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Canada, Food, Live the photo

Live the Photo: Montreal Bagels

Distinct and delicious, once you have sunk your teeth into the wood fired goodness of a steaming Montreal bagel, there is no turning back!

wood fired, hand rolled Montreal Bagels

Background

Montreal bagels are an institution and are known throughout the world.  The key – baked in a wood fired oven after boiling in honeyed water….they literally melt in your mouth.  If you are heading to Montreal, you need to sample their bagels – it is like going to Paris and tasting their sweet macaroons, you just gotta do it.

Personally, I always go for the traditional sesame seed bagel.  They have just the right hint of sweetness in their chewy goodness.  Fresh from the oven, melt some butter on top and I am in bagel nirvana!  For the full experience, watch the bagel makers at work – the kitchens are generally open concept and you can watch the process from the shaping of the bagel right down to the finished product.

While they say bagels originated back in 1683, the story behind the Montreal bagel remains a bit of a mystery.  The story and myth collide – did they originate from Czarist Russia or Kiev?  Who is behind the bagel?  While the true stories may be lost forever, the flavours and traditions remain.  The two major bagel players in town are the St-Viateur Bagels and the Fairmont Bagel, each with their own loyal following.  I have only sampled the St Viateur bagels myself, but I do find myself in good company as astronaut Gregory Chamitoff and singer Celine Dion are also fans.  In 2008, Chamitoff brought some bagels with him on a mission to the International Space Station – I guess you can say – these bagels are out of this world!

Getting There

Now that you are craving the best in bagels, how do you get your hands on them?  The word on the street is that centres across Canada are trying to replicate the Montreal bagel, but they just don’t equate to the real deal!  And New York bagels are no comparison…so, how do you get your Montreal bagels?  A trip to Montreal is the best way, although you can have your bagels delivered to you by St Viateur (sorry, that is for Canadian and US readers only)!!  St Viateur also has a food truck that moves around Montreal – check their site for locations!

The most famous bagel options:

  • Fairmont Bagel – the original bagel bakery, founded in 1919.  74 av Fairmont West, Montreal
  • St Viateur Bagel – over 55 years of bagels, they hand make 8,400 bagels a day (700 dozen!!!).  263 av St Viateur West, Montreal

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About Anita Mac

The bucket list just keeps growing! The more I cross off - the more exciting new destinations and activities I find! I have been fortunate enough to travel a considerable distance over the years. My love of many things, including travel, cycling, kayaking and photography fit together like hand and glove. I have to keep asking myself....where to next? I am happy to share my travels and photography through my blogs: http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com and http://anitamacphotos.wordpress.com Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! On to the next adventure!

Discussion

16 thoughts on “Live the Photo: Montreal Bagels

  1. Love Montreal bagels! (I like both StV & Fairmont, but usually stop at Fairmont when in Montreal because they also have delicious soft pretzels!)
    Kettleman’s Bagels in Ottawa are the closest I’ve eaten outside Montreal to the real thing.
    I’m in NYC now updating my list of eating recommendations, and was disappointed to see that the NYC bagel institution, H&H Bagels is gone, and that their replacement is not quite up to par.
    Montreal bagels reign supreme! :-)

    Posted by TravelEater | August 9, 2013, 9:59 am
    • I am totally in love with the St Viateur bagels – not that I know they deliver, I can be in trouble although I agree with you about Kettleman’s – love that I can still get fresh and straight out of the fire bagels at home! There is no substitute for the straight from the oven!

      Posted by Anita Mac | August 11, 2013, 9:41 am
  2. When I went to Carleton University, in Ottawa, we would always walk from campus and go to Kettleman’s Bagels on Bank St. Fun to watch them make them, and even better eating them!

    Posted by Mo | August 9, 2013, 10:39 am
  3. Sounds like a bagel to die for…

    Posted by marciawood | August 9, 2013, 1:31 pm
  4. I cannot even remember the last time I had a bagel and NOW I WANT one – ha! Happy Weekend:)

    Posted by cravesadventure | August 9, 2013, 1:54 pm
  5. Those look so good I would like one right now!

    Posted by megtraveling | August 10, 2013, 8:18 am
  6. Anita, we had a memorable time visiting one of Montreal’s bagel spots last summer. I believe it was also at St. Viateur Bagels. Behind the counter, there was certainly a flurry of production taking place to keep up with the demand. :)

    Posted by Tricia A. Mitchell | August 12, 2013, 4:01 am
  7. Montreal makes fun of New York while New York makes fun of Montreal… my belly takes both styles :) lol

    Posted by Bashar A. | August 12, 2013, 4:10 pm
  8. OMG. I love St. Viateur bagels. I’m totally craving one of these now. I guess it’s time to go back to Montreal.

    Posted by sharonsdesktop | August 14, 2013, 5:17 pm

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