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Big up your bagels with these fresh toppings

A breakfast war ignited between two of the biggest names in fast food recently after one of them made an audacious step into the other’s territory by adding bagels to their morning offering.

We’re not going to go into the details of the spat, but the feud has highlighted just how much Canadians love their bagels.

Close to 290 million bagels are served in Canada each year and when it comes to bagel toppings, recent research suggests that Canadians are traditionalists and know what they like.

The vast majority of Canadians (83 per cent of the 1,100+ survey respondents) prefer plain cream cheese. Butter was the second most popular topping (70 per cent), but all other spreads and toppings placed far behind apparently.

While you can’t go wrong with the old favourites, we’re serving up some intriguing and inventive options you could consider adding to your menu.

Turkey apple cheddar melts

Top half the bagel halves with turkey, slices of red apple, cheddar cheese and horseradish mustard then grill.

Full breakfast on a bagel

For customers who can’t decide between a bagel and a full fried breakfast, why not combine the two by slapping a full breakfast on an open bagel? Bacon base, topped with scrambled eggs and beans on the side.

Curried chicken salad

Mix together Greek yogurt, cilantro, chopped pistachios for crunch, diced grilled chicken and spices of your choice before gracing it on a freshly toasted bagel.

What about veggie options?

Avocado egg salad

It might not be as new and exciting as it was a few years ago, but avocado is still immensely popular and undeniably delicious. Substitute the Greek yogurt and mayo for avocado in an egg salad and splash in some lemon and fresh herbs.

Berry bonanza

Cream cheese may be a basic choice but it serves a great basis for sliced strawberries and blueberries.

Ricotta and radish

Switch the cream cheese for ricotta and top with thin-sliced radish or any vegetable you fancy.  

How Canadians eat their bagels

Coffee and bagels go together like burger and fries and recent research backed this up, revealing that 61 per cent of Canadians would order a coffee with their bagel and prefer to get their bagel at the same time and place that they get their coffee (53 per cent).

In an ideal world, cafes and restaurants would hope that customers stick around to enjoy their bagel, but almost one in four bagel-loving Canadians (24 percent) eat their bagels in the car on a regular basis.

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