Flatiron Lunch: Two Bagels w/ Whitefish Salad Below 23rd Street

Every Friday we go south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.

There are too many bagel places in the Flatiron area to continue to ignore them. Granted, not all bagels are created equal, and I still can’t wrap my head around how we lost H&H bagels. Instead of trying to write up each bagel spot, I, completely selfishly, decided to try the whitefish salad on bagel as my benchmark. If there isn’t a complete mutiny, this won’t be the last bagel post.

Starting below 23rd Street, I went first to the highly recommended Murray’s Bagels. Before I really thought through the best way to compare the different shops, I ordered a whole wheat everything bagel with whitefish salad ($7.25). Next time. They did not skimp on the salad.

I was immediately impressed by the huge pieces of whole whitefish in the salad. The only problem with the rough chop was they missed a few small bones. The mayo was minimal allowing the whitefish to really shine, and the bagel could not have been better.

Murray’s Bagels, 242 8th Avenue btwn 22nd and 23rd Streets, (646) 638-1335 Menu

Gramercy Bagels immediately struck me as trying to please everyone with paninis, salads, etc instead of focusing on being a bagel shop. (I probably should have known since the name has “and deli”. It was also clear I was the first person to order the whitefish salad ($6.95) the top layer of mayo had yellowed from sitting overnight.

Despite the slightly unappetizing (ha!) look, the whitefish salad was surprisingly good. The smoke flavor was great, but the bagel was too stiff without the right chewiness.

Gramercy Bagel, 246 3rd Avenue btwn 20th and 21st Streets, (212) 388-0080 Menu


  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Ess-a-bagel is my favorite in NYC, and their 3rd ave location is just below 23rd street.

    Bagel boss is pretty good too, they’re at 1st and 15th. They are dairy kosher.

    A bit off the wall, but I also suggest trying the bagels at Fairway, at 30th and 2nd and 26th and 6th. That might be more midtown than flatiron territory, though. They’re grocery stores, but they make faaaantastic bagels. Get the ‘Ben’s Best’ cream cheese and some of their hand-cut lox.

    I haven’t tried the whitefish salad at any of these spots, I mostly get egg sandwiches or cream cheese. But both Ess-a-bagel and Bagel Boss make _excellent_ bagels and unlike Murray’s, they’ll toast them for you.

    • Ess-A-Bagel is actually on 1st Avenue and 21st Street (the 35d Avenue location is on 50th street), and it is absolutely insane not to include them in this list. They make the best bagels on the planet. ON THE PLANET. They also happen to have very good whitefish salad, making it even more of a head-scratcher that they weren’t even mentioned in this article.

  • Whitefish salad … the smoked fish experience for teething infants

  • @wayne, so mean! I’m glad Sarah chose a benchmark, and as a fan of a good whitefish salad along with many other smoked offerings at appetizing counters, I’m especially invested in her findings.

    Not in the right area for this set of reviews, but just out of bounds Bagel & Schmear on 28th and Park has solid bagels, though the one time I tried whitefish there, it was just okay and too expensive for a weekday breakfast treat on the regular.

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.