It's finally hiking season, Phoenix (at least for those of us who don't dare venture up a mountain when heat exhaustion is a very real risk). And after a long and sweaty jaunt in the great outdoors, we're usually thinking about one thing: where to eat.
Well, lucky for us, some great breakfast spots happen to be right near some of the Valley's most popular hiking spots.
After a hike up Camelback Mountain, you may want to consider replenishing all the calories you burned during the 2.3- to 3.5-mile total climb (depending on which route you choose) at local breakfast chain Over Easy's Arcadia location. This popular spot whips up eggs, pancakes, and other breakfast classics in a retro diner setting, and the diverse menu gives you plenty of options from which to choose. Order a customized omelet, keep it light and healthy with dishes like granola and yogurt, or indulge your sweet tooth with pancakes made with chocolate chips, M&Ms, or Reese’s. You can always satisfy your body’s need for carbs with the restaurant's signature Waffle Dogs, three breakfast sausages on sticks deep-fried in waffle batter.
Piestewa Peak: Luci’s Healthy Marketplace
After a leg-burning hike to the summit of Piestewa Peak, which ascends to 1,190 feet in 1.2 miles, head to Luci’s Healthy Marketplace for all-day breakfast. Keep it healthy with acaí superfood bowls, oatmeal, or yogurt parfaits — but just because the word “healthy” is in the title of this restaurant’s name doesn’t mean that everything here is low-cal. Try the vanilla Belgian waffle topped with strawberries, whipped cream, and butter or if you’re really starving, consider the Burrito Bomb — scrambled eggs with choice of meat, potatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach served in a whole wheat wrap with a side of salsa. Or, if you don’t feel like sitting down for meal, grab a healthy and filling snack from the robust marketplace.
South Mountain: Morning Glory Café
If you tackled one of South Mountain's many trails, which span over 51 miles, then you're bound to be looking for something to eat. And if you still haven't had enough of the great outdoors, consider dining al fresco at The Farm at South Mountain’s patio-only Morning Glory Café. The huge portions here are sure to keep you feeling full, even after a hike. Keep it Southwestern with a Farm Burrito, filled with scrambled eggs, beans, ham, and cheese served with a side of home fries, or go traditional with carb-heavy offerings like the American Breakfast, two eggs served with a buttermilk biscuit, home fries, and choice of bacon or sausage. Feel free to bring your bike or dog here, too.
Usery Mountains: Sunnyside Breakfast Lounge
If your morning hike to the Wind Cave or one of the 29 miles of trails in Mesa's Usery Mountains has you on a health kick, head to Mesa’s Sunnyside Breakfast Lounge to keep it going, since this spot is known for its all-natural offerings. Lighter options include steel-cut oatmeal, or you can go hearty with chicken fried steak or sweet with banana Nutella crepes. Eggs Benedict, omelets, and various egg dishes round out the menu, and juices and healthy drinks are popular here, too. Plus, you can pair your food with a super-food cocktail like the electrolyte chai lemonade, made with chai seeds, gin, vodka, lemonade, and Sprite, or one of Sunnyside’s fresh juices.
McDowell Mountains: The Breakfast Joynt
After heading up to the sprawling 21,099-acre McDowell Mountain Regional Park in Scottsdale, consider heading to The Breakfast Joynt before 2:30 p.m. to get, what else, breakfast. Pull up a seat at the counter or sit at one of the two person tables in this cozy and contemporary space. Then, get ready to dig in to the mostly hearty plates. The menu features build-your-own omelets, Benedict’s, lighter fare, and even a six-ounce Sirloin. Standout sweet-tooth-satisfying options include red velvet waffles and chocolate chip pancakes.