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The Best Bagels in the World? Oui! Oui!

Bagels from Montreal’s St-Viateur, made by hand and finished in a wood-burning oven, are worth the mail costs. Photograph by Matthew Worden.

Sorry, New Yorkers—the best bagels in the world are in Montreal. And now, thanks to a change in shipping laws, the legendary Montreal bakery St-Viateur Bagel ( is again shipping its bagels to the States.

Smaller and lighter than their New York cousins and with a larger hole in the center, the bagels are artisanally handcrafted—no machine stamping—and baked in a wood-burning oven. Handmade bagels mostly vanished here in the 1960s, victims of the new bagel machines.

The St-Viateur bagels lose a little something in the three days it takes them to arrive by mail, but popping them into the toaster for a few minutes brings them back almost to their original, glorious state.

You can find cheaper bagels—including shipping, a minimum order of six dozen costs around $60—but not better bagels.

  • Bill McAnn

    Machine stamping? No wonder whoever wrote this thinks Canadian bagels are better. Try a REAL NY bagel, those Canadian imitations can't even compare. I don't know what shitty machine stamped bagels you've been eating.

  • mtlgurl

    Will agree with you that Montreal bagels are well worth any price. However, it is slightly pricey, and there are both cheaper AND better bagels out there. I grew up in Montreal, am now living in NYC and of course could not just leave my beloved Montreal bagels. I order from Mount Royal Bagel in mtl. Once a month my mom sends me a present! Don't know exactly how much she pays, but I know it's less than St.Viateur. You can call them to find out or to order @ 1800LEBAGEL. Happyyy Montreal bagel eating!

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