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Montreal - Style Bagels in the GTA

Does anyone know where I can get montreal-style bagels in Toronto and the surrounding GTA? I've had the ones from the bakery in the St. Lawrence Market (the place that makes those amazing peameal bacon sandwiches!) ... they have good montreal bagels there, but I'm hoping to find a place more north of the city.

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  1. Bagel House on Bayview near Eglinton, or Avenue near Lawrence.

    Interesting discussion (though very old): http://www.math.toronto.edu/jjchew/mi...

    1. I agree with Food Tourist. Bagel House is the closest to, if not exactly, a Montreal style bagel in Toronto. Both locations are equally good, too.

      1. Gryfe's Bagel has montreal style bagels. they are loacted at 3421 Bathurst Street

        :)

        2 Replies
        1. re: food_lover

          Gryfe's bagels are not Montreal style. They're good, but definitely not Montreal bagels. Gryfe's bagels are soft and sort of puffy with tiny holes. Montreal bagels (like at the Bagel House) are denser with large holes.

          1. re: TorontoJo

            Gryfe's are horrible. That don't even come close to resembling a real bagel.

        2. In St. Lawrence Market you have st.Urbain bagels it's the first Montreal Bagel shop to open

          1. St. Urbain's are not even remotely like Montreal bagels. Nor are the knishes.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Googs

              I find this response amusing because St. Urbain moved here from Montreal. They are as Montreal as anything in Montreal.

              1. re: wordsworth

                sorry to disappoint you. the ONLY think that move to TO from Montreal with this chain is the name. The bagel stores in montreal are called

                st. viateur
                fairmount.

                both non chain stores

            2. This is not in north Toronto, but I really like the Montreal-style bagels in "Market Bakery", located right in the middle of Kensington Market. It is really delicious!

              1. St. Urbain has a store on Bathurst just north of Steeles. ALso one on Eglinton somewhere. There is also a place called Montreal Bagels on Bathurst south of Wilson a few blocks. Neither of these is EXACTLY a Montreal bagel, but they are close enough for those times when you can't get to Montreal to buy the real thing.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Nyleve

                  Sorry guys, the only one that's even remotely close is Bagel House. And I think they've got it exactly like the real thing.

                  1. re: Nyleve

                    not exactly... is the understatement of the century. St urbain bagel is an example of someone trying to copy a recipe without any knowledge of what is is supposedly the end product should taste like

                    if you want toronto bagel... then thats fine. but Montreal... by EVERYONE who knows... the bagel house is the unfortantly the only one who comes close (i prefer the fairmount bagel with its wide variety, but alas not to be in TO)

                    1. re: galambo

                      Ok, ok, I get your point. I agree - and yes, I do know genuine Montreal bagels very well. No need to get hysterical (but then again, the subject of bagels seems to make people very emotional). It's just that, for a Toronto bagel, I prefer the ones from St. Urbain to the Gryfes type. But of course, if I have St. Viateur or Fairmounts in my freezer, there's no need for that sort of desperation.

                  2. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't there supposed to be a Kettlemen's somewhere on the Danforth?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Lazar

                      Sadly it closed a few months ago.

                      1. re: Lazar

                        I agree, Kettlemen's was super authentic. The next best I know of is the bakery in Kensington Market - don't know the name though...

                        1. re: TOfoodie

                          Here, here for the Kettleman's appreciation thread. I only got there a couple of times since I didn't find out about it 'til shortly before it ended up closing. I found out that it's an Ottawa chain but the bagels were the real deal Montreal-style. I can think of much better areas where they could've attained success. Too bad.

                          And any other bagel I've tried in Toronto that attempts to do Montreal-style has failed, for reasons I'm unsure of. Bagel House is pretty weak, for instance, despite the fact that they apparently had experience working at St. Viateur.

                          1. re: Ben Reiner

                            Ben Reiner, I hate to pick a fight, but I completely disagree with you. Bagel house is exactly Fairmount, imho.

                      2. St. Urbain bagels in the market don't even remotely resemble Montreal bagels. I got angry at them for using the name "St. Urbain." Mordecai Richler must be rolling in his grave.

                        1. St Urbain used to have acceptable bagels when I first moved to Toronto back in '88. They were baked in a wood oven, hand-rolled and used the standard ingredients.

