Ess-a-Bagel is one of the – if not the – best-known bagel shop in NYC, and for good reason. The bagels are always big, fresh, fluffy, and delicious. The shop’s incredible bagels, long history, and gritty character make Ess-a-Bagel an iconic New York bagel shop.
Established in 1976, Ess-a has been a family-run business for multiple generations and know what they’re doing. OG’s will remember the original Ess-a location on 21st and 1st. This location is where we first fell in love with NYC Bagels, and to this day is the gold standard by which we judge all other bagels against.
Today, there are three Ess-a-Bagel locations to choose from. This one near Herald Square in Chelsea opened in 2019, which makes it the most recent addition to the family.
As you might expect from the best-known bagel shop in NYC, the line can get ridiculously long during peak hours. Be prepared to wait if you try to go on Friday, Saturday or Sunday morning.
One thing that differentiates the Chelsea location from the Midtown East and Gramercy Ess-a-Bagel’s is that you can get a behind-the-scenes tour at the Chelsea location from Ben’s Bagel Tours. Read our review of Ben’s Bagel Tours here.
In summary, if you’re visiting NYC and can only go to one shop, Ess-a-Bagel is the spot to go to. This location’s proximity to other NYC landmarks make it a convenient stop.