Growing up in New York City, bagels were my go-to breakfast item, especially when in a rush: Toasted with scallion cream cheese was my favorite. I’ve travelled to other states, and their bagels were not the same. Then I found out that you must try a Montréal-style bagel.
What’s so special about a Montréal-style bagel?
The two most prominent styles of traditional bagel in North America are the Montreal-style bagel and the New York-style bagel. The Montreal bagel contains malt and sugar with no salt; it is boiled in honey-sweetened water before baking in a wood-fired oven; and it is predominantly either of the poppy “black” or sesame “white” seeds variety. The New York bagel contains salt and malt and is boiled in water prior to baking in a standard oven. The resulting New York bagel is puffy with a moist crust, while the Montreal bagel is smaller (though with a larger hole), crunchier, and sweeter. (Source: Wikipedia)
During my recent trip to Montréal, I made sure I grabbed a bagel and see if it was all hype, or if this was a great style of bagels. St-Viateur Bagel & Café was on the top of the list, and a must-visit in the books. I stopped by the location in The Plateau section of Montréal.
St-Viateur Bagel was opened in 1957 by Myer Lewkowicz, with its original location on 263 St. Viateur. The bakery is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it attracts locals, tourists and celebrities alike. Just like the original location, St-Viateur’s shoppe in The Plateau greets you with the smell of freshly baked bagels cascading down a ramp ready to be packed into a bag for you to enjoy warm. Bagels can be eaten plain, or with your choice of spread, or used in a sandwich.
I tried the “all dressed” and sesame seed bagels. Unlike the New York style bagel, the “all dressed” aka everything was missing a key ingredient: salt. Other than that, it was a decent bagel. I loved the sesame seed bagel – it was crunchy and sweet; and not very doughy. Even if you save a bagel for the next day, they are still soft inside. But why would you wait that long – it’s best eaten right out of the oven.
263 St. Viateur West
Tel: (514) 276-8044
St-Viateur Bagel & Café
1127 Ave Du Mont-Royal E
Montréal, QC H2J
Tel: (514) 528-6361