Upper West Side

Absolute Bagels (And The Best Bagel Of My Life, So Far)

The journey to the best bagel of my life was a journey of precisely three miles. It started on the Upper East Side, near 2nd Avenue in the 70s, and ended close to Columbia University, on Broadway near 108th Street. I told myself that I could treat myself to a decked-out bagel if I walked all the way to Absolute Bagels, home of what Ed Levine once called “the best bagel in New York.”

Dinner at Fairway Cafe

My friend Lisa recently moved to her own apartment on the Upper West Side and before I left for my trip, I went uptown to see the place, to give it my blessing (I smashed a bottle of Bartles & James on the door), and to join her for dinner.

“Where should we go?” asked Lisa, smartly deferring to me because of my strong opinions regarding food and restaurants.

“I don’t know,” I replied coyly, wanting to appear open-minded and non-domineering.

“We could go to–”

“FAIRWAY CAFE,” I shouted, creating an awkward moment that took a few minutes to dissipate.


“Regina Schrambling always writes about The Fairway Cafe on her blog,” I explained. “It’s upstairs at Fairway.”

“I know,” Lisa replied, a bit irritated at my know-it-all-ness. “I’ve been there for brunch.”

“How was it?”


“Awesome,” I said. “So let’s go there.”


I knew I was going to love Kefi and I did.

After signing books at Best Cellars on the Upper West Side on Friday night, my dear pal Lisa (who lives up there now) joined me for the two block walk over to Kefi. “This is supposed to be great,” I told her. “Really good Greek food for not very much money.”

Scroll to Top