Best Neighborhood Breakfast, Downtown Phoenix

Astor House

Astor House: Coronado 'Cue & Southern Speakeasy

We love the Coronado District's Tuck Shop. And now, when it comes to tasty a.m. eats, we love its new sister restaurant and next-door neighbor, Astor House, just as much. The little counter-service eatery in a renovated home is just as laid-back and approachably cool as the Tuck, making it perfect for enjoying a tidy selection of sweet and savory breakfast offerings including Biscuits & Grillades (Southern beef gravy over two buttermilk biscuits), Red Flannel Hash (beet, potato, and root vegetables with egg), and Apple Boxty (grated apple and potato pancakes with a healthy dollop of mascarpone). Plus, there's fresh-squeezed OJ, coffee, café and chicory au lait, and Japanese cold-brewed coffee from a machine described as "the science project-looking thing." Oh, Astor, you're adorable.

Best Neighborhood Breakfast, Central Phoenix

Dick's Hideaway

Dick's Hideaway
Patricia Escarcega

Lucky for us, the fire that took down the original location of Richardson's in 2009 spared the kitchen, meaning its secluded spillover lounge, Dick's Hideaway, could keep on serving up its crazy-good New Mexican fare for breakfast. Breakfast is served every day from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and diners can grab one of the few available seats (and get familiar with their neighbors, fast) before selecting from platefuls of exceptional eats like pork chops braised in green chile with eggs, huevos rancheros, homemade green chile meatloaf, or one of several kinds of eggs Benedict (go with the stellar carne adovada version with jalapeño Hollandaise sauce). On the weekends, you'll find the same menu for brunch at the new Richardson's and adjacent Rokerij restaurants just up the street. Bonus.

Best Neighborhood Breakfast, North Phoenix

Perk Eatery

Perk Eatery

To Michigan transplant Pauline Martinez and husband Carmen, owners and chefs of Perk, the cheerful little eatery in a strip mall off Greenway Parkway, breakfast is serious business. Serving up a satisfying and stick-to-your ribs selection of hearty American breakfast favorites with a twist, the couple also offers daily specials that are just as tempting. Crowd favorites include homemade corned beef country style hash, the French and flavorful Fancy Pants Scramble, and crispy potato pancakes served up with applesauce, sour cream, or a little of both. But best of all are the light and delicately sweet pancakes with a whisper of vanilla. Not needing the slightest smattering of butter or maple syrup, we'll snuggle up with this stack of griddled goodness any morning.

Best Neighborhood Breakfast, South Phoenix

Morning Glory Cafe

Morning Glory Cafe

It's a glorious morning every morning when your farm-fresh breakfast comes from Maya's Farm — which should be easy given that the farm sits right next to this pretty al fresco patio in the back of The Farm at South Mountain. It's not out of the way at all (just a few minutes from downtown Phoenix), and a.m. eaters can help themselves to a cup of self-serve coffee before digging into scrumptious homestyle eats such as stellar seasonal omelets, buttery French toast, locally made sausages, house-baked muffins and pastries, or rustic breakfast chili made with local beef and tepary beans. An abundance of flowers, lush lawns, and shade trees come part and parcel with the farm-to-table fare.

Best Neighborhood Breakfast, West Valley

Amuse Bouche

Amuse Bouche Gourmet Bistro & Catering
Courtesy of Amuse

It's Sunday. Wake up, gas up the jalopy, fire up the ol' GPS, and get yourself to this strip-mall, French-inspired bistro in Surprise for the one day of the week it serves breakfast. One of the best in the Valley (and not just the West Valley), there's nothing too fancy here, but everything is prepared perfectly. Eggs Benedict ($12) is just one of the home runs — thanks to the sublime Hollandaise sauce. Four kinds of crepes — including the delectable bacon and tomato and Jack cheese — are brimming with flavor, and eggs Florentine are colorful and fresh-tasting, thanks to wonderfully sautéed spinach. On the sweet side, the Belgian waffles are a sight to behold, served with fresh strawberries, bananas, vanilla whipped cream, and brown-sugar cinnamon syrup. Yowza. Just about everything is served with excellent country potatoes. And did we mention the housemade beignets? Yup, you're gonna wanna get a plate of those, too.

