Rocky Mountain Bagel Co.

Kate Barker 5 months ago

If you’ve spent time in Canmore, chances are you’ve been to Rocky Mountain Bagel Co.

Established in 1995, Rocky Mountain Bagel Co has become synonymous with delicious, quality food, which is all made from scratch. “It’s not the most economical way to do things,” says owner, Darren Fischer, “But it’s nice to be the place that still makes everything from scratch.”

The difference is in the quality. Every night, skilled bakers make bagels for the following day. They make New York style bagels, which are baked in a specialty oven, rather than fried. It creates a lighter, crispier bagel that doesn’t leave you with that heavy too-full feeling afterwards.

These bagels are sold at the restaurant’s two locations in addition to homemade soup-of-the-day and house-made cream cheese flavours. The options are seemingly endless: from a bagel with peanut butter and jam to delicious bagelwiches, made with specialty cut meats from Valbella’s. They also serve local coffee from Mountain Blends Coffee Roasters or tea from Naturel Tea Co in Banff.

"It’s not the most economical way to do things, but it’s nice to be the place that still makes everything from scratch." - Darren Fischer

It was a bitterly cold winter day when I walked into Rocky Mountain Bagel Co’s Bow Valley Trail location. Their primary location on Main Street is a downtown staple. Somehow, I’d never been to this new space before. The restaurant’s second location moved here almost a year ago, and they will be celebrating their one-year anniversary in February. I was pleasantly surprised as I defrosted from the cold: this place was huge! It featured two dining areas, one with cozy booths and another window side seating that overlooked Mount Lady Macdonald. There were a few people hanging around this chilly afternoon, and I was instantly in love with the relaxed atmosphere. Why had it taken me so long to come here?

The counter had bagel options and fresh baking as well as day-old sales and the travel mug library. In an effort to reduce waste, Rocky Mountain Bagel Co introduced this library where people can donate their old travel mugs or borrow one if they forgot theirs at home. Locals are asked to return the mugs when they visit again, but if someone wants to keep it as a souvenir, Darren is willing to accept the loss.

“The idea is to lessen our footprint,” he said. “We’re looking for people to donate their old travel mugs and we’re hoping this will gain traction.”

This place was so very rad and I couldn’t wait to try it out! I asked the barista what she recommended, since it all looked delicious and I couldn’t decide. She recommended the jalapeno cheddar bagel with roasted garlic and herb cream cheese. Done. I also had some of the homemade soup: today’s creation was Mexican black bean. Gluten free and vegan, this soup was as delicious as it was filling. It warmed me up from the inside and made that frigid winter temperature seem so far away.

And the bagel? It’s the reason Rocky Mountain Bagel Co has been around for so long. The fresh, homemade bagel was toasted to perfection and topped with delicious, herb-infused cream cheese. It had the big flavours and perfect textures that you can only get from a homemade product. It was exactly what I needed to top off a delicious lunch.

I was very impressed with the meal, the friendliness and the environmental efforts of Rocky Mountain Bagel Co. They will be rolling out some new to-go options this spring, for those who are in a rush to get some food and get going, but who still want quality and nutritious food. It may have taken me almost a year to visit their new location, but it won’t take me that long to return!

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