Category Archives: coffee

Giant Coffee

Tucked just slightly back from the bustling 7th Street and McDowell intersection in downtown Phoenix is a new coffee shop – Giant Coffee – that is already drawing the eye and the taste buds of locals in the know.

It’s no surprise that it’s a success, considering it’s from restaurateurs Matt and Erenia Pool. You know them from Matt’s Big Breakfast and Roosevelt Tavern, and it’s obvious that Giant Coffee is going to be as big in their repertoire.

Right away, it’s got that hip, urban but very cozy feel. The long, communal table in the middle makes it feel open and friendly, instead of crowded and invasive like other places that try the same concept. But there’s also plenty of room for private conversations with tables lining the sides. Half the reason  you go to a place like Giant is for the atmosphere, and this definitely pays off.

Inside Giant Coffee

Now to the grub: The coffee is delicious, more mild and less acidic than other places. Expect the usual offerings from the drink menu, but all are very well executed. Their specialty is their daily drip, from a single location, so you can taste beans from all over the world day-by-day. Their treats are also amazing. The blackberry-bran-honey muffin is incredibly delicious – and filling – and chock full of local ingredients.

Giant Coffee

A couple notes: they neighbor Bunky Boutique in their new location, so stop by when you can visit both places. Also, Giant doesn’t take cards, only cash, so come prepared.

It’s great to see a new place open with a totally different vibe, it’s worth checking out for your morning – or afternoon – or evening cup of Joe.

Giant Coffee
1437 N 1st St
Phoenix, AZ 85004
twitter: @giantcoffeeaz

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Independents Week

It’s no secret that here at The Hot Sheet, we’re driven to showcase the best of the indie shops. Local businesses are what separates one city from another – one business from another. The charm, unique personality, service and – let’s just face it – they’re more fun places to be.

So as if you didn’t have enough reason to visit a local boutique, restaurant, coffee shop, bar (okay, you get the gist), then this is your week – Independents Week. From today (June 28) through July 4, you get 20% off your purchases at participating members of Local First Arizona, a local non-profit to support independently owned businesses. And because Local First is such a cool organization, pretty much all your favorite places are on the list. (Check out the full list of participating shops.)

But just in case – in all your excitement – you are perplexed about where to visit first, here are a few of our top picks (click their pic to check ’em out):

frances

Urban Cookies

Urban Cookies

Desert Botanical Garden

Desert Botanical Garden

The Willows

The Willows

Bunky Boutique

Bunky Boutique

Heard Museum

Heard Museum

See, now your week was looking busier than you thought! To get your 20% off Golden Coupon, and to see a full list of participants, check out the Local First site. Happy outings!

La Grande Orange

La Grande Orange, or LGO for short, is a perfect little neighborhood retreat in central Phoenix. It’s really two places in one with La Grande Orange Pizzeria on one side and La Grande Orange Grocery on the other. The Pizzeria side offers a well-balanced menu of salads and pizzas with a few “off the grill” items tossed in for good measure. They are kind enough to label items that are vegetarian, vegan or gluten free which is uber helpful if you care about these things like I do (for me, it’s please hold the meat). The pizzas are nothing short of yummy, and I prefer mine topped with a fried egg. Hey, don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it! 

My recent LGO dinner included the Classic Margherita (with egg, of course) followed by a stop on the Grocery side for a Tammie Coe cupcake. Tammie Coe desserts deserve their very own blog post – I’ll save that for another day. If you’re a bit of a shopaholic like me, then the Grocery can also help you out in that area. They have a fantastic array of items including soaps, candles, kitchen knick knacks, pet treats and more. All of their LGO-logoed stuff is adorable – very retro. And, oh yeah, they have groceries too, including a nice wine selection.

LGO Grocery is also known for it’s homemade English muffins that are griddled there every day. These things are so darn good that I’m smiling right now just thinking about them. If, like me, you try one and decide that you can’t live without them, then you’re in luck. LGO sells them by the dozen and half dozen so that you can enjoy them morning, noon and night.

Well, I think I’ve rambled on long enough about this fabulous place. Hopefully, you’ll get out and give it a try.

La Grande Orange Grocery and Pizzeria
4410 N. 40th Street, Phoenix
www.lagrandeorangegrocery.com
www.lagrandeorangepizzeria.com

Royal [Coffee] at the Market

Royal Coffee is already loved by many in the Phoenix area, but now they are much easier to get to, as their new space is adjacent to the (also new) Phoenix Public Market. It sets up the perfect sip-while-you-stroll atmosphere, and there is even open “meeting” space that connects the two.

Even though the dedicated space just for Royal is humble, they haven’t skipped on the eclectic but cozy feel, with art, cool lighting, and the friendly (and funny) bean-roasting bandit, Hayes (who happens to own the place).  He’ll also advise you on the best of the munchies available, which include fresh-baked muffins, scones, etc. daily, and also granola that will blow your mind. So will the coffee, by the way.

