NYC bagel shops challenge critic's claim California bagels are better

This is not a debate Scott Goldshine ever imagined would be necessary. He's the general manager of Zabar's and has worked there for 43 years. Zabar's is the famed bagel shop on the Upper West Side where some things, generally, go without saying.

However, on this night Scott feels obligated to say it.

"New York absolutely has the best bagels," he said confidently.

New York, the unquestioned standard-bearer of the breakfast bagel, now has some competition, at least according to The New York Times. A restaurant critic and former New Yorker Tejal Rao has gone rogue. His recent opinion piece is titled "The Best Bagels Are in California (Sorry, New York)."


"It's California, everything is different. More exotic," Goldshine said.

That's exactly why The Times gives the Golden State the upper hand. Rao writes that shops in LA and San Francisco are testing new recipes. He described one as "chewy, but not densely so, with a shiny, sweet-and-salty crust." And he also showcases a half bacon and avocado and half lox bagel.

Whether the new trend tops tradition is of course a matter of taste. Cliché intended.

In the end, perhaps it's a rare time that Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks for all New Yorkers when he tweeted about the story, "Yeah, absolutely not."

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