If you’re a bread fan then you know for sure that bagels have become a staple of Montreal’s culinary scene. But, locals are divided between two favorite bakeries in the Mile End Neighborhood. (Photo: Helen Cook)
Is it steaming hot out? Is it 40 below zero? Who cares what the weather is outside!
If Montrealers want a good bagel, they’ll wait outdoors even in extreme temperatures for their fresh sesame-seed bagels as they pop out of the oven!
The lines at the two bakeries on Fairmount and St-Viateur streets have been there for close to 100 years.
Who Brought Bagels to Montreal?
The Montreal bagel has developed into an important of the city’s culinary culture after being brought over originally at the beginning of the 1900s, with a wave of Eastern European Jewish immigrants.
How are Montreal Bagels Made?
Even today, the bagels are made using the original process. Each bagel is shaped from a batch of dough that is hand rolled and pulled. The bagel is then cooked in a bath of simmering water and honey. When it’s cooked, each bagel is covered with the chosen topping, like sesame or poppy seeds.
When the bagels are ready, they’re put on a sheeba, or long wooden baker’s board. They’re baked in a brick, wood-burning over which is ready to produce perfect bagels with soft insides and crispy outsides.
You should always eat a Montreal bagel fresh out of the oven and in the paper bag they’re served in.
Grab a tub of cream cheese for dipping and eat while you enjoy a walk along Mile End’s quaint roads. Or, consider hot, fresh bagels dipped in Greek yogurt tzatziki purchased from a nearby souvlaki joint!
So, which bakery takes the prize for best bagels?
If you ask a Montrealer what team they’re on, you’ll get a mix of answers. Both St-Viateur and Fairmont have strong followings, so be careful not to start a fight!
People can argue all day about what makes their choice the best, but at the end of the day it boils down to loyalty and personal preference.
Since every bagel is made by hand, boiled in honey water, and then cooked in a wood-burning oven, the bagels are all perfect. The flavor is to die for and the texture is the chewy consistency you fantasize about when imagining a bagel.
These fresh bagels have no real competition.
Montreal bagels remain just like the ones your grandparents made on their own, with ingredients you’ve heard of!
The famous St-Viateur Bagel Shop holds its spot in one of Montreal’s multi-cultural neighborhoods and is known as a popular landmark of the city. The shop has had paintings, spots in films, and mentions in books dedicated to it.
Everyone who visits Montreal drops in for a bagel, locals, tourists, and celebrities alike.
What about the Best Montreal Bagels Rivalry?
Both shops are family-run, and they have always maintained a friendly and professional relationship.
Both stores care most about upholding the standard of the traditional Montreal bagel. When they run into ingredients emergencies, they call each other up for help!
Whenever you find yourself in the area, head over for a bite. Both shops are open 24 hours a day on every single day of the year. That’s dedication to tradition!
As St-Viateur gets ready to celebrate its 60th anniversary, Fairmount Bagel leads the way with its 100th anniversary approaching in 2019.
Both shops have played a huge role in making the Montreal bagel internationally famous.
The bagel shops are some of Montreal’s most prized landmarks, so you don’t want to miss out when you visit.
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