H&H Midtown Bagels East: Upper East Side

1551 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10028
*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.

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!

Poppy w/vegetable cream cheese
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.

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!