Eater New York recently published this great in-depth article about the history of the bodega bagel in New York City, and how they is different from both store-bought and traditional New York bagels.
Ask a New Yorker what they think of bagels sold in bodegas, and the response is pretty uniform. Stale, flavorless, pale, soft, mediocre. The nameless and brand-less bagels, often stacked on top of each other in clear bread cases above deli counters, somehow all seem the same. Of course, they’re not.
Check out the full article for more on the bodega bagel.