With all the coffee shops springing up out of nowhere in Bed-Stuy, I've decided to write this week's Top-Five on the classic New York coffee shop dish: A bagel with cream cheese.
There were a few years during college when I ate a bagel with cream cheese every day for lunch (and sometimes breakfast as well). Although it may not be the healthiest option out there, it is delicious, simple, and never more than $3.
Plus, you can change it up with different kinds of bagels and different kinds of cream cheese (I personally love bizarre cream cheese flavors, like jalapeno cheddar or green olive).
I checked out a few cafes, most of which have opened in the last couple years, and tried out their toasted bagels with cream cheese.
For a city that's pretty picky about its bagels, I have to say, Bed-Stuy isn't half bad.
5. Tiny Cup Cafe - 279 Nostrand Ave.
Tiny Cup Cafe, which reopened in December of last year with new owners, offers bagels with vegan or dairy cream cheese for $2.50. The vegan cream cheese is flavored with herbs and is surprisingly creamy. The bagels, while a little chewy for my liking, have a great flavor-- the perfect option for vegans!
4. Blu York - 1365 Fulton St.
This new coffee shop on Fulton Street opened up just last week and will soon be serving soups, salads, and sandwiches in addition to the coffee shop basics. I ordered a sesame bagel with salmon cream cheese, only $2.50. Salmon cream cheese is a great way to go if you love lox but don't want to spend a ton of money. The smoky, creamy, salmon flavor of the cream cheese goes well with the huge bagels they serve there.
3. Outpost - 1014 Fulton St.
Just past Classon on Fulton, this cafe and bar offers bagels with green olive cream cheese. The bagel is warm and crispy, and the green olives add a salty, almost bitter flavor that compliments the cream cheese surprisingly well. It's kind of like martini-meets-bagel with cream cheese. Sound strange? You have to try it before you bash it.
2. Daily Press - 505 Franklin Ave.
The new french press and espresso bar on Franklin Avenue offers delicious bagels with veggie or plain cream cheese for only $1.75. I was impressed by the crispy bagel with a soft center, delicious when toasted. I opted for the veggie cream cheese, a personal favorite, and was happy with the big chunks of scallion, carrot, and cucumber, which gave the dish a zesty flavor while keeping it fresh.
1. Crave - 212 Patchen Ave.
This new cafe and restaurant opened up a little over a month ago on Patchen Avenue near Macon Street. It's owned by the same people as Choice and Dough, so I knew it would be good. They only have plain cream cheese, but it is some of the best plain cream cheese I've tasted. It has a slight buttermilk flavor and is extra smooth and creamy, though not very thick. It's perfect with their incredibly fresh bagels, which taste like they are coming right out of the oven.