hh midtown bagel

H&H Bagel-lovers, your prayers have been answered — sort of. A new bagel store known as H&H is set to open up at 526 Columbus Avenue between 85th and 86th street this winter.

But it’s not owned by the same people as the iconic H&H Bagels that closed its location on Broadway and 80th in 2011. This new store is a spinoff from the H&H Midtown Bagels East, a bagel shop at 2nd avenue and 80th street.

H&H Midtown was once connected to the West side store, but a new owner took over after the original company went bankrupt in 1980. Both stores were then named H&H, but the West side owner, Helmer Toro, eventually sued the East side store, forcing it to change its name. Thus, H&H Midtown Bagels East was born.

H&H Midtown (which oddly enough isn’t in midtown) gets four very respectable stars on Yelp, and wins plaudits for its fresh-made bagels and toppings. Unlike the West side H&H, this one puts the toppings on for you. It’s also open 24 hours a day.

We heard earlier this week that a bagel store was moving in, and commenters tipped us off that it would be H&H. The company has posted the new store on its homepage; we have a call in to the owner and hope to learn more about the expansion soon.

Image via yelp.

NEWS | 45 comments | permalink
    1. Lulu says:

      is that a pic of their bagels or did you post that because that’s one sad looking specimen.

    2. drg says:

      As an aside….
      Why don’t NYC bagel places make sourdough or marble rye bagels anymore?
      I have searched high and low, to no avail.

    3. ScooterStan says:

      Besides the usual bagels, will they also have FLAGELS ?

      For those unfamiliar, a FLAGEL is a flattened bagel…so flattened it looks as if it had been run over by an old-fashioned steam-roller…or had been slept upon by Melissa McCarthy (now there’s an unappetizing thought!)

      For the curious, you can find your FLAGEL at Fairway, and maybe other emporia.

      • YoungSally says:

        Murray’s sells flagels….but they call it something else…flatsies/flatties…

    4. zeus says:

      A disclaimer first:
      I am not working at Fairway, nor do I
      know anyone who does work or is associated
      at Fairway.

      Want the best bagel?
      Go to Fairway on 74th street.
      Even when H & H was open on 80th street, Fairway’s bagels were superior.

      • Christina says:

        That’s a matter of opinion. I always thought H&H best for me!

        • Sherry says:

          I never liked H&H bagels. They tasted sweet and oily. Absolute Bagels, all the way. And the underappreciated Lenny’s.

        • Zeus says:

          Of course it is a matter of opinion.
          As the saying goes:

          “You can’ target about taste and smell”.

      • richard says:

        Fairway used to have good bagels, but not anymore. Not sure when they changed but the last time I bought bagels there, they were awful. Same for Zabars, their bagels have gone downhill as well.The old H&H just plain sucked, too sweet.
        Absolute Bagels is the best in my opinion, nobody else is close.

        • $6 Mil says:

          I agree that Absolute has great bagels and you never can complain about too little cream cheese.

      • Christina says:

        I almost forgot about another great bagel place I used to go to in the teens or 20’s on 1ave. Essa bagel… They had great bagels as well!

    5. Jeff says:

      You guys. A mom-and-pop bagel shop of great pedigree is opening on the UWS in 2015. That’s amazing news and we should all be thrilled.

    6. jezbel says:

      Realizing that we all perceive taste differently and that there is probably nothing we can all agree upon — I cast my vote for the old H & H bagels. I started shopping there in 1975 and when I had to move out-of-state I bought them through the mail (pre-internet). I’ve never had a better bagel anywhere. Ever. I guess I like “sweet” bagels. All the big hotels used H & H for their guests’ breakfast needs for years. I miss them terribly.

      • AC says:

        I’m right there with you Jez. There was only one H&H Bagel Store in the world and there was only one Helmer Toro and Hector Hernandez. I remember when bagels where 15 cents back in the early 70’s.

        Forget adding cream cheese or butter, they were a true bagel store!

    7. Ed says:

      H&H, Fairway, Absolute, Essa, Tal, you people, once again, got it all wrong. You want a bagel that tastes the same every time you bite into it Summer, Winter, Spring or Fall? These “small time” places can’t compete. For the very best, head on over to any freezer section of any supermarket and pick yourself up a bag of Lender’s Frozen Plain bagels. These white pillowy circles are the Jewish equivalent of Wonder Bread. They last forever in the freezer so they’ll be with you through all the phases of your carb/no carb diet. These frozen bad boys come out of the bag with the slight pucker of freezer burn having most of the moisture extracted during their hibernation next to the box of frozen brussel sprouts. But pop them in the toaster (after you loose a couple of digits trying to cut them) and in a few minutes you’ll have a hot golden brown flour donut that has all the flavor of a pencil eraser…..mmmmm….dee-lish. You see this way they don’t take away from the flavor of your toppings. So whether it’s Marmite or government cheese that floats your boat, culinary nirvana is just a freezer away. 🙂

      • Cato says:

        Somehow I suspect — fear! — that many of our newer neighbors will take you seriously. And they probably buy (or send the nanny out to buy) their Lender’s bagels at the nearest Duane Reade.

