Best Neighborhood Coffee House, East Valley (2008)

Ground Central

Being stuck in Phoenix, sans vehicle, sucks. That goes double if your ride is in the shop and you're relying on your folks, who live in east Mesa, to drive you around. Ugh. Where to go? Hightail it (rather, get them to hightail you) to Ground Central, an indie coffee shop tucked away in one of those corporate shopping centers that so often begets pleasant surprises in this city. After we ordered a tasty caffeinated beverage and a fine pastry, plopped down at one of the spacious tables, and busted out our laptop to work on the free Wi-Fi, we wanted Mommy and Daddy to leave us there all day. Even if you're computer-less, there's plenty of eye candy at Ground Central, where you can watch national news on the TV and folks from the neighboring health club ruining their workout by ordering gut-busting sweets. The hang is open seven days a week.