I wanted to try Ess-A-Bagel forever! It is one of those iconic New York City eating establishments. Plus, you have to eat a New York bagel with schmear, right?
There are more than 30+ spreads to choose from to top your bagel. Even if you're vegan, they have you covered. You can choose one of a variety of soy/tofu-based spreads.
I had my heart set on a belly lox bagel, so that's what I ordered. That's not to say I was not tempted by many of the other sandwich choices.
After I mentioned what I wanted to eat, my friend also decided she wanted lox and then decided to get the Nova lox bagel sandwich. The Nova comes with cream cheese, lox, lettuce, capers, and tomatoes.
I got an everything bagel, but there are about 15 bagel varieties available every day. The bagel was SO fresh! By that I mean it was straight from the oven. I waited while they took it out of the oven. It was chewy in the middle. The lox is smoked very nicely and was not TOO salty. I opted to not get my sandwich toasted since it was straight from the oven, but you can get it toasted if that's your style.
This sandwich was SUPER filling. I was only able to finish half of the sandwich. I definitely wish my friend and I shared. I had to walk around all day with a half of a bagel sandwich in my purse. (I'm awkward) ><
I was kind of surprised by the price. I didn't really research it before going, I just knew it was on my eat list. The sandwich was $10.75.
If you order something other than the lox bagel sandwich, though, the prices are a lot cheaper. If you just get a bagel with cream cheese, you will likely pay around $5.
As it is a deli, there are a ton of sandwich choices, desserts, and drinks. In the back of the store, there are a few tables...maybe seats for about 30 people total. It is a little cramped seating-wise, though. My friend and I were basically in the middle of a business discussion at the next table because it was so close and this poor girl on crutches was hopelessly stuck in the middle.
Overall, it was good, but not necessarily good enough for me to go out of my way to get again.
It is definitely an institution, though. So, if you're in the area and have a hankering for bagels, check it out.
Just remember to bring CASH!
831 3rd Ave at 51st St.
Lexington Ave/53rd St (E, M), 51st St (4, 6, 6X)