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Fairmont Bagel and St.Viateur

fishnetstars Jun 9, 2009 02:21 PM

I have two days left in Montreal, and I still haven't tried the bagels!
I want to go there, but I am dependant on public transportation, and it seems super far
away from a subway or anything.

Can someone please tell me clear directions to get to both of these places?
I think that they are fairly close to each other,and I would hate to go back to Toronto without trying either.

I am leaving from the central bus station, [Station Centrale?]

Sorry if this is off topic!

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  1. carswell RE: fishnetstars Jun 9, 2009 02:37 PM

    Several options from the bus station (Gare centrale is the CN train station downtown), which sits over the main subway transfer point, Berri-UQAM station.

    - Take the green line west to Place des Arts station. Transfer to the northbound 80 (Av. du Parc) bus and get off at St-Viateur. Walk half a block west to the bagel factory. From there walk a long block south to Fairmount and a few short blocks east to the bagel factory.

    - Take the green line west to St-Laurent station. Transfer to the northbound 55 bus (St-Laurent) and get off at Fairmount or St-Viateur. Walk west a half block to Fairmount or several blocks to St-Viateur.

    - Take the orange line north to Laurier station. Transfer to the westbound 51 bus (Édouard-Montpetit). Get off at St-Laurent. Walk north on St-Laurent two blocks to Fairmount. Turn east and walk a block to the bagel factory. Walk north a long block to St-Viateur and then west a few short blocks to the bagel factory.

    To return, take one of the mentioned routes in reverse. Or wear comfortable shoes and walk back (down sidestreets for a look at the Plateau's domestic side; down, say, Mont-Royal and St-Denis or St-Laurent for its more commercial side).

    4 Replies
    1. re: carswell
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      Campofiorin RE: carswell Jun 10, 2009 06:27 AM

      The 55 would be a much better bet as Jeanne-Mance st. has been closed for a few months now and the 80 bus has been rerouted some place else. Complicated ofr us locals and even more so for a visitor.

      1. re: Campofiorin
        carswell RE: Campofiorin Jun 10, 2009 09:03 AM

        Not really. At PDA station, instead of taking the south central exit to Jeanne-Mance, you simply take the northeast exit to Président-Kennedy. The bus stop is right there. Two advantages of the 80 are that it's more frequent than the 55 and doesn't get tied up in traffic, as often happens to the 55 on St-Laurent between Sherbrooke and Pine Ave. I also find the route alongside Mount Royal Park more scenic.

        1. re: carswell
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          Shattered RE: carswell Jun 10, 2009 09:15 AM

          Agreed. 80 is far more frequent and faster, even with construction. I live between Parc & St-Lo, trust me. The 55 and 97 on Mt-Royal are the slowest, most brutal bus rides in the city. There's really only one lane usable in each the direction for any length, and there's always tons of traffic day or nite, no matter the season.

      2. re: carswell
        anachemia RE: carswell Jun 12, 2009 07:40 PM

        Um, to correct and clarify Carswell's instructions - St. Viateur Bagel is located half a block EAST of Parc ave, not West. (mentioned in the first bullet point)

        Similarly, in the orange-line-to-Laurier instructions, Fairmount Bagel is located WEST of St. Laurent Blvd, not East. He's correct that St. Viateur Bagel is yet further West of there (and north).

        Bagels from both these places are wonderful and certainly worth a special trip, but not worth a wild goose chase based on wrong directions ;-) Good luck & hope you enjoy them!

      3. carswell RE: fishnetstars Jun 9, 2009 02:52 PM

        Here are the addresses, which you can plug into Google Maps or similar websites:

        St-Viateur Bagel - 263 St. Viateur Ouest, Montreal, 514 276-8044, www.stviateurbagel.com

        Fairmount Bagel - 74 avenue Fairmount Ouest, Montreal, 514 272-0667, www.fairmountbagel.com

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          everyonelovessushi RE: fishnetstars Jun 9, 2009 04:25 PM

          If you can only go to one make sure it's Fairmount, the bagels are way better there. But get from both places if you can and let us know which is better. I think we need a great bagel debate.

          15 Replies
          1. re: everyonelovessushi
            carswell RE: everyonelovessushi Jun 9, 2009 04:38 PM

            «I think we need a great bagel debate.»

