Thanks to Wholy Bagel, Austinites can have a delicious taste of New York while staying close to home.
Everything from the bagel recipe to the drink selection at Wholy Bagel is rooted in New York, where bagels are revered the way barbecue is in Texas.
"We try to give everybody who comes in here a little bit of New York here in Austin," Wholy Bagel owner Scott Campanozzi said.
Campanozzi, a New Jersey native, moved to Austin four years ago and said he was perplexed that there were no authentic bagel shops in the Austin area. A longtime employee of the food distribution industry, Campanozzi decided to bring New York–style bagels to the area by opening his own store.
Wholy Bagel is one of only a handful of bagel stores in the nation that uses a 100-year-old-plus bagel recipe that originally came from a person who moved from Israel to Harlem, Campanozzi said. The bagel-making process Wholy Bagel uses includes making fresh dough daily, boiling the dough the next day, baking the bagels in an oven and flipping them.
The process gets seeds on both sides of the bagel and gives the bagel a soft, chewy inside and a crispy outside, Campanozzi said. Wholy Bagel uses one of about 1,000 ovens in the nation specifically designed for bagels, he said.
Meanwhile, most chain bagel stores in the area use frozen dough that was shipped from out of state and is baked in a steam-injected oven, Campanozzi said.
"It's a heck of a lot more labor intensive and takes a lot more square footage in the store to do what I do, but it tastes a heck of a lot better," he said.
Wholy Bagel has 17 varieties of homemade cream cheese spreads and 16 varieties of fresh bagels. The bagel sandwiches use premium Boar's Head cold cuts. Wholy Bagel also makes cookies from scratch, has a pie line and brings in some products from the Bronx such as Black and White cookies.
Wholy Bagel offers breakfast and lunch sandwiches all day. Campanozzi said he is considering expanding the store's hours so customers can stop by after work to grab bagels for dinner.
Campanozzi said he particularly enjoys turning Austinites on to East Coast specialties. When he sells a Taylor Ham sandwich, a New Jersey staple, he tells customers if they don't like the sandwich, he will refund their money or make them something else.
"I have not had one of those sandwiches returned," he said.
Wholy Bagel customer Laura Filipovich said she often drives 25 minutes from her home in Dripping Springs for Wholy Bagel. She said the bagels are so good that they don't need to be toasted or slathered with cream cheese to be delicious.
"We are bagel people, and we know that you can't really beat a New York bagel," Filipovich said of her and her husband. "We came and tried it out, and now we're hooked."
Choose your cream cheese
The 17 varieties of freshly made cream cheese spreads at Wholy Bagel use real fruit and vegetables. Owner Scott Campanozzi said he is constantly listening to customers and introducing new spreads, some of which are based on customers' recommendations. The latest spread, Texas Loaded Cream Cheese, has scallions, bacon and cheddar cheese.
- Low fat
- Sun-dried tomato
- Apple pie
- Texas loaded
- Chocolate chip
Meet the meats
Bagel sandwiches at Wholy Bagel use Boar's Head cold cuts and have double the meats and cheeses than most other sandwich stores offer, Campanozzi said.
- Double thick cut bacon
- Nova Lox turkey breast
- Pepper Mill turkey
- Pastrami, corned beef
- Premium ham
- Genoa salami
- Taylor Ham
Wholy Bagel, 4404 W. William Cannon Drive, Ste. P, 899-0200
- Mon.–Fri. 6 a.m.–3 p.m.,
- Sat.–Sun. 7 a.m.–2 p.m.