Breakfast and Lunch
- Where to Go
- The Best of the Valley of the Sun
- Wild West Adventure
- Let Scottsdale Rock Your World
- Finding Water in the Sonoran Desert
- Spring Training
- Arizona Family Road Trip
- Phoenix Points of Pride
- Southwestern Culture and Heritage
- Nocturnal Scottsdale
- Exploring Phoenix’s Architecture
- Unexpected Arizona
- Desert Chic
- Chilly Drinks and Cool Eats in Scottsdale
Wallet-friendly Matt’s Big Breakfast (801 N. 1st St., 602/254-1074, 6:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Tues.–Sun., $5–8) is Phoenix’s best breakfast joint, hands down. The small, brick diner is bright and sunny, and its pleasant orange counter, vintage barstools, and mod 1950s decor are the perfect backdrop for griddlecakes and homemade hash browns. Owners Matt and Erenia insist on quality, fresh ingredients, which means the orange juice is squeezed each morning and the eggs come from cage-free chickens. There’s usually a short wait at the popular restaurant, but you won’t mind once you sit down for the salami scramble or to sample the lunchtime offerings.
You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time at the Welcome Diner (924 E. Roosevelt St., 602/495-1111, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Tues.–Sat., $4–8). The tiny nine-stool building was built in Wichita, Kansas, in 1945, and was trucked across the country to serve up burgers and grilled cheese on Route 66 in Williams, Arizona, before it made its way to downtown Phoenix in 1980. Today, the Depression-era diner has received a stylish update, and it serves up classics, as well as playful treats like the cup of Sweet Toast—battered Texas toast cooked in peanut oil and served with organic maple syrup. The Garfield egg sandwich, hot dogs, burgers, hand-cut fries, and organic sodas are just as tasty.
Congratulations, you found it: the best carne asada in town. The short menu at America’s Taco Shop (2041 N. 7th St., 602/682-5627, 8 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 8 a.m.–10 p.m. Fri.–Sat., 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Sun., $4–7) revolves around this marinated, flame-broiled beef, which you can get wrapped in tacos and burritos or topped on tostadas, quesadillas, and fluffy tortas. Non-meat eaters can enjoy the veggie quesadilla or bean and cheese burrito, though whatever you get, you’ll want an order of the rich and creamy flan. The bright converted bungalow is a terrific breakfast or lunch spot, especially on Fridays and Saturdays when chef/owner America Corrales prepares her zesty ceviche, a combination of diced fresh white shrimp, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, serrano chiles, cilantro, and lime. If you’ve grown tired of the greasy tacos and refried beans many American restaurants pass off as “authentic” Mexican food, give this charming shop a try.
© Jeff Ficker from Moon Phoenix, Scottsdale & Sedona, 1st edition