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Jan 31, 2005 01:27 PM

Montreal Style Bagels

  • n

Where can I find REAL montreal style bagels?
I am not having any luck and a trip to Montreal in February is not my idea of fun! Help!!!!

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  1. Kettlemans at Carousel Bakery at St Lawrence Market.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Timpano

      A new place just opened south of Wellesley on Yonge beside the LCBO It has a wood burning oven and is claiming "fresh montreal style bagels" I had a bagel there and they were good BUT I have not had a Montreal bagel in 15 years so I am not one to ask if they are Montreal good...

      1. re: Timpano

        Kettlemans is technically Ottawa-style-Montreal bagels I think :)

        1. re: Timpano

          I used to be a regular at St. Urban Bagel, just North of Steeles on Bathurst Street. I haven't been to the bagel shop on Bayview and Eglinton, but at St. Urbal Bagel, it's definitely authentic Montreal bagels. (I'm from Montreal, so I know the difference).

        2. there also is a begal house

          one on avenue road just above lawerence and the other on bayview below eglington

          reviewed by the montreal gazette and in my opinion the best bagel outside Montreal.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bob

            I agree with bob. I'm convinced that Bagel House (2 locations--on Bayview south of Eglinton or Avenue Rd. at Fairlawn)is identical to Fairmont Bagels on Fairmont St. in Montreal.
            They have a somewhat sweet dough, and the flavour is actually improved by light toasting, unlike most good Toronto bagels which are best eaten fresh and warm (eg Gryfe's, Bagel World, Kiva's, Hamisch).
            If I had to choose, I'd choose Toronto-style bagels, but the Montreal style is damn good, too.

          2. v
            Vinnie (Benny) Vidimangi

            Why would you want to? Please open the link at the bottom.


            9 Replies
            1. re: Vinnie (Benny) Vidimangi

              1) because they taster better then the 'bread with a whole in it' style that toronto bagels generally are

              2) Are what bagels are supposedly taste like (from the 'old country') rather then an excuse of making a piece of bread with less dough

              3)Since the question was montreal bagels in toronto, the asnwer is and will still be those rest. mentioned in this thread. If someone wanted toronto bagles then they would be recommended to something like 'great canadain bagel, gyftr (sp) etc.

              3) The differnece in the bagel in that they are baked in a wood oven

              1. re: bob
                Vinnie (Benny) Vidimangi

                "Bread with a hole in it" style isn't Toronto style and isn't a bagel. It is just assimilated crap and not in the running.

                The only bagels worth the name in Toronto are at Bagel World at Wilson just east of Bathurst and Haymishe, Bathurst just south of Lawrence. The Haymishe bagel has a very light crumb. I don't think anything in central Europe was light so I don't know about authenticity; but it is very good in its own way.

                Bagel World makes a far better Mtl. style bagel than anything I have ever had anywhere else: so I suppose it is not Mtl. style.

                Haymishe is the only bakery left in Toronto that make a good Jewish style rye bread. (Please prove me wrong). It also makes a range of good specialty non-ethnic breads.

                I should add the following in my capacity as the light unto non-bagel nations.

                Avoid getting bagels or for that matter any yeast baking on a rainy or otherwise humid day, remembering that a lot of baking is done the night before. It is very hard to produce good yeast baking in very humid weather. A bagel that fails can be very unpleasant.

                So now you have a first class bagel. The shelf life of the bagel is very short, a few hours. If the fragrance doesn't send you into spasms of ecstacy, the bagel is past its prime. (Leave me alone. Joanne Kates has admitted that while eating her first bowl of soup for which the chef creamed potatoes and leeks she too creamed and look at her reputation.) Liking a warm bagel, one out of the oven that hasn't shed it's moisture, is gastro-kinky. Never put good baked goods into a plastic bag. A toasted bagel (fresh or previously frozen) is at best like a rose or a lily without a fragrance.

                1. re: Vinnie (Benny) Vidimangi

                  I may have the wrong guy, but I'm pretty sure that in an article about the owner of Bagel World it was stated that he had worked for a number of years at St. Viateur Factory and in fact wants to reproduce the Montreal bagel here. Being the huge lover of St.Viateur bagel that I am (and not a fan of Fairmont - the debate over which bagel is superior can go on forever), this news was very exciting. Although I am wary of the various flavours - poppy and sesame really are all one needs :)

                  Re: the lightness of Eastern European "anything" (I have commented in the past about the unrepresentative nature of Polish food in Toronto; it's not all about meat and potatoes) - in fact, the bagel in Krakow is lighter than the Montreal bagel, and is eaten warm on its own - too light and thin to slice. The additional flavour comes from the sprinkles of course salt or sesame on top. Excellent street snack - wish we had them here.

