Saturday, August 29, 2015Mostly Cloudy 16°C
Baked Goods

Kiva's Bagel Bar

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on March 5, 2011

Kivas Bagels TorontoKiva's Bagel Bar has many of the same familiar foods as the original Kiva's Restaurant & Bakery, but is a little more trendy, a little further south, and a lot less Bubbie and Zadie.

Kivas Bagels TorontoNot that Kiva's up at Steeles and Bathurst isn't a good time. I've spent many a family-filled Sunday brunch trying to negotiate a table from a group of lively octogenarians debating the cost of oil or what have you. But the new Kiva's Bagel Bar, which opened two months ago on St. Clair just west of Yonge, offers more of a straightforward dining experience.

Kivas Bagels Toronto"Since we do a lot of catering, we wanted to find a space further south," owner Ben Rafael tells me, sporting a "Get Your Bagel On" black tee. "It's hard to deliver from all the way up at Steeles, but here we have a big double basement, as well as central visibility."

Kivas Bagels TorontoThe original Kiva's Bakery was opened by in 1979 by "Kiva, who was a master baker," Rafael says. He was also a gambler, and when he lost everything in a card game, his partner, Al Sugar, bought out his debt. But despite the changing of hands over the years, the recipes remain the same. "We use no additives, no chemicals, and do everything the old fashioned way."

Kivas Bagels TorontoThat includes hand-rolling and kettle-boiling its signature bagels, which are fairly large, crispy on the outside and soft and chewy inside. For me, Kiva's has always been about its tuna on a bagel ($6.99), which is just as fresh and comforting now as it was back when I was a kid.

Kivas Bagels TorontoKiva's Bagel Bar has a sandwich bar for you to build your egg salad ($4.99) or roast beef ($7.99) sandwich, as well as a salad bar, soups, and lots of fresh baked treats such as rugalah ($9.99) and danishes ($2.75). In the summertime, Rafael plans to keep the front window open and set up a bar and stools where customers can enjoy coffee, freshly-made juices and bagels.

For now, there's a fair amount of indoor seating, but alas, without the familiar whine of ill-adjusted hearing aids.

Kivas Bagels TorontoKivas Bagels TorontoKivas Bagels TorontoPhotos by Dennis Marciniak



Eric26 / March 6, 2011 at 07:01 am
I like how the tuna sandwich is inexplicably priced the same as a roast beef sandwich. Other than that, this place looks great.
Simon / March 6, 2011 at 09:40 am
I wish a place like this would open up downtown.
Bubba / March 6, 2011 at 10:35 am
I had the turkey bagel and a can of soda at the price of $10, just a little to pricey for deli sliced meat, and it was nothing special. There other much better choices in that area which will give you more for your money.
Andrew / March 6, 2011 at 10:42 am
looks like a mccafe in the back. this whole high priced low brow eating thing needs to come to a halt.
snowy / March 6, 2011 at 11:02 am
Is the decor them though Andrew? I know the awful chocolate shop that was there previously looked pretty similar.

The sandwiches here are really good, if a little pricy. More of a treat than a regular office lunch. Not sure about the "bar stools" idea - that stretch of sidewalk is really busy with foot traffic and the cars are only a few feet away; I can't imagine anyone finding this a comfortable spot to sit and drink coffee.
he / March 6, 2011 at 02:25 pm
they really need to change the sign/front decor. i'd never expect such crumbling 1940's design would have beautifully designed interior. if it wasn't for this article, i wouldn't even think about going into this place.
Gregor / March 6, 2011 at 05:14 pm
Great pics! To quote CeCe Peniston, finally.
Bagel Lover / March 6, 2011 at 05:50 pm
The best bagel in the city by far! Its about time they were available midtown! When is the downtown location coming......can't wait!
citygal / March 6, 2011 at 07:19 pm
Love the new place, can't wait for one closer to me midtown! Enjoyed an amazing, fresh, healthy and not to mention yummy bite to eat. Incredible bagels!!
Team Kiva's :)
Darryl / March 7, 2011 at 10:44 am
great job ben! you're taking the heritage of the brand to the next level. still the best bagel and best tuna period.
APOW / March 7, 2011 at 01:14 pm

Add a Comment


Find a Bakery

Or use the options below to assist you in locating a Bakery in Toronto.

Search Results

Please select criteria from the dropdown menus above to start your search.


Recent Reviews

Refine the list using the categories below:

Other Cities: Montreal