If you’re the kind of person who only goes to a bagel place to order your usual and relish the familiarity, then Black Seed Bagels might not be for you. Sure, you can order that delicious everything bagel with cream cheese here just like you can everywhere else, but their main, all day menu steers you towards options much more outside the box.
Above the counter where you place your order is a chalkboard with a selection of bagel sandwiches, listed by number. Just a quick scan through this lets you know that Black Seed isn’t an average bagel spot. #2 has beet-cured lox, horseradish cream cheese, radish, and herbs. #3 has tobiko cream cheese (tobiko is flying fish roe–you know the little orange things you see in sushi sometimes), smoked salmon, and butter lettuce. #7 has ricotta, apple, and honey. If you’re here during lunch, you get to pick from even more varieties like a tuna melt bagel sandwich and a chicken salad bagel sandwich.
So, the ingredients are a little fancier (there’s a lot more going on here than just cream cheese and lox), but what about the prices? As expected, those are going to be a little higher than you’re used to as well. I got the #1, which has smoked salmon, cream cheese, tomato, red onion, and capers, and that cost $11–about middle of the road for sandwich prices here. The most expensive is $15 and that’s the one with sable (a kind of smoked fish), lox and dill cream cheese, red onion, and butter lettuce.
My mom ordered #10–the one with smoked trout, hard-oiled egg, dijon mustard, and arugula. Which reminds me to remind you…just like with the #10, not all of these bagel sandwiches have cream cheese, so make sure to look out for that if that’s what you’re expecting/wanting. When you order off the all-day menu, you get to choose what kind of bagel you want it on–I got an everything while my mom got a whole-wheat everything. The #1 was far and away our favorite. Whoever first discovered the glorious pairing of bagel + salmon + cream cheese, kudos to you!
Like I mentioned before, you’re totally able to come in here and just get one of their hand-rolled, wood-fired bagels and a spread (of the “standard,” “fancy,” or “fish” varieties). But before you decide to go that route, see what their daily special is. It could be anything from one with smoked salmon belly salad, cream cheese, and salt and vinegar chips on toasted sesame (this one was a chef collaboration with Alex Guarnaschelli of Butter) to one with slow cooked pastrami bacon, baked eggs, and gruyere on a rye-everything bagel (and this one was with Billy Durney of Hometown Bar-B-Que). Try getting one of those at your corner bagel place!
Salmon, cream cheese, tomato, and capers sandwich (#1); smoked trout, hard boiled egg, dijon mustard, and arugula sandwich (#10)
170 Elizabeth St
New York, NY 10012