                  1. re: kasia

                    I may have the wrong guy, but I'm pretty sure that in an article about the owner of Bagel World it was stated that he had worked for a number of years at St. Viateur Factory'

                    actual you are talking about the owner of the bagel house on avenue road as wellas bayview.

                    i suggest that you try

                    kassleman, bagal house and see which you like better.

                    it is a matter of taste. (as for me... i am a fairmount bagel person)

                    1. re: bob

                      yes, you are right - it was the bagel house. will try it.

                      1. re: kasia
                        Robin Forbes

                        I think Kettleman's on the Danforth has gone under. It looks like the landlord locked them out.

                    2. re: kasia
                      Vinnie (Benny) Vidimangi

                      Finally a reason for me to return to Krakow, near which I was born.

                    3. re: Vinnie (Benny) Vidimangi

                      I would agree that Haymishe makes a decent rye bread, but its bagel is inferior.

                      A true bagel is different than bread with a hole in it....It is in fact supposed to be a little sweet . The only real bagel is boiled and then coated on one segment of it with rye seeds.

                      Of course baking in a wood oven is a necessary prereqisite.

                      The really bad bagels are at Tim Horton's. They do not actually fit the definition but they probabaly sell more "bagels" there than all the bakeries mentioned put together.

                      The danger is that the world will believe that the Tim Horton's product is actually a bagel.

                      By the way Kivas has a really good Twister (sort of a large bagel but not really) They are located in a little Plaza at Steeles and Bathurst.

                    4. re: bob

                      you can get sime goood bagels on the Danforth. i don't remember what the place is called.

                  2. My vote goes to Kettleman's (542 Danforth Av) - I'm not familiar with the St. Lawrence location but I imagine it's the same. I lived in Montreal for a few years so that should give me a little street cred.

                    I've tried the Montreal Bagel House (Avenue Rd.) but was pretty disappointed, particularly after reading such a glowing review in the Star and getting psyched up to try them. The Bagel House brand that my girlfriend (born and raised Montrealer) and I tried, had the following anomalous qualities:

                    1. Extremely light interior, lacking the proper density characteristic of a real Montreal bagel
                    2. A shiny exterior - it looked like an egg wash was applied which probably doesn't impact the taste but rings unauthentic. Why mess with perfection?

                    Shortly thereafter we discovered Kettleman's and we were both impressed. I look forward to trying the place at Yonge and Wellesley and seeing how it stacks up.


                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Ben Reiner

                      oh no - i just wrote the note below in reference to the same article. this is sad to hear - i too had high hopes.

                      i rely on kettleman's as well, although i don't find them as good as montreal bagels, primarily because they lack consistency (my last batch had undercooked pieces for example). but also i think the problem lies in not having a 24 hour factory where you can get the hot bagel at all times - there is nothing like it. can't wait for my semi-annual trip in august!

                      1. re: Ben Reiner

                        This is an old thread but is Bagel House still on Bayview Avenue? Just returned from Montreal and didn't bring enough bagels home.

                        1. re: Zengarden

                          yup, still there and the best in the city.

                      2. m
                        Mississauga Matt

                        My opinion of the new bagel place at Yonge & Wellesley is that they require more time to get established.

                        They have a large brick oven for baking the bagels, but when I was there it wasn't functioning (it looked like they had re-mortared a huge crack; perhaps they tried to use it before the original mortar had set?) and instead were using a much smaller and probably hastily-put-together version. Both ovens seem to be fired by split logs.

                        I think I saw the pot for par-boiling the bagels before baking, but I can't be sure.

                        The guy who was there at the time looked Middle Eastern but not Jewish (not that it matters), and being curious I asked him if he was from Montreal, and he claimed to have worked at Fairmont.

                        He had several different types of bagels in the chute that comes off the oven, and several types of cream cheese. I chose a poppy seed bagel with regular cream cheese (perhaps boring but so be it). I don't know what the guy was doing, but he went in the back and didn't come re-appear for about 5 minutes. When I finally got the bagel, it was OK. The inside was underdone - their regular oven wasn't working so I can excuse that - and it was on the chewy side and slightly sweet.

                        I can't say I'd rave about it but in fairness, they need more time to get up and running.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Mississauga Matt

                          Montreal Bagel Restaurant looks like it is closed. We tried last Thursday and at 6pm, no one was in sight and the open sign was up. Just walked by this afternoon and it's dark.