The Ultimate Guide to Phoenix Coffee 2021

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The Phoenix coffee shop scene — and its beans — gets better every year. You’re far more likely to find damn good coffee here than today than you were a mere decade ago. The different shops have different strengths, though, and in the interest of helping you find what you’re looking for, we’ve put together a guide to Phoenix coffee based on its extra shots of personality: pastries, people-watching, pour-over, patios. Read on to find out where to go to get your coffee-related needs properly met.

Tres Leches Cafe.

Tres Leches Cafe.

Patricia Escarcega

Where To Get Mexican Coffee: Tres Leches Café

1714 West Van Buren Street

Inspired by Mexican flavors and Chicano culture, Tres Leches Café is a “go big or go home” kind of place, not unlike owner ET Rivera’s grande personality. Lattes come large and in bold flavors like Mexican mocha, horchata, and churro, spiked with the signature house tres leches crema and topped with mountains of whipped cream and extra drizzle upon request. The pane case is stocked with mammoth Mexican treats, like Fruity Pebble donchas, heart-shaped conchas and sprinkle-topped galettas. Make sure to get a selfie against the “Girls just wanna have pan” pink wall.

Dark Hall's PB+J vegan/gluten-free cookie is the jam.

Dark Hall’s PB+J vegan/gluten-free cookie is the jam.

Emily Spetrino

Where To Get Vegan Coffee and Pastries: Dark Hall Coffee

3343 North 7th Avenue

Yes, Dark Hall Coffee is our ride-or-die for vegan coffee and pastries, but we could just have easily have said “where to get killer cold brew” or “where to get sinful cinnamon buns” or “where to get a creamy cortada.” The place is totally vegan, but that just means they put extra thought into their housemade “mylk” — a coconut-and-almond mixture sweetened with dates that’s creamier and dreamier than plain old cow’s milk — and extra creativity into their pastry case, which includes a rotating roster of beautiful blackout cakes, fruit-filled galettes, and caramel shortbreads that aren’t short on anything.

Provision is great for a coffee date.

Provision is great for a coffee date.

Provision Coffee

Where to Go on a Coffee Date: Provision Coffee

4501 North 32nd Street

Whether it’s a Tinder meet-up or just an outing with the spouse, Provision Coffee has you covered for a day date. Park yourself at the bar of this modern, minimalist haven of plywood, canoodle in a corner unnoticed, or cozy up on the patio in front of the fireplace. The vibe is trendy yet friendly, posher than a coffee shop yet totally unpretentious. The menu includes straight-up pourovers and refined lattes as well as sophisticated cocktails: liquid courage in all forms.

Always a lot to look at at Lux Central.EXPAND

Always a lot to look at at Lux Central.

Arya Daryani

Where to People-Watch: Lux Central

4402 North Central Avenue

There’s almost always a line at Lux Central, and a fashionable one at that. Open from 6 am to 10 pm daily, the place is a constant parade of fanny packs, vintage tees, and flouncy dresses, with stylish students, couples, families, and singles vying for strong coffee and the chance to see and be seen while drinking it. The eye candy extends to the pastry case, a packed table of multilayered plates and platters stacked with stunning cupcakes, croissants, and cookies, and the décor, a mish-mash of midcentury furniture and sculptural lighting fixtures.

Go for coffee and cars at Fourtillfour.

Go for coffee and cars at Fourtillfour.

Fourtillfour

Where to Car-Watch: Fourtillfour Café

7105 East 1st Avenue, Scottsdale

For coffee and car lovers, there’s no place like Fourtillfour, the only Porsche-inspired coffee shop in the Valley, and perhaps the world. Owner Nico Samaras combined his love of collecting and restoring classic cars and coffee into a car-themed coffee shop, complete with a sliding garage door and a roll cab for cream and condiments. The space is small, only 600 square feet, but the real action is on the patio, where you’ll spot vintage rigs, VWs, and classic Porsches. Plus, on the first Saturday of every month, Fourtillfour hosts a Porsche meet-up.

Bergies, the backyard-style coffee shop.EXPAND

Bergies, the backyard-style coffee shop.

Lauren Cusimano

Where to Sip on a Patio: Bergies Coffee Roast House

309 North Gilbert Road, Gilbert

Coffee can take you places, and so can Bergie’s patio. Tucked in Gilbert’s historic Heritage District right beside Joe’s Real BBQ, the family-owned coffee shop is close to all the action, yet feels worlds apart. Order in the cozy cottage (coffee is roasted in small batches on-site), then settle in on the patio, a sprawling sanctuary filled with palo verde trees, patio umbrellas, and plenty of greenery that hosts live music and poetry readings. And yes, Fido is welcome too.

