Serves meat, vegan options available. Bagel and sandwich restaurant that offers around seven tofu cream cheese options. Open Mon-Sun 6:00am-5:00pm.

Venue map for Ess a Bagel - 3rd Ave
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39 Reviews

First Review by ·X·


Points +1232

13 Feb 2024

Lots of vegan options

Got a multi grain bagel with veggie tofu cream cheese and it was very good! Like 90% sure the tofu spread is Tofutti



Points +4367

27 Nov 2023

Excellent Bagel!

OMG, I am writing this review and missing that toasty bagel I had from Ess-a-Bagel. My most recent trip to NY had us staying at a nearby hotel, and seeing that they had vegan tofu spreads, I was ready to try.

I had their everything (sesame) bagel with a scallion tofu spread and wow... this was everything. The bagel was chewy and toasty, and spread was delicious and tasted like a lighter cream cheese, and the combination of tomatoes, lettuce, red onion, and added avocado made this one loaded NY bagel.

I was only able to eat half since they were so filling but definitely saved the other half for another time. Next time I'm in the city, I'll def be back to try another bagel sandwich with another plant-based spread.


Points +201

23 Aug 2023

Great bagel

Had a great bagel with lettuce, tomatoes and plant based cream cheese (derived from tofu). Staff was a bit uninformed, but in the end they managed to get our order straight. They didn’t mark the plant based options on the menu, so you need to ask for it.


Points +97

23 Jul 2023

Uninformed staff

Two employees told me that the bagels were not vegan; they explicitly said that "we have some vegan spreads but the bagels themselves are not vegan". I now see that the same happened to another reviewer below, and that the restaurant's FAQ clarifies those employees were wrong. I wish I had known about the FAQ at the time, as I ended up leaving without eating anything and was very disappointed.


Points +176

Mostly Veg
24 Apr 2023

Favorite NYC Bagel Spot (so far)

I've been to this bagel shop on two different trips to NYC, I love how generous they are with the tofu cream cheese (plain, veggie, or scallion). All their bagels were vegan and both times I've gone the bagels were fresh- still warm from the oven! Price is a little high, but typical for NYC ($5.75 for a bagel with tofu schmear, though it was less than $4 in 2019😒)
It can get pretty busy, and I've always had to wait in line; there is , it's an in-and-out type of place, but I get a little smiley face on my bagel wrapper, so that's all I need.

Pros: Fresh!, Service with a smiley

Cons: Not a place to sit and chill


Points +18

27 Jul 2022

Great beagle

I have had an amazing beagle with tofu cream but unfortunately I have got the wrong coffee. I have asked 3x about oat milk from 2 different people and I have ended up with a normal milk 😞


Points +18

11 Jul 2022

No vegan options.

They did not have vegan bagels.


19 Dec 2022

The bagels themselves are vegan. Maybe they were out of vegan cream cheese?


19 Dec 2022

To me the staff told that the bagels are not vegan. Why aren't they aware of what they are selling then?


19 Dec 2022

Not sure, I just checked their website FAQ while standing in line and this is what it says "Are your bagels made with nuts, eggs & milk?

No! Our bagels do not contain ANY animal products (no milk or eggs) and are nut-free. "


19 Dec 2022

Okay 🤔 I don't know why they were not able to make me a vegan bagel then but just said no when I asked. I tried to find out with another customer whether the bagels themselves are vegan and the answer was still no. The similar situation happened couple of times in NY. The staff was not aware whether the product they are selling contains animal products. I guess I then had a bad customer service experience. I even said "but u are on happycow" 🤷‍♀️


19 Dec 2022


Points +114

01 Jul 2022

Even the wrong order was delicious

Tofu cream cheese is fantastic. The line was very long but moved quickly. Unfortunately they made a mistake with my order so I ended up with a cinnamon raisin bagel and herb tofu spread. I couldn’t be bothered to go back and address it. Even with the odd combination of flavors, it wasn’t bad. The bagel and tofu were both delicious, though I wouldn’t necessarily order them together!

Pros: Tofu spreads , Multiple vegan bagel flavors

Cons: Long line


Points +786

18 Jun 2022

Delicious bagels with tofu cream cheese

We LOVE these bagels and LOVE that we can get tofu cream cheese right at the shop!!!! The plain, herb, and raisin walnut are all great. Be aware for the non-Jews here that fish is pareve, so if you order the lox tofutti it has real fish.

Also, highly recommend taking your bagel to-go from the Third Ave location and walking a block to eat it in Greenacre Park.

Updated from previous review on 2022-06-18


Points +614

05 Jun 2022

Fantastic Bagels & Tofu Cream Cheese

Tofu cream cheese tastes almost like the real thing. Absolutely delicious and many different varieties/flavors too!


Points +61

03 Jun 2022

Good variety

Bit of a queue but it moves fast and is well worth it! We had bagel each for breakfast and it filled us up til lunch! There were a lot of tofu spread flavours, I particularly loved the sundried tomato on an everything bagel!

Pros: Great variety of options


Points +592

28 Nov 2021

A must every time I’m in NYC

Ess A Bagel is my number 1 breakfast spot whenever I am in town. Great variety of bagels, reasonable priced, amazing tofu spreads. I recommend the sundried tomato tofu spread on a whole wheat everything - but everything else I tried so far was great as well. Beware of the queue, though - if you are in a hurry, online order works fine and you can skip the line.

