Ess-a-Bagel Gramercy and Midtown Owned by an Austrian family and open since the 1970s, Ess-a-Bagel hand rolls and boils in enormous pots visible from the (generally quite long) line. The double-fist-sized rounds are dense and could serve two if you're some sort of weirdo bagel sharer.
Soho: Although my favorite bagel place was once Murray Bagels, it has now become Blackseed. The bagels are a tad smaller, but so much better. The staff comes in at 4 am to start baking a range of flavors including salt, sesame and everything. With a small menu of about 10-15 different sandwiches, they make only enough for each day, allowing them to close at 4 pm. 170 ELIZABETH ST, NEW YORK, NY 10012 OPEN: 7AM-4PM, 7 DAYS A WEEK