Best Coffee & Breakfast Spots in the Valley in 2022

Editorial StaffJuly 1, 2022
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  • Best Omelette

Gyro Omelet at Mel’s Diner

At the real-life diner that inspired the ’70s TV show Alice, this Hellenistic specialty offers as balanced a bite as you can ask for. The richness of the egg complements the meatiness of the gyro filling, and both are tempered by a bracing feta finish. Top it with the excellent house-made salsa and add a side of perfectly kissable grits, if you must. 1747 Grand Ave., Phoenix, 602-252-8283

  • Best New West Side Coffee Shop

Homage Coffee House

With the work ethic and values instilled in them by their families, Glendale natives Melissa and Mike Perez partnered with Phoenix’s Xanadu Coffee Company to open their own shop in a restored 1915 home in March. Savor chocolate chip cookies, which are baked fresh throughout the day, or a vegan or gluten-free pastry with one of their decadant coffee specialties: the stroopwafel latte or German chocolate cake latte. For a second helping, check out their shop in Litchfield Park, slated to open this fall. 7021 N. 57th Ave., Glendale, 623-248-0067, homagecoffeehouse.com

Melissa and Mike Perez of Homage Coffee House
Melissa and Mike Perez of Homage Coffee House
  • Most Tucked-Away Coffee Shop 

Pair Cupworks inside Cider Corps in Mesa

In 2020, Kimhak Em and Eugenia Tai set up shop inside Cider Corps to help brothers Josh and Jason Duren utilize the space during the day. Since then, the coffee mavens have been serving handcrafted coffee and tea drinks, many inspired by their Asian roots. The duo also sells house-roasted coffee beans from around the world. 31 S. Robson Rd., Mesa, paircupworks.com

Photo courtesy Pair Cupworks
Photo courtesy Pair Cupworks
  • Edgiest Coffee Packaging

Novela

If you appreciate the visual aesthetics of a product as much as the quality, you’ll love Novela. The small-batch Phoenix roaster packages its goods in sleek white bags emblazoned with a stark, desolation-cool logo of a sun-bleached cattle skull that, if framed, wouldn’t look out of a place on a gallery wall. Designed by Valley artist Joshua Weisbrod, the skull design is sometimes simply presented in silhouette, other times outlined by a mountain and illuminated by the blazing desert sun. novelacoffee.com

Photo courtesy Novela
Photo courtesy Novela
  • Best Herb-Infused Coffee

Lavender Latte at Copper Star Coffee

Talk about a labor-intensive pour. Sourcing French Super Blue lavender flowers from Harney & Sons Fine Tea Blenders in New York, this Melrose-area coffee shop does an in-house steep to create the lovely, aromatic syrup in its incomparable lavender latte. Consistently delicious and dependable, despite flower supply disruption problems during the COVID pandemic. 4220 N. Seventh Ave., Phoenix, 602-226-2136, copperstarcoffee.com

  • Best Healthy Pancakes

Strawberry Lemon Pancakes at True Food Kitchen

Sure, you can have pancakes at any breakfast joint in town, but True Food’s gluten-free and vegan strawberry lemon pancakes are in a class by themselves. The whisper-thin cakes are dressed with house-made strawberry preserves and a dollop of Greek yogurt, and dusted with lemon zest. The server will bring maple syrup, but you really don’t need it. Brunch only. Three Valley locations, truefoodkitchen.com 

  • Best Breakfast Combo  

Chantico Breakfast 

Need something more substantial than an egg-white omelet to break your nightly fast? This breakfast plate will satisfy the heartiest of a.m. appetites, with Chantico’s luscious signature quesabirria tacos with consommé, scrambled eggs and avocado, plus your choice of coffee, agua fresca or horchata. It’s desayuno fit for un rey or una reina. 1051 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, 602-699-3015, chanticophx.com

  • Best Twist on Chicken & Waffles  

Honey Fried Chicken with Skillet Pancake at Ocotillo

We love us some Lo-Lo’s, but sometimes you want to mix up your chicken-adjacent carb. Enter the gigantic pancake at Ocotillo, cooked in a cast-iron skillet until deeply bronzed and topped with crackly honey fried chicken and a shower of scallions for fresh bite. Real maple syrup comes to the sweet-and-salty party, too. 3243 N. Third St., Phoenix, 602-687-9080, ocotillophx.com

  • Best Place to Have Your Latte Spilt by a Siamese

La Gattara Cat Café

Maybe your partner is allergic to cats, or just doesn’t like them. No problem. La Gattara has, for five years now, provided a clean, friendly space for you to hang with Fluffy and Boots while enjoying a nice cup of joe. To date, this purry place has found homes for more than 800 kitties – and if you can’t take home Socks, you can take home a pair of them from La Gattara’s cat-centric boutique. 147 E. Garfield St., Phoenix, 602-374-3380, lagattara.org

  • Most Innovative Bakery

The Dinersaur

Fresh strawberry pies and four-layer stacked cakes. Yummy vanilla custard “churrovers” and “breadosaurus” treats shaped like – what else? – dinosaurs. Hail baking queen Olivia Girard’s array of delicacies in this haven of deliciousness. Come early. Those treats are popular. Leave satiated. 1339 W. Thomas Rd., Phoenix, 602-501-3509, thedinersaur.com

Photo by John Wagner. Courtesy The Dinersaur
Photo by John Wagner. Courtesy The Dinersaur

BEST OF THE VALLEY TRIO

Peixoto Coffee Roasters 

11 W. Boston St., Chandler, 480-275-2843, peixotocoffee.com

  • Best Authentic Coffee Shop

Owner Julia Peixoto Peters mostly roasts and serves coffee from her family’s farm in Brazil. Spacious atmosphere and well-trained baristas are a refreshingly innovative and mindful touch here. Try the nitro cold brew or iced cascara, a tea made with the dried skins of coffee cherries. 

  • Best Instant Coffee  

Forget your grandma’s Folgers crystals. Post-third-wave coffee producers have reconceptualized instant coffee, which now drinks like a cup from your favorite specialty coffee shop. This smooth version is made with two of its bestselling roasts: Peixoto Doce (naturally sweet and chocolatey) and Peixoto Honey (notes of white grape, date and milk chocolate). 

Peixoto instant coffee. Photo by Mirelle Inglefield
Peixoto instant coffee. Photo by Mirelle Inglefield
  • Best Seasonal Menu

Peixoto devotees mark the seasons by the limited-time beverages on offer at the shop. Coconut cold brew? It’s summer! In October, we “fall” for the purple sweet potato latte. Red velvet latte? Bundle up, it’s wintertime! In March, “spring” for peachy cold brew.