mail, keep in mind this is just my opinion, just because I love them doesn’t mean you have to!
The Brooklyn bagels are huge and always fresh and the staff is relatively friendly (which if you’ve ever stepped foot in a chaotic NYC deli, you know this goes a long way).
Location: 222 &, 222A Prospect Park West, 11215
#1. Bagel Hole
There’s a never ending argument on if bagels should be sweet or savory, and don’t even get me started on the New York classics, a BEC (bacon, egg & cheese) or a SEC (sausage, egg & cheese).
But when a place like Bagel Hole can knock all categories out of the park, who cares! This Brooklyn bagel shop sits high on my list of the best bagels in Brooklyn.
Everything is made in house with natural ingredients and all the bagels are hand rolled. This is one of the few places in New York City that is open 365 days a year (that I know of).
So you can imagine the lines during the holidays — but hey, that’s what you get for selling some of the best bagels in Brooklyn.
Location: 400 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Brooklyn Bagels (Post Summary)
In sum, these are the best bagels in Brooklyn:
- Bagel Hole
- Terrace Bagels
- H&L Bagels
- Frankel’s Delicatessen
- Shelsky’s of Brooklyn
- Sam’s Bagels
- Knickerbocker Bagel
- La Bagel Delight
- Court St. Bagel
- Bagel Pub
- Smith St. Bagel
- Olde Brooklyn Bagel Shoppe
- Bakers Dozen
- Sunset Bagel
- Greenberg’s Bagels
Map of the best bagels in Brooklyn
Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (The best neighborhoods for first timers +2 to avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.
And there you have it- a quick roundup of the best bagels in Brooklyn. I hope you enjoyed the post!