Stock up on beans at Xanadu Coffee Roasters.

Stock up on beans at Xanadu Coffee Roasters.

Xanadu Coffee Roasters

Where to Get Beans: Xanadu Coffee Roasters

625 North 7th Street, Phoenix

Xanadu’s beans are no secret. Some of the finest coffee shops around town have been brewing them for years, some more secretly than others. That includes MFG, Smooth Brew, Jobot, Birdhaus, not to mention a few from this list (Dark Hall, Tres Leches, Mythical). But it wasn’t until 2021 that Xanadu got its own digs, a bright spot on Seventh Street with white walls and electric décor to match its retail packaging. Co-owner and roaster Randy Denton thoughtfully sources beans from around the world, mostly from single estates and small co-ops, and roasts them on his Probat P12 coffee roaster. Stop in for a brew and a bag, or better yet, sign up for their online subscription service.

Cartel has a simple yet modern location in downtown Phoenix.EXPAND

Cartel has a simple yet modern location in downtown Phoenix.

Jacob Tyler Dunn

Where to Go for a Solid Local Chain: Cartel Coffee Lab

Multiple locations

If you asked Amy and Jason Silberschlag if they’d be a “chain” back when they opened the first Cartel in Tempe in 2008, they probably would have laughed. Now, with six locations in Phoenix and two in Tucson, plus outposts at the uber-trendy Arrive hotels in Palm Springs and Austin, they’ve put Phoenix on the coffee map. (They also championed single-origin coffees and Chemexes long before they were cool.) Best of all (besides the coffee), you’d never know it was a chain. 

The pastries are picture-perfect at Berdena’s.

The pastries are picture-perfect at Berdena’s.

Berdena’s

Where to Get Pastries: Berdena’s

7051 East 5th Avenue, Scottsdale

Berdena’s in Old Town Scottsdale has all the Instagram feels: floral patterned wallpaper, black-and-white tile below the bar, a baby blue Synesso espresso machine. But it’s not selfies you’ll be savoring; it’s the pastries. Housemade cinnamon rolls dripping in vanilla bean cream cheese frosting, dense and delicious banana nut bread, scones studded with more blueberries than you can count, cornflake cookies that will forever change the way you look at cookies, all housemade. Plus perfect morning buns, chocolate croissants and cruffins made by JL Patisserie. So many Mmmms.

Sip in the coffee and setting at Mythical Coffee.EXPAND

Sip in the coffee and setting at Mythical Coffee.

Allison Young

Where to Go for Coffee and Contemporary Design: Mythical Coffee

1090 South Gilbert Road, Gilbert

Located in a strip mall in Gilbert, Mythical Coffee is a high-ceilinged space with white walls, exposed ductwork, and polished concrete floors. Totally minimalist, which make the design elements — dangling glove lights, turquoise tiles, shelves underlit with blue, and pink neon unicorn — pop perfectly. Not that it’s just a pretty face. Mythical makes all its pastries and syrups in-house and roasts its own lineup of single-origin coffees, which come in mythical names, like Helios and Bacchus.

Julia Peixoto Peters serves up a true crop-to-cup experience.

Julia Peixoto Peters serves up a true crop-to-cup experience.

Peixoto Coffee

Where to Get a Crop-to-Cup Experience: Peixoto Coffee Roasters

11 West Boston Street, Chandler

Sure, all coffee comes from a crop, but Peixoto’s supply of Brazilian beans comes direct from owner Julia Peixoto Peters’ family farm in South America. It’s beyond fair trade; it’s family trade. That same love that goes into the roasting (which husband Jeff Peters heads up), and the meticulously made joes, which span from slow brews to inspired seasonal sips (think samba iced latte and toasted coconut latte). Plus, the place boasts speedy Wi-Fi, a friendly atmosphere, and espresso affogatos and nitro floats that are OMG good.

Infusion Coffee's slow bar features seven brew methods.EXPAND

Infusion Coffee’s slow bar features seven brew methods.

Allison Young

Where to Go for a Pourover: Infusion Coffee & Tea Crafters

1300 East 8th Street, Tempe

You can’t talk about Infusion Coffee without talking about owner Patrick O’Malley, an innovator, roaster, espresso machine engineer, and educator with a diploma from the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). He’s basically the Leonardo da Vinci of coffee. Needless to say, coffee standards here are high. With a standout slow bar, featuring seven brew methods, plus Bourbon Barrel Burundi cold drip, house-blended teas, and standout signature drinks, options are seemingly endless. Don’t worry, the super trained baristas will walk you through it all — or learn for yourself at one of Infusion’s many brewing and roasting classes.

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