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Fairmont Bagel and St.Viateur

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. 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

      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

        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

          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

        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. 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

        1. 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

            «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

              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

                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

                  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

                    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

                      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

                        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

                      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

                        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

                          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

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

                            1. re: bigfellow

                              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

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

                                1. re: kpzoo

                                  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

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

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

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Evilbanana11

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

                          1. re: Evilbanana11

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

                          2. 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

                              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. 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

                                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.

                                1. re: moh

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

                                2. 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

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

                                      1. re: RhondaB

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

                                    2. 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