Black Seed Rating: 6.5
Everyone knows you can get a decent bagel on almost any corner of NYC but you might never dream of doing so except in the most dire of hangover situations. The one exception to this rule is Black Seed Bagels, aka the closest a bagel store will ever come to being chic. Black Seed is a Montreal import, and any betch who's ever had a Montreal bagel knows that they are small, i.e., ideal for those on a diet. I mean, everyone knows a bagel should really only be eaten if it's too small to scoop out already.
If you're not an adventurous eater, a trip to Black Seed might be a waste of your time. We're pretty sure it's not even possible to get something as lame and simple as a bagel and cream cheese at Black Seed, because between the beet-cured lox and tobiko cream cheese, this place only has chic versions of your classic bagel toppings. Leave your friend who doesn't appreciate exotic ingredients at home or like, at the bagel place that got a C.
It feels like a regular bagel store, but like, a little bit better. Maybe because it's new and hasn't turned disgusting yet. Whatevs, it's not particularly large so if it's busy you'll probably be waiting on top of people. We definitely recommend going at an off time, aka not a weekend morning. If you go when everyone's at work that's probably the best time, and if you say you can't because you yourself have work then that's just a personal travesty.
Hipsters, bagel enthusiasts, and extreme foodies who run a secret food instagram account with like 800 followers. (But it's really growing you guys!)
Let's just say there's a reason they don't call it Black Speed Bagel. When they first opened, apparently the lines were crazy but they've calmed down a bit. We weren't even there at a crowded time and it was still by no means a quick transaction. I guess that's what happens in Canada? It's the kind of place where you place your order, you pay, and then they call your name when it's ready after what feels like a full moon cycle. We get that this place is a little more intense than a regular bagel store but we're pretty sure the fact that the almond butter is made in house should not mean that it takes longer to spread.
What celebrity might you run into? Sarah Jessica Parker & children
Is it instagram friendly? If this place banned instagramming their bagels, I think half the people would leave.
Dress code: This isn't the kind of bagel store that you run out of the house in your pajamas and run home to your couch before anyone sees you, so try to be like, one step up from hot mess.
Good for: Adventurous eating, satisfying the craving you've had since the first time you tried it
The bagels are wood fired and being Montreal style, they are small and a bit more dense than your typical New York bagel. They have all the usual flavors, but if you don't get there early they might run out of multigrain or anything else that's preferable to plain.
We definitely recommend getting their signature sandwiches as opposed to regular items, though pretty much everything on the menu is unique (beet cured lox, kale salad, German potato salad instead of just normal potato salad, etc.) or at least house made (almond butter, jam, tofu cream cheese).
Also, the iced coffee. The brand is Stumptown (calling all hipsters), it's strong and good and I'm craving it right this second. The only coffee-related complaint I have is about the coffee prep area, where it's crowded and the countertop to add your milk and Splenda is only like a square foot to be shared with other people. Tragic.
Beet cured salmon with horseradish cream cheese, radish, and herbs: There was a ton of salmon, which I'm not complaining about. It sort of tasted like normal lox but a little bit softer. The radish was a nice touch, and I never would've thought to put a radish on a bagel so hat's off to whoever got high and dreamt that one up. Also, they definitely take the cream in cream cheese very seriously.
Tobiko spread with salmon and butter lettuce – I know, what ridiculous person thought to themself, I know what this lettuce is missing…butter!! (Commenters: WE KNOW.) A really ridiculously smart person, that's who. Honestly it doesn't taste all that buttery, like I probably wouldn't have even noticed if I didn't know it was called that. The tobiko spread is literally unreal, as long as you're a person who likes tobiko. If you're someone who's always thought it was a shame that you can't have sushi for breakfast, then this is your dream.
Salmon cream cheese, red onion, tomato & capers – The closest thing to a “standard” bagel you can get. The perfect choice for your non-foodie friend who doesn't give a shit and keeps wondering why you couldn't just get a bagel in Murray Hill.
170 Elizabeth Street
New York, NY 10012
^Disclaimer: This website has no menu and is basically useless.