The Bagel Bible

The true guide to New York City’s bagels.

The bodega around the corner most likely has “bagels” 24/7, but nothing compares to a true, fresh-out-of the-oven NYC bagel. Back in CT, I find myself craving these all the time so now that I’m back, it’s hard to stop eating them! Here’s my list of the top places to hit up (and places to steer clear of).

  • Hudson Bagels– Far and away the best bagels you will find in New York City. Luckily, this small, family-owned bagel shop isn’t super trendy and never has outrageous lines like many of these other places (a major + in my mind).
  • Murray’s Bagels– Overhyped and not worth the wait for a crunchy bagel. They do, however, have a very wide variety of cream cheese flavors.
  • Tompkins Square Bagels– Always incredibly crowded here. The line wraps around the store and out the door. That being said, their bagels are to die for.
  • H&H– One of the most famous bagel shops in the city. I don’t think they are worth the trek uptown, but if you’re in the area, may as well check it off your list
  • Bagels on the Square– First of all, it’s actually a bit of a walk from the square, unlike the name suggests… That being said, these bagels are just .. blah. Go to Hudson Bagels.
  • Bagel Bob’s– This is the NYC Freshman bagel headquarters. It’s right on University so it’s easy to stop in and grab something to munch on on the way to Stern. Unfortunately, the line can get very long during passing time.

LouLou’ – The Friendly Diner

LouLouI am an extremely picky eater so I was ecstatic to find this adorable diner, LouLou’, just a block away from the NYU building!

The staff even speaks english! I’ve eaten there four times now and know the wait staff pretty well. The majority of them are actually Australians living in Paris. It’s an “Australian Diner” so maybe they only hire Aussies?

The name comes from the common French term of endearment “LouLou.” I just think it’s absolutely adorable. Their food is magnificent and they even have take-out menus!

Every time I’ve been, I get the Vegetarian Bagel. It’s nothing like the bagels we think of in the US. The bagels we are famous for in New York are fresh, puffy, and al around superb (can you tell I’m biased?). The bagels here, however, are thin, crunchy, and very dense. I have seen many “American” bagel shops here (it must be the new trendy food) and all of them focus not on the bagel, but on the fillings. It’s like Potatopia ( ❤ ) in the East Village or Chipotle. It’s all about the toppings. The Vegetarian Bagel comes with fresh mozzarella, tomato pesto, basil, and guacamole. It is to die for. When I get back to New York, I’m definitely going to have to start making these for myself.


MacaronsThe thing I love most about Paris has got to be the macarons! My favorite shop is Pierre Hermé and some days I can’t resist stopping by after class for one or two (My favorite flavors are Passionfruit and Jasmine).

New York is probably the next best place to find macarons, but it’s no Paris. In New York, Ladurée is as close as we can get. It became one of the most famous brands after being highlighted in Gossip Girl and the movie Marie Antoinette. Personally, I don’t think Ladurée really deserves all the hype it gets. Ladurée sells an experience more than anything else. The light pastels, ribbons, gloved attendants, and everything Marie Antoinette. And I fall in love with it every time I walk through their doors. Their macarons are alright, but Pierre Hermé is on a whole different level. From the way they decorate the macaron shells to the bold, exciting flavors, Pierre Hermé trumps all others.

Cooking on My Own

BreakfastI hate cooking.
My whole life, I’ve had parents, cooks, or dining halls to prepare food for me. But because I’m here for an extended amount of time, I figured that it was as good a time as any to learn to cook.

So far, I’ve been sticking to basic recipes like french toast and scrambled eggs. This morning I got a little adventurous and tossed some veggies in with the eggs. I’m actually surprised how decent this meal looks in the photo! Finding maple syrup was the hardest part of the whole process.

That and peanut butter are rarities outside of the States. I had to go to an organic food store to find nut butters and even in the specialty store, there was only one tiny jar of “American Style Butter of Peanuts.” The strangest part was that it actually tasted like peanuts. I was just a jar of crushed peanuts without any salt, sugar, or preservatives. It’s probably much healthier, but I wish I packed that jar of Skippy before heading across the Atlantic!

What You Can Buy for 1 €

It Pastadoesn’t sound like a lot, but 1 euro can get you a long way in Paris!

You just have to know where to look. My favorite grocery store, Monoprix, is like a smaller version of Target. There’s a clothing department as well as kitchen ware, household products, and food. They’ve got everything from Oreos to hiking boots! Unfortunately there isn’t one near the dorms so I have to take a 10 minute metro ride to get to the closest location. Everyone thinks I’m nuts for going so far out of the way for this one store. There are grocery stores much closer to home, but for some reason I’m very attached to the Monoprix at Temple.

I have to cook some meals for myself in my little kitchenette while I’m here so keeping grocery costs low is a priority (more money for shopping!) Luckily, Monoprix’s prices do not disappoint. Each tBreadime the price comes up at the register, I’m shocked. Both this huge bag of pasta and this fresh loaf of bread were only one euro each. That bag of pasta is going to feed me for the rest of the month! For only one euro! You can get a box of cookies for 70 cents, a liter of milk for 90 cents or a one euro bottle of champagne! Maybe I’m getting a little too excited by groceries, but I think it’s incredible that (some) food is priced so cheaply!

My absolute favorite one euro purchase, however, can be found at a chain of thrift stores in le Marais called Free’P’Star. Last time I was in Paris, my friend dragged me there and I fell in love…but not immediately. The stores are dark and a little dingy with overflowing bins and racks of clothing filled to the max. It’s chaotic. Like worse than the Union Square Forever21 chaotic.. and that’s saying something.

Their draw-in factor is their infamous one euro bins. Shoppers go crazy digging through the huge tangles of old, slightly smelly clothes. There are a lot of horrible things in those bins. Stained shorts, old jerseys, ratty t-shirts *yuck*. But when you do find one great thing, it’s such a great feeling. You just have to find it before the crazy woman next to you does. Recently, I tossed a lot of the one euro clothes I previously purchased (the low price encourages you to just buy things, even if you’ll never wear them). My personal best Free’P’Star find was a denim jacket that I still wear to this day. I actually brought it back to Paris with me and it’s hanging in my closet right now!

I’m definitely going to head back there this trip and hopefully I’ll find some actually decent one euro clothes.

My First French Faux-Pas

StarbucksLet me start by saying that I am a serious coffee drinker.
So are the French, but in a very different way. Their drinks tend to be very strong and very small. They are meant to be enjoyed leisurely over the course of an hour. At cafés, you have to order “American Style Coffee” in order to get a cup that can hold more than five sips. My ideal coffee, however, is a large cup that you can chug on the go. Each morning in New York, I grab my Grande black coffee with cream from Starbucks and head off to class.

Unbeknownst to me, eating on the go is not a concept that the French understand or find acceptable. As my professor informed me, “Food is meant to be enjoyed. It’s not something you rush.” On the Metro, you will never see any Parisians sipping coffee or even nibbling on a granola bar. They set aside time for food in their schedules and sit down for every meal.

There are only 39 Starbucks locations in Paris (compared to Manhattan where there are nine Starbucks stores for every square mile! (yes, I did the research)). So when I passed one on Rue de Rivoli, I couldn’t resist. I may have gotten a few stares, but who cares! I’m a tourist!