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Montreal bagels and poutine

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Thanks to those of you who passed along great restaurant recommendations earlier--we're looking forward to visiting Mas Cuisine, Tuck Shop, and Chien Fumant. I've heard all about Montreal bagels and wonder if there is a place that's the H&H of the city. BTW, H&H is a famous bagel place in NYC. Also, I want to introduce my partner to poutine, any recommendations? Thanks in advance, Morgan

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  1. Bagels : 2 places : "St-Viateur" (st-viateur st.) or "Fairmount" (fairmount st.) both are a couple of blocks from one another.

    Poutine : 2 places : Patati-Patata or "La Banquise"

    You could taxi/bus/metro up to St-Viateur, take a couple of bagels from there, eat them whilst walking down to Fairmount, take a couple, eat them whilst walking down on St-Laurent blvd towards Patati Patata to get a small poutine and walk on Rachel St. towards La Banquise for another poutine.

    From there, you will roll back to your hotel!! ! :-)

    8 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      Thanks Maximilien! Greatly appreciated!

      1. re: MBZinDC

        My youngest son wanted a poutine tasting for his birthday recently so we tried three different ones, La Banquise, Frites Alors and Pizza Dany (a fast food place not noted for its poutine other than by my kids). Some of the kids preferred Frites Alors as the fries are more crunchy, although I found the sauce had a lot of msg. Pizza Dany had big meaty fries and was very inexpensive plus a huge portion. La Banquise is the classic poutine with sweet, soggy fries and a very good sauce. Patati Patata is a good starting point for adults as the portions are small and the sauce has wine.

        1. re: Plateaumaman

          There is a frite alors on Av. du Parc between Fairmount & St. Viateur. I LOVE the crispy fries there, and I think this would be an easy way to do both things in one trip. The neighborhood is culturally historic for English Montreal and makes for a great walk, especially St. Viateur St. Then at Boul. St. Laurent, walk south back towards your hotel to burn off the calories & grab a cab when you've had enough.

          1. re: C70

            excellent, just looked at the area online, and look forward to visiting!

          2. re: Plateaumaman

            I went to La Banquise the other night. I uncharacteristically ordered one of their meat heavy poutines to share with my girlfriend. We both were surprised at how few french fries there were! There sure was a lot of meat and green peppers, but barely any fries! What gives?

            1. re: catroast

              That's unusual. When we ordered our large poutine to go we got a big box filled with tons of fries, so many they were steaming in there. Maybe they cut back when there's a lot of meat?

              1. re: catroast

                Yet another tip for visitors: Order the classic poutine for the real thing. Most of the add-ins are nonsense and essentially amount to slop on a plate.

              2. re: Plateaumaman

                excellent, thanks so much!

          3. Fairmount Bagels get my vote too!

            4 Replies
            1. re: fabelicious

              Vote for St Viateur, slightly better than Fairmount IMO. Never tried H&H but have had Murray's Bagels in NY. Qute different of course as we all know, our bagels aren't thick and bready. Murray's were very good and make for a great sandwich.

              1. re: JerkPork

                Many thanks!

                1. re: MBZinDC

                  Fairmount's everything bagels (with fennel seeds) are my gold standard for everything bagels. (And I live in Brooklyn.) Never liked the white or black varieties, but I don't like sesame or poppy bagels here in NYC either.

                  1. re: lambretta76

                    I agree - i much prefer Fairmount's everything to St-Viateur's...but i thought those were caraway seeds. The trick is getting them when they are still warm, which is not easy.

            2. Stick with our traditional Sesame Bagel for the authentic Montreal experience. Poppy and other varieties are available, but baked less frequently and IMO need a toasting and schmear to 'wake them up'.

              4 Replies
              1. re: C70

                i am not a poutine fan but liked the foie gras version at PDC, and you can go just for that, not necessary to get the meals, we sometimes just had appetizers and shared. Sometimes you can just drop in around 10ish and find a seat.

                1. re: C70

                  Ya- one can't over emphasize the importance of getting sesame bagels. So often visitors judge these places on other bagel types and walk away disappointed. Really h&h was the st viateur/fairmont of NYC, since they're 55 and 95 years old, respectively, so I expect you'll enjoy either option.

                  1. re: Fintastic

                    sesame is my favorite so looking forward to trying them--thanks for the tip!

                  2. re: C70

                    excellent tip, thanks so much!

                  3. I'd throw my bagel recommendation behind St. Viateur, but Fairmont is pretty damn close. Both have some of the best bagels in Canada, bar-none.