The Montreal Bagel Challenge – Fairmount vs. St. Viateur Bagels


Another Montreal post (just a few more to do the trip justice).  So, Katie determined that the two ultimate stops for bagels in Montreal were Fairmount Bagel (the original I remember from our last trip) and St. Viateur Bagel (our son, Joe’s favorite from his summer of 2018 in Montreal).

BTW, Katie is a local legend with her bagel creations (Bootleg Bagels)…


If you have not had them, Montreal-style bagels are smaller and much sweeter than NYC-style bagels.  Katie stated that this is due to Montreal bakers adding sugar to the dough.  However, it seemed that a lot of food in Quebec seemed to be a bit sweeter, especially the produce.  Maybe it’s something to do with the province’s farming techniques.  I don’t, probably Katie is right since she is far more the expert on baking.

That morning, we set out on our bikes from the hotel and made our way to the bagel Meccas of Montreal, Fairmount and St. Viateur.  We decided to keep our orders small, a plain (the true test), a sesame (seems to be the favorite in Montreal), and an everything (in Montreal the tradition is to use Montreal Steak Seasoning on the everything bagels).  Katie definitely had the look of excitement waiting in line at Fairmount…

We also got quite the kick out of the pay phone.

Once we had our haul we rode out to the park at the base of Mont Royal and conducted the Bagel Challenge.  the challenge simply was us doing a blind taste test to determine where the bagel was from and which we preferred.  We both were spot on.  What gave it away for me was that the sweet smell that permeated St. Viateur.  Their bagels were much sweeter and chewier, while the brick oven baking stood out with Fairmount’s.  In both cases they were fantastic!  In fact, I’m a Montreal-style convert.  It seems NYC bagels are a unicorn these days based on our trip to NYC in July.  There is such a variety there, that none of them seem distinct to the City.  When in Quebec, Montreal-style seems to always be the type.

If I had to choose though, I would go with St. Viateur.  I just loved the texture and that extra sweetness was bagel Heaven.  In either case, you can’t go wrong.

On se voit sur la route!




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