While the rivalry between Boston's and New York's baseball teams may be famous throughout the country, there's another competition that has long been simmering with a different Northeastern city. Montreal and New York both claim to have the world's best bagels, with the differences between the two styles sometimes leading to heated debates among fans of the chewy baked treat. Black Seed attempts to find a reasonable compromise, with bagels that fall somewhere between the two different variations in terms of density and flavor. All bagels here are boiled in honey-sweetened water (typical of Montreal) before they are baked in a wood-fired oven, and the menu includes a choice of cream cheese and other spreads. The store also has outposts at Brookfield Place, near the World Trade Center, and in the East Village on First Avenue, but the Elizabeth Street location has the advantage of being a good pitstop while window-shopping along one of Nolita's most charming strips.
With three locations in Nolita, Battery Park City and the East Village, Black Seed Bagels takes their hand-rolled creations seriously. They boil their bagels in honey water for added sweetness, bake them in a wood-fired oven and then place them in a marble chute to cool using hand-carved walnut peels. Even a bagel shop can turn into a photo studio by simply shooting cool reflection shots of a friend through the storefront window, or capturing graphic patterns, like Black Seed’s black and white tiled floor in its Nolita location.