[Manhattan] Russ & Daughters

Perhaps I’m generalizing, but you just know that a place that’s been in business since 1914 has to be good.

With so many restaurants to visit in NYC and so little time, we weren’t able to make visiting Russ & Daughters a priority on our trip there in February. Reasons being: 1. It wasn’t a restaurant but an appetizing store; and 2. How different could their signature lox and cream cheese bagel be from any old salmon bagel? We decided to try it only because it happened to be right beside Katz’s Deli, where we were having lunch. Having eaten our way through the entire morning and early afternoon, we were obviously too stuffed to keep eating. But since the spirit of the trip was, uh, #YOLO, we decided to do a takeout.

Best. Decision. Ever.

Lox and scallion cream cheese on a sesame bagel, USD 12.

I’d referred earlier to Russ & Daughters as an “appetizing store”, which is actually a term of art for a Jewish store specializing in bagel spreads. The spreads comprise dairy products (the cream cheese) and pareve items, which are considered “neutral” spreads containing neither dairy nor meat ingredients. Lox, or fillets of brined salmon, fall under the latter category.

On to the taste: Mindblowing. The slices of Gaspe Nova salmon, cold-smoked on site, were rich, succulent and possessed a wonderful satiny texture. For the topping we chose scallion cream cheese, which was smooth and went perfectly with the briny salmon. If you’re not a fan of scallions, Russ & Daughters offers other options like vegetable, horseradish (thass wasabi fer you), caviar or just plain ol’ plain. They even have tofu cream cheese options for the lactose-intolerant. Bagel was a little tough but totally expected as we’d been walking in the subzero temperature for a couple hours before finally getting around to eating it. Like the cheese, the bagels are customizable as well – choose between plain, poppy, onion, pumpernickel and everything.

So this isn’t exactly the cheapest bagel around. But the taste of the bagel makes the price totally worthwhile. And assuming you’re a tourist in NYC (very high probability, according to my blog stats) it’s going to be a one-off expense anyway. Unless you like it so much you keep returning, which is entirely possible.

Chocolate babka, USD 3.95 per slice.

In case you needed another reason to visit Russ & Daughters, they also do an AMAZING chocolate babka.

Babka, or dairy-free yeast cakes, are a Jewish take on pull apart bread. Russ & Daughters offers both cinnamon and chocolate renditions of babka, both hand-rolled and painstakingly layered with cinnamon or dark chocolate. We had the chocolate, which was just out of this world. Moist, soft and dangerously chocolatey… what more could you want in a pastry?

If you’re looking to bring these babies home, you can purchase a loaf of babka at USD 9.95. Ehhh on hindsight, it sure doesn’t seem very economical to buy them by the slice.

Russ & Daughters is one of those family-run establishments that take lots of pride in what they serve to their customers. It’s evident from the freshness and quality of the products offered here, all of which are made in house. There’s also usually a 30 minute long line for the bagels here, but we missed the lunch crowd so we didn’t have to wait very long. You really should stop by this place the next time you happen to be in Manhattan.

Russ & Daughters
179 E Houston Street
New York, NY 10002
United States

Nearest subway station: 2nd Av (F Line)

Opening hours: 8 am – 8 pm, Mondays to Fridays; 8 am – 7 pm, Saturdays; 8 am – 5.30 pm, Sundays.

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Comments
2 Responses to “[Manhattan] Russ & Daughters”
  1. Rich says:

    YES omg this was super good. They also have this amazing cake made with almonds and orange that I cannot remember the name of

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