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Baked Goods

Bagels on Fire

Posted by Sarah Ratchford / Posted on July 27, 2013

Bagels on Fire TorontoBagels on Fire is a new little bagel shop in the Beaches that churns out Montreal-style bagels which are served distinctly not on fire. They do, however, come from a wood-fired oven. Husband and wife duo Hazel and Julio Penullar make the bagels themselves from scratch, and alongside your traditional everything, poppyseed and sesame varieties, they also make pretzels and giant twisty bagels. There are specialty flavours, too, like pumpernickel and coconut.

I get to chatting with Hazel, and she says she and her husband used to work together at The Bagel House, he as a baker and she as a cashier. They've been saving and planning for six years with the hopes of opening their own place, and, finally, Bagels on Fire is the realization of that dream.

Bagels on FireMy picky palate and stomach are happy to report that their hard work truly paid off, and I would venture so far as to say many Beaches residents are in agreement with my body parts. The shop was full of people venturing in and out during the half hour or so I was there, from older folks picking up bagels to bring home, to teenagers grabbing quick snacks, to parents and small kids having play dates. Bulk bagels can be had for as little as $7.25/dozen.

Bagels on FireI was there late in the morning, and Hazel told me that, aside from bulk bagels, their sandwiches are big sellers. So I order a sesame seed bagel, my absolute favourite, garnished with tuna salad, lettuce and tomato ($5.50).

The sandwich is perfect, with the bagel toasted to a light, slightly crunchy golden brown, the tuna salad having the perfect portion of mayo mixed in (not soggy, but not too dry) and the produce crisp and fresh. It is, in short, the ideal lunch, both taste and portion-wise.

Bagels on FireIn the mornings, Hazel says her bacon breakfast sandwiches fly out the door almost faster than she can make them. Their Kicking Horse drip coffee ($1.19) goes pretty quickly, too. I enjoy a cup as I sit and chat with her, and as far as drip coffees go, at least, this one hits the spot.

Because my lunch was so good, I wind up going back later to grab some take-home bagels in the most popular flavours, which are onion and everything. They underline my early impression that these are some legit baked goods. The bagels remind me of St. Viateur in Montreal. Sure enough, Hazel tells me they were inspired by the legendary Montreal bagel house.

Bagels on FireWorth noting is that Bagels on Fire is pretty small with seating for about nine, and the worst top 40 tunes blasting from the radio. If you hate Bon Jovi, I would recommend Bagels on Fire as a takeout place as opposed to a sit-down restaurant.

Bagels on FirePhotos by Kat RIzza



Waffles / July 26, 2013 at 09:42 am
Love the bagels and definitely reminds me of St-Viateur. Maybe a bit thicker then I'm use to back in Montreal, but they have the consistency and flavor bang on. The fact that I can eat them straight out of the bag is a great sign. Keep it up and we'll definitely be coming here every weekend to grab a half dozen!
Tom / July 26, 2013 at 11:18 am
If he baked at Bagel House then he got good training, because Bagel House is hands down the best bagels in the city.
Michael Fox / July 26, 2013 at 11:31 am
This is the best thing to come to the Beach since the lake!
Warren M / July 26, 2013 at 01:00 pm
I have had bagels from St. Viateur (MTL) and St. Urbain (Toronto), but my fav hands down has to be Gryfes! They taste so damn delicious with smoked salmon and cream cheese. Also, they are sold at the Kitchen Table for $0.79/bagel so I don't have to go all the way go Bathurst to grab them.
Lee-Anne / July 26, 2013 at 02:24 pm
Why are bagels in Ontario so puffy? I miss my hard as rocks Montreal bagels.
BM / July 26, 2013 at 05:57 pm
It's the Beach.
IHPA / July 27, 2013 at 01:20 am
user-pic is the SNOBBY beach! It's THE Beach... Give me a break! Do you know how many people put stickers on their cars with the word "Beach" on it. Talk about losers! I mean, are you really so proud of the neighbourhood that you'd put a damn sticker on it? Can you imagine people who live in say, Forest Hill putting a sticker on their car saying "Forest Hill?" They wouldn't even think of it because they have class.

