This Is NYC’s Best Bagel

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In a blind taste test, seven judges ranked bagels bought fresh from top-rated shops across NYC to crown a winner.

Chris Ritter

Why a New York City bagel tasting contest now? Others have ranked New York bagels, but nothing recently — meaning they've missed out on a crop of new arrivals.

We kept it simple: plain bagels only. No toasting. Cream cheese optional. Judges were invited to handle the bagels as they wished. There was sniffing, tugging, manipulating. Judge Anthony Weiner (yes that Anthony Weiner), who worked at a Park Slope bagelry long before entering politics, compacted one sample between outstretched hands so that it ended up looking like a kaiser roll.

He wore a displeased look.

“You don't want air pockets,” he said. “It means that it sat out between the time that it was rolled and the time that it went into the water.”

The bagel that won did so by a landslide.

“Zaftig,” wrote Ben Smith, BuzzFeed editor, about the bagel that would end up winning. (That means juicily plump in Yiddish.)

“Great look,” wrote Weiner on his scorecard.

“Bulbous,” said Adam Sachs, editor of Tasting Table. (He meant it as a good thing).

Judges Adam Sachs, Anthony Weiner, Emily Fleischaker, and Ben Smith taste their way toward gluten-induced coma.

David Bertozzi / BuzzFeed

Peter Shelsky hosted the contest at his namesake bagel and appetizer shop in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

David Bertozzi / BuzzFeed


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