For the perfect start to your day, where should you head for breakfast during your Phoenix stay? It depends.
If you're craving a healthy, wholesome breakfast crafted from only the finest organic ingredients, you'll want to check out the morning delicacies offered at the Pomegranate Cafe, a Chandler-area eatery that has elevated the French Toast to new heights.
Biscuits and gravy more your speed this morning? Check out Biscuits, a neighborhood cafe dishing out big, buttery stacks of pancakes and some of the best chicken fried steak platters in the city. More homespun goodness abounds at The Original Breakfast House, where giant brioche cinnamon buns and coffee make a perfect morning pair.
If you want to eat like the locals, congregate outside the tiny house in central Phoenix where Matt's Big Breakfast dishes out made-from-scratch Belgian waffles and specialty plates like The Chop & Chick, two eggs served with a skillet-seared Iowa pork chop. Over at La Grande Orange Grocery in Phoenix's leafy Arcadia neighborhood, locals gather to enjoy the gourmet coffee and rise and shine menu, featuring eggs to order, veggie breakfast burritos, freshly griddled English muffins, and local organic fresh fruit.
If enjoying your first meal al fresco sounds divine, you'll want to enjoy your breakfast at The Farm at South Mountain, where seasonal breakfast and brunch dishes are hand-crafted and served at the Morning Glory Cafe, one of the city's prettiest breakfast spots.
Rustic yet casually upscale, Dick's Hideaway is the kind of place locals take out-of-towners for an authentic taste of traditional Southwest flavors. Lunch, breakfast and dinner is served at this small local gem, where the smell of slow-roasted pork greets the steady stream of diners at all hours of day. The Southwest-inspired botanas (appetizers) menu makes a great starting point . Try the roasted garlic plate, served with roasted peppers and green chiles bubbling over with flavor, or the tomatillo toast, grilled chicken and ham served over toast and smothered in green chile peppers, tomatillo salsa and cheddar cheese. Although you can get great burgers, salads and past at Dick's, the Santa Fe Trail menu is the real star of the show. For a little taste of everything, try the New Mexican Platter, featuring a red chile pork tamale, cheese relleno, chicken burro, rice and beans�all simmered in your choice of green or red sauce. But if you want to eat like a local, try the Carne Adovada, a house favorite featuring smoked pork roast simmered in red chile and served with rice, beans and a tortilla. Not to be missed for a true taste of the southwest. ((602) 265-5886)
"The most important meal of the day!" reads the breakfast menu at Biscuits, a popular mom-and-pop diner dishing out hot, delicious breakfast platters for a steady cadre of regulars. Old-fashioned breakfasts are the specialty here, including huge omelet platters, pancakes, and a large selection of house specialties. Dishes are prepared with fresh, local ingredients whenever possible, adding to the charm of this local diner. If you enjoy the heartiness of a giant chicken fried steak platter in the morning, you won't want to leave Biscuit's without trying this house specialty. And if you're watching the waistline, Biscuit's also offers a low fast breakfast menu. (480-209-1850)
This quick casual restaurant grabbed the spotlight a few years ago, earning a reputation as one of the most popular breakfast spots around town, and even appearing on several cable television programs. In hindsight, it's plain to see what all the fuss was about: classic breakfast dishes served with contemporary panache and made using only the freshest ingredients around. For an inventive take on breakfast, try one of their Brizzas--breakfast pizzas. Quick and casual service makes this breakfast joint a perfect choice for a busy morning. All dishes are created using local ingredients from Arizona farmers and vendors whenever possible. ((602) 374-2294)
Original Breakfast House
The Original Breakfast House in northeast Phoenix is a popular breakfast and brunch destination for classic diner grub with a twist. The huge breakfast menu includes house favorites like the deep-fried French toast topped with seasonal food, and the unique Spam and eggs over cilantro lime rice with mango salsa. Of course, you'll also find fluffy omelettes, egg dishes, pancakes, and lighter breakfast fare. All egg dishes come with your choice of hash browns, home fries, or fruit, and your choice of biscuits with gravy or toast. The restaurant only serves cage free eggs. If you love the food, the diner also sells its own jams, syrups and other breakfast products. ((602) 482-2328)
La Grande Orange Grocery
