New York’s East Village Strikes Again with Sandwich Innovation

This stop on The Great American Sandwich Trail finds sandwich innovation from an unlikely source.

The artsy, and sometimes anarchistic, East Village of Manhattan is famous for many things.

In the 1980s, the Tomkins Square Park riots made national news. In the 90s it was the punks, goths and industrial rockers frequenting clubs like King Tuts Wa Wa Hut, The Pyramid Club and Save The Robots which would pave the way for a new kind of nightlife across the country.

The 2000’s ushered in the rave crowd with glow sticks and stompy boots while commandeering vacant buildings and turning them into illegal dance parties.

And now in the 2010’s, the lower east side gives birth the Baogel, a delicious sandwich that marries one of NYC most well known and tasty bagels from Black Seed Bakery with Nom Wah’s legendary sweet pork belly.

Sandwich Innovation in A Wrapper

Culinary Fad or Sandwich Innovation Trend?

Unlike 2013’s culinary fad, the Kronut, the Baogel isn’t a carb-laden, diabetes inducing treat.

It has a wonderfully unique flavor and mouthfeel which will most likely lead to even further sandwich innovation. The Baogel is only available at three locations where the average wait to buy a Baogel can be 45 minutes or more.

Each location only makes 200 baogels per day, and they sell out daily – usually before 11 AM – so it’s best to call ahead and ask about the line and availability. There’s a strict “two per customer” limit to allow as many people as possible to sample this mouthwatering blend of a sesame bagel filled with sweet pork belly, cooked to perfection.

Sandwich Innovation Causes a Wait

Not A Walking Sandwich, But Still Special

You feel special and rewarded just being able to order the Baogel and that feeling persists when you finally take your first bite. Weighing in at close to half a pound, one Baogel will set you back $8.50 and is well worth it.

The combination of the crunchy and slightly salty bagel with the sweet and juicy pork belly makes your taste buds dance like Michael Jackson performing his first Moonwalk at the 1983 Motown Awards.

Some say this is a great “walking sandwich”, but I beg to differ.

This is not a hot dog or a gyro to scarf down while walking down Houston Street. It’s a bit too messy for that. This sandwich deserves attention and contemplation – like a good glass of wine.

I was able to share the bagel with three other friends, and the feeling was unanimous that this sandwich born of Jewish and Chinese cultures is a pure hit.

And if they ever add some mozzarella cheese to this sandwich — watch out!

The baogel is available at these establishments through the end of the year. 


BlackSeed Bagels

170 Elizabeth Street

New York, NY 10012

(212) 730-1950

Nom Wah Kuai 

265 Canal Street

New York, NY 10013

(646) 807-1006

BlackSeed Bagels

176 1st Avenue

New York, NY 10009

(646) 484-5718

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