It’s no wonder Lonely Planet crowned Montreal the second happiest place in the world. A diverse and vibrant city, rich in both culture and cuisine, there’s certainly no shortage of mouth-watering restaurants filled with heavenly culinary concoctions to make you smile.
If you’re looking for breakfast, brunch, or even something a little lighter, look no further than the city’s two most popular bagel-hopping destinations. Traditionally smaller than a New York bagel, crunchier and slightly sweeter, Montreal style bagels from either of these two well-established bakeries will definitely leave you wanting more.
Location: 263 Rue St Viateur, with other locations around Montreal.
A favourite stop for locals, tourists, and celebrities alike, St-Viateur Bagel is an original Montreal staple, founded by concentration camp survivor Myer Lewkowicz in 1957, a Polish native who came to the city after surviving life in a concentration camp. Six decades later, the name St-Viateur is world famous for its quality hand-rolled bagels, the ones that “your grandparents enjoyed, made with ingredients your children can read”. Served in their signature brown paper bags, they’ve been devoured for over sixty years in Montreal for good reason.
Boasting 100% natural ingredients, with no preservatives, St-Viateur bagels melt in your mouth, embracing the true essence of Eastern European heritage baking. It all starts with hand-rolled dough, which is boiled in honey water for an added splash of sweet, and then cooked to perfection in a traditional wood fire. Who can resist the smell and taste of a fresh from the oven bagel, as perfectly light on the inside as it is crispy on the outside? Word on the street has it that the Rosemary bagel is a true classic, but others might argue the sesame takes the cake. Chances are you’ll want to come back again next week to try another one of their many intoxicating choices.
Location: 74 Fairmount West, Montreal
Also in the running for the title of best bagel in the city is the bread from the oldest bakery in Montreal, Fairmount Bagel, which opened its doors in 1919. Surround yourself with walls of bagels, and a flawless view of their famous brick ovens, and it’s clear why Fairmount fans flock here daily for a taste of true carb perfection. The blueberry and mueslix have solid reputations, and the “all dressed” is an all time favourite. If you can’t decide which one to choose, just peruse their website’s 3D bagel
menu for a clear view of their varied selections. Not to mention the fact that they have a serious ace up their sleeve. Not very many bakers can say that their bagels have made it to space. In 2008, the owner’s cousin, astronaut Gregory Chamitoff, took Fairmount bagels with him to The International Space Station. If you just can’t live without them while you’re away from the planet then they must be out of this world.
Fairmount Bagel will be celebrating their 100th Anniversary in 2019. With this milestone just around the corner, they can be proud, knowing they have successfully preserved Eastern European culture in Montreal for a century, while simultaneously giving back to the community by regularly donating fresh food to a number of charitable organizations. Whatever your pleasure, St-Viateur and Fairmount bakeries are quintessentially delicious Montreal hotspots. Wherever your urban bagel loyalty ultimately lies, you’ll be glad you followed the locals and embraced both.