Looking for the best bagels on the Upper East Side? Well look no further, this local has you covered.
I currently live on the Upper West Side and start every morning with a stroll through Central Park. More times than not I meander all the way to the Upper East Side (UES) and find myself starved by the time I’m there.
As a small reward (for braving the morning cold, of course), I treat myself to a bagel. Without sitting here and embarrassing myself, I’ll let you do the math. One walk a day x 7 days of the week = more bagels than I’m proud to admit.
But before you judge, keep in mind all these bagel spots in the UES are sprinkled in a 30 block span! Some days I’m walking well over two miles for some of the best bagels on the Upper East Side.
All this to say, I’ve put in time and miles (literally) to track down the best Upper East Side bagels. I’m confident this list will help you find something you’ll love.
But enough about me, let’s get right into it.
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Best Bagels Upper East Side
#12. Café Fresco
Café Fresco is your classic counter-service neighborhood deli that is reliable, consistent and just so happens to churn out some of the best bagels in the Upper East Side.
Using quality ingredients, Café Fresco guarantees that your bagel experience will be a memorable one. The variety of cream cheese options is next level, full of both savory and sweet flavors to choose from.
My personal favorite is the cucumber dill schmear, it’s so refreshing! All the bagels at this Upper East Side joint are hand rolled and the spreads are made fresh, daily.
Another reason I consider Café Fresco one of the best UES bagel spots is because it’s one of the most affordable joints in the neighborhood. A bagel with spread will cost you about $5.25 (which I know is spendy, but for NYC, I’ll take it).
Address: 1239 1st Ave., New York, NY 10065
Originally founded in 1916, Orwashers is one of the longest running bagel shops in the Upper East Side (and they recently branched out with a second bakery in the Upper West Side).
Serving New Yorkers for more than 105 years, their success can be attributed to traditional baking methods that have been perfected over time.
So it’s no surprise that they serve some of the best bagels in the Upper East Side, so wing by for all the classics.
#10. Daily Bagel
There’s something satisfying about eating a handmade bagel, rolled with the delicate touch of a master baker. Maybe it’s just the placebo effect, but I think Daily Bagels makes some of the best bagels in the Upper East Side.
Perfectly plump and spongy I could have Daily Bagels, well, daily! Admittedly they’re on the pricier side but the cost is well worth it if you can get your hands on one. It’s not uncommon for the shop to sell out, so be there early.
I’m not the only one who thinks these are some of the best bagels in the Upper East Side, so if you see a line you’re in the right place. Don’t be quick to turn around and go home though, the line moves quickly.
Address: 1111 1st Ave, New York, NY 10065
#9. Eat Pretty
The first time I came to Eat Pretty, I was actually only there to try the hot chocolate. I know, how did a random little cafe make it on a list of the best bagels in the Upper East Side? Honestly, I’m still wondering that myself!
But I was told the cocoa was just that good, so I set my GPS for Eat Pretty and made way. To my surprise, almost everyone in line was ordering bagels from this cutely pink coffee shop. To say I was shocked would be an understatement, but being the curious gal I am, I wanted in!
It felt like everyone knew this little secret and I wanted to uncover it. And oh my goodness, I was pleasantly surprised that Eat Pretty was (secretly) serving some of the best bagels on the Upper East Side.
Now keep in mind, this is technically a cafe not a bagel shop, so you can’t go into it assuming they will have an array of options. But if you just want a classic bagel and spread — this is a hidden gem in my book!
Address: 501 1/2 E 83rd St, New York, NY 10028
#8. Gourmet Bagels
I like to treat Gourmet Bagels on Lexington Avenue as my pit-stop station. It’s where I can grab a hot coffee, one of the best bagels in the Upper East Side and be out the door quickly, without it ever feeling chaotic.
Gourmet Bagels also makes sandwiches, wraps, and burritos that you can enjoy on the go. And if you prefer to drink your breakfast you can’t leave without trying one of the signature smoothies.
If you have time to slow down there is a few chairs to sit down, but I prefer to walk the few blocks to Central Park. Sitting at The Mall with one of the best bagels in the Upper East Side? Does it get better than that? Didn’t think so.
Address: 874 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10065
#7. Sable’s Smoked Fish
If you’re a fan of smoked fish, Sable’s makes some of the best lox bagels in the Upper East Side. Locals compare this spot to the popular Upper West Side shop Zabar’s, which has been a NYC staple since 1934.
Comparing the two makes sense since the owners of Sable’s (Danny and Kenny Sze) managed the appetizer department at Zabar’s for over a decade. They were able to learn the ins-and-outs of the bagel business as well as where to get the best smoked fish in New York City.
