If you've never had a bialy, you need to get yourself to the old European neighborhoods in the Lower East Side, grab an authentic bialy from Kossar's, and then accept the fact that you are a sheltered transplant living in a city of opportunity and judgment.
Yes, we're judging you if you've never eaten one of these beauties... we'll judge you even more if you call them a bagel.
Though they're in the same family as bagels, they're certainly a thing unto themselves. Think of it this way. A bagel is any common household kitty cat, where as a bialy is a more robust, rustic bobcat ready to pounce.
In reality, a bialy is similar to a bagel, but differs in the production. A bagel is boiled before being baked to give it its shiny crust and chewy crumb.
However, a bialy is merely shaped, filled with it's stuffing (traditionally cooked onions) and then baked. That is why the bialy's crust lacks the sheen of a bagel, while the crumb of the bialy is much less dense.
Still can't tell the difference? Try out a bialy from one of these most delicious spots in New York City to discover it in all of its glory first-hand.
1. Kossar's Bakery (367 Grand Street)
Want a traditional, authentic bialy the way it was made before WWII? You absolutely have to try a bialy from Kossar's. They're the last surviving bakery in NYC who used to be a part of the union, the Bialy Bakers Association.
Though they are no longer in their original location (due to a fire), their bialys are still incredible. However, many people feared that the beloved bialy bakery was doomed after closing for renovations, but those fears were unfounded.
Though the bialys now cost $1 rather than $0.90, they're still authentic and delicious, though you can get non-traditional bialy flavors as well.
2. Russ & Daughters (various locations)
alexshytsman Got up at 5:45 today to go to @cbstv with my @naturalgourmetinstitute team (did you catch our soups demo?!). Reward: @russanddaughters for breakfast 🎣
We're pretty sure you've heard of Russ & Daughters. It's a pretty well known location for bagels and lox, but did you know that they also served up their delicious schmears on bialys as well? Now you know. You're welcome in advance.
You can order Russ & Daughters' classic board with smoked salmon, cream cheese, tomato, onion, and capers with a bialy if you've reached a point in your life where bagels just seem too plain.
3. Hot Bread Kitchen (1590 Park Avenue)
hotbreadkitchen Kinda wishing we could get in on @eater editor @helenr's smoked salmon #bialy from @rdfoods. #hbkinthewild
If you've never heard of Hot Bread Kitchen, you really need to. Not only is this place pumping out incredible, authentic bialys, but it's also helping to empower women (though they also allow men) by teaching them necessary culinary and economic skills to encourage a career in the food industry.
It's essentially great bread for a wonderful cause. Not only are they giving you a wonderful product, but they are also giving back to the community in a way that makes true New Yorkers proud.
Their bialys are excellent. You can purchase 13 (a bakers dozen) for $24. Their bialys are filled with a combination of caramelized onions and poppy seeds, and baked directly on a hot hearth, rather than on a sheet pan.,
4. Fred's at Barneys (660 Madison Avenue)
chefmarkstrausman Bialys ever Sunday @fredsatbarneys #bagel #bialy #brunch #lowereastside #bialystok #smokedsalmon #jewish #jewishfood
Where's one of the best places to grab a dozen bialys in NYC? You'd probably never guess it, but it's inside of the Barney's on Madison Avenue.
Fred's at Barneys is serving up incredible bialys every Sunday. They are baked fresh every Sunday, and ready to be picked up and devoured by 11 a.m. in the morning. Whether or not you can withstand the allure of the chopped salad and go for a bialy instead is your prerogative, but we're choosing the bialy.
5. Hot Bialys & Bagels (116-63 Queens Blvd- Brooklyn)
hotbialysandbagels #bagels #homemade #hotbagels #hotbialys #fresh #handrolled #nyc
Not all bialys are created equal. Not all bialys are created exactly the same. By all traditional standards, Hot Bialy & Bagels isn't making the most authentic bialy, but that doesn't mean it's any less delicious.
Take it from us, order a BEC on a bialy from Hot Bialy's & Bagels. We're pretty certain that you'll have a life altering experience that will cause you to crave a BEC bialy forevermore, particularly one to the high standards of Hot Bialys & Bagels.
6. Barney Greengrass (541 Amsterdam Avenue)
michelle_mcelroy Mid-day #upperwestside #nosh #🔯 #bialy #lox #gravlax #whitefish #nycfood
When you're searching for a great bialy in NYC, you should really try to find a true, authentic Jewish deli making bagels and bialys the way that they do in the old country. Though you'll probably end up waiting on a line on weekends, the food is worth it.
Try the bialy with lox and cream cheese. Not only is the lox incredible, but the bialys are crispy, chewy and flavorful. If lox isn't your thing, get the sturgeon. They're not known as "The Sturgeon Kings" for nothing!
Check out 11 Best Bagel Shops in NYC.