Fairmount Bagel

You must have realized by now that I haven’t been taking photos of the exteriors of places.  Why?  Well, because in Montreal, it was -17 degrees (yes, I am going to find a way to work that nugget into every single Montreal post), and damned if I was going to stop outside a place to fumble to take out my camera then take a photo while I slowly froze solid!  In any case, the next morning, our first stop was Fairmount Bagels, like good New Yorkers.  Wait, what?  Bagels outside of NYC – and trust me, I’ve tried – just aren’t bagels, right?  Well, I’d heard from some very trustworthy NYers that Montreal bagels were really good.  Different, but very good. 

When you walk inside the tiny shop, all you smell is yeast and warm bagels.  Mmm… and just beyond the counter, you can see a giant – and I mean GIANT – ball of dough just hanging out with a guy cutting off pieces and quickly rolling bagels, while another guy slips them into the oven using a long flat paddle.  Crazytown.  DLS and I were enthralled, just watching the process repeated over and over and over again…

Sometimes I’m amused by his food choices, but far be it from me to ever tell someone how to order (okay, that’s not true, but when something’s interesting to me, I like to see the results).  He chose a chocolate chip bagel, toasted with cream cheese and lox.  He commented how the sweetness of the chocolate played well against the saltiness of the lox and ‘made me’ try a bite.  I admit it was an interesting combination, though not one I’d want to eat frequently – tasty, but not quite my thing – which may surprise some people who know how much I love salty-sweet things. 

I went far more classic and ordered an onion bagel with cream cheese and lox.  People say that it’s the water in NYC that makes bagels so good; I don’t know what it is, but I did note that the bagels in Montreal were yeasty and slightly sweeter than I’m accustomed to.  I’m not entirely sure the process in NYC, but I thought it was boiling, then baking; in Montreal, it was definitely straight to the baking, which might encourage the slightly different taste and the texture being slightly flatter.  In any case, I really enjoyed my bagel and its classic taste – onions with lox and cream cheese?  Yes please! 

I did note that normally, after eating an entire bagel in NYC – especially with cream cheese AND lox – I tend to feel super bloated and full.  Half a bagel in NYC is plenty of fuel for any morning, but after our respective bagels, DLS was still hungry.  I was satisfied, though by no means super stuffed, and he wanted to go get poutine immediately!  (We compromised and went shopping instead.)  Oh, and we also bought bagel chips – which were kind of expensive at $6.99 for a box – that I’ve been munching on with various dips and cheeses since we got back… yum! 

Yvo says: I really enjoyed the bagels here and would have no problem returning – especially given that I don’t feel so super stuffed afterwards that I’m sick! Great bagels, though I do prefer NY bagels in general… these could definitely become a morning habit without all the guilt of a NY bagel!  (And maybe they don’t need to be compared. They’re just two different types of bagels…)

Fairmount Bagel on Urbanspoon


  1. says

    yea i like NY style more than Montreal style especially when making a sandwich. Montreal was too small as you can see.

    I did like the fire roasted flavor from the oven in Montreal though.

    Choc chip bagel with lox and cream cheese? DLS would make a terrible Jew.

    • says

      Haha, I just said the exact opposite – I prefer the smaller style because then I’m not super bloated and icky feeling afterwards, like when I eat too much! I don’t really often eat sandwich style, either – just with cream cheese and it’s too carby for me. But these were really good bagels…

  2. says

    Oooh, those look really good! I’m with you on the smaller bagels. And I only like a schmear of cream cheese. Some places slap it on 1/2 in thick. Bleh, too overwhelming.

  3. says

    If you bring back a dozen in your suitcase I will sooo buy them off of you. I love Montreal bagels but Mile End marks them up like crazy. So if you mark them up less crazy… we have a deal?

    • says

      Sorry D – I’ll let you know the next time I head up there (hopefully sooner than later!), but I went up over MLK weekend. The posts are a bit behind! What’s the crazy markup at Mile End, anyway?

      • says

        A sesame bagel with cream cheese is $3. Only available until 12 P.M. A dozen plain bagels to pick up are $20. Bagels with seasoning are $22/dozen. Ok, maybe not crazy, but still.

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