In a neighborhood increasingly known for the quality of its restaurant offerings, La Grande Orange is helping bump up the options. Small and friendly, it limits its menu in order to focus on superb ingredients, and the deliberate formula has elicited great response. Essentially, you can order only a pizza, salad, hamburger, or dessert, but gourmet food combinations and perfect preparation more than compensate for the brevity. Salads feature golden beets, grilled figs, and asparagus while pizzas with thin, crisp, sourdough crusts are loaded with rock shrimp, exotic mushrooms, goat cheese, and herbs. Burgers are sumptuous too. A communal table amid individual ones promotes camaraderie in the small space. For early risers, LGO offers one of the most popular breakfast menus in town, featuring omelets, breakfast burritos, and other assorted breakfast items. (602-840-7777)
Delicious meets nutritious at this Chandler-area gem. Healthy, wholesome, yet still delectable, brunch and lunch selections are artfully created and served using only the highest quality ingredients. Try the Breakfast Burrito, made with your choice egg or tofu, seasonal veggies, harvest hash, anasazi beans, vegan or cheddar cheese and then wrapped in a spinach tortilla and served with the house salsa. French toast is an art here, and the a selection of fresh baked goods is available for you to take home. If greasy breakfasts are not your thing, head to the Pomegranate Cafe, where flavor and quality combine for a perfect first meal. ((480) 706-7472)
Snooze: An AM Eatery
Snooze: An AM Eatery is a hip breakfast and brunch spot with locations in Denver, San Diego, and now, Phoenix. The Phoenix location is located in mid-town's Town and Country Plaza in a modern, hip diner setting with wood flooring and retro-inspired green, orange, and brown color scheme. The menu, which is divided into various breakfast "themes," is fun and creative. Egg-lovers will want to give attention to the "Flavors From a Hen" section of the menu, which features fluffy omelettes, huevos rancheros, and the house breakfast pot pie, which has a rosemary sausage gravy topped with a flaky puff pastry. Hollandaise sauce lovers: this is your place. The menu has an entire section dedicated to hollandaise-inspired dishes. ((480) 725-8000)
Vovomeena describes its menu as "craft breakfast and brunch," with an emphasis on craft. The always-changing menu of carefully composed breakfast and brunch dishes manage to be both hearty, arty, and most importantly, delicious. Everything on the menu is good, but if you're looking for a breakfast feast fit for royalty, try the "b.m.o.c.," a massive pork chop cooked to perfection topped with a waffle, two over-easy eggs, and a Portuguese donut with apple-maple syrup. Yes, it probably puts you over your calorie count for the day, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a heartier and more creative breakfast dish in town. Gourmet coffee and fresh juice round out the brunch experience at this hip Phoenix morning spot. ((602) 252-2541)
Matt's Big Breakfast
If you don't know where Matt's Big Breakfast is, no problem. Simply look for the long trail of chatting, slightly restless men and women lined up outside a modest brick house on First Street. This is Matt's Big Breakfast, one of the city's most popular breakfast destinations, especially on the weekends. Try the Hog and Chick, two eggs with your choice of thick-cut bacon, country sausage, or off-the-bone ham. Lunch, featuring a short menu of sandwich classics such as The Classic Reuben and BLT, is served starting at 11 am. The breakfast menu might not be the biggest in town, but the kitchen's use of farm-fresh ingredients makes this one of the tastiest. ((602) 254-1074)
The Farm at South Mountain
This combination kitchen, cafe, artist studio, and working farm is also one of Phoenix's most popular morning spots for the discerning breakfast set. The Farm's Morning Glory Cafe, open seasonally, is a signature breakfast spot serving house-baked muffins and pastries, seasonal omelets, locally-made sausages, and other delights hand-picked from the farm garden. The weekend homestyle breakfast and brunch menu includes hearty, Southwestern-inspired plates such as the Cowboy Chili & Eggs and the Huevos Rancheros, made here with refried Arizona tepary beans, corn tortilla, grated cheese, Ranchero Sauce, fresh avocado, and two over easy eggs. Enjoy a stroll under the pecan groves after your meal. (602-276-6360)
About Patricia Escarcega
Patricia Escarcega has lived in the Arizona desert since she was a teenager. She works as a writer and editor in Phoenix with her four dogs and two cats.
She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona and is working on a novel about growing up in the 1990s.
Read more about Patricia Escarcega here.