            We've already had one and opinions are pretty evenly divided. My take is the exact opposite of yours -- Fairmount is a distant second best, way too sweet, crusty and seed-encrusted (and that's not even going into the issue of their abominations like cinnamon and blueberry).
            .

            1. re: carswell
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              everyonelovessushi RE: carswell Jun 9, 2009 05:22 PM

              Yeah, but repetition is built into a board like this . New members with different ideas, stuff like that. I've never figured out how Viateur could make such a tasteless hard bagel even fresh out of the oven. Certainly any debate is only Sesame and Poppy based.

              1. re: everyonelovessushi
                carswell RE: everyonelovessushi Jun 9, 2009 05:39 PM

                The point is it's pointless. It's not going to accomplish anything other than irritating the partisans of each establishment, especially when people throw out baseless statements like St-Viateur's making a "hard bagel even fresh out of the oven" (setting aside the issue of indisputable taste, St-V's bagels are widely acknowledged as being softer and doughier, F's as being crustier and chewier).

                1. re: carswell
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                  everyonelovessushi RE: carswell Jun 9, 2009 07:14 PM

                  I don't know. Having lived within a few blocks of both establishments for the much of the last 30 years and eaten hundreds of bagels from both places the Viateur bagels are not softer than the Fairmount ones. Total myth. Hot and soft is Fairmount. Maybe it's because they have a higher turnover (fresher) because their bagels are better. No comparison in flavour either. Viateur is like a tasteless dough circle. Fairmount, well, it has flavour.

                  1. re: everyonelovessushi
                    carswell RE: everyonelovessushi Jun 9, 2009 07:28 PM

                    Well, I've been frequenting them for about ten years longer than you and a couple of summers ago did repeated side-by-side comparisons of hot-from-the-oven breads from each establishment. St-Viateur's were invariably softer. Actually, I've complained here and elsewhere that they've become too soft and pillowy, at least compared with the bagel of the early '70s. I don't buy for a minute your -- what is it? third? -- unsubstantiated claim that Fairmount has a higher turnover. You're right about the Fairmount flavour, though: caramel and seeds galore, the Big Mac of Montreal bagels. For me, it's all about the bread, so St-V wins hands down.

                    1. re: carswell
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                      everyonelovessushi RE: carswell Jun 9, 2009 07:42 PM

                      Pretty hard to do a side by side when you have to the long walk down the block. Even in/on transportation one bagel's going to be older than the other.
                      It's totally random but I always have to wait in a longer line at Fairmount than at Viateur but I guess McDonalds has a long line too, so I guess you score points for your Big Mac comparison.
                      If flavour isn't your thing you're onto the right place.

                      1. re: carswell
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                        Shattered RE: carswell Jun 9, 2009 09:43 PM

                        Easy, fellas, just enjoy.

                        I agree that Fairmount is crustier and chewier while Viateur is softer - but that's exactly why I prefer Fairmount.

                        It's a matter of personal taste, like fries and poutine (I like thick home cut -even skin on- and thick dark sauce, from being weaned on Ottawa chipwagons, and both hard to find here, sadly).

                        What is beyond argument though, is that Schwartz's is the first & last word in smoked meat, in this or any other universe... ;)

                    2. re: carswell
                      blond_america RE: carswell Jun 10, 2009 10:50 AM

                      I don't see a point to this debate when everyone knows New York bagels are superior to Montreal bagels...

                      Hahaha...not my personal belief. Just wanted to throw another bagel debate in there. I've never even had a true NY bagel.

                      1. re: blond_america
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                        Shattered RE: blond_america Jun 10, 2009 11:14 AM

                        Troublemaker! Never had NYC bagel either, but I've had their pastrami and it doesn't hold a candle to smoked meat.

                        1. re: blond_america
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                          emerilcantcook RE: blond_america Jun 10, 2009 11:15 AM

                          You are all wrong! The best bagel comes from Hamilton. Sesame and poppy are for tourists, the real bagel aficionados prefer theirs in cinnamon flavor, lightly dusted in sugar.

                          1. re: emerilcantcook
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                            bigfellow RE: emerilcantcook Jun 10, 2009 03:18 PM

                            Herratic!!!!! Real bagels are only plain, sesame or poppy seed. and really...Hamilton...

