Who does bagels and lox better Sadelle’s or Russ & Daughters?
Did you know: Bagels were introduced to America in 1946 (later than I expected, poor people pre-1946…didn’t know what they were missing). Surprisingly, Bagels were introduced by a family in Larchmont NY, not New York City, the bagel capital of the world.
While the bagel wasn’t introduced until the mid 1900’s, Russ & Daughters opened their
first shop location on E Houston, where they sold smoked and salt cured Salmon and Herring. To this day their shop is still always packed. I love picking up bagels and lox at the shop to bring home and enjoy. Sure home is a long subway ride away, but Russ & Daughters salmon belly lox, cream cheese and salmon roe are more than worth it! (Pro tip: try the halvah its really good!).
Beyond just their shop, Russ & Daughter’s opened the Russ & Daughters Cafe on their 100th anniversary! The cafe is not far from the shop, but the location kind of feels like it is in the middle of no where. The cafe has very little competition around, however, I do believe their location is prime real estate in years to come! The cafe is old school, diner-esk, comforting if you will. The bagel and lox board (The Classic: Gaspe nova smoked salmon, cream cheese, tomato, onion, capers) is the standard order, BUT, I highly suggest ordering the potato pancakes, they were amazing! I think the next time I go back I’ll get “Lower Sunny Side” (sunny side up eggs, gasp love smoked salmon, potato latkes), so that I could also order the babka french toast 🙂 and not feel as guilty (bagels and french toast! shhh… I already know potato pancakes aren’t healthy but ill pretend).
Now, on to Sadelle’s. I went to the cafe on a whim, while I was home for an interview. The atmosphere was amazing, I felt like everyone around me was a part of a tea party! The tables were mostly small, but their were communal tables that looked like a fun time to sit at and meet people! There is a counter up front where people could pick up fish, bagels, and baked goods. The counter had a long line and the restaurant was completely full. Overall, the restaurant gets an A+ for looks and publicity, but I have to mention that it is IMPOSSIBLE to call to say you’re running late, so don’t try!
Much like the atmosphere I had a positive experience with the food. I ordered a sticky bun,
french toast, a salt and pepper bagel, with cream cheese and lox. Yes, I did eat it all. The sticky bun was good, not great, I think if they warmed the sticky bun up it could’ve been great. (had potential) The french toast was deliciously fried, and a bit raw inside (a bit overwhelming, but I love sweet and fried food so good combination). The salt and pepper bagel (I am a salt fan) was incredible. Actually Sadelle’s is known for their perfect bagels: An Article about their Bagels. Their lox was also incredible! I highly suggest you get the bagels and lox, and not the french toast. I also have seen pictures of their lobster salad, very enticing. (Next time).
Overall, I think that Sadelle’s does bagels better but Russ & Daughters does the classic Jewish stuff better. I guess if they were to come together and make a Sadelle’s & Daughters, they could take the cake for the best ever Bagels and Lox I’ve ever had. For now I will go to Sadelle’s with my trendy friends who appreciate a good atmosphere in central Soho, and I will go to Russ & Daughters with my friends who want something really comforting and delicious :).