The bagels at Absolute are what I grew up on. Absolute Bagels is a comfy bagel shop on the Upper West Side, between 107th and 108th and Broadway. It’s been there for as long as I can remember, and not only are the bagels the best I’ve had in New York, the people who work there have been there since it started and they’re all super nice! Every time I go into Absolute (which is a lot…) I’m greeted with familiar faces and great service.
It’s common for Absolute to be pretty crowded with a line out the door (especially on Saturday and Sunday mornings). It’s become a neighborhood hot-spot for bagels, and its popularity has been growing over the years. The shop has a few small tables to sit there, but it’s usually completely full on the weekends. The lines can get long, but they keep people moving and I’ve never had to wait too long for my order.
Now, about the bagels. They are perfect. All of their bagels are made fresh each day, right in the back of the store where they have a kitchen. They offer regular sized bagels ($1.00 ea.) and mini bagels ($0.69 ea.) as well as a wide selection of homemade cream cheeses. The bagels are pretty standard as far as flavors go. They have your regular plain, cinnamon raisin, pumpernickel, everything, sesame, poppyseed, and egg bagels. It’s nothing fancy, but their bagels are perfectly made. They are always moist and doughy and they’re great to bring home because they stay soft for a while, while other bagels tend to dry out and get hard. You can get any of their bagels prepared with any flavor cream cheese or butter. Bagels with butter are $1.25, bagels with plain cream cheese are $2.25, and bagels with any special cream cheeses are $3.80.
The cream cheeses are also amazing. Absolute has a whole cold counter full of various cream cheese flavors. They have your usual bagel picks like plain, scallion, vegetable, strawberry, blueberry, as well as a few more out-there flavors like bacon cheddar, lox, walnut raisin, olive and pimento, jalapeno, and sun dried tomato. Many of their cream cheese flavors are also made as Tofutti options, so don’t worry, vegan bagel lovers! Absolute offers a selection of deli items as well, including deli salads and meats as well as smoked fish (all of which you could get on a bagel). They also have hot and cold beverages. For such a small place, the options are abundant!
What I’m Eating
This time, I got one of my favorite bagel combinations: a toasted plain bagel with strawberry cream cheese ($3.80). The strawberry cream cheese is irresistible and a little treat to myself when I get it. It’s sweet, but not overwhelmingly sweet, and the strawberry flavor blends into the natural flavor of the cream cheese well. The cream cheese is also smooth and rich, and you can tell just by tasting it that it’s made fresh every day. The bagel was soft and doughy as usual and I like to have it toasted, even though the bagels are usually pretty warm without toasting them, because it makes the outside a little crispier while keeping the inside soft and warm. They are generous with their cream cheese, so eating the bagel can get a little messy, but every bite is worth the clean up.
I haven’t tried all of the cream cheeses, but I would recommend every bagel and every type of cream cheese that I’ve had there. Everything is quality made and fresh, and the people at Absolute are hard-working and friendly!
Absolute Bagels: (212) 932-2052
2788 Broadway (between 107th and 108th Streets)