Campus Coffee: Solo Cafe Looks Like the Past But Plans for the Future

With school back in session, 'tis the season to start cramming and caffeinating. This week, we head to Tempe to see what main campus cafes have to offer.

Solo Café has been on the corner of Mill Avenue and Baseline Road for almost two years. The café is cute, clean, and the coffee is great. So why haven't we heard of it?

We blame a syndrome most ASU-area dwellers seem to get, in which they find it difficult to go anywhere south of Broadway (not to mention, Cartel Coffee Lab has had a hold over us since the day it opened). However, we think it's worth it to take the short three-mile jaunt off-campus and visit Solo.

Solo Cafe hides an impressive Ralph Steadman-style mural behind their counter.
Solo Cafe hides an impressive Ralph Steadman-style mural behind their counter.
Heather Hoch

The café, which is attached to a salon and an alt baby store, is decorated kind of like a great-aunt's house on acid. Victorian plush furniture, a marble chess set, and coasters made out of vinyl LPs contrast the numerous homages to Beat Generation writers and artists, including a Ralph Steadman-style mural.

They currently offer locally-made pastries to snack on, but have plans to start making sandwiches with hand-sliced meats that should be available this fall. They also plan to extend their seating to a patio in the back, complete with a fire pit.

We want to study here. Don't you?
We want to study here. Don't you?
Heather Hoch


Besides the adorable decor, the café should entice students with its free wi-fi, strong espresso drinks, live music, and the friendly, enthusiastic staff.

Leaving Solo, tomorrow we head over to Gold Bar Espresso, so check back for that, and make sure to tip your barista!


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