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!

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Lots O Bagels: Astoria, Queens


Noteworthy:
For those of you that enjoy the simple things in life, they also offer fresh squeezed orange juice! Their menu also delivers deli sandwiches, Boars Head meats, paninis, and even cheeseburgers!

Lots O Bagels, thank you for being there in times of need when it is too cold to go out, and you always deliver in a timely manner with nothing ever forgotten, and coffee wrapped ever-so-safely. You are ashley’s bagel blog approved, and officially an Astoria favorite. Keep it real. ❤

Ashley’s favorites:

egg bagel w/plain cream cheese

two eggs and cheese on an egg bagel

peach snapple

apple turnover

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.

 

Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company: Astoria, Queens

3614 30th Ave
Astoria, NY
(718) 777-1121
bkbagel.com

Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company have three locations: two in Astoria, and one in Chelsea. This review is based on the Astoria 30th Ave location. This place is always bumping – I have yet to come in one morning where the line isn’t to the door. Always a good sign, right? 😉

Bagels: So one thing Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee pride themselves on is water boiling their bagels. Can we all say, “YASSS”? As one can tell by the pictures, their bagels have that nice crispy shell on the outside, while the insides are soft. Their bagels are also pretty huge – big and thick, as a good NY bagel should be. I ordered an egg bagel, and the man behind the counter asked if this small bagel was okay. I couldn’t help but laugh, considering even their “small” bagels are on the average bagel shop size. Honestly, the pictures don’t do justice for how fat their bagels are. I can only finish half every time! My boyfriend got a poppyseed bagel, to which he notes that their bagels have the most poppies compared to other shops we go to, which for him is a plus. The poppies cover the whole bagel, not just the top!

As for their cream cheese, their spreads can get on the chunky side. However, it is not the worst, and I sometimes ask them not to take from the top where the chunks are thrown on (which I know makes me look insane and picky). I just can’t understand why places garnish the tops of their spreads so heavily (e.g. veggie, scallion, etc.). One last note: this place is where to go if you’re into those fancy, obscure spreads; I noticed today they have spicy chipotle?!

20150802_100319
Egg bagel w/low fat veggie cream cheese
20150802_100332
Poppy seed bagel w/plain cream cheese

Beverages: Today I got my standard snapple. A lot of people love their coffee (hence the name), but I will not pretend I am some big coffee connoisseur and talk about different roasts. I will note, my boyfriend can be picky with his coffee (not TOO much cream or feel wrath), and this place manages to get the proportions perfectly. Another plus, they have FRESH SQUEEZED ORANGE JUICE!

20150802_101832
Chocolate chip muffin

Sweets: I went for the chocolate chip muffin, and I am glad I did! I love a place that makes a muffin in which the toppings are not just on the top of the muffin, but are also baked into the stump. Their muffins also have that nice crispy shell on top, while the insides are soft and in this case, gooey. Mmm mufffiiinnn.

Some other important notes: They deliver, though there is a minimum, AND they cater! They also offer a ton of other items, such as fresh made omelettes, soups, sandwiches, pasta salad, etc. Additionally, they have late hours, staying open ’til 6:30 (hours vary by location). This place definitely makes the favorite! list – there’s no skimping here. 🙂

Ashley’s favorites:

egg bagel w/low fat veggie cream cheese
fresh orange juice
chocolate chip muffin

Poppy Seeds: Centereach, NY (Long Island)

1941 Middle Country Rd
Centereach, NY 11720
(631) 467-1771

So for my first post, I’ve decided to backtrack to a favorite spot from my hometown: Poppy Seeds Bagels. When I say favorite, I don’t just mean mine (I’m not going to lie in my first post, there are far better spots out there that I will get to), but in the hamlet of Centereach, this is definitely a favorite amongst locals.

First and foremost, this place is CASH ONLY, which in today’s society can be an inconvenience at times.

Bagels: These are NOT water boiled, and the bagels have that yellow cornmeal on the bottom of it. They are squishy, which sucks entirely if they aren’t toasted. That being said, whenever I would frequent this spot, I would always get my bagel toasted. For some reason… these bagels are REALLY GOOD when toasted with cream cheese. Not that Thomas’ or Dunkin Donuts toasted bagel crap; I mean yummy, warm and crispy toasted bagels with the cream cheese oozing out the sides, tempting one to lick their fingers clean.

Oh, and for those that enjoy vegetable cream cheese (it’s my go-to if done right), their vegetable cream cheese is perfection. I loathe when places do not have finely chopped veggies in their spread, leaving you to ask, “Can I have some cream cheese with my vegetables?” If I wanted a salad, I’d order one! That’s not the case with this place. Their cream cheese is on point!

Beverages: I would always get their iced tea. Oh my GOD their sweetened iced tea is the most refreshing. While Poppy Seeds may have a thumbs down for not water boiling their bagels, they get “two enthusiastic thumbs up” for their iced tea. I have yet to find as good sweetened iced tea since moving away from Centereach. Le sigh.

Breakfast sandwiches: When I didn’t get a bagel from here, I would get the other NY classic: an egg and cheese! Their egg and cheese on a roll (bacon, egg and cheese for the bacon lovers out there) are to die for. Their kaiser rolls are delicious and firm – never soggy which is always a disappointment at other delis. There’s a reason why there are lines almost to the door waiting for their hot delicacies.

Ashley’s favorites:

egg bagel toasted w/veggie cream cheese

egg and cheese on a roll w/salt, pepper, ketchup

iced tea