Phoenix isn't exactly a fruit and yogurt town. Among the many great kinds of hearty breakfasts people eat here, nothing stands out quite like a Mexican breakfast. Of course, there is a ton of variation here. Mexican breakfast could just as easily mean pan dulce and coffee as it could menudo. Here, we celebrate five places that serve a great Mexican breakfast. Each place is a little different, and all will get your day started right.
Comedor Guadalajara1830 South Central Avenue
Mexican breakfast in Phoenix reaches one of its heights with Comedor Guadalajara. You could eat here for five days in a row and still have dishes you would want to try. The food at Comedor has a warm, homestyle essence. You can get eggs with shrimp, red or green chile, two kinds of steak, ham, bacon, chorizo, and lots more. You can get eggs with red chile and nopalitos. You can get huevos rancheros and breakfast enchiladas, breakfast chicharrones, and breakfast chimichangas. Chilaquiles come smothered. The tortillas retain their crisp even though they're sopping with deep velvety sauce the color of kidney beans. Hunks of tripe bob in menudo, which you can get in a small size. The menudo is simple, light and deep at once, and comforting. It has the kind of rich hot flavors that can make your morning.
Irma's Kitchen1614 West Roosevelt Street
You can get a sizable Mexican breakfast at Irma's Kitchen for a reasonable price. Things start with chips and salsa. They progress to the main event: chilaquiles, breakfast burros, huevos rancheros, taquitos with eggs, and so on. The menu isn't as comprehensive as at other spots that offer Mexican breakfast. Menudo is offered daily. The red version at Irma's isn't all that hot. Spiked with raw onions, cilantro, and lemon juice, the soup's thinly spread tripe honeycombs, and hominy brings you to life. The soup has mellow flavors and a thin, restorative broth that, together with steaming tortillas, will launch you into your day feeling good. Many of the hearty breakfast platters come with a hearty, silky mudslide of beans, a sidekick just as good as the feature.
Phoenix Burrito House4140 North Seventh Avenue
Plates and burritos headline the breakfast menu at this residential-looking structure set in back of a parking lot. The burrito road forks into enough paths that there should be the right combo for everyone. If you choose to customize a burrito at Phoenix Burrito House, you get, for $5.50, eggs, potatoes, and beans, plus your choice of a meat: ham, chorizo, bacon, or sausage. From there, you can add more meat, cheese, peppers, or grilled onion. There is another way: the machaca burrito. It comes bursting from its flour wrappings, packed with eggs, grilled onions, potatoes, and jalapenos. On the plates end of the menu, huevos rancheros deliver on a similarly satisfying level. Green salsa smothers two eggs over easy. It drowns them so completely that you may forget what they are. Fork in. Yolk gushes. Yep, eggs. Beans and a tiny hill of potatoes round out the dish.
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Gallo Blanco928 East Pierce Street
Gallo Blanco opens at 11 a.m. during the week. This is a breakfast destination for people who get up late or dig a morning meal in the post-morning hours. On weekends, the restaurant opens at 8 a.m. You can travel many paths with this breakfast menu. Those looking for sweet can opt for pancakes with cajeta. A better option, though, might be to order a cloudy ball of pan dulce or two, split them with the folks at your table, and focus on savory eats for your primary course. Dishes like chilaquiles and breakfast burritos are on point. You may want to try pivoting to a torta. The egg torta listed in the breakfast part of the menu is decent, with flavors a little on the hefty side. Look to the non-breakfast reaches of the menu. Here you will find a Naco Torta, a more indulgent and better torta of egg, avocado, and grilled steak. The soft, chewy buns are baked right in the kitchen.
Carolina's1202 East Mohave Street
Mornings at Carolina's are all about the breakfast burro. Burros are wrapped with just-made flour tortillas and come long, bulbous, and jammed with fillings. A breakfast burro here will prime you for a serious day. At the ordering counter, one choose between chorizo and machaca (if you want meat). From there, you can add eggs, beans, or potatoes to your burro. You can up the flavor ante by going for enchilada-style and having green or red chile slathered on top. I prefer the red. It leads with a low, blunt heat that gives way to a deep, mole-like complexity. Not enough heat for you? Add salsa. It has flavor and torch. Can't decide between red and green chile? Go both.
Editor's note: This story was originally published on August 18, 2018. It was updated on February 6, 2020.