In mid-May of this year, a post in the Great Kosher Restaurant Foodies group on Facebook generated buzz about a new kosher eatery in Washington Heights, certainly a rare sighting since the pandemic. The post, a photo of a storefront on Amsterdam Avenue with a sign reading “Bagel Bar NYC,” received dozens of comments from both local residents and parents of students at nearby Yeshiva University. “They really need a place like this,” wrote one parent. “Hopefully it’s fast and inexpensive that the high school boys [of MTA] can grab for lunch.” Similarly, others noted that they were excited for another dining option in the area. “Glad it’s coming,” wrote another commenter.
Two months later, on July 9, Bagel Bar NYC opened its doors for business. The owner, a young entrepreneur from Brooklyn named David Nahon, shared that the process took about a year from start to finish. “I was working at Burgers & Grill,” Nahon shared with The Jewish Link, referring to the neighboring meat restaurant. “We decided that it would be great to offer fresh bagels, sandwiches and salads to the local community.” In this case, “we” refers to Nahon’s partner, the owner of Burgers & Grill.
Upon hearing that Bagel Bar was created by the guys behind the neighboring eatery, it became immediately apparent why the decor of the new restaurant looked so familiar—it closely resembles Burgers & Grill, which has been a mainstay in Washington Heights for five years. The restaurant is adorned in a black wallpaper covered in phrases like “delish!” and “handcrafted with love,” and has several narrow countertops for indoor seating, as well as larger tables on the sidewalk outdoors.
As promised by its wallpaper, the menu items at Bagel Bar are crafted with expert care. Nahon noted that all of the baked goods, including the sandwich breads and pastries, are baked in-house every morning. Each item we sampled was incredibly fresh—the borekas crispy and flaky, the sandwich roll chewy and toasted to perfection. Nahon insisted that we try as many pastries as we could stomach, both savory and sweet, and while we didn’t have any more room to try them, our friends noted that the bagels were delicious as well.
“We’ll definitely be coming here more often,” one of our friends shared. “We’ve been waiting for a place like this in the neighborhood to take people for an easy breakfast or brunch.”
A standout item was the halvah-stuffed pastry roll, which packed a decadently sweet halvah flavor in just a few heavenly bites. We also enjoyed the cheese boreka, which was certainly large and could make for a meal on its own. The coffee drinks we sampled, a hot Americano and an iced caramel latte, were made to order and paired nicely with the various treats we tried.
As we packed up, Nahon pointed to the refrigerators where the cold drinks are stored. “We’re going to have a grab-and-go section in the very near future,” he said, adding that it will feature plenty of fresh salads and sandwiches made with their house-made breads. “We also have a full juice bar with pressed juices.” Nahon then brought out an array of colorful juices, which we didn’t have time to sample but made the other customers excited.
As we left, we decided the new Bagel Bar NYC is a welcome addition to the small-but-mighty Washington Heights restaurant scene. As Nahon and his team continue to solidify the menu, customers have plenty to look forward to—and we hope they stick around for a long time.
Bagel Bar NYC is located at 2547 Amsterdam Avenue and is under supervision of the Va’ad Harabonim of Riverdale.
Channa Fischer is digital editor of The Jewish Link and is the resident 20-something in the office. She resides in Washington Heights.