Leo’s Bagels has been my favorite bagel shop in NYC for many years. A while back, I had done a one-man bagel tour and Leo’s still came out on top. While it is conveniently located near my place of work, I would go out of my way to come here or skip a bagel elsewhere to wait for one from Leo’s. The service is really good and I come so often that they many times know what I’m ordering before I do.
Warm, crusty and chewy, these bagels are the perfect vehicles for any number of fillings: eggs & cheese, lox, cream cheese or as a “Catskills” sandwich with turkey, muenster cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing. The Jalapeno, Kalamata olive and Maple-Raisin-Walnut cream cheeses are the ones I most enjoy. The best thing about their bagels is that they are chewy without being dense and have a nice crust on the outside. I have forgotten how many times I picked up a Cinnamon Raisin bagel right when they opened and just walked around the neighborhood on a brisk winter’s morning equipped with the tastiest hand warmer ever! I have found myself here in line on many a Saturday morning for my fix. If it’s busy I’ll get them to go but if it’s a slow day I’ll avail myself of a stool by the window and relax for a bit to take in some people watching. There are also a couple of small parks nearby where one can sit for a nosh.
Owner Adam Pomerantz and his family own two other bagel shops in NYC, Zucker’s in Tribeca and Murray’s in the Union Square area. I really like both of them but Leo’s is definitely my favorite. If you’ve never tried a bagel in NYC or have only had one or two, only to be disappointed, here is my advice: 1.) DO NOT go to a bakery/pastry shop or a boedga/grocery store. A true NYC bagel experience must be had at a shop that specializes in making bagels. 2.) Turn off your computer and get to Leo’s!