It’s  a great place to meet up, and you’ll know when you are nearby because of the scent wafting for blocks. They roast their beans outside, they say for temperature and space, but I say it’s brilliant marketing.

Check out Royal at their new location: 14 E. Pierce Street, Phoenix, AZ‎

(The entrance is on the west side of the building, behind the market.)

Copper Star Coffee

Yes, I love coffee. LOVE. But it’s a chicken-and-the-egg thing because I’m not sure which came first: my love of coffee that led me to great places, or the fantastic places that make it so easy to love.

Copper Star Coffee is one of those places.

Copper Star Coffee

Built in an old gas station turned transmission repair, Copper Star Coffee on 7th Avenue has all the great nostalgia and aesthetic of its former life, but an entirely new smell. Instead of gas and oil, aromas of freshly roasted coffee beans and pastries made on site. Now, Copper Star refuels me instead of my car.

The funky couches and tables are a second home to a lot of locals who spend quite a few hours there. The staff is so friendly, it’s easy to see why. Or maybe it’s the pastries. There is this rocky road brownie there that will blow your mind. I mean seriously. It is absolutely one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten, to the point that I would never share it. Get your own, for sure. See below in all its glory.

Rocky Road brownie

Pop into Copper Star when you’re checking out the other 7th Avenue shops, like Hollywood Regency, Paris Envy, Qcumberz and more. It’s right in the Melrose District, and you can’t miss it.

Copper Star Coffee

4220 N 7th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85013
(602) 266-2136

www.copperstarcoffee.com

Lola Coffee

Lola outside

A new coffee/lounge/overall-favorite-place opened on the corner Central Ave. and Highland in Phoenix, and I cannot contain my excitement. Though, it’s not exactly new. You may have seen my original Lola’s post, when it was the morning version of Lola Tapas, and if I loved it then, I adore it now in its new location (along the light rail, might I add).

lolas

You know I love the rich, smooth, caffeine beans, but this is THE BEST COFFEE IN PHOENIX.  Daniel Wayne, who opened Lux (which, okay fine, is the second best coffee in Phoenix), ventured on to Lola and brought every dreamy drop with him. My favorite is the mocha, which uses chocolate whipped cream on the European style latte. It’s so good that it’s almost a sin to get a small size of anything. Why rob yourself of even more enjoyment? Get a large. That’s my advice.

Lola coffee

The euphoric experience is only enhanced by the pastries that could pass for the richest of desserts and the lightest of morning snacks, from airy ciabbata bread to strawberry coffee cake, all from local wondershop Sweet Pea Bakery.

lola pastries

I also think they did something brilliantly which is surprisingly overlooked by many coffee shops, which is seating layout. Most restaurants have mastered the art of ambience and how seating areas flow into the experience, and Lola’s does this perfectly. Tables accommodate the wifi crowd while leather couches accommodate a small meeting or moment of relaxation. Lounge-like chairs with the newspaper nearby provide space for the individualist. No matter how busy, it never feels crowded. All that to say, it’s a reliable neighborhood place to be able to relax.

Can you tell I love Lola’s? If you would like to fall in love all over again with coffee, with the art of a handmade pastry, or with morning in general, head there now.  Even if you’re a night owl, Lola’s is open till 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Now you have no excuse.

Lola Coffee

4700 N Central Ave

Phoenix, AZ 85012

(602) 265-5652

Lola

drip coffee lounge

drip coffee lounge

With my love of coffee in Phoenix, I have worked drip into my routine of gotta-have-it coffee shops, and I love it so much, I’d like to stand on a street corner and tell everyone about it. Okay, or maybe just write this blog entry. It’s  a fantastic nook on the periphery of downtown Phoenix that is both retro and modern, minimalist and cozy.  The space is fresh, so is the food, and amazingly – the concept. It’s hard to upstage the latest-and-greatest caffeine pump of the moment, but drip really is something new.

drip street menu

First of all, it goes where many other shops don’t – organic. As a recent adopter of the all-organic lifestyle myself, I was through-the-roof excited to have a place to go that shared my gastronomic viewpoints, but let’s be honest – it’s not all spinach and carrots, either. May I tempt you with the cream cheese and nutella panini? The prosciutto, parmesan and mozzarella, tomato on a baguette? They even have an in-house baker with completely vegan cupcakes that I’d swear you wouldn’t know the difference. Local favorite: the OMG brownie. With incredibly reasonable prices, this is a no-brainer particularly for the downtown crowd.

drip menu

And we haven’t even talked about the coffee. For me, it’s gotta be dark and rich, very smooth, and cream – words that are thrown around in the coffee biz but I take them very seriously. Drip checked off all those items and more. It was decadent.  The presentation doesn’t hurt either. You take a seat, catch up on the news, and the service is more attentive than just grab-and-go.

drip coffee

If you haven’t tried drip yet, take a swing on 7th and drop by. You really can’t go wrong…and don’t say I didn’t warn you about the nutella panini. You’ll be hooked.

drip street view

drip coffee lounge

2325 N. 7th Street.

Phoenix, AZ 85006

www.dripcoffeelounge.com