Anthony Bourdain Picked A Clear Side On The Montreal Vs. NYC Bagel Debate

New York City is known for having amazing food — it's constantly being named as one of the best food cities in the world (some even think it's the best food city in the world) — and this includes their bagels. Apparently, the superiority of NYC bagels has to do with the city's tap water's specific mineral makeup that softens the dough. But, even without knowing how they're made, one thing is undeniable: NYC bagels are delicious. But it's not the only city that has delicious bagels. Montreal is another city with impeccable bagels (so much so that Tasting Table has ranked the city's best bagel stops). And if you've been to both cities, you may have some strong opinions about which one produces the superior bagels — just like the late chef Anthony Bourdain. 

When asked his opinion in a September 2011 interview with Delish, Bourdain, a native New Yorker, promptly answered, "New York." But his thoughts are a bit more complicated than his answer.

Anthony Bourdain loved the food in Montreal

Bourdain may have chosen New York City bagels over Montreal bagels, but that doesn't mean he doesn't appreciate the bagels that the Canadian city has to offer. On an episode of "The Layover" (the Travel Channel show focusing on what one can do and eat within a short time frame in a city), Bourdain spoke about the NYC vs. Montreal bagel debate once again, revealing it's more nuanced than his other comments would imply.

Bourdain said, via CTV News, "It's a completely ridiculous apples and oranges discussion. They are completely different creatures ... I'm a New Yorker so you know where my allegiance lies. But I think it's unfair to both quite magnificent products to try to compare them." For context, a Montreal-style bagel is made unique because the dough is poached in sweetened or honey water prior to being baked in a wood-fire burning oven. They are also usually smaller and thinner than NYC bagels.

So, really, you should try both bagels and learn to appreciate their different qualities. And while you're in Montreal, Bourdain has other food recommendations. In fact, Bourdain told Delish that Montreal is the city he would name as the notable culinary city he wanted to bring attention to. He said, "It's getting really exciting up there with chefs like the guys at Joe Beef and Martin Picard [at Au Pied du Cochon]."