Three Places to Get Breakfast in Downtown(ish) Tempe... If You Must

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

In an effort to make mom proud, Chow Bella's taking a good, hard look at the most important meal of the day in the form of Scrambled, a weekly review of local breakfast spots.

We love downtown Tempe and its ever-flowing supply of booze. But in a town populated primarily of college students and dropouts, mornings are often lost to hangovers and late nights. As a lover of all things breakfast, we can't help but ask, what gives Tempe?! What's for breakfast?

This week we abandoned all reason and dedicated ourselves to finding places to get some morning grub in Tempe. Sadly, the pickings were slim.

Find out the best three spots to get breakfast in downtown Tempe after the jump.

3. NCounter

After the demise of Sucker Punch Sally's, it seemed that Mill Avenue might never be able to fill a morning craving. But over a year later, Mill rats have welcomed their newest breakfast edition: NCounter. It's not gourmet -- definitely no Butterfield's -- but the menu offers an interesting selection of breakfast fare. We couldn't pass up barbeque sauce for breakfast and settled down with the tasty Bono Sandwich -- an egg sammie topped with barbeque sauce and bacon. We also tried The Chipolte Egg Burrito which isn't as delicious as it may sound, but beggars can't be choosers in this breakfast ghost town. The food is decent, the ambiance is bright and cheery, and they have mimosas. We're not complaining.

2. Essence or U.S. Egg

Number two is a tie depending on your mood and wallet. Essence Bakery offers a frou-frou breakfast experience including organic and locally grown ingredients, fancy recipes, freshly baked pastries, and a surly waitstaff. The food is good, but it's not exactly the place to roll in half awake in yesterday's outfit. It's more like a place you take your mom, or boss, or girlfriend. Whatever. 

In Tempe, quality food can come with a high price and a stuffy attitude. This is why we bring you a second option: U.S. Egg. It's good. It's dependable. Ignore that it's a local chain and not particularly close to downtown. Ignore that the ambiance is a bit square. ANY of the Benedict options (we prefer the veggie) will not disappoint. You may be forced to rub shoulders with an eclectic mix of Tempe-for-lifers, old fogies, and college students. It's not your cool kid-spot -- get over it.  

1. Harlow's

We don't mean to be predictable, but in case you were wondering if there is a better place to get breakfast in Tempe... there's not. Harlow's is the way to go for a neighborhood diner kind of breakfast. It's got that old-fashioned diner feel with old-fashioned Hollywood decor. You can't go wrong with a simple over-easy egg and crispy hashbrowns, but the menu is quite large with plenty of greasy spoon options.  

Let's just hope some brave entrepreneur will come save Tempe from its breakfast depression.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.