When I first moved to New York around 2 years ago, I was told that the ONLY acceptable places to get an authentic, NYC bagel were H&H and Essa-a. I haven't tried out H&H, but the toasted pumpernickel with whitefish spread and fresh tomato from Ess-a sure convinced me! I've been eating bagels all my life, but nothing like this. So soft and fluffly with the right amount of crisp. Perfect texture, warm, and not to mention huge! The portions at Ess-a sure are large. In fact, I only ate half the bagel because they were so big and they heaped on a more than a generous amount of whitefish, which much of, unfortunately went to waste. But if you like large portions or have a killer appetite, the look of your bagel creation can be really enticing. I also tried one of their rasberry Linzter cookies. Fresh, homemade, soft, moist, and crumbly, The filling was sweet and tangy and scrumptious. The coffee was fresh and hot and complimented the bagel and pastry quite nicely. A great way to start, spend, or end any day!
Pros: Out of this world bagels, nice and efficient service, good value
Cons: Large portions?