Though Bagel Hole opened in 1985, the staff’s knowledge of the old-fashioned hand-rolled art form goes back to the 1940s. That’s when their teacher began making bagels as a young man in Germany, and it’s his expertise that still guides their craft today. The staff uses all-natural ingredients to make 11 types of bagels, which are all hand-rolled, boiled, and baked until they reach a crispy, golden-brown exterior and chewy, hot insides. To bedeck the rings, they add slices of nova lox or slather them with cream-cheese spreads such as fresh scallion and walnut-and-raisin. For afternoon staff makes it a point to pile Boar’s Head cold-cuts high, or stuff sandwiches with the same amount of fresh-made whitefish salad found in a typical teddy bear. The old-fashioned bagel-making methods take more time, but they’ve paid off. CBS hailed Bagel Hole as one of the top six bagel shops in the city, and the staff of Serious Eats awarded them the coveted title of best bagel in New York.
Breukelen Coffee House warms up shivering stomachs with a toasty spread of coffee, sandwiches, bagels, and more. Lattes ($4.50) caffeinate depleted energy sacks and Nutella hot chocolate treats diners to a hazelnut treat hewn from the beloved sandwich spread ($3). Build a culinary flat-Earth model with a pressed panini ($6), or dress the meat, cheese, and tomato-packed sesame bagel of Germany in cream cheese lederhosen ($5). The coffee house's cozy confines lend themselves to noshing and quiet contemplation; exposed brick and green walls dotted by colorful artwork frame comfy chairs and small café tables.
Lily & Fig whips up a tantalizing assortment of pretty pastries with custom decorations. Today's deal invites purchasers to indulge in a decadent 8-inch, two-layer cake available in flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet. Forkfuls of buttercream frosting temptingly intermix with whipped cream and seasonal fruit as they are delivered to desserteers' waiting mouths. Sweet-toothed selectors may specify decorations or an inscription for the cake, expressing sentiments such as "Happy Birthday" or "Congratulations On Your Cat's Graduation."
Prospect Garden Cafe's namesake garden wraps diners in greenery, and canvases from local artists adorn terra-cotta-colored walls inside. A menu spiked with organic vegetables and fresh herbs travels from casual Middle Eastern favorites—such as kebabs, shawarma, and falafel—to slightly more upscale options, including wild grilled salmon and marinated baby lamb chops. Aromas of cumin, cinnamon, and saffron mingle with puffs from hookahs as occasional live music drifts through the air. Bartenders pull from five beer taps along with bottled options and an extensive wine list embellished with detailed tasting notes and suggested after-dinner-mint pairings.
The bakers at Ostrovitsky's Bakery specialize in crafting kosher pastries and chocolate desserts. They feature a rotating variety of specials such as their chocolate devil's-food cake, cinnamon babka cupcakes topped with rich frosting, and their signature chocolate meltaway dessert with chocolate filling and chocolate icing.