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Just Curious: Do any non-Montrealers love Montreal bagels?

There's a little battle going on on the Toronto/Ontario board, the usual bickering about whose bagels are better - Montreal's or Toronto's. As a former Montrealer now living in Toronto, my vote goes to the slightly chewy bagels of Montreal, which nourished not only me, but the likes of Mordecai Richler, Leonard Cohen, and William Shatner.

Is there anyone out there who did not grow up in Montreal, yet has tried a real Montreal bagel and fallen in love?

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  1. I'd say I enjoy them, but.... not quite a love affair. We visit Montreal often, and Fairmount or St. Viature are always on the travel route.

    1. Yes, for a very long time I preferred the Montreal style bagels baked by Bagel House on Bayview as opposed to all others I had had in Toronto. On summer trips to la belle provence I loved Montreal bagels from St. Viateur.

      Then I went to NYC last summer and our hotel was around the corner from Ess-a-Bagel. I have never so enjoyed a bagel in my life. Sure, it is a totally different bagel -- salty, not sweet, and chewy all the way through without any crust -- but, my heart was swayed none-the-less.

      Now, back in T.O., I find myself wanting better non-Montreal bagels rather than going back to my old preference. Gryfe's is way too far from where I live and still not as good as Ess-a.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Atahualpa

        I live in CALGARY and Gryfe's isn't too far for me!

      2. I've had a couple in my lifetime and really didn't like them. Way too chewy and doughy.

        DT

        1. I enjoy Montreal bagels from St. Viateur very much when they are freshly made. I bring them home and freeze them, but they don't taste fresh when they defrost, like my local bagels do.
          That won't stop me from buying them whenever I visit.

          1. Grew up in Toronto, went to McGill, now back in Toronto. Yes, definitely love, in a way that makes me want TO TYPE IN ALL CAPS OMG LUV LUV LUV!
            I don't even eat Toronto bagels. I've never tried Gryfe's though. I understand a great New York bagel is a different thing entirely - from fellow McGill students from New York who loved both, but in different ways. Does bagel love have to be monogamous?
            Have you tried your Montreal bagel spread with avocado and a sprinkle of salt?

            Oh and I have to add, with Liberte cream cheese! So much better than Philly. Why do we have Liberte yoghurt etc in Toronto but not the cream cheese?

            2 Replies
            1. re: julesrules

              YIPPEE! Thanks for your post, julesrules! I just knew there was at least one person out there who'd understand.

              As for Liberty cream cheese - you're right, it is the best - old-fashioned, no gucky gums, just pure ingredients. Western cream cheese in Toronto comes in a close second.

              1. re: FlavoursGal

                It's actually been discussed on CH in the past and there are Americans out there who love the Montreal bagel too.

                I have seen the Western cream cheese, I would say that I'll try it but really there's no point without the bagels ;)