Baked Goods

This New Sandwich Shop Serves ‘Arizona Bagels.’ Here's What to Expect

Get sandwiches on Plain, Everything, Chopped Chocolate, or Green Chile Cheddar bagels.
Get sandwiches on Plain, Everything, Chopped Chocolate, or Green Chile Cheddar bagels. Allison Young
You won’t find a toaster inside Bagel Daddies, the bright and sunny bagel shop on McDowell Road beside Spce Coffee that opened on March 7. You also won’t find baskets full of bagels on display that get tossed by the dozen into to-go boxes like doughnuts.

Instead, you will find a panini press, a tool that heats the bagel without pulling moisture like a traditional toaster, and rather melts in the coating of clarified butter and steams the carby delight. It also doubles as the cooktop for finishing eggs and bacon for bagel sandwiches, like the cleverly-named Notorious B.E.C., a bacon, egg, cheddar, greens, and chipotle aioli stacker that lives up to its mighty moniker. In fact, let’s call Bagel Daddies what it is: a bagel sandwich shop.

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A peak inside Bagel Daddies on McDowell Road next to Spce Coffee.
Allison Young
You will also find Christopher Fregozo, owner, baker, and behind-the-counter fixture who started Bagel Daddies at the Park West Market in Peoria in October 2021. The inspiration for the business came, of all places, at Einstein Bros. Bagels where Fregozo was meeting a friend to discuss another culinary concept. Feeling bad he was meeting at a chain place, he got the idea to start a truly local bagel shop.

“I’d never made a bagel before,” Fregozo says. “If I knew how much work it was, I probably wouldn’t have done it.” Not that restaurant work was new to Fregozo. You could fill a Phoenix map with push pins for every place he’s worked, starting with his very first job at a KFC.

“I got really efficient at thinking fast,” he says about working at the chain. Since then, he’s manned both the front and back of the house at Ocotillo, SoSoBa, Nook Kitchen, and Ramen Kagawa, to name a few. Each gave him a crash course into running a small business.

So does Bagel Daddies serve a New York or Montreal bagel? Neither. “It’s an Arizona bagel,” boasts Fregozo.

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Forget New York or Montreal bagels, Bagel Daddies serves Arizona bagels.
Allison Young
He uses a blend of local flour from Hayden Flour Mills mostly White Sonora Wheat with a kiss of  Rouge de Bordeaux  adds local honey from Twisted Bee Farms to the dough, and tops sandwiches with local greens from Garden Hoes and Sunflower Solutions.

“The best part is meeting other business owners doing their thing,” Fregozo says.

That’s partly how he found the space for his brick-and-mortar bagel bakery next to Spce Coffee. One day, while working at Ramen Kagawa, a customer asked about his Bagel Daddies T-shirt. That customer turned out to be Spce owner Andy Kemp who soon started carrying Fregozo’s bagels and, when the tenant set to occupy the shared spot next to Spce fell through, contacted Fregozo.

So Fregozo moved into the space next door, a spot that mirrors the white, minimalist decor of the coffee shop – they share an aesthetic and a double door – but without its signature pops of neon pink lights.

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The CV is named after rapper Casey Veggies.
Allison Young
Fregozo’s day starts early. He wakes up at 2:30 a.m. — he lays his clothes out the night before so not to wake his wife and two kids  and gets to Bagel Daddies by 3:30 a.m.

“The first thing I do is turn on music to focus my mind,” Fregozo says. Next, he gets the water boiling, the ovens turned on, and starts on his prep list so that by 6 a.m., when the store opens, he’s ready and raring to go.

Step inside and Fregozo will walk you through the menu, a five-sandwich-strong hit list of sweet and savory options including sliced strawberries and Nutella or a lox sandwich with lemon- and dill-spiked cream cheese. Bonus points if you get the music references. The CV sandwich comes layered with sliced cucumber, tomato, and garlic and herb schmear painted on so thick it pushes out the middle. A local green, in this case, sunflower greens grown three miles away, round out the sandwich for a deliciously simple veggie option that gets extra points for freshness and vibrancy.

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Probably Bagel Daddies' most popular, the Notorious B.E.C. is stacked with self-indulgence.
Allison Young
The most decadent of them all is the B.E.C. Yes, it could be argued that if you put eggs, salty bacon, melty cheddar, greens, and smoky chipotle aioli on anything, you’d wolf it down. But on a chewy Everything Bagel, it’s more satisfying than the sum of its parts. Another standout option is the Green Chile Cheddar bagel with plain shmear. Your bagel gets a spin on the panini press to get all hot and bothered before Fregozo slaps on a hefty slather of schmear. One bite and you get a double dose of cheese, first from the glossy crust and then from the indulgent cream cheese middle.

Sandwiches are the heroes here, but they all start with a solid bagel. Even though they’re made the traditional way – hand-rolled with a 24-hour cold fermentation to develop flavor and chew, a brief boil in malt water, and then baked fresh daily – Fregozo isn’t going for a traditional finish.

“I don’t want to chisel my jaw on a bagel,” says Fregozo. The result is a thin crust and supple chew, with a not-too-dense interior.

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Cheddie Gibbs is as fun to say as it is to eat.
Allison Young
For now, Fregozo’s bagels are available at Chula Seafood, Homage Coffee House in downtown Glendale, the Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market, and of course his brick-and-mortar. Warning: bagels often sell out before closing at noon.

This is just the start for Bagel Daddies, and Fregozo isn’t close to the finish line. He plans to bank enough money in the next two years for a place that fits his aesthetic rather than Spce’s.

“It’s clean, it’s pretty, but it’s not me,” Fregozo says of the McDowell location. “I envision all black walls, tagged up, with the Bagel Daddies logo in bold.” Something to look forward to.

Bagel Daddies

1736 East McDowell Road
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 6 a.m. to noon (or sellout)
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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,, she posts one thing she’s looking forward to each day, from food to books and podcasts.
Contact: Allison Young

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