Black Seed Bagels

History | Restaurants

Tasty Hand-Rolled Bagels in a Building with Storied Mafia History

Black Seed Bagels East Village exterior





About Black Seed Bagels

 & why it made the Carpe City list

  • When the service is on point, these honey-tinged bagels are fab, but the “wiseguy” history is what we like best
  • Black Seed’s bagels are hand-rolled, boiled in honey water and wood-oven baked, resulting in a deliciously unique flavor.
  • The classic Smoked Salmon and the Larry David sandwich get high marks from our team.
  • They have proper seating so stay and enjoy.


Now on to the history!

  • Before it was a hipster bagel shop it was De Robertis Italian Pasticceria.
  • Open for over 110 years at this location, De Robertis was famous for its cannolis, pignoli cookies, lemon ice and mob connections.
Original Floor Tiles
  • Take a look at the hand-cut mosaic tiles on the walls, the pressed-tin ceiling and the patterned tile floors. They are all original, and were there prior to 1904 when De Robertis moved in.
  • You can still see the De Robertis sign outside on the second floor.
De Robertis Pastry Shoppe Sign
  • In true “Leave the gun,take the cannoli” fashion, De Robertis has had its share of mob connections.
    • In the 1920’s it was a regular meeting place for Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano, who grew up just around the corner.
    • In 1935 Mike “The Boss” Sabbitini was arrested here for running numbers, or what was called an “Italian Lottery.
    • In the 70’s Bonanno crime family boss Carmine “Lilo” Galante was a regular. He reputedly murdered Carlo Tresca around the corner at John’s of 12th St.
Doors to the backroom where the crime families took care of “business”
  • In the 80’s the Gambino crime family ran a bookmaking business from the shop as well as a variety of other “businesses” such as extortion, drug dealing, weapons dealing and forged credit cards. In the early 90’s eight members of the Gambino team were indicted based on evidence from wire taps, informants and undercover cops working in De Robertis.
  • And to round it all out, in 2003, gunman Red Hot Gentile mysteriously died of a heart attack just moments after leaving De Robertis.
  • Besides the mob ties, De Robertis also had some proper movie and TV cred. Spike Lee’s Malcolm X was shot here as were Woody Allen’s Manhattan Murder Mystery, Addicted to Lovewith Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick, and a scene from the very first episode of Sex in the City.

By: Christi Scofield





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