        • Ed says:

          Cato, you’re probably right. So in the interest of full disclosure, I wrote the above with bagel planted firmly in cheek.

      • Elizabeth M. says:

        Hey Ed, good satire. I hope you’re kidding, in NYC you never know. Must say sounds disgusting. But I guess someone will eat it. I’ll check out the new place.I pass it almost every day and was told about it before Laundry Room Plus posted a sign. I guess some people will be upset because they washed their clothes there and self-service laundromats are disappearing. Everything is changing, is it for good or evil? Seems it will go on whether or not we like it.

      • Amy says:

        Joke all you like but I grew up on Lenders. It was all we had in the suburbs. I don’t think I even knew what a real bagel was til I moved here at 18. And there’s probably a bag in my parents’ freezer right now. The key is butter. Tons and tons of butter.

        • Ed says:

          Amy, I grew up on Long Island and it’s true Lenders is a staple in the burbs. But once you’ve reached the top of the mountain, it’s hard to go back to the valley. Rest assured even among some of us snotty upper west siders there are still people in the “Lenders Closet”. As far as I’m concerned, it’s all good. I just wanted to bring some levity to the bagel wars.
          But if you really want to stir the pot, is Kraft or Breakstone’s cream cheese better? LOL

      • Christina says:

        Hahaha! Lender’s frozen bagels were around when I was a kid They still exist??? Yikes!

        • Cato says:

          They’re probably actually the same ones that were around frozen when you were a kid. I mean, what difference would it make?

    8. UWS Dad says:

      I really like Tal Bagels on Broadway at around 90th. Very big and doughy.

    9. Mark says:

      I haven’t tried a bagel from the H&H on 2nd Ave. Are they any good?

    10. HB says:

      i almost don’t want to blow it’s cover but lenny’s on 98th and broadway has some of the best bagels ive ever had. the store itself does need a makeover, but the bagels and spreads there rock!

      • CE says:

        So many good bagel shops to choose from. I’ve been going to Lenny’s recently, but I’d probably go to Absolute Bagels if it were a little closer.

    11. lucette says:


    12. MadameO says:

      Lived across the street from the real H&H. Loved it, missed it, but moved on. Literally- to 100th Street, where I happily devour Lenny’s bagels. Lenny’s on 98th and Bway is the real deal- hot, nasty place with amazingly for-real for this day and age, bagels.

    13. Lucien Desar says:

      groys nayes!!! this is fantastic news!!! 🙂

    14. Karen says:

      This is indeed exciting news. When I moved here from Germany decades ago and was living in Brooklyn we were near H&H and I fell in love with their bagels.
      Thank you WSR for sharing the good news with us

    15. Howard says:

      What welcome news! Maybe H&H can provide us once again with their specialty: the underdone $3 bagel on which they will pay no tax.

    16. jsf says:

      Happy am I! When my diet ends (???) I’ll be on line! Yay!

    17. Christina says:

      A friend of mine’s parents used to make their own bagels. They blew all of these places out of the water!!!! Maybe I’ll try to make them. And then I wouldn’t debate who has the best because with their recipe, mine would be.

    18. Eric says:

      It was my unshakeable belief that the best bagels in the five boroughs were made at the (long closed) Star of David bagel store on Main St. in Queens across from Mt. Hebron Cemetery … UNTIL … I tasted an Absolute everything bagel. THEY are the best.

    19. Epz says:

      Once you load up a bagel with fixins (tuna, cream cheese etc) you dont really taste the difference. I prefer ANY bagel that is soft and fresh. H&H on 80th fit the bill because they were baking around the clock and always had something hot.
      I also like Zabars bagels because they are generally fresh and “only” 95 cents. After 6pm they are often 3 for a dollar. Fairway bagels taste just fine, but you have to get them when they arrive or they are hard.

    20. MJ says:

      My issue with H&H is you can’t get anything on them. Will that be the case here? I would LOVE a Murray’s. Best bagel in the city in my opinion.