U-Pass holders rejoice! This week's Campus Coffee series uncovers some café gems in downtown Phoenix.
Take the light rail westbound to Central and Camelback, head south a couple blocks, and you'll find Lola Coffee, a cozy little café popping out of an equally delightful little shopping center. If you need more directions than that, look for the bright green building.
Lola is full of eclectic mod style, from the faux-candle chandelier to the boxy plush couches. In particular, the couches make a great place to hang out and get some homework done. The wall-sized window that faces Central splashes the coffee house with natural light, which is actually not that bad when accompanied with air conditioning.
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But if you aren't going to Lola because it's cute, consider the cheddar and rosemary frittata or the baked pear scones. When Lola adopted baker Danielle Librera, formerly of Sweet Pea Bakery, they definitely gained a unique edge over other coffee shops in that all their baking is done in-house. With a breakfast like that to look forward to, sleeping in really doesn't work as an excuse to ditch class anymore.
Lola's house-roasted coffee beans make a superior drip coffee, but when we saw the Café Bianco on the menu, we couldn't resist but grab a cup. Creamy, not too sweet, still kicking with that espresso boost, and topped off with delicious homemade whipped cream, Lola's white chocolate latte is a mature mocha for a great price. (The largest comes in a cup as big as your head and will only set you back $4.)
While Lola has free wi-fi and other accomodations for studying, the café closes pretty early, making it mostly a breakfast or lunch spot. It is open until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday though, which gives us some hope that the hours might extend later as business gets better.
For now, we might make Lola our new morning habit. Eating such a delicious breakfast only makes us look forward to lunch all the more, though. Tomorrow, we hop over to 7th Street to try the sandwiches, and of course the coffee, at Drip Coffee Lounge. Until then, make sure to tip your barista!