The Beaches....beautiful setting, but the residents....they are an interesting bunch.

And yes, I live in the beaches. And that is what I call it. Please shoot me if I ever say I live in THE Beach or correct someone who refers to it as the Beaches.
Mark replying to a comment from IHPA / July 27, 2013 at 12:04 pm
Yes, people in the Beach(es) are proud of their neighbourhood, and that's a good thing. And in fact, other people around Toronto are proud of their communities too, and wear t-shirts to prove it. Everyone in Toronto should have pride in where they live. it makes our city better. If you don't like the people in the Beach you should try moving to another area that suits you better.
The Goof / July 27, 2013 at 12:55 pm
I use to go to school with a guy who lived in the Beaches, he would bitch about all the people that don't live there going into his "neighborhood park". The wanker would always correct you if you called it the Beaches.
The Islander can be quite nasty to us "city folks" too.
The Goof replying to a comment from The Goof / July 27, 2013 at 01:07 pm
I meant Islanders.
Laura Bee / July 27, 2013 at 01:47 pm
I saw this review this morning, and headed out the door for some bagels. They are good - but they are not St. Viateur. The pumpernickle was the closest to a chewy montreal bagel flavour. The honey-crisp crust on the sesame was pretty close too. Definitely worth checking out.
IHPA replying to a comment from Mark / July 27, 2013 at 10:30 pm
Well...Mark says it all. Pride in your neighbourhood? Pride, really?? Maybe they should feel FORTUNATE to live there, perhaps lucky. I feel fortunate and lucky to live in the beaches.

I don't know any other neighbourhood where they wear T-shirts to prove they have so called "pride" in their neighbourhood. The only one I know, well, again it is the very interesting people who live in the beaches. Hmmm..yes, last time I was in the Jane and Finch neighbourhood, I saw so many people with Jane and Finch T-shirts. Same with Rosedale....

And I love your last comment- that if I don't like the people in the neighbourhood I should try moving to another area that suits me better. OK, so now you are telling me what I should do....where I should live. Again, typical beacher! They know it much so that they know what is best for me, even though they don't even know me.

I tell you folks, I have a tonne of stories about people who live here...they all think they are better than everyone in TO. They think they are morally superior. But the truth is that they are the opposite. The really bad ones are the old timers. Funny...the old timers hate the new people who are moving it, esp. anyone who works in the financial industry.

Here's a story for you....

I moved to the beaches a few years ago. The couple who sold me the house told my future neighbour that I worked on "Bay Street." Fast forward a month later - I've moved into my new house in the beaches and this neighbour sees me in my backyard for the first time. What is the very first thing the neighbour says to me? The person says, " are one of those Bay street guys, eh?" And it was said with a tone indicating that all Bay Street people are XXXholes, and thus assuming by default that I am. What a wonderful way to greet your new neighbour! Wonderful, wonderful people! Now fast forward a few months later. I've since had more conversations and interactions with my new neighbour. And at one point, one of them says to me..."You know what, you're not so bad afterall!" And they are not saying this in a funny or light-hearted tone...they are dead serious. FOLKS, I am not making this up!

I've got a couple of dozen stories like this. And I know two other people who live there that have similar stories.

The old time beachers also love to say how people who live in places like Rosedale, or Forest Hill, etc are a bunch of XXXholes. I know someone who recently moved into Rosedale. How did THEIR new neighbours greet them? Well, they came over and knocked on their door. They invited him and his family over to their house for a BBQ and their kids swam in their pool. They had a great time! Another time this person I know went to drive somewhere. He got in his car and it wouldn't start. Another neighbour who was outside observed this and immediately walked over and handed him the keys to his car. And there are many more stories like this!

So, yes, the beachers are so superior to everyone...and the people in places like Rosedale are all just a bunch of XXXholes....

ChillOutBuddy replying to a comment from IHPA / July 29, 2013 at 09:29 am
You mad bro?
Waffles / July 30, 2013 at 10:30 am
Anyway we can get a moderator to delete these conversations related to the Beach(es)? At the end of the day, people come here to get reviews on the restaurant, not on childish discussions.