                          Then a few years ago I went to the market location and found them being made in a gas oven, cut out like a doughnut and when I saw the ingredients listed on the bag it used shortening (mmm... trans-fat) instead of oil. Yuch!

                          Bagel House is the only choice... but they don't do the kind of volume that Montreal bakeries do, which means the bagels are not always hot and fresh from the oven. Go early in the day for the freshest selection.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: RealityBites

                            Really? I have never NOT received hot from the oven bagels when I have been - the bag is always soaking wet when I get home from all the steam they give off! Perhaps during the week when it's not as busy they might not be hot (however they are certainly fresh), but on the weekend they certainly bake all day. I am speaking of the Bayview and Eglington location - not sure about the Avenue Road store. In any event, imho, Bagel House definitely has the best Mtl style bagels to be found in TO - even my Mtler hubby thinks they are as good, if not better, than St. Viateur!

                            1. re: fortheloveoffood

                              I totally agree with ftlof. I have been frequently to both Bagel House locations, and have always asked for and received hot, or at least warm, bagels. Of course I'm always there in the morning and usually, but not always, on a weekend.

                              1. re: fortheloveoffood

                                Well come to think of it, I probably should have mentioned that I buy whole wheat bagels! My advice probably doesn't apply to those buying white or black seed. However, I was there on the weekend, early afternoon, and bought some white seed that were only slightly warm..

                                1. re: fortheloveoffood

                                  He doesn't really think they're better, he's just humouring you. Either that or he's not from Montreal!

                                  1. re: childofthestorm

                                    Husband here,
                                    I know very little about food other than bagels, poutine, smoked meat, steamies, and Arahova [1 stop stop stop] souvlaki. I can however tell you that Bagel House is a decent bagel - better than st.viateur.
                                    May the habs always beat the leafs :)

                                    1. re: fotheloveoffood_husband

                                      Better than Fairmount too? Ha, OK, you win, I'll try Bagel House.

                                      And the Habs are losing to the Leafs right now. Toronto is having an all-around good night I suppose.

                              2. I don't know which bakery makes them but the Sunglow Bakery in Bloor West Village carries what are, to my mind, quite authentic Montreal bagels. Similar to St. Viateur. Not as good, but close. I stockpile them.

                                I once looked at a St. Urbain bagel, thought "WTF?" and walked away.

                                1. I know this doesn't help your "further north" request, but IMO, the Montreal-style bagels at Altitude Bakery on Queen E are very good.

                                  1. Hi VVM,

                                    Will try Haymishe (I assume it is more of a Toronto style bagel). I do like Gryfe's as a TO bagel currently. BTW - did you know that a young Stompin' Tom used to rent out the upstairs apartment at the original Gryfe's.

                                    Re: Best Montreal style - I never try to convince anyone to eat the things I like - (strangely often the case with marzipan too) - because it just means there's more for me!

                                    Thanks

                                    1. Not what the OP was inquiring about, but I shall try Haymishe for the definitive Toronto-style bagel.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: mrbozo

                                        I don't know if they do it at other locations but What a Bagel in Thornhill now has Montreal bagels. they're not textbook in that they are done in their conveyor oven rather than wood-fired but they taste darned good and very different from the rest of their bagels. And, all respect to mrbozo, I think WAB and Gryfes are the best "Toronto style" bagels though Haymishe is on the short list of places that produce decent bagels as opposed to bagel shaped bread.

                                        1. re: fleisch

                                          Man, I hate to jump back in here but...I am a Hamishe fan, but I think it's behind Gryfe's and my fave, Bagel World on Wilson. Nothing like a warm Bagel World twister with butter (had one this morning). The 'thin bagels' are great too.

                                            1. re: deelicious

                                              Yeah, Kivas is very good too--almost identical to Bagel World.

                                      2. Lets put this to rest. Anyone who's lived in Montreal (not just visit it on occassion) knows that Viateur bagels are hands down Montreal's, if not the entire country's, best bagels (and i can say that confidently without even have tried bagels from 7 of the 10 provinces).

                                        Farimount is good. But its not as good as Viateur.

                                        With that said, I don't think there's one place in Toronto that even comes close to a Viateur bagel. Montreal style? sure. GOOD montreal style though? Tabernac!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: goodcookiedrift

                                          bagel house comes really really close and i have travel all around

                                          and an ex montrealler to boot