Food Trail NYC: Liberty Bagels

Jet lag and and hunger pangs at silly hours of the morning prompted our pre-dawn food hunts in Manhattan, New York City (NYC) where we were based most of last December.

One of our favourite haunts was Liberty Bagels around the corner from our accommodation along 34th Street. Liberty is famed for it’s traditional style kettle boiled bagels.

What is a kettle boiled bagel? In a nutshell – the bagel dough is dropped into boiling water which helps form a starchy barrier around the dough before it is baked in the oven. This gives the bagel a little more crunch on the outside.

Bagels originate from Poland and were brought in by the Polish-Jews who migrated to New York in the 1800s. The Jewish bagel recipe was created out of necessity following anti-Semitic laws in Poland between the ninth and 10th century that banned Jews from baking bread. To circumvent this law, the Jewish community boiled the dough before toasting it – creating the kettle boiled bagel.

Bagels only gained popularity outside the Jewish community in NYC in the 1970s after it was mass produced and marketed as the ‘Jewish English muffin’.

Liberty Bagels lays claim to being the ‘No 1 Bagel in Manhattan’. This #1 ranking is accorded by

I cannot attest to that claim, but my measure of its worthiness is the fact that we kept going back for more Liberty Bagels every other day, despite the fact that we were spoilt for choice in terms of places to eat and food to explore.

We were definitely spoilt for choice at Liberty Bagels which had a long list of bagels in an array of flavours, toppings and fillings. My favourite was the honey bacon siracha and the lox scallion (both mixed in cream cheese).

Choice of Fillings, Flavours & Spreads

Lox (brined salmon) was the kosher alternative created by the Jews, as their dietary laws (kashrut), prohibit the mixing of meat with dairy.

Choice of Bagel Fillings at Liberty Bagels NYC

Some of the bagel spreads including fruity, savoury, spicy and playful ones with colourful sprinkles dubbed as ‘birthday cake’. Pix source:

Liberty Bagels is a must stop if you are in Manhattan, but be prepared to queue and have your bagel to go if you happen to visit during peak periods.

We would recommend stopping by for an early breakfast when it opens at 6.30am, if you want to beat the crowd and have a leisurely breakfast as you watch the city wake up and come to life, with a warm cup of coffee in hand.

There is limited seating inside the outlet but in the early hours of the morning you can be assured of a spot – but this is not likely as the day progresses.

Liberty Bagels NYC
Honey Bacon Siracha Bagel

Liberty Bagels Counter

Bacon Scallion

Bacon & Egg
Lox & Cream Cheese Bagel
Liberty Bagels

For more information and details visit:

Liberty Bagels Location:

Hope you enjoy Liberty Bagels as much as we did!


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