Breakfast, Lunch, and Snacks
- Where to Go
- The Best of the Valley of the Sun
- Wild West Adventure
- Let Scottsdale Rock Your World
- Finding Water in the Sonoran Desert
- Spring Training
- Arizona Family Road Trip
- Phoenix Points of Pride
- Southwestern Culture and Heritage
- Nocturnal Scottsdale
- Exploring Phoenix’s Architecture
- Unexpected Arizona
- Desert Chic
- Chilly Drinks and Cool Eats in Scottsdale
Stopping in to Scramble (9832 N. 7th St., 602/374-2294, 6 a.m.–2 p.m. daily, $5–12) for breakfast or lunch feels like visiting an impossibly good school cafeteria, only better. Diners walk up to the counter to order morning mainstays such as buttermilk pancakes, eggs Benedict, and omelets, as well as a few surprises such as “brizzas”—a Scramble creation that puts eggs, bacon, chorizo, and other breakfast toppings on a pizza—and pigs in a blanket—sausage links wrapped in multi-grain pancakes. The modern self-serve space is bright, airy, and everything you wish your school had been.
La Grande Orange (4410 N. 40th St., 602/840-7777, 6:30 a.m.–10 p.m. daily, $6–12) is one of those magical neighborhood joints where young and old, couples and families, big groups of friends and quiet newspaper readers can all sit down and enjoy themselves. Drop in early in the morning for the trademark fresh-squeezed O.J., and try out the Commuter Sandwich, served on LGO’s signature English muffins. Later in the day, pop back in to grab a quick salad or warm Cubano sandwich. The hip market also offers a fun selection of gifts and wine, and its coffee bar is among the best in the city—give the Spanish latte a try if you don’t believe me. Parking can be a (big) hassle, but once you sit down on the shady patio for first-rate people-watching, you won’t mind the inconvenience.
Even non-morning people like starting their day at Over Easy (4037 N. 40th St., 602/468-3447, 6:30–11:30 a.m. daily, $4–9). The sunny yellow interior and bright patio provide a pleasant setting for cheesy omelets, waffles, and big, fluffy pancakes. Got a sweet tooth? The brioche French toast topped with caramelized banana and pecans is divine, as is the iced coffee with cinnamon, cardamom, sweetened condensed milk, and mint. Get here early or expect to wait for a table at the small café.
If trendy urban coffee joints get your juices flowing on a Sunday morning, Lola Coffee (4700 N. Central Ave., 602/265-5652, 7 a.m.–7 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 7 a.m.–10 p.m. Fri.–Sat., 7 a.m.–2 p.m. Sun., $2–7) is your kind of place. The café is usually full of boisterous, good-looking caffeine addicts. Its plush couches and big family-style table are more suited to conversation than to serious work. You won’t find a lot of food options at Lola, but the coffee is serious—seriously good—and the homemade pastries are, quite literally, a treat. If the weather is nice, enjoy a seat outside and watch the light rail cars quietly roll downtown.
Duck and Decanter (1651 E. Camelback Rd., 602/274-5429, 7 a.m.–7 p.m. Sat.–Wed., 7 a.m.–9 p.m. Thurs.–Fri., $5–8) is a Camelback classic. The popular brown-bag lunch put this gourmet sandwich shop on Phoenix’s culinary map in the 1970s. Since then, the wine bar, assortment of European beers, and well-stocked deli and cheese shop have earned it a loyal following—not to mention the reasonable prices, which mean weekly trips for many. The mile-high sandwiches come with a choice of nine breads, and the fresh salads are splashed with seasoned rice vinegar. You can get your meal to go, but you should join the neighborhood regulars on the large, shaded patio. You’ll also find European imports and Arizona-made products like cactus candies in the culinary shop.
Finding a cheap, delicious place to have lunch can be hard. But with $2 tacos, Two Hippies Beach House (501 E. Camelback Rd., 602/277-0399, 10:30 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Sat., $2–7) makes it easy. The “shack” prepares simple but extraordinarily tasty chicken, fish, pork, and carne asada, wrapped in tortillas and stacked with pinto beans, cheese, cabbage, tomatoes, and onions. Pair them with one of the flavored lemonades and you’ve got yourself a solid meal.
A mile south, go all-American with burgers, hot dogs, and chicken sandwiches at Two Hippies Magic Mushroom Burgers (802 E. Indian School Rd., 602/265-3525, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Mon.–Sat., $3–7). The fresh-cut fries and hot wings are pretty good.
Although its older sibling, Pizzeria Bianco, gets most of the attention, Pane Bianco (4404 N. Central Ave., 602/234-2100, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Tues.–Sat., $7–9), Chris Bianco’s lunchtime sandwich and salad shop, is just as worthy of high praise and a slew of accolades. Bianco’s genius is his simplicity, and at his lunch stop, the choice is limited to a perfect four sandwiches and two salads. The soppressata with aged provolone and roasted peppers is the standout, but everything here is exemplary, perhaps most notably the wood-fired foccacia bread that offers a glimpse into Bianco’s renowned pizzas. Make sure to check out the market sandwich, which is the only changing item on the menu; it could be thick-sliced bacon or roast lamb. Bianco is a strong supporter of local growers, and his food reflects this sensibility with its incredible freshness and delicious taste.
A mix of house-roasted coffee, tempting baked goods, and midcentury Modernist furniture attracts the local hipsterati and those looking for a good cuppa joe alike to Lux (4404 N. Central Ave., 602/696-9976, 7 a.m.–10 p.m. daily, $2–5). Baristas pride themselves on remembering names and drink orders after just a couple of visits, and regulars do keep coming back. Repeated visits often reveal the same groups of people gabbing at the tables as they get a caffeine fix or munching on sandwiches from Pane Bianco next door.
© Jeff Ficker from Moon Phoenix, Scottsdale & Sedona, 1st edition