Bagels are bae.
I never really understood completely what bae means, but according to Urban Dictionary, its seems to be a good thing. Right…? Bagels are “before anyone/anything else.” Mainly because they’re a breakfast food, consumed before any other meal of the day. Secondly, because they are just so damned delicious and they make people happy. Or at least make me happy.
There are so. Many. Combinations. So many options! You can turn a bagel into a savory snack, or a sweet. The choice is all yours.
Growing up, my bagel choices were really simple. I was a really picky eater, so I’d mainly just get plain bagels. But now I realize how much there is out there, and not to be afraid.
These are your friends at business meetings, quick breakfasts on the subway, and a Sunday morning favorite with lox and cream cheese. My dad used to get up early on Sundays to go make the long line at the bagel shop for our family breakfast that morning.
Bagels are my favorite breakfast food (BETTER THAN BACON?! YES). Therefore, I want to talk about my favorite bagel shops in Queens. You really can’t go wrong with a bagel:
Gotta Getta Bagel
Located: 10709 71st Ave, Forest Hills, NY 11375.
The neighborhood bagel shop has been here for as long as I can remember. I used to come here in elementary school. And let me tell you, they serve a really great bagel.
They have all of your classics: plain, everything, salt, cinnamon raisin bagels. Plain cream cheese, butter, jellies. The works. But they also have really cool spreads! Like jalapeño cream cheese and olive cream cheese (Olives>everything, just sayin’).
They also have really good tofu spreads. If you don’t like tofu I can just imagine what you’re thinking (I don’t even like tofu all that much), but trust me!
Tofu cream cheese tastes exactly like regular cream cheese, minus the waxy feeling you sometimes get in your mouth after consuming regular cream cheese. Plus it’s lighter and doesn’t feel as heavy. Basically you feel less guilty about it! Not that you should have felt guilty to begin with. Remember: Bagels=friends.
Even so, my all time favorite thing to get there is a whole wheat bagel with sun-dried tomato cream cheese. Sun-dried tomatoes! I love how tangy they are, and how tangy and kind of sweet they make this cream cheese.
This place also has some pretty good bialys. A bialy is a flat bread roll topped with onions. So good. Gotta Getta Bagel is also known for their vegetable tuna salad spread. It’s a hard spread to find, and this place has a great one.
They also make fresh squeezed juices, like Sunshine Juice, which is a best seller. It’s made with carrots, green apples and oranges. I got the Energizer Juice once, it comes with carrots, green apples, ginger and oranges. I was working at a gym nearby at the time and desperately needed an afternoon pick me up. It definitely woke me up. I stared at the zumba classes all bright-eyed and alert.
They also have a great selection of soups and salads.
Just a warning, they’re cash only. Gotta Getta Bagel opens at 6:00 a.m. every morning, come check them out!
Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company
Located: 3505 Broadway, Astoria, NY 11106.
This bagel shop has some of the coolest, most unique spreads I’ve ever seen. There are three locations in Astoria, one in Manhattan, and, funnily enough, none in Brooklyn.
When I arrived on a Saturday afternoon, the line was out the door. Physically outside. It was unusually warm for December, so everyone on the line outside stood uncomfortably and sweaty, unzipping their parkas and taking off their scarves.
As I slowly made my way inside, I could see why this place is so popular. There were just rows and rows of spreads and salads.
They have really interesting cream cheeses like baby dill, pumpkin (which is seasonal), diabolo chipotle, jalapeño asiago, strawberry, blueberry, apple cinnamon, pimento olive (!!!), kalamata olive (!!!) sun-dried tomato (!!!!), bacon scallion, and garlic and herb.
I have never seen so many olive cream cheeses in my life. I also thought bacon scallion sounded really good, so I decided to try it out.
It was AMAZING. It was smokey and onion-y at the same time, the taste almost surprised me. Honestly anything with bacon is automatically better (yes I still like bagels better than bacon). I definitely recommend trying this spread out.
They also have a Cream Cheese of the Week, which they announce on their twitter and Facebook pages. When I went, it was a kimchi salmon cream cheese. The week before was a buffalo bacon cream cheese, and the week before was a Snickers candy bar cream cheese! They also tweet and post statuses on Facebook about special deals they run that day.
This shop is specifically known for their hand rolled, water boiled bagels. According to their website, they are kettle boiled and are made with unbleached, unbromated flour.
And they have fantastic COFFEE! I love coffee, so the quality is always important to me wherever I go. This did not disappoint. They didn’t put coffee company in their name for nothin’, you guys.
They also have soups, smoked fish, salads (you can even make your own!), oatmeal, pasta salads, pastries and freshly squeezed orange juice.
Come check out Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company in Astoria! They open at 6:00 a.m. every morning. Don’t forget to try their coffee!
