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Kossar's Bialys

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

367 Grand St., New York, NY 10002 40.716581 -73.988892
nr. Essex St.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-473-4810 Send to Phone

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  • Type: Gourmet Marketplace
  • Products & Services: Bagels/Donuts
Photo by Samantha Casolari

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Official Website

kossarsbialys.com

Hours

Sun-Thu, 6am-8pm; Fri, 6am-3pm; Sat, closed

Nearby Subway Stops

F, J, M, Z at Delancey St.-Essex St.

Payment Methods

Cash Only

Product Guide

Gourmet

  • Bagels/Donuts

Profile

The oldest bialy bakery in the U.S., Kossar's Bialys, on the Lower East Side, has been expertly making the pale, yeasty discs of Polish origin at its no-frills shop since 1934. Often hidden in the shadow of the ubiquitous New York bagel, the bialy is similar in size but flatter and lighter than a bagel, and not boiled, and has a depression in its center that's filled either with tangy onions or a blend of garlic and poppy seeds. The bialys are baked around the clock so you can take away a warm one almost any time of day or night. As for ambiance, cooling racks of wooden palettes, an industrial size mixer, a baker dressed in white, and a floury haze fill up most of the fluorescent-lit shop. A small counter stationed near the door displays racks of the hand-formed bialys alongside bulkas, torpedo-shaped rolls topped with onion and poppy seeds; onion discs, traditionally called pletzels and more liberally smeared with the same tasty mixture; and, yes, bagels—some of the best in the city—hand-rolled, chewy, dense and moist, with a hint of barley-malt sweetness. They don't toast here and they don't offer butter. Instead, grab a schmear of kosher cream cheese from the refrigerated case. When the weather's warm, you can also grab a seat on one of the benches outside and chat with local menschen who will tell you it's against the law to eat a bialy without cream cheese.

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