A family-owned New York bagel spot and deli is coming soon to Lakeview, and the owner is flying its wares straight from the Big Apple. Taste of New York Bagels & Deli is slated to open later in June at 3268 N. Clark Street. Owner Sam Asous said there’s no official opening date yet but he will announce a grand opening in the coming weeks. The space formerly housed video game store People Play Games, which closed in 2018.
Lakeview’s Taste of New York outpost will feature bagels that are boiled and par baked in New York City and flown into the Chicago location, where they will be baked fresh daily. The bagels will be kept at very low temperatures while in transit to Chicago to preserve quality, according to Asous.
Crispy outsides and soft, chewy centers characterize New York-style bagels, as opposed to Montreal-style bagels which are known for their smaller size, dense texture, and slightly sweet flavor. Both styles are boiled before baking, a process that creates the shiny exterior, and New Yorkers have long insisted that higher levels of magnesium and calcium in the city’s water supply sets their bagels apart.
A native New Yorker, Asous came to Chicago three years ago to complete his medical studies as a physician and fell in love with the “outstanding diversity” of Chicago’s food industry, he wrote in an email. Though he enjoys the bagels he tries in Chicago, he still feels the best bagels come from his hometown. Asous’s family first opened the business, then known as Westway Food, in 1980 on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where they operated for 34 years. The family now runs two bagel shops in Brooklyn, in addition to the forthcoming Chicago location.
Once open, the shop will offer rainbow bagels in honor of Pride, as well as discounts for Cubs fans after every win at nearby Wrigley Field, Asous said. Rainbow bagels became an overnight sensation in 2016 when a Business Insider video of the Bagel Store’s rainbow bagels in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, went viral on Facebook.
Asous isn’t yet ready to reveal further details about the menu or the space. “I am not able to go in depth with you on all of the details of our business as of yet,” he wrote in an email. Stay tuned for more information and news of Taste of New York Bagels & Deli’s opening.