Best Neighborhood Breakfast, Southeast Valley

Liberty Market

Apricot Glazed Chicken from Liberty Market
Heather Hoch
Apricot Glazed Chicken from Liberty Market

Sure, restaurateur Joe Johnston's friendly and always-bustling counter-service restaurant in downtown Gilbert serves up exceptional platefuls of a.m. eats, like a three-egg Sicilian scramble with oven-roasted tomatoes and Italian sausage, decadent slices of griddled bread pudding with espresso syrup, and a unique bacon substitute of grilled, flattened meatballs. But it's his top-notch biscuits and gravy that we can't get enough of. Featuring buttery biscuits slathered in creamy gravy with pieces of Schreiner's country sausage, they just might be the best in town, especially when served up alongside a coffee creation from the restaurant's E-61 Bar, the sleek java counter named after its vintage '60s-era Faema espresso machine.

Essence Bakery Cafe
Courtesy of Essence Bakery

In a downtown jam-packed with beer, frozen yogurt, T-shirt shops, and places to get your nails done for $10, it's a relief to know a civilized breakfast awaits. Best known for her amazing French macaróns (and quickly gaining notoriety for her croissants) chef/owner Eugenia Theodosopoulos presides over a fabulous morning menu in a lovely, low-key setting. On a nice day, sit outside and pretend you're in a big city as cars whiz by the University Drive café. Order the organic granola or the brioche French toast. The French eggs are divine, and the Croque Madame (a twist on the classic with Gruyère cheese, tomato, and fried egg) is wonderful, too. The coffee is fresh and strong, and the bakery case is always stocked — so go ahead, grab a macarón to go.

Best Neighborhood Breakfast, Scottsdale

Orange Table

Orange Table
Jamie Peachey

Chef Elizabeth Meinz dishes up hearty, top-notch morning fare at this cheerful neighborhood spot practically hidden away in the Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza. Popular breakfast items include bananas Foster French toast and red flannel hash with corned beef, roasted beets, and potatoes, but flapjack fans should make sure to order up Meinz's killer jalapeño and pecan pancakes. And if it's a night of revelry you're waking up from, there's not only a list of caffeinated specialties, like an amazing Mexican chocolate latte, there's also a selection of boozy breakfast cocktails for a little hair-of-the-dog healing.

Best Place for a Hangover Breakfast

Harlow's

Harlow's Cafe
Patricia Escarcega

Every Saturday and Sunday, this little diner (we admit that it looks more like a mobile home than an awesome breakfast eatery) serves up giant plates of homemade biscuits and gravy, huge stacks of pancakes, and massive plates of eggs and ham to the weary, partied-out souls of Tempe. Hide your head in one of their comfy booths or nurse a cup of coffee at the breakfast bar while trying to get back to "normal." The staff is easy on your bloodshot eyes, and we guarantee the chorizo and eggs will have you back to feeling like a million bucks in no time. Or at least it will help you go back to bed to sleep the rest of your hangover away.

Wrigley Mansion

Paola Embry, co-owner of Christopher's Restaurant & Crush Lounge in Central Phoenix and the CEO of Wrigley Mansion, the Valley landmark just a few blocks away, has rejuvenated this onetime chafing dish cornucopia into a stylish and colorful selection of exquisite eats. Flush with fine cheeses, fresh fruits and produce, jumbo shrimp and crab legs, and house specialties like baby lamb chops and pan roasted salmon, the spread also features an omelet station, an enticing eggs Benedict, a dazzling array of desserts, and unlimited mimosas. And the breathtaking views of the city from the mansion's hilltop home make this brunch a mouthwatering and memorable affair that's bound to impress any dining guest.

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