You always here about NYC having the best bagels, and when you go, there are bagel shops everywhere! It's so easy to find a fraud and so difficult to find the real deal. And if you do find the real deal, you are in luck if you don't have to wait an hour to receive this treasure. I got tipped off on one of the "supposed" best bagels in the city at Ess-a-Bagel, and I'll tell ya, my source did not do me wrong. In New York, it is a total tourist move to ask for your bagel toasted, and once you have a real NY bagel, you see why. You don't ask for it toasted because the bagel is supposed to still be warm and crispy from being cooked not so long before. If you are eating a bagel in NYC that needs to be warmed/toasted, you are not getting the real deal. At Ess-a-Bagel, I ordered an everything bagel with the full-on everything; shmear, lox, capers, tomatoes and red onions. This mother fucker was $11 and worth every penny. I've never tasted a bagel so fresh that the outside has a smooth crunch and the doughy inside is almost spongy. The briny capers and sharp flavor of the red onions were cut with the rich, thick cream cheese. The succulent cured lox literally melted in my mouth. These bagels were so good that I brought a few home in attempt to bring a taste of NY to SF, and the simple bagels are only $1 a pop. Ess-a-Bagel taught me all about the true NY bagel. Thank you and YUM!