Manhattan – Upper West Side
2788 Broadway (bet. 107th and 108th Sts.)
Manhattan, NY 10025
Some say Absolute Bagels are, ahem, absolutely the best. Indeed, fresh from the oven they're hard to beat: the egg version—as golden as a yolk—is a must, and the glossy, perfectly textured bagels are big, but not oversize. For those with smaller appetites, the 60-cent snack version is a popular draw, luring Columbia students into lines that wrap out the door on weekends. The storefront space is a bit shabby, with just a few tables and tinny pop music playing on the stereo. Kids love the sweet, fruity spreads like strawberry, blueberry and apple, while adults lean more toward standard schmears and Nova salmon. There's also olive and pimento Tofutti for the lactose intolerant.