Who makes Montreal’s best smoked meat? Who makes Montreal’s best bagel? Who makes Montreal’s best poutine? These debates have been raging in our city for ages. Here at The Main, however, we don’t believe in choosing favorites, but we do like to know the facts. Here’s our breakdown of one classic Montreal food debate—bagels at Fairmount or Saint Viateur.

Why Fairmount is Better

  1. The Selection: Say what you want about comparing the poppy seed/sesame seed iterations of Montreal’s two bagel behemoths, but the fact of the matter is that Farimont offers certain kinds of bagels that Saint Viateur just doesn’t make. Exhibit A: The delicious chocolate chip bagel.
  2. The Durability: Fairmount Bagels stay fresher for longer. We can’t always be lucky enough to get a bagel fresh out of the oven and when it comes to grabbing a dozen bagels to take home for future consumption, Fairmont bagels unquestionable maintain their softness and deliciousness for longer.
  3. The Sweetness: Fairmount quite obviously uses a bit more sugar and honey in its dough which makes for a slightly sweeter taste than its counterpart at Saint Viateur
  4. Proximity to Ice Cream: Fairmont bagel happens to be right down the street from KemCoba, Montreal’s best ice cream. I’m a glutton so this kind of thing appeals to me.

Why Saint Viateur is the Best

  1. The Freshness: All bagels that are fresh out of the oven are objectively delicious. If I had to make a choice between a fresh Saint Viateur bagel and a fresh Fairmount bagel, though, I’d go Saint Viateur every time.
  2. The Size: Saint Viateur’s bagels are bigger than Fairmount’s. Hard to argue with more bagel for your buck.
  3. The Ambiance: While the staff at Fairmount isn’t categorically unfriendly, Saint Viateur is definitely the place you want to be if you want to ask questions about how the bagels are made or get a small history lesson.
  4. Proximity to Gyros: Saint Viateur happens to be right down the street from the original Arahova restaurant, which makes some of Montreal’s best late night Greek food. Again, I’m a glutton so this kind of thing appeals to me.

Which do you prefer? Tweet us @TheMain!