Astoria Bagel Shop: Astoria, Queens

2812 Ditmars Blvd # 1
Astoria, NY 11105
(718)-728-5169
*cash only

On my first morning of Summer vacation, I knew I wanted a nice crispy bagel from someplace new. I know there are many low-key bagel shop gems in Astoria outside of the big name spots like Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee (which can have a line out the door, and honestly, I wouldn’t name them the best), so I looked around online and landed on Astoria Bagel Shop. (Google says Astoria Bagel Inc. but whatever.) I knew this place would be good given that it has that Mom and Pop shop feel, and as my theory goes, there is NOTHING better than that hole-in-the-wall, tiny and simple bagel spot. I was right. This is it, guys. This. Is. IT.

astoria bagel shop
Ditmars Blvd.

Setting: Like I said, this is one of those tiny bagel shops. No chandeliers, no wooden benches. This is a bagel shop that makes good bagels, and that’s that. The small dining area that fits several tables and chairs is relatively clean. No garbage left on tables, no coffee rings, which is always always a plus. The place is pretty dated, old paint on the walls, but I don’t think that should really divert someone from coming here. One thing I really liked is that on this sunny Summer day, the front was completely open to let in the sunshine and warm air. If you’re coming in for a quick bite and aren’t picky about needing a bougie ambiance, then this will comfortably do!

Bagels: Hands down, the best bagels I have had thus far in Astoria. Clearly water boiled, nice crispy shells on the outside and soft on the inside. One thing I love is that they have egg everything bagels! This has been a hard find since moving to NYC (as I have seen, anyway). I also like, which I may have mentioned before, that the bagel is not overly done in seasoning. Overall, they offer your basic batch of deliciously crispy bagels!

astoria bagels
fresh bagels! new sweets! what’s better, man?

Cream cheese: I went with the lite vegetable cream cheese. I loooove the egg everything-veggie cream cheese combo. Nothing better than all those delicious flavors in one bite! The veggies are minced very fine, which I enjoy but others may differ, of course. They offer a range of your basics, including scallion, strawberry, lox spread, walnut raisin, as well as others including garlic and herb, sundried tomato, very berry, jalapeño, and BACON scallion. Mmmm. There are MANY mouth-watering choices to choose from for whatever your tastebuds desire.

astoria bagel
egg everything w/lite vegetable cream cheese
astoria bagel bottom
bagel guide 101: if the bottoms have these little boils and shine, it’s a legit bagel.

Pastries and sweets: As the picture above shows, they seem to come out with new pastries regularly. I would definitely return to try one of those chocolate croissants! In addition to those sweet pieces of heaven, they also have a variety of muffins wrapped and ready to go. They also offer pre-wrapped sweets such as Linden’s cookies, pound cake, etc.

Deli: It appears they are more renowned for their bagels; however, they do offer basic deli cold cut sandwiches, as well as salads including tuna, chicken, egg, lox, and shrimp, and others.

astoria bagel shop board
old-school dry erase board menu and sweets

Noteworthy: They open EARLY. According to their Yelp page, their hours are 4am-4pm. So if you need an early bagel order in the area, this is the spot to go to! I believe this is a cash-only establishment as well, which can be a negative in my book.

Overall, I may have found my new favorite Astoria spot! Bummer they don’t deliver and are cash only – BUT, they’ve got the goods. Where there’s perfected water boiled bagels and bangin’ cream cheese, there’s me. It’s worth the few subway stops if you aren’t in the remote Ditmars area in Astoria, and it’s just a few blocks down from the train. Definitely give it a shot if you are in Astoria! This is ashley’s bagel blog approved, and a favorite!

Advertisements

H&H Midtown Bagels East: Upper East Side

1551 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10028
(212)-734-7441
hhmidtownbagelseast.com
*24 hrs

I am ashamed to say that I was unaware of H&H Bagels for a long time. For those of you also unaware of the history of this establishment, H&H was THE bagel establishment back in the day, selling bagels worldwide and producing 80,000 bagels per day. The original location, owned by Helman Toro and brother in-law, Hector Hernandez, was located on the Upper West Side. Unfortunately, H&H eventually filed for bankruptcy, and their UWS and Hells Kitchen location were closed in 2012. The remaining location on 2nd Ave in UES remains open, but under different owners. The great thing? This place is 24hrs! We stopped in after work on a Friday, greeted with happy smiles even at 6:30pm.

hhbagels
6:30pm – still so many to choose from!

Bagels: I decided on poppyseed. Overall, decent quality. Unfortunately, they took the initiative to toast my bagel without my consent, resulting in a cold toasted bagel that slightly hardened with an aftertaste by the time I got home all the way to Astoria. However, I couldn’t complain too much. It was still edible. My boyfriend decided on a toasted everything bagel – this is where the confusion must have come from. Can’t we ask? We’re two different people with two different tastes!

poppyveg
Poppy w/vegetable cream cheese
20160212_193840
Everything w/lox spread

Cream cheese: This is where they shine in my opinion. I got my lite vegetable cream cheese, and it was exquisite! Perfectly sized minced veggies so it doesn’t taste like you’re eating a garden on a bagel, but still bursting with flavor! Stephen got the lox cream cheese, which mid-chew he paused and said, “I can’t find anything wrong with this.” After a taste myself, I had to agree. Some people might prefer the cream cheese separate with the salmon placed on top, like a sandwich. We much prefer the opposite – chunks mixed in with the cream cheese, along with capers, allowing the flavors to absorb into the spread, and not as if you are eating a salmon sandwich.

HHcc
Dat cream cheese, tho.

Pastries: While I did not try any of their sweets, they do offer a range of muffins, as well as black and white cookies (mmm), tarts, DONUTS, a variety of cookies, etc.

Noteworthy: H&H also offers deli sandwiches, as well as salads (tuna, chicken, macaroni, etc.) And… THEY CATER – minimum party being 10 people, perfect for an office meeting or if your family is coming to town and you want to wow them with a traditional NYC bagel. You can even get a box of coffee that is not from your local Dunkin Donuts, which would be adorned by rolls, not bagels. 😉

Overall, H&H is ashleysbagelblog approved. How could it not with its profound history? We salute you, brothers!

Oh, and be sure to grab a t-shirt on your way out. Support your local business!

IMG_20160212_184332
swag.

 

JeJoJo Bagels: Centereach, NY (Long Island)

Centereach Mall, 207 Centereach Mall
Centereach, NY 11720
(631) 585-6178

Another staple from my hometown – JeJoJo’s. This bagel shop is one I would go to often during high school. My friends and I would hang out here until close after school, which I now realize was extremely nice of them. Unfortunately, their bagel quality seems to flip flop.

Bagels: I’m not sure if they are water boiled. I remember their quality being decent in high school, and then a few years later, they were extremely doughy. Overall, the bagels here seem to flip flop, which for myself turns me away. I’ve had them toasted, but they don’t compare to Poppy Seeds‘ toasted bagels. As for the cream cheese, I remember it being sub par.

Pastries: During the long after school session, I would often get a brownie for a dessert. If they are the same quality as I remember, their brownie with chocolate frosting was delicious! It is somewhat rich, for those that don’t like super sweet treats, but it was also moist, which I prefer.

Beverages: I never had their own brewed stuff, but they do have your standard snapple/juice/nestle quick stuff.

All in all, this place isn’t on my radar of a go-to bagel shop for a satisfying NY bagel. Some locals love it, but I would take Poppy Seeds over JeJoJo’s if I had to choose between them, as both are within the same radius in this area. However, next time I am in town, I will give an update.