Located: 183-12 Horace Harding Expy, Fresh Meadows, NY 11365.
The famous Bagel Oasis. Or at least famous in my eyes. I went to high school in Fresh Meadows (FLHS, go Patriots!), and everyone was crazy about this place.
I would regularly overhear dramatic conversations in the hallway like:
Boy: “You know what you did.”
Girl: “What’d I do?”
Boy: “You know.”
Girl: “Tell me.”
Boy: “Maria said she saw you with some tall boy with glasses at Bagel Oasis yesterday after 7th period.”
Girl: “Maria’s lying I’ve never been to Bagel Oasis.”
Boy: “Well you’re clearly lying if you say you’ve never been to Bagel Oasis.”
Just goes to show, Bagel Oasis was a staple in my high school’s local eateries.
According to their website, this place has been open since 1961 and has stayed in the same location. They also say that they use malt instead of sugar in their bagels. It creates a unique texture, only found in their bagels.
I, personally, really like their bialys. They’re bigger than the bialys I usually get, and thicker too. They also have really interesting spreads, even a cake batter cream cheese!
You can view their full menu here. Everything is pretty reasonably priced too. An everything bagel with cream cheese adds up to only $2.00!
This bagel shop has more of a deli feel with a lotto machine, shelves of potato chips, and an assortment of drinks like Arizona iced teas, sodas, and energy drinks.
Check out Bagel Oasis to see what the hype is all about. Plus, its open 24/7! Perfect for late night snacking.
Forest Hills Bagel
Located: 104-41 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, NY, 11375.
This is the bagel place I’ve been going to the longest. It’s in my neighborhood, and was remodeled a few years back. Look how tricked out the windows are! The cool part about this bagel shop is that it’s open 365-days a year! So even Christmas and major holidays!
It’s conveniently on the way to the train stop at 71st Continental, and so it’s easy to just pop in and pick up a quick breakfast.
I repeat this because it’s surprising and important: the staff is SO QUICK. They’re really nice, too. You’re literally out of there in like five minutes sometimes. No matter how long the line is, you don’t have to wait THAT long.
I usually get either a bacon, egg, and cheese on a whole wheat bagel or a ham, egg, and cheese on the same kind of bagel. So good, and so filling.
They have something for every level of hungry. They have a “hungry man breakfast,” which is three eggs, sausage, bacon, and cheese on a hero. They have a lot of things other than bagels, like pancakes, french toasts, and omelettes.
They even have non-breakfast foods like mozzarella sticks (my favorite!), chicken wings, chicken tenders, and a variety of soups.
Come check out Forest Hills Bagel– bagel snobs will be pleasantly surprised. They’re open super early every day too, at 5:00 a.m.!
Bagels & Co.
Located: 18802 Union Turnpike, Hollis, NY 11423.
This place is really pretty. It looks like a small little bagel shop from the outside, and the decor inside is not expected. It’s a lot bigger, and there’s even outdoor seating! And their bagels are HUGE. And they’re pillowy and plump and perfect.
They have a wide variety like sesame, poppy seed, pumpernickel, multi-grain, cinnamon raisin, egg, salt, garlic, onion, and everything. And they are only a dollar each!
And they have really great spreads, including an olive and sun-dried tomato cream cheese!
My mom told me about this place, and said that I have to try the baba ghanoush. Baba ghanoush is a spread made from eggplant, onions, tomato, and olive oil. I love trying new things, so I compulsively ordered a half a pound with a bagel on the side. I’ve had baba ghanoush from Middle Eastern restaurants, but never like this. The taste of their baba ghanoush is so different. There’s almost like a mayonnaise-y taste to it, even though I’m pretty sure there is no mayonnaise in this specific spread. I also personally love mayonnaise (actually a love-hate relationship), so I enjoy this.
Bagels & Co. is completely Kosher. According to their website, all of their products are Pat Israel, made Kemach Yoshan, and all of their dairy products are Chalov Israel. They also state that they are under strict supervision of “Vaad Harabonim of Queens.”
With that being said, they have a wide selection of really good kosher pizza! They have regular marinara with tomato sauce and cheese. And they have cool combinations like the “tonno,” which is topped with tuna, peppers, scallions, basil and cilantro. They also have a slice called “Pomodoro,” which is topped with Penne pasta and fresh herbs.
They also have other food items like omelettes, sandwiches, paninis and wraps.
Come check out Bagels & Co., you won’t be disappointed!
Thank you for reading about my favorite Bagel Shops in Queens! I hope that you go and try these places out for yourself. There’s nothing like a bagel and a cup of coffee for breakfast.
Bagel lovers: Did I forget to mention your favorite bagel shop in Queens? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time!