Best Bagels in Times Square

Updated: Oktober 17, 2023

When we hanker for a great bagel, we confess that we don’t run to Times Square. But as tour guides, we do find ourselves there quite often.

Fortunately, there are some awesome bagel shops in and around the area.

Here is our list of the best bagels in Times Square and nearby - based on our own taste buds!

Also, check out our list of NYC’s best bagels in other neighborhoods.


Indulge us as we write so much about this place. Like so many New Yorkers, we have to agree that Ess-a-Bagel is one of the very best bagel shops in New York City.

While this store is 10 blocks south of Times Square, the bagels here are so incredible they are worth the walk.

Ess-a-Bagel (meaning eat a bagel in Yiddish) has been making sublime bagels since 1976. That’s a long time to perfect their recipe. 

First, the dough is hand-rolled into shape, then boiled, and then baked. The result? Fluffy on the inside, with a perfectly browned outside.

Top your bagel off with a schmear of scallion cream cheese, or try one of their fish salads, like whitefish or smoked salmon. They are out of this world!

Located at 108 W. 32nd St between 6th and 7th Ave.

Best Bagel & Coffee

This tiny Midtown bagel shop lives up to its name. If you haven’t yet had a New York bagel, this is a fine place to start! 

Take your pick from Plain, Everything, Pumpernickel, Sesame, Poppy Seed, Salt, Egg, Onion, or Cinnamon Raisin bagels.

Then choose from one of these traditional cream cheese flavors: plain, scallion, vegetable, lox, garlic, and cinnamon, with walnut and raisin.

ess a bagel

Want to break the mold? Go wild with sun-dried tomato, bacon and cheddar, blueberry, strawberry, chipotle, jalapeno, or olive. For vegans or lactose-intolerant folk, there’s tofu cream cheese in a few flavors.

Best Bagel is a pretty good lunch option as well, serving up generous portions of deli sandwiches and large salads.

Located at 225 W. 35th St at 8th Ave.

Liberty Bagels

We haven't talked yet about the “rainbow bagel” - a concept that we old-school New Yorkers refused to acknowledge as a true bagel. 

That was until we tried one.

First and foremost the appeal of a rainbow bagel is the cheerfulness it adds to one’s morning as you drudge to work.

Next, is the really important factor. Texture and taste. Liberty Bagels exemplifies the best of both worlds. Colors and flavors with the right balance of fluffy and chewy.

Make your day even brighter by topping your rainbow bagel with one of dozens of cream cheese flavors including the utterly unconventional Oreo cream cheese!

Located at 260 W. 35th St. between 7th and 8th Ave.

Russ & Daughters

Be sure to make your way to this outpost of the Lower East Side institution that opened more than 100 years ago.

Besides fresh, fluffy bagels, they sell several different kinds of lox, smoked fish, pickled herring, and other traditional Jewish food.

It’s easy to get distracted here by the sweets -- rugelach, chocolate babka, and Black and White cookies. But stick with the plan. Get a bagel.

We locals like the “Classic”: an onion bagel, with a schmear of scallion cream cheese, draped with silky smooth lox, thin sliced red onions, and capers.

A bagel and lox at Russ and Daughters is a quintessential New York experience!

502 W. 34th St at 10th Ave at Hudson Yards.

Zucker’s Bagels

Zucker’s Bagels started in Tribeca and now has a few other locations throughout Manhattan.

This one at Bryant Park is perfectly situated. The park is one of the loveliest to sit and have a bagel and coffee.

Not to be bossy, but we encourage you to not think too hard when ordering. Just get one of NYC’s best breakfast sandwiches: a BEC (bacon, egg, cheese).

Zucker’s Classic BEC comes with two eggs, applewood smoked bacon, and cheddar cheese.

Located at 1065 6th Ave at 40th Street/Bryant Park.

H&H Bagels

One of the best things to come out of the construction of the stunning Moynihan Train Hall, an addition to Penn Station, was that H&H Bagels have come to Midtown.

Until its opening in the Train Hall Food Court, you would have to travel to the Upper West Side or Upper East Side for one of their kettle-boiled bagels.

The result? Airy and light on the inside and ever-so-slightly chewy on the outside, H&H bagels are a thing of wonder.

Our fave? A bagel sandwich with tuna salad, lettuce, and tomato. Perfect for when we board an Amtrak train for a day trip to Washington DC or Philadelphia.

H&H is so iconic that it made its way into a `Seinfeld` episode!

Located inside the Moynihan Train Hall on 8th Ave. at W 33rd Street.

Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee Company 

Ironically, this chain with multiple locations in NYC has none in Brooklyn!

No matter. There are plenty of locations in Manhattan, including this one in Chelsea, which is south of Times Square.

Their bagels are fluffy on the inside with a slightly chewy exterior. Just the way we like our bagels.

The array of cream cheeses on the menu is inventive. Besides the familiar flavors, they have 

Honey Bacon Sriracha, Jalapeno Asiago, and…Cannoli. It must be tried to be believed.

Located at 286 8th Ave. at W. 25th Street.

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About The Author

Courtney Shapiro

Courtney is a lifelong New Yorker fascinated with the city’s history, culture and cuisine. She loves exploring the world, as well as sharing her travel expertise with others. She joined the Free Tours by Foot team in 2011, first as a guide and then as a writer. She has a law degree, a teaching degree and a worn-out passport. Her motto is “Have backpack, will travel”.
Updated: Oktober 17th, 2023
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