Seoul Meets Bagel
If 30th Avenue is the heart of Astoria, its “Seoul” could be found between 31st & 32nd street
Between the Bagel NY, a small, hole-in-the-wall shop, is quickly making a massive impression on Astorians by serving food we didn’t know we needed. The menu features a variety of creative Korean and American fusion dishes, which include the Seoul Meets Bagel, aka the SMB; a bagel topped with homemade Bulgogi, egg, cheese, kimchi, and gochujang mayo (don’t forget to add the hashbrowns for the full effect). There’s also another crowd favorite, the DAPS, which is a Korean spicy pork sandwich with grilled jalapeños, onions, gochujang mayo, mozzarella, topped with a kimchi slaw and scallions.
Ben Suh, owner and creative brains behind the operation, bought the former Bagel Berry spot days before the shutdown last year. Although it’s been a rough year, to say the least, he’s felt Astoria welcome him with open arms. Ben draws a lot of his inspiration from the locals and is grateful to be a part of this community. “I’m learning from everybody throughout this whole thing. It’s a process, and I’m always trying to meet new people.” Ben’s passion for food and focus on customer service is a byproduct of his eclectic background having grown up with his parent’s rotisseries chicken shops and working in the luxury jewelry industry for 15 years. It’s his unique experience working with a wide variety of people that makes Between the Bagel a diamond in the rough, ready to shine.
The buzz started a few months ago with Discord, “Astoria Peeps,” local Reddit groups, and Eli Goldman of Tikkun BBQ. While the bagels are certainly the spotlight, you won’t be walking out of the shop without Ben asking you to try one of his unique creations that day. From strawberry Oreo pudding, homemade bagel chips, or cheesecake bars, Ben always has a new idea in the works, and you never know what you’re going to taste when you walk in. The puddings have been drawing somewhat of a cult following, and he gladly gives credit to his wife, Sang Eun Kim (a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef in Pasadena), for the foundation of the recipe. He plans to add these to the menu, along with other delights, very soon.
As if all these treats aren’t enough, you’ll usually find a sour belt tossed into the bag with your order. When asked why Ben shares, not only is it because it’s his favorite candy but simply that, “(it puts) a smile on their face for the rest of the day.” Although Between the Bagel is planning to renovate soon, there’s no doubt that they will continue feeding the hearts and souls of Astoria, one bagel at a time.
31-13 30th Ave | 718.932.1425 | @betweenthebagelny