Restaurant Review: Absolute Bagels

Image courtesy of Absolute Bagels

Image courtesy of Absolute Bagels

There is something about finding a hole in the wall place that makes me feel like I'm an expert insider of the city I’m exploring. Absolute Bagels is 100% a hole in the wall, but not unknown to the city of New York (and the students and staff of Columbia University). The mile long lines outside the shop every Saturday and Sunday morning reveal this hard truth. Despite being a stupidly popular place, Absolute Bagels still maintains its hole in the wall charm. The bagel shop still doesn’t have a website. And probably never will. This goes along with my theory that the best places are so damn good they don’t even need a website (see: Kiki’s). While I love Absolute Bagels, and there is truly nothing bad I can say about it, you may get a different experience (i.e. different proportions of bagel to cream cheese) depending on which friendly staff member prepares your bagel. I’m a huge fan of the tofutti cream cheese and it’s the same price as regular cream cheese, so if you’re vegan or dairy-free you can still enjoy Absolute’s bagels. Obviously your choice of bagel is a very personal matter and I really don’t think there’s a wrong way to go here. Pick from the mountain of bagels behind the counter, state your cream cheese/tofutti flavor, pay and wait. It’s cash only FYI (this is something the best places always do too). I’ve never splurged on the lox or any of the bagel sandwiches combinations. In my opinion, I don’t think it’s worth it. Stick with the classics. If you decide to order coffee and get sugar in it, just know, they dump sugar in it. Once you have your bagel in hand, resist the urge to enjoy immediately. If the weather is nice take your bagel to either a park bench in the middle of Broadway street or go even farther into Riverside Park. It’s totally worth it - trust me. 

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