New York Magazine

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Home > Shopping > Ess-a-Bagel


324 First Ave., New York, NY 10009 40.734243 -73.979983
at 21st St.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-260-2252 Send to Phone
See other locations >>

  • Reader Rating: Write a Review
  • Price Range: ($$) Mid-Range
  • Type: Gourmet Marketplace
  • Products & Services: Bagels/Donuts
Photo by Shanna Ravindra

Share this listing

Official Website


Mon-Fri, 6am-9pm ; Sat-Sun, 6am-5pm

Nearby Subway Stops

L at First Ave.

Payment Methods

American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Product Guide


  • Bagels/Donuts


In the long lines that form at Ess-a-Bagel's counter, you're likely to see surgeons in scrubs from the neighboring hospitals alongside backpack-wearing schoolchildren. All wait anxiously—and endure playfully gruff service—during this multigenerational morning ritual. Opened in 1976 (and later expanded from 21st Street to a second midtown shop), the store prides itself at producing bagels that rank among the city's best: a flavorful gnaw-worthy crust with a pillow-soft inside. The spreads are creative. In addition to the usual low-fat and tofu cream cheeses, apple cinnamon and fragrant herbed versions are ready to meet your plastic knife. The fish selection impresses moreso—sable, salmon, sturgeon, chubs, herring, trout and lox, all in various smoked, baked and pickled incarnations. The shop also serves a full deli selection and dessert menu so that long lines can continue throughout the day.