Brooklyn Bagel-Off, Montreal Style


Montreal-style bagel with lox and capers at Mile End (photo by Kelsey Dickey)

New Yorkers were taken aback when Mile End opened on Hoyt Street last year with bagels shipped in from Montreal, claiming the Canadian city’s flat, sweet variety is superior to our own doughier version. Now B&B Empire has joined them just a few blocks away, at the corner of Clinton and Atlantic—also serving bagels au Montreal. Looks like it’s time to decide who deserves the title we never dreamed would exist: Brooklyn’s best Montreal-style bagel.

Mile End

B&B Empire


Bagel Sourcing Method

Shipped directly from St.-Viateur Bagel, the crème de la crème of Montreal’s bagel shops.

Made on site in the Montreal style: boiled in a sweetened broth, then baked in a wood-fired oven.

B&B. Sorry, Quebec. In Brooklyn, locavor-ing beats importing.

The Place

Home-y design with a small counter, open kitchen, wooden tables, and a street-facing take-out window.

Glass deli cases and NY1 on the television—could be any other New York bagelry.

Mile End. Despite the crowds, it feels like the perfect neighborhood diner you
wish your ‘hood actually had.

The Bagel

The small, flat bagel is just a tad sweet, surprisingly flavorful, and completely covered in sesame seeds. Not ready to say it beats New York-style bagels, but interesting to try for a change-up.

Larger than Mile End’s and available in all the standard varieties (poppy, everything, etc.) but denser and a little too sweet. While a perfectly acceptable bagel, nothing to write home about.

Mile End by a mile. Somehow their imported bagels taste fresher than B&B’s
actual fresh ones.


$3 for a bagel and cream cheese.

$2.45 for a bagel and cream cheese.

B&B by a smidge.

Beyond the Schmear

Add lox and capers ($9) or smoked whitefish with pickled asparagus, celery and chives ($9).

Lox ($7.50) or flavored cream cheeses, plus more pedestrian options like peanut butter and jelly ($2.75).

Mile End aces both classic Jewish deli options.


Bagels are only served until noon, and even on weekday mornings there can be a wait to sit. Bagels can also be ordered by the dozen or half-dozen, available for pick-up each Friday.

Available to stay or go, every day until 8 p.m. Seating is ample.

B&B. Mile End’s massive popularity is a downside here.


French press coffees from Stumptown Coffee Roasters ($2.50).

A standard corner deli cup ($1.50).

Mile End. If you’re going for the specialty bagel, you might as well upgrade
your coffee.

Bagel with lox at B&B Empire (photo by Kelsey Dickey)

The Verdict: The grandly-named B&B Empire is a nice new option for those in need of a late-day bagel fix, but Mile End is still king.

2 Responses

  1. Xmnb -

    “it feels like the perfect neighborhood diner you”
    you, sir, have never been to a diner!

  2. Elr5 -

    I tasted a Mile End bagel once, from the Brooklyn Flea. Gotta say, I will never buy another. I grew up on bagels hard enough to be used for teething babies and I do not like what I call oversized bagel “tumors,” but I felt the Mile End bagel was NOT worth the money.


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