Montreal is known for many things and foods like its poutine, smoked meat and its largely popular bagels.
There are two major bagel competitors in Montreal, one being St. Viateur Bagel which has 4 locations in the city and has been in production since 1957 selling over 1,000 bagels a day and Fairmount Bagel which has been around in Montreal since 1919.
Both make a very similar bagel, but what makes them different? Why is one better than the other?
Each bagel shop is open 24 hours. You can walk right in and see them making bagels from beginning to end. They are different than your typical bagel or NYC bagel as they are thinner, sweeter and chewier with the sesame and poppy seed bagels being the most popular bagels for each place.
When visiting St Viateur it gave me the feeling of a certain soup shop on a famous TV show about nothing. Walk in, step up, order your bagel(s) and move along. When I visited I had gone in hopes of breakfast, when I asked for my bagel to be toasted, they said no, when I asked for them to at least cut it in two they said no. I paid an extra 25 cents for some cream cheese and was handed a plastic knife.
When visiting Fairmount Bagel, there was a large line going out the door which I can attest was caused by the slight delay of them nicely toasting your bagel and putting cream cheese on it for you. The people seemed slightly happier and there were potentially over 18 different flavors of bagels to choose from, if they hadn’t run out of a certain kind that day.
People have described the Fairmount Bagel as being a bit sweeter and to me it was a bit thicker in size as well than the St. Viateur Bagel. Possibly only a true bagel connoisseur could ever choose between the two saying one was better than the other but honestly I loved them both. All that carby goodness who really can resist?
Have you ever tried a Montreal Bagel? They are different than any other bagel you have ever had before and well worth the trip to Montreal, I promise.
Disclosure: While in Montreal I was a guest of Tourisme Montréal and Tourisme Québec however I am not sure they were aware of my addiction to carbs and bagels nor did they ask me to choose a favourite between the two.