Of all the places famous for a warm, yummy bagel, Montreal may not pop up in your head as a typical place to go. Yet few know that Montreal actually has its own variety of bagel, which is different to the ever-popular “New York bagel” in that it’s wood-fired, made with egg and honey or malt, chewy, dense, saltless, and usually smaller with a bigger hole in the middle. They also normally have either poppy seeds or sesame seeds on top.
The Mount Royal Bagel Bakery is a good place to start your bagel hunt; bagel types include pumpernickel, blueberry, chocolate, and cinnamon. They also serve vegan bagels in rye, flax, and spelt. If you’re in the mood for a bagel sandwich, you can order one with spicy tuna or chopped egg. Soups such as creamy potato and chive, lentil, leek and potato, minestrone, bean and barley, red kidney bean, and split pea will no doubt warm you up on a cold day.
Salad lovers will not leave unsatisfied; Israeli, Hearts of Palm, chickpea, and cucumber are just some of the healthy options on the menu. You can also munch on cinnamon pretzels, potato or tuna knishes, and delicious spreads that will make your mouth water as soon as you see them. Carrot walnut muffins, Israeli fruit nectar juice, and Moka Java round out the sweet choices. The best perk? Mount Royal has free coffee on Mondays!
You should also stop by the family-owned St-Viateur Bagel, which is open 24 hours a day and has been hand-rolling finger-licking-good bagels for over half a century.
Another good bagel locale is the Fairmount Bagel, which also goes the wood-fire and hand-rolled route, with twenty different varieties. Tempting bagel options include pesto and black olive, garlic, sun-dried tomato, muesli, and the “power” bagel (raisins, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and no eggs). Who’s hungry?