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.

Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails

Thanks to this "contemporary gastro-lounge" headed up by 32-year-old chef Stephen Jones, downtown denizens not only have a stylish spot for lunch, they also (gasp!) have a reason to visit CityScape. Located on the second floor inside the new Hotel Palomar, the city lunch-going set can enjoy familiar and flavorful favorites from a selection of salads, sandwiches, and flatbreads. (Hint: Get the duck confit with zesty pickled kumquats.) Plus, since a lot of the grub is offered in two sizes, sharing the meal (and the tab) with your co-workers just makes good business sense. And that's a thought you can bask in while looking out to the surrounding high-rises from the sleek dining room, the patio, or with drink in hand at the lively bar. Don't worry. We won't tell the boss.

Like the lovechild spawned from an errand-running orgy, this friendly, counter-service eatery inside Tom's Thumb Fresh Market in North Scottsdale puts the mmm in multi-tasking. Surrounded by a high-end car wash, gas station, coffee shop, farmers market, and wine shop, Campfire serves up satisfying, Southern-style barbecue along with other Mexican and American favorites to its time-crunched customers doing their shopping one-stop style. Smoked over hickory and pecan hardwoods, the 'cue features loaded pulled pork sandwiches and luscious beef brisket with sides like a dreamy baked mac 'n' cheese. And, for multi-taskers wanting to check dinner off the to-do list, takeout is available.

Noca
Evie Carpenter

Sorry, Mom; even though we love your PB and J, every once in a while we get a hankerin' for a sack-lunch with a gourmet edge. In this case one from Noca, the stylish restaurant in Central Phoenix. Every Tuesday through Saturday afternoon, the restaurant turns into the fast-casual Nocawich, serving up a menu of six stellar sandwiches (plus a special), flavorful soups, and a few sides. Tuesday's feature is a patty melt, Wednesdays mean the delectable lobster roll is up for grabs, and other days there are knock-out creations like The Cisco Kid, featuring in-house roasted turkey and cranberry jam. With your meal stuffed into a sack with a side and a sweet treat, you can take it to go or enjoy it inside while watching the restaurant's chefs prep for the evening's dinner service.

Best Of Phoenix®

Best Of