Montreal Bagels: The Lowdown

Posted on September 14th, 2009 by .

Along with Celine Dion, the Olympic stadium and the Canadiens hockey team, the bagel is probably one of Montreal’s best known symbols. But do you know why? Because Montreal bagels are rather unique, and what makes them different also makes them tastier. Specifically, I think that Montreal bagels beat out New York and Toronto bagels, hands down. No contest. And I’m not alone. In fact, some people make the trip to Montreal especially for the bagels, while others go to the trouble of having them shipped to their hometown. Really!

But don’t just take my word for it. Check out this video of some Montreal bagel die-hards at St-Viateur Bagel.

In addition to the people you see in the video, you should know that Celine Dion is a regular customer, and astronaut Gregory Chamitoff brought some bagels with him on his mission to the International Space Station in 2008.

So, now that you know that Montreal bagels are deliciously better than all other versions, here are some other fun bagel facts:

• The bagel is the only bread product that is boiled before it is baked.
• There are 20 different varieties
• Montreal and New York bagels both have their roots in the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe.
• The first Montreal bagel was sold in 1919.
• There are two main bagel institutions in Montreal: Fairmount Bagel (founded in 1949) and St-Viateur Bagel (founded in 1957). Each has its own dedicated clientele, and then there are the rest of us who will happily eat at either bagelry.
• If you’re looking for a bagel-based meal, head to the St-Viateur Bagel and Café on Mont-Royal.


  1. Kell

    / Dec 22nd

    I’m a die hard Montreal bagel lover, however my favorite bagel shop is Mount Royal Bagel Bakery. I will only eat bagels from there, as I find them to the absolute best out there!

  2. kaely

    / Jul 12th

    Soft pretzels are boiled before they are baked…

  3. Gabi

    / May 19th

    I live here in MTL and we have by far the best bagels in the world. St-Viateur bagel is where I get ALL my bagels for me and my friends. On weekends I go with my Mini Cooper there and spend about 30$ on bagels!!! It’s great

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