Best Coffee House (2002)


Husband-and-wife team Daniel Wayne and Felicia Ruiz-Wayne have got a great gimmick. Don't spend any money on decor, just focus on premium coffees, sweet snacks and way cool reading material (funky magazines, art books, trendy tabloids). And don't hesitate to charge the big bucks for the experience.

Is it vintage? Is it modern? We can't tell, but we get a kick out of LUX's who-cares approach to stark white walls, mismatched furniture, concrete charisma and bare, gallery-style lighting. The only eye candy is rotating works from local artists, primarily photographers who can preview their displays on one of the light tables scattered around the small space.

The owners know their coffee, returning to Phoenix after operating a caffeine store in Seattle. The stuff is strong and flavorful, including old-fashioned drip brew. The patrons here are part of the scene, too, with wild hair, untamed expressions and deep, quiet countenances. That they're nibbling on snickerdoodle cookies is fun; just as tasty are the fruit Danish, muffins and cinnamon rolls.

Some attitude with your coffee? That's priceless.

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