Feature

Find Your Bagel Match At Bagelfeld’s

Bagelfeld's has eight distinct bagels, and we tried them all.
Bagelfeld's has eight distinct bagels, and we tried them all. Allison Young

"I wish I could find a good bagel" has long been a Phoenix battle cry. Bagelfeld’s is here to change that. Started by Charles Blonkenfeld during the pandemic, the chef pivoted from private caterer to hey-why-don’t-I-try-bagels back in August 2020 and they’ve spread like ... well, Bagelfeld’s spreads (yes, he makes those too), becoming a word-of-mouth and farmers' market phenomenon with a brick and mortar opening soon.

Bagelfeld fans are die-hard. They line up at the uptown and downtown farmers' markets, easily going through 1,500-plus bagels on a Saturday. They include East Coast transplants who’ve been craving a taste of home and local chefs alike. Stoop Kid owner Steve McMillen bookends his famous Money Shot egg sandwich with a Bagelfeld’s asiago, while Ollie Vaughn's owner Lindsey Magee serves up their everything bagel with herbed cream cheese, smoked salmon, cherry tomatoes, thin-sliced red onion, and capers at her Coronado café.

“I think serving Bagelfeld’s in such a traditional way really highlights the artistry of this local baker,” says Magee.
click to enlarge Bagelfeld's lemon and herb spread is packed with parsley, chive, dill, and lemon. - ALLISON YOUNG
Bagelfeld's lemon and herb spread is packed with parsley, chive, dill, and lemon.
Allison Young
Chris Nelson, the founder of Nelson's Meat + Fish, takes pride in being the first in town to feature what he lovingly refers to as "Charlie’s bagels."

“One of our regular guests introduced us when he was still making them out of his home. He came in, I tried them and the rest, as they say, is history,” says Nelson, who serves his NMF Bagelfeld Sandwich on everything and sea salt bagels only on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. until they sell out – and sell out he does.

So what makes Bagelfeld bagels such game-changers? The ingredients aren’t magical – high-gluten flour, salt, yeast, malt, honey, water – but the process is. Apparently it takes three days, starting with hand rolling, proofing, boiling in honeyed water, and baking, before they turn into the totally-chewy-yet-tender circular creations, all golden and glossy on the outside, and soft in the middle. And then there’s Blonkenfeld, a Brooklyn-born, Phoenix-bred self-taught baker who had nothing, and everything, to lose.

Bagelfeld’s bagel menu is eight-strong, ranging from traditional plain to fancy fennel and raisin. All can be eaten standalone for instant carby comfort, no toasting required, but they also make great vehicles for luscious smears and layered sammies. Here’s a bagel-by-bagel breakdown:

click to enlarge There's nothing plain about Bagelfeld's plain bagel. - ALLISON YOUNG
There's nothing plain about Bagelfeld's plain bagel.
Allison Young

Plain

Talk about blank-slate perfection, you really get to see the glossy finish and taste the fluffy insides with this OG. Toast and top with butter or serve it breakfast sandwich-style with crispy bacon, melted cheese, avocado, and scrambled eggs, and let the insides sing.

Salt

Studded with thick, flaky crystals, this is a bagel with bling. The perfect vehicle for savory sandwiches, slap some cheese and pepperoni, or go big with a stacked turkey, tomato, lettuce, and mayo; the salt brings it all together.

click to enlarge Yes, Bagelfeld's everything bagel is everything you hoped for. - ALLISON YOUNG
Yes, Bagelfeld's everything bagel is everything you hoped for.
Allison Young

Everything

The everything is everything you hoped for, a billowy bagel covered in a salty, seedy, garlicky frenzy. Take a cue from Chris Nelson’s wife and toast them lightly then melt a liberal amount of Kerrygold butter on top.

click to enlarge Open sesame or keep it closed, Bagelfeld's. - ALLISON YOUNG
Open sesame or keep it closed, Bagelfeld's.
Allison Young

Sesame

Even if you lose a few seeds, this baby is smothered in so many sesames, on the top, bottom, and sides, you won’t miss them. Sesame’s nutty flavor plays perfectly with peanut or almond butter or topped with tuna.

click to enlarge The poppy seed bagel. - ALLISON YOUNG
The poppy seed bagel.
Allison Young

Poppy Seed

You will get poppy seeds in your teeth and they will be so worth it. Top this one with a fluffy spread like Bagelfeld’s lemon and herb; the crunch of the seeds offsets the creamy texture.

click to enlarge Bagelfeld's jalapeño cheddar. - ALLISON YOUNG
Bagelfeld's jalapeño cheddar.
Allison Young

Jalapeno Cheddar

The whole top is covered in salty, crunchy cheddar goodness – or is it the bottom? Doesn’t matter, it’s dang good and adds a welcome coating. There’s no shame in slapping even more cheese between two toasted bagel halves and making it a full-on cheese party. Another fan favorite: Bagelfeld’s spicy pepper, and garlic spread.

Asiago

At first glance you wouldn’t even know this one was harboring cheese; it keeps it under wraps until you sink your teeth in. Go Stoop Kid-style and turn it into an eggy sandwich stacked with all your breakfast faves.


Fennel and Raisin

Once you go raisin and fennel, forget about it. Golden raisins trump traditional black raisins for flavor and juiciness, and the fennel adds a sweet licorice-like spice. Top it with Nutella, Bagelfeld’s honey brown butter spread, or a touch of honey.
click to enlarge Bagelfeld's fennel and raisin bagel makes cinnamon raisin seem pedestrian. - ALLISON YOUNG
Bagelfeld's fennel and raisin bagel makes cinnamon raisin seem pedestrian.
Allison Young
Find Bagelfeld’s at the Uptown Farmers Market, Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market, on the menus of Stoop Kid, Ollie Vaughn's and Nelson's Meat + Fish, or order online at Bagelfeld's.

Good news: Bagelfeld Bagels is currently working to open its first storefront at 30th Street and Thomas Road. No official open date has been announced. Follow Bagelfeld's continued success on Facebook and Instagram
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Allison Young has written about food, nutrition, and travel for Sunset, Women’s Health, Oxygen, Clean Eating, Mindbodygreen, and Prevention. Her local jam is food writing, where she happily eats her way across the Valley to discover the best hidden gems, hole-in-the-walls, pizza joints, and the latest Phoenix food trends. She also loves to pick Valley chef’s brains for their favorite food finds. On her website, TheGlitterList.com, she posts one thing she’s looking forward to each day, from food to books and podcasts.
Contact: Allison Young