As a lifelong New Yorker, I have my proclivities as to where I would go for my Jewish delicatessen (e.g. bagels and schmear). There’s always the old guard institutions like Russ & Daughters and Barney Greengrass. What I aim for the aforementioned is really the schmear than the bagel. I know it’s heretical but I never loved the huge fluffy New York-style bagel.
While Black Seed Bagels are not new to the bagel scene (their first location in Nolita opened in 2014), what I really enjoy is their Montreal-inspired bagels. I would metaphorically describe Black Seed’s bagel if the New York bagel and the Montreal bagel (à la St. Viateur) had a baby. It’s smaller, not as fluffy and bready as the New York-style bagel yet it has the chew of a Montreal style bagel. It’s a happy medium.
I schlepped to their new location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and found myself waiting on a short line even though it’s 8:15 AM on a Sunday morning. I’ve ordered a trio of bagel sandwiches: Classic on multigrain everything bagel, Pastrami Reuben on pumpernickel (as close to the classic sandwich as one would get), Brick Lane (pastrami with Coleman’s mustard and pickles). All were delicious and had a good ratio of filling to bagel.
I’ve also picked up their baker’s dozen of bagels, Catsmo smoked salmon, lox and dill cream cheese and their seasonal ramp cream cheese. This made for a wonderful brunch spread with my friends and family at home, especially when the sun finally came out. The salmon was just enough smoke flavor and just the right amount of fattiness. The ramp cream cheese was delightful as it delicately garlicy and onion flavored.
Black Seed Bagels
Multiple locations in NYC but went to:
214 Berry Street
Brooklyn NY 11249
Telephone: +1 (646) 876-2257