I have a ‘thing’ about proclaiming something the ‘best’ which goes even further when such leans toward coffee, bagels, croissants, muffins and so forth.
Different, yes, but I ask, how great can they be?
About croissants, I have written that those at Epice are mighty fine, the closest to a Parisian croissant I have discovered locally but in Paris itself, there is no such thing as a ‘best’ croissant.
Onto bagels, where New York is considered the Paris of this gnosh, it is not so easy to find a really good bagel anymore. Not without guidance.
Modern Bread and Bagel has surfaced as exemplary, using criteria such as size and texture, seed and salt density, spread texture and store style.
Mike Varley included it in a list of fifty bagel joints by walking the equivalent of 3500 miles throughout the 5 boroughs in 13 months, and compiled a list—subject to change—that pretty much trumps anything anybody else has done to date.
There are three in my neighbourhood that rank up in the paint cards:
4.5 / 5 (#3 in NYC) Modern Bread and Bagel Gluten-Free (no less) A ‘proper’ bakery Cream Cheese: ‘Impeccable’
4.25 / 5 (#25 in NYC) Broadway Bagel ’Fresh and temperant. Fantastic’
4.25 / 5 (#25 in NYC) Absolute Bagels ’standard taste and texture’