Three Places to Get Breakfast in Downtown(ish) Tempe... If You Must
In an effort to make mom proud, Chow Bella's taking a good, hard look at the most important meal of the day in the form of Scrambled, a weekly review of local breakfast spots.
We love downtown Tempe and its ever-flowing supply of booze. But in a town populated primarily of college students and dropouts, mornings are often lost to hangovers and late nights. As a lover of all things breakfast, we can't help but ask, what gives Tempe?! What's for breakfast?
This week we abandoned all reason and dedicated ourselves to finding places to get some morning grub in Tempe. Sadly, the pickings were slim.
Find out the best three spots to get breakfast in downtown Tempe after the jump.
After the demise of Sucker Punch Sally's, it seemed that Mill Avenue might never be able to fill a morning craving. But over a year later, Mill rats have welcomed their newest breakfast edition: NCounter. It's not gourmet -- definitely no Butterfield's -- but the menu offers an interesting selection of breakfast fare. We couldn't pass up barbeque sauce for breakfast and settled down with the tasty Bono Sandwich -- an egg sammie topped with barbeque sauce and bacon. We also tried The Chipolte Egg Burrito which isn't as delicious as it may sound, but beggars can't be choosers in this breakfast ghost town. The food is decent, the ambiance is bright and cheery, and they have mimosas. We're not complaining.
2. Essence or U.S. Egg
Number two is a tie depending on your mood and wallet. Essence Bakery offers a frou-frou breakfast experience including organic and locally grown ingredients, fancy recipes, freshly baked pastries, and a surly waitstaff. The food is good, but it's not exactly the place to roll in half awake in yesterday's outfit. It's more like a place you take your mom, or boss, or girlfriend. Whatever.
In Tempe, quality food can come with a high price and a stuffy attitude. This is why we bring you a second option: U.S. Egg. It's good. It's dependable. Ignore that it's a local chain and not particularly close to downtown. Ignore that the ambiance is a bit square. ANY of the Benedict options (we prefer the veggie) will not disappoint. You may be forced to rub shoulders with an eclectic mix of Tempe-for-lifers, old fogies, and college students. It's not your cool kid-spot -- get over it.
We don't mean to be predictable, but in case you were wondering if there is a better place to get breakfast in Tempe... there's not. Harlow's is the way to go for a neighborhood diner kind of breakfast. It's got that old-fashioned diner feel with old-fashioned Hollywood decor. You can't go wrong with a simple over-easy egg and crispy hashbrowns, but the menu is quite large with plenty of greasy spoon options.
Let's just hope some brave entrepreneur will come save Tempe from its breakfast depression.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Phoenix dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.