Daily, 24 hours
6 at Astor Pl.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Houston St. to 14th St., Ave. A to Fifth Ave.
This neon-lit café and pizza joint is torn between its history (urban grit) and the present (high rent, boho chic). At the intersection of Cooper Union and chain-store-infiltrated St. Marks Place, Bagel Café/Ray’s Pizza serves up mediocre, dorm-worthy fare to university students and scruffy interlopers at all hours. Garish, cheerful murals of nearby streets decorate the walls; the checkered floor is Velcro-sticky, but the soda cooler packs loads of cheap beer. Best to skip the bland, goopy slices and sidestep the burgers and premade sandwiches in favor of the joint’s prize offering: fresh-baked bagels that strike just the right balance of chewy, soft, and sour, slicked with butter or smeared with cream cheese. Locals crowd the place in the morning looking to kick-start the day or to take the edge off an all-nighter with a comforting, sleep-inducing carb infusion.Recommended Dishes
Half-dozen bagels, $5.40