Phoenix for Coffee-Lovers: A Sampling of the Valley’s Best Coffee Houses

Food — By P. Escarcega on April 11, 2011 at 7:36 pm

When cold spring rains send Phoenicians running for a cup of joe, where do they go? Sure, Phoenix is no Seattle, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of places for discriminating coffee connoisseurs to get their daily dose of caffeine. For some local flavor, here is a sampling of some of Phoenix’s best coffee houses.

Espresso with organic shortbread cookie at Echo Coffee, an independent coffee house in south Scottsdale. Photo:

Lux Coffee Bar. Art, music, poetry, and modern design collide at this downtown mainstay, providing the perfect spot to sip and mingle with local hipsters. This is a good stopping point when you’re downtown checking out museums, sports events, or just passing through. Coffee is roasted fresh on a small vintage roaster, and the coffee bar’s 100% organic espresso blend is served at such popular local restaurants as Pizzeria Bianco and Carly’s Diner.

Drip Coffee Lounge. The menu at this arty coffee lounge in downtown Phoenix is unfussy and spare, which means it won’t take long for you to pick out your caffeine concoction of choice. The coffee is reliably strong, good, and organic, with a short breakfast and lunch menu offering wholesome, gourmet sandwiches and sides.

Echo Coffee. This large, friendly coffeehouse in South Scottsdale is a welcome addition to the coffee chains that dominate this part of town. The buzzwords “fresh,” “local,” and “organic” are taken seriously at this neighborhood hot spot. Everyone from drip coffee drinkers to French press connoisseurs will find something to love on the extensive menu. Pastries, fresh hot and cold sandwiches, and salads also make this a great place to have lunch. Visit for more information.

Copper Star Coffee. This friendly neighborhood spot pumps out locally roasted coffee fresh daily starting at 6 a.m. Located in the historic Melrose district in central Phoenix, Copper Star features an extensive menu of hot and iced coffee drinks, with stand-out specialty drinks such as their Coconut Mocha and Dulce de Leche Lattes. Fruit smoothies, lemonades, limeades, and fresh sandwiches invite you to hang around awhile on the sunny patio or famous purple couch. For more information, visit

Cartel Coffee Lab. This is not your mother’s coffee shop. Although the modern industrial design and hip crowd may seem intimidating to those accustomed to the soothing beige tones of a neighborhood Starbucks, there is nothing to fear at this Tempe coffee hot spot. Espressos and mocha drinks stand out on a menu that’s built to please even the biggest coffee snob. Visit for more information.

Tags: coffee, coffee houses, lunch, phoenix, scottsdale, tempe

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