Ok, so the first answer that comes to mind is coffee (actually, thats the universal answer...) but, for those of us who like something a little more substantial in the morning, the real answer will fill you up, comes in all sorts of varieties, and has a hole in the middle! Yep, its a Bagel! And there's no better place to enjoy one than in New York, the Bagel Capital of the world!
The first bagels (or bajgiel in Yiddish) were said to have been boiled and baked in Poland in the early 1600's. The bagel made its debut in the United States when Polish-Jewish immigrants arrived in the city and brought their culinary culture with them. There this wheel-shaped breakfast food found its true home! Before the 20th century the secret to making the perfect bagel was kept under lock and key by the Bagel Bakers Local 338, a union that wouldnt trust anyone to make the city's bagels who weren't trained in the authentic hand-made bagel practice.
Nowadays the secret is out, and you can hardly walk a block in New York without seeing a sign selling the lovable rings. Five of the best are mentioned here, including our personal favorite, the Bagel Hole, who won the Best Bagel Contest hosted by Serious Eats in 2009. This serious taste-test revealed an interesting bagel-truth: "A bagels half-life, untoasted and unadorned, is no more than half an hour." The takeaway: Get your bagels hot, slice em quick, and schmeer em with cream cheese for a true New Yorkers Breakfast. And by the way...nothing goes better with a bagel than a cup of Joe ;)
Have a favorite bagel shop in the city, or a different New York Breakfast to share? We are all ears!