Lox, cool and creamy cream cheese, and a classic New York bagel are the stuff of my dreams.
Of course, you can start the day with a smoked salmon bagel with Philadelphia, but it simply ain’t the same as the real deal served over the counter on the Upper West Side.
If you’re heading to NYC, here’s where you can sink your teeth into a classic lox bagel!
10 Best Places for Lox Bagels In New York City
Take a bite out of the big bagel with these delicious lox bagels. Nothing is better than a freshly baked authentic NYC lox bagel, and here’s where you’ll find them:
10. Absolute Bagels
This was my go-to stop for packed lox bagels when I lived on the Upper West Side near Washington Heights. In all honesty, the bagels are amazing, and I have eaten a lot of NYC bagels.
My only gripe is that a decade ago, you would have change from $10, but nowadays it’s $14 without blinking! Be prepared for the queues, especially on the weekends.
Address: 2788 Broadway, New York, NY 10025, United States
This Upper East Side breakfast stop does a mean lox bagel, complete with decadent accompaniments like capers, tomato, and onion.
Their bagels walk the line perfectly between crispness and chewiness and the lox was generously applied.
Address: 1229 1st Ave., New York, NY 10065, United States
C’mon, I’m not going to round up the best bagels in the city without a nod to the world-famous Zabars.
This is a great Broadway stop for an over-the-counter lox bagel or buying deli ingredients to treat yourself at home. The taste of New York!
Address: 2245 Broadway, New York, NY 10024, United States
7. Zucker’s Bagels & Smoked Fish
Zucker’s Bagels & Smoked Fish is a trad kosher deli with several shops across Manhattan. They serve a mean hand-rolled bagel stuffed with slabs of lox and schmear.
The Tribeca shop is a throwback to the New York City of yesteryear with vintage tiling and other classic delicacies like chopped whitefish.
Address: 146 Chambers St., New York, NY, 10007
6. Best Bagel & Coffee
This neighborhood joint does a mean lox bagel sandwich with some of my favorite extras. I love the unorthodox scallion cream cheese, tomato, capers, and cool cucumber!
Address: 225 W 35th Street, New York, NY
5. Murray’s Bagels
Murray’s Bagels is a classic NY deli that offers an impressive range of bagels and smoked fish options, but it’s their classic lox bagel that stands out.
A lox bagel is increasingly pricey, but this shop is worth a stop as they are generous with fillings. Enjoy yours sitting outside to people-watch with an iced coffee.
Address: Address: 500 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011, United States
4. Black Seed Bagels
Black Seed Bagels in Brooklyn is the perfect stop for chewy and crispy lox bagels. Their honey-boiled, wood-fired bagels are made fresh daily at 10 locations across the city.
For me, $15 is a bit much for a bagel sandwich, but they have outstanding lox and toppings galore!
Address: 214 Berry St, Brooklyn, NY 11249, United States
3. Tompkins Square Bagels
Tompkins Square Bagels is a popular NYC bagel and sandwich shop, with numerous outlets across the city.
Its specialty is a particularly tasty hand-rolled, kettle-boiled bagel that is sumptuous filled with salty lox and cool cream cheese. Big hint: try their dill cream cheese!
Address: 23 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003, United States
2. Tribeca Bagels
For many New Yorkers, a lox bagel is a necessary start to the day after a raucous night out. It’s no surprise that this Canal Street staple does great business 24 hours per day!
The lox with scallion cream cheese is decent, and if you want something different, you have a range of sandwiches, pizza, and burger to choose from.
Address: 374 Canal St, New York, NY 10013, United States
1. Leo’s Bagels
This Financial District bagel shop is where all the wolves of Wall Street head for a delicious hand-rolled lox bagel.
It’s an ideal spot for breakfast or lunch with a thick slab of cream cheese and layers of luscious lox!
Address: 3 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004, United States
New York City’s Lox Bagels FAQs
Are lox bagels a New York thing?
A lox bagel is an iconic New York bite, which makes the perfect breakfast, brunch, or lunch on the go in NYC.
Both the bagels and the lox were brought to the five boroughs by New York City’s strong Jewish community, but now this delicious combo has been wholly adopted as an authentic New York dish.
What is the best bagel with lox combo?
A lox bagel is best with a classic sweet and chewy plain bagel, smooth cream cheese, and slices of authentic unsmoked salmon (real lox).
Many New York City delis have created their own version of this dish with seeded bagels, smoked salmon rather than lox, and lots of added extras like onion, capers, and even tomatoes (eek!).
How much is a lox bagel in New York?
In these inflationary times, a classic lox bagel in NYC starts at $7, with prices as high as $25 for a lox and schmear bagel at premium delis like Sadelle’s.
What is the most popular lox?
The most popular ‘lox’ is actually smoked salmon. Unless you hit a legendary NYC deli like Zabars, it’s highly likely that you’ll be tucking into smoked salmon, with a familiar smoky and salty flavor.
Even New York Jews may consider smoked salmon lox, and be unaware that lox is salted belly salmon, and nova, (another popular lox substitute) is a lightly smoked salmon hailing from Nova Scotia!
Why do New Yorkers call salmon lox?
Lox is derived from the Yiddish word for salmon, ‘laks’. This delicious brined salmon was brought to NYC by immigrant jews from Eastern Europe.
Lox was popular with the Jewish community because it could be eaten with both dairy and meat without breaking dietary laws.
Why are lox bagels so good?
It’s the perfect combination of silky and savory salmon paired with fresh, cool cream cheese that has New Yorkers returning for these delicious bagels again and again. It’s easy to make a lox bagel your own with extras like chives, capers, and red onion!
Are you supposed to toast a lox bagel?
No, if you’re eating a freshly baked New York bagel, it should be crispy enough and satisfyingly chewy inside. Traditionally, a fresh bagel is never toasted.
Is a lox bagel healthy?
A lox bagel makes a protein-rich, savory start to the day. Cream cheese is high in fat, so it probably is not a daily meal. A typical lox bagel contains 480 calories with 17 grams of fat, 60 grams of carbohydrate, and 22 grams of protein.
What do New Yorkers put on their bagels?
Cream cheese, lox, or salt beef are typical toppings for an NYC bagel. But a lox bagel with schmear is definitely #1.
Stopping by one of these famous NYC delis for a fresh and tasty lox bagel will make you feel like a native New Yorker. However, these bagels are incredibly moreish, so it’s worth having a few bagel stops in mind as you walk the city!