Address: 170 Elizabeth St.
How hard is it to get in?: Depending on the day, lines can leave you waiting anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour.
Wallet stress: High (for a bagel)
Get this: Beet-cured lox and tobiko caviar
Skip that: Don't skip anything.
Does it live up to the hype?: Very much so.
If you're a New Yorker, Montréalais, or person who just likes good food (and doesn't have a gluten intolerance), chances are you have strong opinions about where to find the world's best bagels. Still, there are some constants that most everyone can agree on: a bagel should be hand rolled, boiled, dense (but not too dense), chewy (but not too chewy), and well seasoned. Black Seed, SoHo's new haute bagelry, plays like the perfect amalgam of those variables. Bagels are small—(no "scooping" here) but beautiful pieces of art. Toppings are also ingeniously devised, with the house-made beet-cured lox standing out as a highlight. Like most of the flavors at Black Seed, there's nothing overpowering about the fish, there's just an additional depth of flavor.) Also delicious is the tobiko caviar, which I would eat dangerous amounts of if given free reign in the kitchen. Something to note, however, is that the bagels really are small. If you want to get your fill, you'll have to order one of the excellent side-salads. Don't be daunted by the long line: The wait is worth it. —Nathan Reese