While Chinatown may not seem like a place to find a good bagel, Baxter Street’s hidden gem Bluebird Sky has made it a point to offer a classic to

local bagel-lovers. Importing from the Lower East Side institution Kossar’s Bialys, we were excited to escape the tourist mayhem of Canal Street and give one of New York’s oldest, most famous bagels a try.

Kossar’s was founded in 1936, making the the oldest bialy bakery in the United States, but they only started making bagels in 1998. Honoring the bread’s Polish heritage, Kossar’s uses traditional bagel-making methods: using real malt, allowing them to proof over a 24-hour period, and then kettle boiling them prior to final baking.┬áTheir inaugural year was honored by Saveur, which hailed them as the “best bagels in New York City.”

Finding them a bit bready and lacking in the distinctive crunch that a New York bagel should have, we didn’t think they quite held up to that high level of hype — but we did find the flavor superior to more “contemporary” bagels.

Overall, we would give Kossar’s bagels a 7 out of 10; and Bluebird Sky an 8.5 out 10 for total bagel-experience.┬áSince Kossar’s bakery location doesn’t toast at all, we give Bluebird Sky extra points for double-toasting to give us that extra crunch we were looking for.

When in Chinatown:

121 Baxter Street
New York, NY
Phone: 212-966-4646

Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8am-8pm
Sat-Sun: 10am-4pm