The Sweet Wood-Fired Bagels of Montreal Versus the Chewy Boiled Bagels of New York City

Great Big Story traveled between Montréal, Quebec and New York City, both renowned for their bagels, to find out how two separate shops in each city prepare their own version of the hole-y roll. They started off in Montréal at St-Viateur Bagel Shop, where proprietor Robert Morena explained that they hand roll every bagel, boil them in honey water, roll them in seeds and bake in a wood fired oven. Back in New York, Darin Dolfi who is the operations manager at H & H Midtown East, explained that some bagels were machine cut and some were hand rolled, but the process is labor intensive – taking 24 hours of proofing and boiling before the bagels can even be baked. In the end, the recipes are too different to really make a true comparison, but to each their own.

If you’re more of a sweet and doughy do-it-yourself bagel maker Montréal is for you. But if you prefer the toasted bagel with everything on it you’ve got to come to New York.