Pros: Many vegan spreads

Cons: Crowded during peak times


Points +47

04 Oct 2021

Yummy vegan cream cheese

A lot of vegan spreads! I tried the sun dried tomato and it was really delicious. Soy latte was really good too!

Pros: So many vegan cream cheese options!

Cons: Long wait! Order ahead!


Points +2600

08 Aug 2021

Tofu cream cheese bagels

Great choice of tofu cream cheese. Queue is always long but be prepared to know what you want when you get to the front! A must have, try and go on a weekday outside of meal times. We got ours to go


Points +130

23 Sep 2020

Best Bagels Ever

Amazing bagels and tofu cream cheeses of so many flavours! Honestly going to Ess-a is an experience all 'round. From the line, to the staff, to the most fantastic bagels and tofu cream cheese. It's our first stop in the city no matter what time we arrive and we always get a dozen to fly home. It's a must go!

Pros: Best bagel experience , Tofu cream cheese , Close to Grand Central

Cons: Get there early, line can be long but worth it


Points +7560

01 Dec 2019

Very good tofu spread

Very good bagels and tofu spreads (only few, though) but not sure if worth a queue of 1,5 hour... Cheap

Pros: Tofu spreads

Cons: Queue!!!!, Few vegan options


Points +12996

01 Nov 2019

Great bagels with tofu

This place has truly great bagels, among the best in NYC, and a bunch of options for tofu cream cheese. The tofu cream cheeses taste surprisingly good! On a weekend morning, there can be a huge line--this place is very popular. Bagels with tofu cream cheese taste good, but are not particularly healthy--but this place is great if you have a yen for bagels.

Updated from previous review on 2019-10-29

Pros: Delicious bagels

Cons: Not particularly healthy


Points +441

26 Sep 2019

So Good!!!

The cream cheese was light, fluffy and delicious. The bagel delicious! Totally hit the spot.


Points +44

14 Sep 2019

Bagels are awesome!

Hhe Bagels are good, but i am not entirely sure they are vegan..
there are 3-4 vegan spreads which are good.. but honestly the place could be better organized.. you come inside and you do not learn about the vegan options on the screen. the line is every das crazy long, so be ready to wait at least 15 minutes to eat a bagel.

Pros: Good food, Bagels are mostly still warm

Cons: not many vegan options, not well discribed


19 Dec 2022

Just in case anyone else is worried after this comment: yes, the bagels are vegan. I checked their FAQ


Points +100

02 Sep 2019

(Unorganized) Deliciously Pricey Bagels

Amazing texture and they even had 3 flavors of vegan cream cheese! However, expect to wait even with a ton of staff hanging around. Ended up paying $52 for a to-go of 3 signature sandwiches and a juice all while waiting 30 minutes (6:50-7:20am) on a not so busy day. It’s a “walk up” and we left the shop starved (since it was a to go).

Great food but unless I order my sandwiches the day before, won’t be returning.

Pros: Vegan cream cheese, Delicious

Cons: VERY expensive , Slow service


Points +73

20 Jul 2019


I had Bagels before. Not that many, but some. But those bagels blew my mind. Srsly! We stayed 5 nights in NYC and on 3 mornings we went to E-A-B. I would have dined in every day, but, we had to try some more stuff. Awesome. I wish they would open a franchise in some big cities in germany with the same concept, i guess the lines would be even larger than those beyond 7am in NYC. (simply bc NYC has a lot more bagel-selling stores around).

Pros: 10 types of Bagels, 7 types of vegan cream cheese, cheap and good

Cons: crowded sometimes


Points +29

19 Jul 2019

Vegan cream cheese convert??

Before having this bagel, I was a hard cut anti-vegan cream cheese vegan. I had tried others and thought they were all gross!
This was amazing though! They had so so many sweet and savory options of tofu spreads. I went with veggie. All their bagels are vegan (one has honey though). I settled on an everything whole wheat. Some toppings (lettuce onion etc) are free, too.
Great fruit and coffee too😄staff are very friendly. I recommend ordering before hand online to beat the crowds!

Pros: Friendly staff, So many vegan options and vegan milk, Huge bagel sandwich was under 10$

Cons: Can be a bit busy—order online


Points +1520

02 Mar 2019

Ess I Can

Great option for vegan bagels while in New York City, New York State. They put a tonne of cream cheese on them.

Pros: Good Number of Vegan Cream Cheeses, Beautiful Ceiling


Points +60

17 Feb 2019

Worth the wait

Super long lines but worth it! Love the everything bagel with scallion tofu and sun dried tomato tofu


Points +30

19 Dec 2018

Best bagels

The bagels with the tofu cream cheese are just amazing! Definitely worth waiting in line for.


Points +418

24 Aug 2018

Very good bagels

This place is a must for vegan bagels!
They have cream tofu with sun dried tomato, chives and a couple of other flavors and it's seriously tasty. Also peanut butter and jelly is available with two flavors (grape and strawberry).

The best part is the service. All the employees are super friendly and even tho it gets incredibly crowded, it's worth the wait.

A quick tip: you can order online and they'll tell you when to pick it up according to the current waiting time. This way you don't have to stand in line.

Pros: Vegan cream tofu, All the bagels themselves are vegan, Friendly staff

Cons: none


Points +979

03 Aug 2018

Tofu cream cheese done right!

Get all the fixings for a great bagel with no animals being harmed.

Pros: Tofu cream cheese in multiple flavors

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