Let's stay focused on the bagel shop please.
Inane Conversations replying to a comment from IHPA / August 9, 2013 at 10:53 am
I think IHPA is forgetting that his attitude and demeanor may affect how others treat him - that is to say, he sounds like such a pompous arsehole that I am not surprised nobody in The Beaches has invited him over for a BBQ.

I'm not from Ontario, and moving into the Beaches was the closest I could get to being close to water, something that makes me feel at home while away from, well, home. Everybody is friendly, courteous. Sure, there's too many big dogs and everybody tends to walk slowly and have no idea how their standing in the middle of a small sidewalk chatting with half their block affects traffic - but at least it's a community. I'd rather live in a community than most of the hellish corners of this city.

Without getting too political, despite wanting to... any other neighbourhood displaying pride or zeal for their community would be applauded and probably given a street-wide party. The Beaches' demographic have some stickers and t-shirts and they're called pathetic and a slew of other names (by people living in the community, no less).

Ah, I can't continue, because it's too frustrating to deal with such asinine dialogues. You really do sound like one of those "Bay Street guys", you know that?
Just A Thought replying to a comment from IHPA / August 9, 2013 at 10:56 am
For somebody as high and mighty as IHPA, you'd think he'd have a better grasp on language. I'll have to get him to explain to me when it's proper to use a 5 period ellipsis versus 3 or 4, hah hah hah.
LK / August 11, 2013 at 08:41 am
I ended up here just trying to find out what time the bagel place opened on Sunday morning and I find myself fascinated with how a review on a bagel store turns into a political commentary. I feel compelled to chime in and defend myself and my fellow 'beaches people'. I am a Beaches resident. I have a sticker on my car. I also work in the neighbourhood, so feel somewhat qualified to have an opinion. I feel lucky every day to have the opportunity to be here. It is a privilege but, also a lifestyle choice. I received genuine welcomes from neighbors when I moved in. There are quirky, snobby, eccentric people but, that happens anywhere in any neighbourhood. I welcome every festival and street fair and all the colourful things that come along with them. I love that I live in an actual 'neighborhood'. I love that there are people representative of varied socio-economic backgrounds and from all walks of life that end up living beside each other and whose children go to school together.

Now if you'll excuse me, I am hungry, so I'm going to hop on my bike, throw on my beach sweatshirt and take a ride down to the bagel shop.

Yes But / August 17, 2013 at 09:29 am
You have to agree that walking around in a beaches sweatshirt, our tagging your car with a sticker is just a really bad idea. Because then everybody knows!
...the bagels are really really good / September 8, 2013 at 10:25 am
Back to the food at Bagels on fire:
This couple is doing it right. The bagels are fresh, have a good crust to chew ratio and have good quality toppings.
Also worth a taste are the knishes and hamentashen.

The coffee is fresh and fairly priced (an increasing rarity).

queen east replying to a comment from IHPA / September 12, 2013 at 01:42 pm
sorry your experiences here have been so poor but I've never experienced anything like that. I don't get why someone putting a sticker on their own vehicle should bother you or even matter to you but alas....

as for bagels on fire, it's such a great addition to the 'hood to have something like this I can walk to in the morning just awesome! keep up the good work.
Kadir İnceli / September 16, 2013 at 08:52 am
Dear Sir/Madam,
On behalf of Ekol Firin Makina Ltd. which is in Turkey (Konya) we would
like to offer you cooperation in terms of supply of bakery equipment. We
have low prices and good quality. There are a lot of kind of machines that
produce a variety of Eastern bakery products. Maybe it will interest you.
We wish to hold a long lasting business relationship with your company.

Best regards, Kadir İNCELİ

Sales manager

Contact: +90 332 342 51 84
+90 332 342 53 58

FAX: +90 332 342 74 73

Skype : Maschine Markt

facebook : maschine maschine

e mail :

Web :
JOSEPH / September 28, 2014 at 05:42 pm

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