Yes, Absolute Bagels (2788 Broadway, New York NY 10025; 212-932-2052) is my choice for New York's best bagel. A Thai familyrun bakery, Absolute's bagels are chewy, crunchy, and, blessedly, not too sweet. They also do not suffer from bagel elephantiasis, which has made many New York bagels into dirigibles with holes.
Absolute's mini bagels are my snack of choice—they're even crunchier than the regular-size versions.
And how could I forget Absolute's $1.85 bagel with cream cheese when I listed my $2 and Under New York City Eating Pleasures?
H & H's bagels are too sweet, too big, and have no crunch or chew whatsoever.
I think the reasons everyone loves them is that they're most often warm when you buy them and the shop's proximity to Zabar's (which actually carries a superior bagel, from Columbia Hot Bagels).
Are there really any other contenders in New York or anywhere else?
My bagel silver medalist is The Bagelry, 429 Third Avenue, New York NY 10016; 212-679-9845.
My bronze goes to Bagel Oasis, 183-12 Horace Harding Expressway, Fresh Meadows NY 11365; 888-BAGELOASIS.