Best of Phoenix®

Best Of 2013

Neighborhoods

  • + Ahwatukee
  • + Anthem
  • + Apache Junction
  • + Avondale
  • + Buckeye
  • + California
  • + Carefree
  • + Cave Creek
  • + Central Phoenix
  • + Central Scottsdale
  • + Chandler
  • + East Phoenix
  • + El Mirage
  • + Fountain Hills
  • + Gilbert
  • + Glendale
  • + Goodyear
  • + Higley
  • + Laveen
  • + Litchfield Park
  • + Mesa
  • + Nevada
  • + New River
  • + North Phoenix
  • + North Scottsdale
  • + Out of Town
  • + Outside the Valley
  • + Palo Verde
  • + Paradise Valley
  • + Peoria
  • + Queen Creek
  • + South Phoenix
  • + South Scottsdale
  • + Sun City
  • + Surprise
  • + Tempe
  • + Tolleson
  • + Unknown
  • + Waddell
  • + West Phoenix
  • + Youngtown
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Best Of :: Shopping & Services

Best Used Clothes for Kids

We may never go to the mall again — at least, not till our kids outgrow Love Child. How about a GapKids dress for $4? Or Abercrombie & Fitch jeans for under $10? On our last visit, a pair of hot pink Vans had an "as is" tag, so we asked the clerk what was wrong with them. It took her minutes to locate the tiny pinprick of ink on the side of the shoe. "That's cool," we said. "We'll take 'em!" We love everything about this store — the location (between Changing Hands Bookstore and a Trader Joe's), the easy-to-browse setup, the selection, and most of all, let's be honest, the price.

6444 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe, 85283
MAP
480-545-2868
Best Coffee Beans
Roastery of Cave Creek (ROC2)

One of the Valley's best-kept secrets, the Roastery of Cave Creek was started by Dave Anderson as a small operation that roasted estate-grown organic coffee for some of the best local restaurants. Chances are you've sipped this expertly roasted coffee once or twice without even knowing it. If you have had a cup of joe with your breakfast or brunch at Matt's Big Breakfast, Bertha's Café, or Vovomeena, you have tasted the divine elixir that results from these exceptional coffee beans. There are several single varietals and blends available from ROC2, but they all have in common a great sense of balance, full-bodied flavor, and rich smoothness. These beans can be purchased directly at the roastery or by e-mailing orders@therocc.me. The blend made especially for Bertha's Café can be purchased at the restaurant.

7003 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, 85331
MAP
480-488-6060
Best Shot of Espresso
Giant Coffee

There's something so addictingly romantic about sipping a shot of espresso, cleansing your palate with the accompanying sparkling water, and pondering life's great mysteries while sitting in the open, airy Giant Coffee lounge in Central Phoenix. For local espresso lovers, Giant's Four Barrel Friendo Blendo espresso is a high point in a town of many great coffee joints. Two dollars gets you your shot and the side shot of sparking water, which is an unbeatably cheap pick-me-up. The thick, almost syrup-like consistency of the espresso paired with its tart fruit notes somehow make the perfect companion to Giant's flaky, savory quiche, which has been known to contain bacon, goat cheese, and pecans on certain days. That combo is sure to get you moving, maybe right across the street to the Phoenix Art Museum — now, doesn't that sound like a lovely day?

1437 N. 1st St., Phoenix, 85004
MAP
602-396-7215
Best Coffee House, Central Phoenix
Lux Central
Dominique Chatterjee
Desert at Lux

When Central Phoenix locals want to show off their neighborhood know-how to out-of-town guests, chances are they take them to Lux Central. Stationed in a nondescript building, this hipster hotspot houses a lively interior of mismatched mid-century furniture, typewriter centerpieces, grandma-chic dishware, and a seemingly endless maze of rooms in which to work, study, and socialize. Open from the wee hours and back again, Lux triples as a coffee shop, bar, and restaurant, serving up mason jars of iced lattes, as-you-like-it cocktails, and an ever-changing made-to-order menu. With so much action happening in one place, it's no wonder Lux draws such an around-the-clock assortment of people. From posh professionals and caffeinated study groups to late-night socialites and (don't say we didn't warn you) a fair share of awfully loud religious zealots, Lux Central is a miscellaneous mecca.

4400 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 85012
MAP
602-327-1396
Best Coffee House, Downtown Phoenix
Shine Coffee

Shine started off as a retro trailer coffee shop that cropped up at different farmers markets and events in downtown Phoenix. Since then, it's expanded to include a permanent coffee stand just south of Thomas Road off of Central Avenue. Though the small outdoor shack still serves up some of the best pastries in town, like raspberry peach handpies and orange blossom shortbread, the best part is Shine's brand-new "Living Room" lounge in the neighboring building. It may seem intimidating to walk into a separate building with your wickedly delicious vanilla bean latte in tow, but once inside, you'll find a space that looks like a living room anyone would be happy to call their own, with lovely vintage furniture, great local art and mellow, ambient music — the perfect environment for reading a book or getting a boatload of work done. Plus, unlike most living rooms, there's no TV to distract you.

10 W. Vernon Ave., Phoenix, 85004
MAP
602-625-6322
Best Coffee House, South Phoenix
Pomegranate Cafe
Jackie Mercandetti

Pomegranate Café is as much about fresh juices, teas, and gluten-free, organic, local and vegan cuisine as it is about the coffee — maybe more so. But that suits us just fine when we're in South Phoenix, because it's nice to have a cafe to go to when we want a caffeine rush with a side of über-healthy. The kombucha and cleansing juices are definitely a more chakra-friendly option to your classic coffee drinks, but the espresso drinks are nothing to sneer at, either. If you get hungry after your soy latte, the simple, wholesome menu includes vegan burgers, raw tacos, kale salads, gluten-free bowls, and some great granola. Picky eaters with a laundry list of diet restrictions are always welcome at Pomegranate Café, which is good 'cause it's hard to find many other places in the Valley to take them while still satisfying our caffeine needs.

4025 E. Chandler Blvd., Ahwatukee, 85048
MAP
480-706-7472
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Best Used Clothes for Kids: Love Child Style Exchange

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