Montreal Style Bagels Shouldn’t Exist

So, suddenly, we’re hearing about this thing—a Montreal-style bagel—and I’m like, “Whaaat?! There are other types of bagels and I’m only hearing about this now?”

And not only this, but the famed place in Montreal that’s been making said bagels since the 1960s churns out piping hot bagels from its on-site brick oven. And it’s open 24 hours a day!

We started our exploration at their satellite location, which houses a smaller brick oven and allows you to dress your bagel up with smoked salmon and accompanying fruit slices.

As a Jew, I usually get nervous around big ovens…but not when they’re baking bagels!

Baking Bagels

The air was ripe with anticipation. They were baking super-seedy, crispy, crunchy, delicious looking Montreal-style bagels not ten feet away from us!

Stalking the Montreal Bagel

My lox bagel arrived promptly with capers, red onion, tomatoes and cream cheese. It was quite the looker…

Salmon Bagel

Rachel’s bagel with cantaloupe slices looked sad and reminded me of the 1980’s.

Sad Bagel

We took that first bite and there was silence. We ate quietly…


“That wasn’t very good,” I said.
“They tasted like old weathered cardboard,” said Rachel.
“Yeah…too dense.”
“Maybe we got a bad batch,” we concluded.

We tried again at the OG bagel factory. It probably would’ve been more legit if we were there at 3 a.m. but I think the neighborhood is pretty rough. I mean, we saw KGB agents there at ten in the morning.


Bagel Store

And folks, it was pure bagel mania in there. It was like the cold cut tray at Dr. Seuss’ funeral.


They meant business. There was something Soviet about the serious-faced people entering this no-nonsense space and buying daily bread in commodity amounts of 42, 70, 12. We radiated “TOURIST” with our order of “two bagels, toasted, with extra cream cheese, please! Did you include knives? Napkins? Where’s the cream cheese? Oh we get it ourselves? Where from?…” I could tell everyone in there wanted to kill us.

If I'm Line, I'm Dyin'

We took our bagels around the corner to a sidewalk bench and fed the meter while we gave Montreal’s namesake bagels a second try.

Man look at that hole, you could fit a baby arm through there and teach him how to swim!

The Hole Picture

Everything about this bagel should be good. It looks awesome. But it was so dry and flavorless, even worse than its satellite location. And the “extra cream cheese?” The Philly cream cheese had separated in its teeny container.

Not cool, Montreal.

Not Cool

I did however LOVE this last-second impulse buy at St. Vitaeur: Montreal-style matzoh.

Montreal Style Matzoh

Well, Montreal, what can we say: your bagel is not so good. 

Don’t feel bad. Your matzoh is magnificent. You’re croissants are killing it. We had some very nice baguettes within your borders. And who knows, maybe we’re not using these bagels the way they’re meant to be used: as croutons?


But don’t take my word for it. Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know!

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