New Yorkers are privileged to live in a city with an outstanding volume (and history) of bagels. But, if we had to pick one single bagel to reign supreme over all its carbohydrate kin, it would be the un-toasted everything bagel with scallion cream cheese from Absolute Bagels on the Upper West Side.
Absolute Bagels was founded by Sam Thongkrieng, who moved from Bangkok to NYC in the ’80s and worked at Ess-A-Bagel for years. There’s no glitz or glamour to this Broadway & 108th Street bagel shop, and your shiny credit card will get you nowhere. (This place is cash only.) You should almost certainly expect a line of Columbia students and neighborhood people out front. Don’t panic. It always moves fast.
Tiny and round like a softball, each springy dough globe here arrives with a blistered bottom. The dough itself tastes malty and sweet, as if it had a daydream years ago about being a dessert. Feel free to incorporate nova or eggs in your bagel order, but if you’re coming here for the first time, stick with something simple. At Absolute Bagels, “simple” means New York City’s best bagel.
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Everything Bagel With Scallion Cream Cheese
The real magic is how Absolute Bagels’ subtle sweetness is counteracted by the salty garlic everything seasoning that adheres to the exterior. If you’re looking to expand your horizons, we like the egg bagel too.