The smoked fish is always fresh and this Upper East Side bagel shop only uses the highest quality ingredients. If anyone is in the market for good caviar (at a decent price, might I add), Sable’s has long been a neighborhood favorite.
Address: 1330 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10075
#6. Bagels & Co.
One of the best family-freindly bagel shops in the Upper East Side is Bagels & Co. The motto here is that simple is great, and there is no need to over-complicate a bagel.
Using fresh ingredients, high-quality bagels and serving generous portions, it’s no accident Bagels & Co. made our list of best Upper East Side bagels.
The large plump bagels are full of chewy air-pockets and the shop itself is always clean and pleasant, which is always appreciated in a city like NYC.
I suggest ordering the poppy seed bagel with the olive cream cheese, the flavor from both the bagel and spread pack a punch!
Address: 1428 York Ave, New York, NY 10021
#5. Pick A Bagel
Pick A Bagel operates like a well oiled machine, consistently churning out some of the best bagels in the Upper East Side. These are the kind of bagels you have to stare at for a second after each bite, like you’re analyzing a piece art.
The airy bagels are the canvas and the toothsome schmears are the paint. Choose to add in some lox and you might as well hang it in The Louvre!
It should come as no surprise Pick A Bagel makes the best bagels in the Upper East Side. The fact that the bagels are hand rolled (and not just made by machinery) proves that no corners are cut in the pursuit of perfection.
Address: 1101 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10075
#4. Tal Bagels
With three location sprinkled around the neighborhood, it comes as no surprise that Tal Bagels has made our list of the best bagels in the Upper East Side.
The convenience and efficiency of this bagel shop is impressive and the ingredients always taste fresh. I’m partial to the classic everything bagel with scallion cream cheese & nova lox, and the one from Tal Bagels was everything I hoped it would be.
The bagel itself is sizable, ideal for sharing and they weren’t shy with the salmon or schmear. As for the dough, it’s perfectly chewy in the interior with a crunchy exterior, full of flavor from the everything seasoning.
This Upper East Side bagel joint is laid-back with plenty of seating so you can sit and really savor what a good NYC bagel should taste like.
Address: 1228 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10028, 333 East 86th St #1, New York, NY 10028 & 1324 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10128
#3. Bagel Bob’s
Bagel Bob’s is a New York City staple for Upper East Siders and pretty much everyone else too. The no frills bagel shop offers traditional NYC bagels in an unpretentious environment that makes it clear the focus is on taste.
These Upper East Side bagels are hand-rolled, kettle-boiled and baked fresh daily. Meaning the odds of you getting a freshly warm bagel are very high.
If you’re looking to mix things up, try the flat bagel (also called a flagel) or you can stick to a traditional bagel with spread. There’s two locations to choose from, the Upper East Side & one near NYU.
Since these are some of the best bagels in the Upper East Side, it’s not uncommon for there to be a line forming. Make sure to come early and be prepared to wait, but trust me these UES bagels are worth it!
Something to note: Bagel Bob’s is CASH ONLY.
Address: 1641 York Ave, New York, NY 10028
#2. B&B Bagels
Where are all my early birds at? One of the earliest opening bagel shops on the Upper East Side is B&B Bagels, who start their day at 5:00AM.
New to the scene, B&B Bagels has made an impression on locals and tourist alike who sing their praises for delicious Upper East Side bagels. Offering both savory and sweet options, it often can be difficult to make a decision.
The modernness of the shop is either adored or hated, but I think it’s a nice change to the typical over-the-counter deli we’re used to. Not saying one is better than the other, just simply stating it’s nice to have the option.
I will say though, the coffee at this UES bagel shop is some of the best in the neighborhood.
Address: 1370 1st Ave., New York, NY 10021
Ask any local their favorite bagel spot in the Upper East Side and the honest ones will mention Bagelworks.
Established in 1983, Bagelworks has been churning out top-tier, high quality bagels for over 40 years and they don’t show signs of stopping, anytime soon.
The scratch-made bagels have made loyal followers out of New Yorkers who trust that Bagelworks only puts out the best of the best. Since they do all the baking in-house, the likeliness of you getting a fresh bagel are very high.
Expect long lines since these are some of the best bagels on the Upper East Side. The staff is some of the friendliest folks in the business and they do their best to keep the line moving.
Address: 1229 1st Ave., New York, NY 10065
Best Bagels Upper East Side (Post Summary)
- B&B Bagels
- Bagel Bob’s
- Tal Bagels
- Pick A Bagel
- Bagels and More
- Bagels & Co.
- Gourmet Bagels
- Eat Pretty
- Daily Bagel
- Cafe Fresco
Map of the Best UES Bagels
And there it is my friends, my rundown of the best Upper East Side bagels! Let me know if there’s any you recommend I try – if it’s good enough I’ll add it to the list! 😉