I'm craving bagels in Williamsburg
vrk's nyc guide sept 2021
what is this?
when I lived in san francisco, my friend sent me a google doc titled, "SF: SEE EAT DRINK" that had a list of all her personal recommendations for the city. I found it so helpful and charming, and I've since wanted to create my own version for nyc, a personal nyc travel guide for friends and internet visitors.
I've meant to do this for years! but nyc is so big that every time I tried to sit down and make my little travel brochure, the whole task felt big and overwhelming and not fun and I'd give up.
so I have a new angle: instead of trying to cover all of nyc, how about I just cover some very specific scenarios? (and maybe even just one specific scenario, total. I can't be trusted to make this a series.)
with that, here is my guide on what I do when I'm in williamburg and I'm feeling bagel-y, as least as of september 2021.
when I'm feeling bagel-y, I don't necessarily need a bagel - I get this feeling like "hmm I could eat a bagel right now" and then there's actually a set of food, broader than "bagel," that can satisfy this craving
- a bagellike: a food that satisfies my bagel craving, even if not a bagel.
- etymologically inspired by the noun roguelike
cafe beit for a toasted bagel with cream cheese
- Cafe Beit is not a bagel shop, nor are bagels a particular specialty.
- but! when I want a simple toasted bagel with cream cheese, this is where I turn to.
- in life outside of Cafe Beit: I've found sometimes when you get a bagel toasted, you end up with the worst of both worlds, like the bagel was never warmed up enough to melt the cheese but now the bread is kinda dry from toasting
- but Cafe Beit always gets this right, warms the bagel up hot-hot without toasting to a crisp, so it's just a satisfying bagel!
also good there:
- flavored lattes! they do house-made syrups & nut milks. I get "ice honey latte with oat milk" routinely
- they also have a quiche that has totally hit the spot when I wanted a quiche
gertie for the "best bialy" / smoked salmon on bialy
- ok I LOVE this bagellike
- the menu item is called "best biali" and it's smoked salmon pastrami on a biali with onions + dill cream cheese
- it's just a great combo of flavors
- a v good salmon with perfect amount of cream cheese + pickled onions!! + dill!! such good things and a side pickle if you're lucky
- the bialy is also delicious
- a frequent specific craving of mine
also good there:
- I enjoy their cold brew which comes with crushed ice, which I was surprised by how much I preferred to regular ice for this coffee situation
lion's milk for the "izmir" / feta + tomato on simit
- I stopped in Lion's Milk on the way to work and I asked them if they had bagels, they said they didn't but they had simit sandwiches
- and I got one mostly out of curiosity
- but then it was soooo tasty
- very warm, good bread-to-stuff ratio, nice amount of tanginess and saltiness
- it was immediately added to my mental rotation of bagellikes in williamsburg
bakeri for a ham & cheese croissant
- bakeri makes a great ham & cheese croissant
- it's small, warm, buttery, just a very delicious pastry
- a great size as well, and great ratios, not too much bread
- gotta go in the mornings (let's say... before 10/11am?) or else they sell out
also good there:
- I've enjoyed the chicken sandwich and savory tart
- there's some sort of sweet muffin that's got like blueberry and cranberry and lemon I think? anyway it's good!
partners for a cheddar jalepeno muffin
- great muffin texture, really soft and buttery, not at all dry
- when I want something that's flavorful but in a light consistent texture
also good there:
- I like their fruit cups, they add mint leaves which fancies up the experience
- I believe I've had a confetti? cookie that was surprisingly tasty. like I had bought the cookie in a social situation where it would have been awkward to order nothing, so I was like "uh I guess I'll get this cookie" and then I remember eating it like "oh wow, good cookie"
bagels outside williamsburg
there are times when I am craving a specific bagel so hard that I'm willing to travel.
- penny house cafe for a sausage egg cheese bagel. ugh I took these for granted when I lived a few blocks away! when I am craving a sausage egg and cheese I am craving this one, everything else is an imitation
- Mille-Feuille for a ham & cheese croissant. they take a croissant, cut it in half, put ham & cheese inside, and then warm it up. it is so good
- hot bagels, anywhere: I learned a tip recently that you can ask for hot bagels wherever bagels are made fresh! like you can go in the morning and ask which bagels are hot out of the oven, and then you can get them not toasted, but hot - so they're very soft and they melt the butter or cheese just by being fresh. so goooood! but I don't know anywhere williamsburg that does this. go get your hot bagels outside the neighborhood!
bagellikes with rice
if I'm scanning the list of bagellikes and not really feeling inspired, I also ask myself, am I feeling...
- Ten Inchi for salmon mayo onigiri
- 3rdfloorbk has tuna mayo onigiri AND spam onigiri, which are my two favorites kinds! but I haven't actually had them from 3rdfloorbk, when I visited last time they were sold out 😭 but I mentally consider going here whenever I am mentally scanning snack places
- Ms Ohho has tuna mayo kimbap that's v good
the whole map
get your bagels and bagellikes here: