Chicagoans can now try the flavors of the Big Apple at Lakeview’s Taste of New York Bagels & Deli, a new business from a New York transplant whose family has sold bagels for more than three decades. The East Coast-style spot at 3268 N. Clark Street is open sporadically until Friday, June 12 when owner Sam Asous will throw a grand opening celebration and commence regular business hours.
Asous achieves the famous chewy-yet-crispy New York style by boiling and par baking the bagels in New York City (noted for higher levels of magnesium and calcium in the city’s water supply) and flying them into the Chicago location, where they are baked fresh daily. Taste of New York offers about 20 cream cheese flavors. There are standard flavors — plain and lox spread — as well as non-traditional options like guacamole and green tea cream cheese. Employees mix the speciality spreads in-house, Asous said, rather than bringing in pre-made blends. The shop also offers smoothies, fresh fruit juices, and protein shakes, as well as a salad bar.
Breakfast and lunch bagel sandwiches are available, including the “New Yorker” (lox, cream cheese, onion, tomato) and the “Williamsburg” (“everything” bagel, turkey bacon, scrambled eggs, Swiss cheese). Customers can switch up the standardized sandwiches, changing out ingredients or bagel type at their discretion without an up-charge. Asous stressed the value of going above and beyond for his customers: “It doesn’t matter if they’re a new customer or loyal customer, we are willing to take small losses here and there. We’re here to be a part of this community.”
The 1600 square-foot space isn’t entirely completed yet but Asous plans to have everything in place for the grand opening. He originally planned to function as a seatless, grab-and-go operation but then decided to add 12 seats. He may bring in more seating in the future. The space is designed to evoke a classic New York deli with a black and white tile counter and an exposed brick wall, as well as framed photographs of city landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge. Asous plans to install three televisions above the counter that will list food and drink offerings and said he will use Caviar to deliver for the time being, though he may switch to in-house delivery free of charge.
The full menu is available below.
Taste of New York Bagels & Deli, 3268 N. Clark Street, (hours as of Friday, June 12) open 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m to 2 a.m. on Friday; 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday; 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.