Dining

New York Classics: Zucker's Bagels

Where a bagel isn't just a bagel

When we have a fever, and the only thing that will cure it is cream cheese and lox on a poppyseed bagel, we know where to get our fix: Zucker's in Tribeca, where there's more going on than bialys and schmear.

"We do a lot of little things that people don't see," says founder Matt Pomerantz--who coincidentally also started a little bakeshop called Murray's Bagels in the 1990s.

All of the bagels ($1.15 to $1.45 each) are hand-rolled, kettle-boiled and slow-baked in a "big, inefficient oven" to get the proper texture. The pickles and sauerkraut that top corned beef stacked high on Orwasher's sliced Jewish rye ($9.95) come from nearby Brooklyn Brinery.

And that large coffee? It's brewed from La Colombe beans.


Now in its seventh year in Tribeca, Zucker's opened a second location in Murray Hill at the turn of 2013. At both outposts, the deli-slash-smoked fish house keeps a close eye on tradition, with a laser focus on "doing things right."

Freshness is a priority, even in the smallest details: When we recently bit into a dense, chewy marble rye bagel slathered with house-whipped scallion cream cheese, it was a singular Lucky's tomato slice that won our hearts: juicy, ruby-red and not at all mealy.

All 15 varieties of smoked salmon are smoked locally, and a superlative, chunky whitefish salad ($3.95 for a quarter pound) is made fresh from whole jumbo whitefish fileted and deboned in-house.

It's this attention to quality, as well as touch of the "more is more" mentality, that makes Zucker's stand out from the pack.

Pomerantz says, "We always give our customers a little bit too much. If you give the exact right amount, 50 percent of your customers think you didn't give them enough."

Zucker's Tribeca 146 Chambers St. New York NY 10007 212-608-5844 Zucker's Murray Hill 370 Lexington Ave. New York NY 10017 212-661-1080

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