There aren’t too many better ways to start off your day than with a toasted bagel and cream cheese.
Whether you’re a poppy seed fan, everything bagel, sesame seed, or plain, bagels are like toast — on steroids.
Just make sure, you’re not pronouncing it “baggel.”
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As a Montrealer, I take my bagel-eating very seriously. I’m not implying that fast-food chains can bake bagels better than any of Montreal’s renowned spots, but sometimes when you’ve got a bagel craving, you just need something quick, ya know?
According to a 2012 study from the Canada Bread Company, six out of ten Canadians eat bagels on a regular basis, nearly a quarter of whom eat bagels daily or several times a week.
Admittedly, I’ve devoured enough bagels in my day to tide me over for the next lifetime. And as much as I hate to admit it (sorry St-Viateur Bagel), that means I’ve scarfed back a lot of fast-food chain bagels.
With that said, here is a ranking, from worst to best, of Canadian fast-food bagels.
And we’re not talking about croissants or English muffins either, just the good stuff.
Krispy Kreme is a North Carolina chain that serves up a variety of sweet donuts, coffee, and frozen drinks.
They also have raisin bagels, poppy seed, plain, and sesame seed bagels but they’re all very doughy and bland. You can skip these and stick to Krispy Kreme donuts.
McDonald’s breakfast game is pretty top-notch (what’s up, hash browns?). The coffee is good, the McGriddle can almost single-handily rid a hangover, and anything on a McMuffin does the trick.
But the bagels are not good. They’re plain and don’t bring much to the breakfast table. Might as well call them McCardboard.
Second Cup bagels are pretty good. The chain originated in Toronto so at least they’re geographically close to Montreal, the bagel capital of North America (sorry, New York.)
The coffee chain has a good variety of bagel choices and their sesame seed form stands up pretty well compared to Montreal-style bagels.
Coat these bad boys in cream cheese and you’ll do alright.
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Tim Hortons can dish out some pretty good bagels. Their everything bagel is full of flavour and has a good dough ratio. Your bagels can’t be too doughy, you need a good density to chewy balance and Tim Hortons does that.
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Eggspectation is spread out across Canada and has recently popped up in the US. Having originated in Montreal, the chain specializes in a smaller, thinner, sweeter, and denser style of bagel, perfectly cooked in wood-fired ovens,
If you’re looking for really good fast-food bagels, make sure Eggspectation is on your radar.
Are you listening, McDonald’s? Keep it lean, keep it crispy, and don’t call it a baggel.