After three Montreal excursions, it seemed ridiculous that I'd never tried their bagels. I'm no purist, so its not that I'm a NYC-style bagel snob. It just never occurred to me to sample theirs. It's an interesting beast. At St. Viateur they come hot from the oven, and perhaps this is the best state to eat them in. Chewy while warm, they harden like a pretzel when cooled. Compared to NYC bagels theyre smaller, with a big hole, and denser and sweeter (I think they use honey in the water bath). They seem better suited to eating plain like a snack, rather than as a conduit for cream cheese and spreads. I liked them a lot, but for me its all about the schmear, and with Montreal bagels you feel more like youre eating cheese and crackers.
St. Viateur Bagels * 263 St. Viateur W., Montreal, Canada