Ess-a-bagel- Midtown East, NYC 

The Classic Signature Favourite $13.75
A Poppyseed bagel with nova, scallion (spring onion) cream cheese, tomatoes & red onion.

The New York favourite Ess-a-BLT $6.15
An Everything bagel with bacon, lettuce and tomato.

Back in November when Mum came for a visit, we had such a busy 2 weeks that we only managed to squeeze in one NYC bagel. We were on our way to check out the 5th Avenue Christmas window displays that enchant thousands of visitors and locals every year. The entire Cartier building was wrapped up like a huge present. Sparkling red ribbon stretched across the facade and glittering big cats perched high up in windows with their tails hanging down. The rest of 5th Avenue was a whirl of fairy tale scenes, arctic wonderlands and familiar NY sights. We knew without a doubt that we would need something to eat before we could commit ourselves completely to the festive madness. 

The plain brown exterior of Ess-a-bagel gave no hint to the character that would be unveiled once we entered inside. The ceiling instantly drew your eyes upwards. Adorned with continuous circular plaster decals that gave way to chandelier type lighting, it was quite ornate for a bagel shop to say the least. White pillars held up that extravagant ceiling and off to the right were marble top tables and chairs with sweeping metal backs. Behind the counter though, were your typical New Yorker’s with no extra frills, working their magic in the bagel construction department. 

The bagel texture was very different to any I’ve had in NYC, it had much more of a crunch than they normally do and it was’t over-toasted. Me and Mum went half’s on what we ordered, it was interesting to try a completely different filling but I still feel that you can’t beat the lox and cream cheese combination.  For me, the highlight of this establishment was the communal seating. Rows instead of separate tables forces you to sit next to other people and through the negotiating of the space, conversations naturally get struck up. We met two ladies who were on vacation from Missouri, one of them had previously owned a timeshare in the city and had some great advice on where to get my next bagel from. I have a list stuck to my fridge, but every time I cross one off, another one gets added! 

831 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10022