Kossar's hot billy's, brooklyn, nyc.


We are the oldest operating bialy bakery in the United States. More often than not, anything that hangs around that long simply runs out of steam. Not so with Kossar's… we're getting better. Brick oven-baked bialys, kettle-boiled bagels, and many other old-world, specialty-baked goods. All of the same authentic ingredients and care that you'd expect from a heritage of excellence dating back generations to 17th century Eastern Europe. We use the highest-quality natural wheat flour, fresh eggs, premium brewer's yeast, fine kosher salt, pure malt syrup, and our not-so-secret ingredient, good old New York City tap water.

At Kossar's, we have been baking our legendary bialys since 1936. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, thousands of Jewish immigrants arrived from Poland and settled on the lower east side of New York City. Like most ethnic groups, they brought with them their local traditions and foods from their homeland. The Jews from Bialystok, Poland brought their local bread, called (not surprisingly) a "bialy" that they ate with every meal. The word "bialy" is actually a shortened version of "Bialystoker Kuchen" which in Yiddish means "little bread from Bialystok."

Two men who made an industry out of this tradition were Isadore Mirsky and Morris Kossar, who, in 1936, founded Mirsky and Kossar's Bakery at 22 Ridge Street on the Lower East Side. In 1953, Morris Kossar bought out his partner, and the store was renamed Kossar's Bialys. At the time, the industry was tightly unionized, and all the bakers were part of the Bialy Bakers Association, Inc. The bakery had moved to 145 Clinton Street, and on February 20, 1958, after a long strike and dispute with the union, a mysterious explosion destroyed the store in the middle of the night. Luckily, no one was hurt. In 1960, the bakery reopened in its current location at 367 Grand Street, where it remains to this day - the oldest remaining bialy bakery in the United States. We’ve grown the Kossar’s tradition and brand to serve all of Manhattan by opening 3 additional locations throughout the city using the same secret recipes and finest NYC tap water!

Responsibility and Tradition

It's a responsibility that we take seriously, and a tradition we are compelled to share. As famed former New York Times food critic Mimi Sheraton wrote in her 2002 book: The Bialy Eaters: The Story of a Bread and a Lost World: “I knew Kossar's to be the source of the very best bialys in the city, and as it turned out, the entire country.”

It is with great love and appreciation for all cultural food traditions, and in particular, our time-honored Jewish heritage, that we proudly nurture and grow the tradition of Kossar's Bagels and Bialys.

Kossar's continues to celebrate the time-honored lineage of Jewish ethnic specialty foods. Zagat's noted: "this landmark epitomizes what New York has stood for… doing one thing, and doing it best." Just ask any one of our customers, some of whom have been coming their whole lives, and others who are discovering us for the first time. Or, perhaps you can visit us with one of the many city cultural tours that come by every day. In a town known for “what have you done for me lately?”…we're doing it. Every day, since 1936.

A baker is putting bread into an oven.
Bagels with cream cheese on a wooden cutting board.
Bagels with cream cheese on a striped napkin.

Giving back

At Kossar's, we're committed to contributing to the vitality of ethnically diverse communities around the world, in particular the community of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, an irreplaceable element of the American story.

With that in mind, we proudly support a number of local, national, and international charities and organizations. From our support of small and large nonprofits to educational tours for local school children to donating to the neighborhood food bank, we pledge to continually give back to all the people who have supported us since 1936.

If you have an organization or event that you would like Kossar's to support, we would be happy to consider it. Please send an email to