                            1. re: bigfellow
                              carswell RE: bigfellow Jun 10, 2009 03:24 PM

                              Not to worry, big guy. emerilcantcook was tongue-in-cheekily referring to the celebrated "Protection of 'Montreal bagel' designation" thread that predated your arrival.
                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/477359

                              1. re: bigfellow
                                kpzoo RE: bigfellow Jun 10, 2009 03:24 PM

                                That was a joke. Guess you weren't around for the Great Silly Bagel-off a while back.

                                1. re: kpzoo
                                  carswell RE: kpzoo Jun 10, 2009 03:28 PM

                                  Have heard rumours that the offending Steal Town store has not only not recanted but has actually come out with a new Montreal style pizza bagel (or some such).

                                  1. re: kpzoo
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                                    bigfellow RE: kpzoo Jun 10, 2009 03:28 PM

                                    No, but I do have a sense of humour and my post was meant as such.

                                    I have my preferences. But I leanred long ago that it is "whatever makes you happy".

                                    Now please pass the cream cheese.

                    3. fishnetstars RE: fishnetstars Jun 9, 2009 04:27 PM

                      thanks a lot guys! I will def. report back.

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                        Evilbanana11 RE: fishnetstars Jun 10, 2009 05:34 AM

                        Fairmount is better followed by Tim Horton's, then St-Viateur.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Evilbanana11
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                          mtlmaven RE: Evilbanana11 Jun 10, 2009 08:03 AM

                          I'm assuming this last comment was made to insult the bakers of St-Viateur! This was totally uncalled for.!

                          1. re: Evilbanana11
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                            moh RE: Evilbanana11 Jun 10, 2009 09:01 AM

                            Haha Evilbanana11, you so funny. Who let the trolls out?

                          2. afoodyear RE: fishnetstars Jun 10, 2009 09:10 AM

                            Trying to keep uninvolved in the "which is better?" debate - if you're a fan of cream cheese with your bagels, make sure to try the "liberte" cream cheese. It's smoother, lighter and slightly tangier than Philadelphia or similar - and it's local as well.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: afoodyear
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                              Shattered RE: afoodyear Jun 10, 2009 09:17 AM

                              Again, a matter of taste. I find Liberte too light, almost whipped with air. I like my Philly, fairly dense. I do agree Lib has nicer taste, once you acquire it. If someone would combine that taste with Philly's more filling feel, that would be perfect.

                            2. c
                              C70 RE: fishnetstars Jun 10, 2009 11:58 AM

                              nothing beats a lightly toasted st. viateur seame with liberty cream cheese, ripe tomato slice, & lots of salt & pepper. NOTHING.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: C70
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                                ChewFun RE: C70 Jun 10, 2009 12:34 PM

                                I am not a local, but I do go to Montreal often enough. I have had bagels from both places. I like both places. I don't see a big difference between them. Of course, I am comparing them to the New York style - which is what I grew up on even though that was in Los Angeles. I will gladly eat either one, especially if I can find some smoked sable.

                              2. m
                                moh RE: fishnetstars Jun 10, 2009 12:41 PM

                                Croissant, anyone?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: moh
                                  superbossmom RE: moh Jun 10, 2009 01:10 PM

                                  I find st viateur bagels flatter, hence they toast better, imo; I like mine golden toasted
                                  and on the dry side, yummmm......

                                2. fishnetstars RE: fishnetstars Jun 10, 2009 03:17 PM

                                  also, how much is it for a dozen bagels at each location? I've been looking but can't quite find a price.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: fishnetstars
                                    kpzoo RE: fishnetstars Jun 10, 2009 03:26 PM

                                    Probably around 6-8$?

                                    1. re: fishnetstars
                                      RhondaB RE: fishnetstars Jun 10, 2009 03:45 PM

                                      I'm pretty sure I paid $6.75 at St. Viateur a couple of weeks ago.

                                      1. re: RhondaB
                                        fishnetstars RE: RhondaB Jun 10, 2009 06:17 PM

                                        oh that's great. cheaper than new york, where it was like $9. o_o

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                                      Maximilien RE: fishnetstars Jun 11, 2009 04:04 AM

                                      anyway, to close the discussion, we all know the best bagels come from Barcelona, but there's not direct access with the metro or bus from montreal, sorry 'bout that. :-)

                                      link to photo : http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3662/3...

                                      :-)

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Maximilien
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                                        Shattered RE: Maximilien Jun 12, 2009 04:26 AM

                                        Wow. Nice find.

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