It’s 3 a.m. on a Sunday morning, and a long line of eager customers snakes out of the door of a small bagel shop in Montreal’s Mile End neighborhood. In sub-zero temperatures and on hot summer nights, people of all ages wait to get their hands on a steaming, sesame-seed bagel fresh from the oven. It’s a scene that has played out at this Fairmount Street bakery and another just around the corner on St-Viateur Street for almost 100 years. But while the Montreal vs. New York bagel feud has been well documented, this is a more homegrown, cross-town rivalry. Ask any Montrealer which team they’re on — St-Viateur or Fairmount — and you risk starting a heated debate. Arguments rage back and forth over the strengths of each bakery, but ultimately the allegiance seems to come down to a gut-feeling, or nostalgia.
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