Here, we share five great spots where diners may drink lattes, polish off eggs, and inhale flaky pastries. Options range from pancake flights in the west Valley to a Cave Creek standby that deals in eggs and nostalgia.
A good morning will start at any one of the below.
The Grotto Cafe
6501 East Cave Creek Road, #8, Cave Creek
The Grotto Cafe offers a wide range of breakfast options and plenty of patio space. The menu includes savory and sweet options, as well as various muffins and other breakfast pastries. A bowl of oatmeal with the “works” (fresh berries, bananas, and pecans) will keep you feeling good about your morning meal. Bagel sandwiches, breakfast burritos, and yogurt parfaits are each strong bets as well. Baked goods are made on-site and include an array of chocolate-chip, blueberry, and banana nut muffins. Grotto’s highlight is its French toast, topped with bananas and strawberries, and served with bacon or sausage. The French toast has caramel sauce made with sweet condensed milk. Bacon comes thick and isn’t crispy or limp. Plump sausages have been nicely browned and show grill marks. For those wanting a hearty Southern breakfast, biscuits and gravy might keep you full until dinnertime.
Otro Cafe’s muesli is one of its excellent breakfast offerings.
6035 North Seventh Street
Without a doubt, Otro Cafe has one of the best breakfasts in town. A Mexican influence runs through breakfast dishes like a cool chile heat. A frittata unites the foolproof combo of mushrooms, spinach, goat cheese, and caramelized onion, the slight south-of-the-border nod coming from pico de gallo. A BLT uses chewy telera bread. Chilaquiles come red, green, or Christmas-style. The tortillas have been layered in a lasagna-like stack that rises above the sauce. Deeply browned discs of cooked cheese can be found in the stack. Light these up with some of that luscious salsa verde, or the roasty, spicier red salsa. There are also hidden gems on this menu. One of them is, surprisingly, a muesli of quinoa, faro, and oats. The bowl’s flavors are rich and wheaty, with a robust cereal-milk-like flavor coming through just sweetly enough. The quality of the muesli shows the menu’s range.
Loaded fruit parfait, eggs, and red chile in the background.
ZuZu Restaurant at Hotel Valley Ho
6850 East Main Street, Scottsdale
ZuZu offers more than a perfunctory hotel breakfast. In the parade of options you will find a handful of breakfast starters and, every day of the week, breakfast cocktails that go beyond mimosa. An “Aperol spritz” gets fancy with Campari-flavored blood orange foam. If you need more velocity, you may want to spring for the Sunny Margarita. Savory food options include a breakfast BLT, breakfast burrito, smoked salmon plate, and an intriguing number called breakfast fried rice with Schreiner’s turkey sausage, pork belly, vegetables, and two fried eggs. Pancakes are a safe, solid bet. Sea salt butter on top is a nice touch. Other sweet options include red velvet waffles and brioche French toast with Polynesian flavors. A breakfast parfait comes generously studded with various fruit.
A German pancake.
Egg N’ Joe
If you have a soft spot for German pancakes and are in the mood for a reliable diner breakfast, Egg N’ Joe is your place. The German pancake is baked in a cast-iron pan until the edges are a golden brown, crunchy, and start to curl in toward the yellow, center. When it’s done, the butter is melted over. It bubbles up on crust and pools in the center of the pancake. Then it’s showered with powdered sugar and a handful of lemon wedges are tossed into the center. The result is a mildly sweet, butter-soaked pancake with just enough lemon and sugar. The pancake straddles the line between crepe and traditional American pancake. It’s a simple pleasure, but one that’s worth the trip. Egg N’ Joe also serves standard breakfast fare like eggs Benedict, shredded hash browns, omelets, and Belgian waffles.
The Lola Pancake Board at Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale.
The Lola Cocktail Lab & Eatery
6770 North Sunrise Boulevard, #109, Glendale
Any good brunch will come with mimosas and pancakes offerings, but the team at The Lola in the Westgate Entertainment District at least gets a little creative. Here you’ll find brunch boards ranging from sweet breakfast treats to savory starters. That includes the Lola Pancake Board, which is loaded down with dozen small pancakes and a decent variety of sweet and savory toppings that promise to feed at least two or three people. The Lola also lists a variety of toasts, classic breakfast platters like steak and eggs, and even pineapple churros and lobster mac and cheese on its brunch menu. There are also morning cocktails, though any cocktail can go with breakfast if you truly wish. We recommend The Lola Original Daquiri or the Maldives Mule — which is made with O.H.S.O. Distillery’s Arcadia Jalapeño Vodka.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published on September 22, 2018. It was updated on October 31, 2020. See what Valley restaurants are offering takeout, delivery, and dine-in services with our Phoenix Restaurant Directory.
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.