Bagel Time is a destination in Toronto for Montreal-style bagels. You know you can trust them because owner Irfan Khan used to work at venerable Montreal shops St-Viateur and Fairmount.
While some say the formula for a true chewy, non-fluffy Montreal bagel is in the water itself in the city, Bagel Time is doing everything they can to perfect the science of the perfect Montreal bagel.
Like those places, this shop is open 24 hours, though with its close proximity to the subway most customers will likely find themselves stopping in on their commute.
White flour, malt, gluten, sugar, egg, yeast, and veggie oil go into the white dough that provides the base for poppy seed, sesame, onion, garlic and everything bagels.
It’s portioned out, and rolled into tubes and then circles by hand.
They then boil the dough in water that has a specific and very heavy ratio of honey added to it, essential to creating this style of bagel.
After that, the bagels are hand dipped into a bowl of topping.
Another essential component to creating this type of bagel is the massive wood-burning oven at the back of the shop, which creates the crispy texture that envelops the soft, dense inside of a typical Montreal bagel. Batches of bagels are shoved in using an incredibly long paddle just like the kind you see used in Montreal.
Bagels are 95 cents each, $5.49 for a half dozen or $8.75 for a dozen. Other flavours include chocolate, pumpernickel, and cinnamon raisin.
Various classic sandwiches are available using any bagel you like, toasted or untoasted. The typical lox and cream cheese ($6.99) optionally comes with lettuce, tomato, and red onion, though those really beef up the sandwich at no extra charge.
They also serve sandwiches with smoked meat imported from Montreal ($6.75), topped with a healthy dose of pepper as well as lettuce and tomato. I grab mine on an everything bagel, and it’s a savoury, flavourful, dense sandwich.
A veggie sandwich ($5.99) is totally basic and contains no meat or fish, combining sour pickles and fresh cucumbers with onion, tomato and lettuce.
Commuters will also be happy about the basic espresso offerings here, including americanos ($2.25) and cappuccinos ($2.99).
There’s a good amount of space and a fair number of tables if you’re looking to dine in at this basic space, though many choose to take their bagels home and their sandwiches to go.