Dark Hall Coffee

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Don’t let the fact that this place is located in the corner of a strip mall steer you away. It has a unique atmosphere with beautiful artwork and a dark floral wallpaper that you don’t want to miss. Dark Hall Coffee (same owners as The Coronado PHX) specializes in plant-based drinks and pastries. Lattes, cortados and cappuccinos are all dairy-free. They use a milk blend made from cashews and other nuts. They have quite a variety of vegan pasties as well. Lavender & pistachio cakes, macarons, salted chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon rolls and shortbread drizzled with chocolate are just some examples of the yumminess that they make up daily. My favorite are the galettes. I’ve seen fig apple, peach and blueberry. I love the fruity gelatinous center of the pastry and it pairs well with my coffee. This isn’t the largest place so maybe plan on getting your order to go. Dark Hall is definitely worth a stop in if you are in the area.

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Galette and Cortado

Dark Hall Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Tempe Public Market Café

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I am such a fan of the Phoenix location and St. Francis that I was pretty stoked to hear that chef Aaron Chamberlin was putting a location in the East Valley (closer to home for me). I thought the decision to put a location in a quiet residential part of southern Tempe with no restaurants within a mile was pretty bold for them. They are essentially sending a message that they are going to own this area and be a cafe for the surrounding neighborhoods. I’ll be honest that my first couple of visits during opening month had its issues. The lines were super long and the customer service was working through many kinks. But after a few months, Tempe Public Market is quietly settling in and becoming a staple in this area. The patio area is dog friendly and very spacious. They have plenty of misters for the hot summers and a killer fireplace for the colder winter evenings. I like that beverages (non-alcoholic) are self-serve. They have counter service for ordering your food and seating is open. These are some of those things that makes this place feel like home. So far I’ve had breakfast and dinner here now. The Blue Corn Pancake is fantastic. It’s pretty large but not too filling for a pancake. The Steel Cut Oats are good but a little on the pricey side for me for oatmeal. They also do a community night for dinner on some nights. It’s a 3-course dinner for around $13 that includes salad, entree and dessert. Overall I can see this as a regular stop for me (especially in the mornings on that patio). I love the Farmer’s Market at the Phoenix location and hope that is something that gets incorporated here someday.

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Steel Cut Oatmeal

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Poptart

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Blue Corn Pancake

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Tempe Public Market Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Coronado PHX

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I love the Coronado neighborhood and the restaurants that line 7th St. I dropped by here for a quick bite on my way to work. This place was once the Coronado Cafe and is now just The Coronado Phx (owned by the same owner that managed Bragg’s Factory Diner on Grand Ave). The converted home they operate out of has a lot of history in the area and makes for a nice relaxed dining experience. The Coronado is counter service and they have both indoor and outdoor patio seating. The menu is vegetarian and consists of breakfast, small bites and sandwiches. The counter area serves wine/beer/alcohol and is a full espresso bar. I ordered the Red Potato & Garbanzo Burger and really enjoyed the flavor of the agave mustard they top it with. The street corn was quite delicious as well. The atmosphere was super laid back and they do a great job of creating a nice community feel while you are here. Some people were here for dinner, some on laptops and others playing board games or just having a conversation. My only gripe was that there wasn’t a whole lot of pastries to choose from (probably because I came just before closing time).

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Red Potato & Garbanzo Burger (blurry – sorry)

Coronado PHX Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Magnolia Bakery

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Hummingbird Cupcake & Vanilla Cupcake with Vanilla Buttercream

In 2009, my girlfriend and I braved the long lines and got our first taste of this famous bakery’s delightful desserts. Years later I had to bring my mother here. We were visiting Grand Central Terminal and visited Magnolia Bakery’s location there. Magnolia Bakery first opened in 1996 in New York’s West Village. Steve and Tyra Abrams took over in 2007 and expanded it to locations all over the world. You can pick up orders at their stores or order products nationwide. Each location is unique with its vintage decor and inviting atmosphere. Although they are known for their cupcakes, they bake all sorts of pastries and cakes and even have a coffee bar. Magnolia is world-renowned, they still consider themselves a neighborhood bakery. Everything is made on site and you can watch them make these wonderful delights through the window. You cannot come to New York City without visiting Magnolia Bakery.

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Grand Central Terminal

Magnolia Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Magnolia Bakery at Rockefeller Center

A couple of days later, my mother and I stopped in at the location next to Rockefeller Center. This is the popular spot that you see on Jimmy Fallon’s opening montage. This was also the first location I visited with my girlfriend. This one can get a little busy because there are may tourist attractions nearby. I personally enjoy visiting here because you can see the horse and carriage rides pass by the window while you are inside ordering. Or you can stand outside and watch the crew makes some beautiful cupcakes. Around the holidays, this is one of the things that makes Christmas in New York magical. There is always a crowd here, but these guys still manage to make you order and send you home satisfied.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake with Cranberries

Magnolia Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Liberty Market

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Liberty Market is becoming one of my favorite spots. I came here for the first time earlier this year and also for my bday free meal. I love my friend Brittany because she is a big foodie. That girl posts some of the most amazing pictures of vegetarian food. I just had to take her to Liberty Market. I went for the evening special – the Red Wine Marinara Gnocchi. Brittany did the Thai salad. But tonight wasn’t about the food, it was about that big fat piece of Red Velvet cake sitting in the window. I was all about the dessert tonight. Fun night out!

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From their website:

Liberty Market is an award winning restaurant in a  historic corner building of Old Town Gilbert, Arizona. Join us for breakfast, lunch or dinner and enjoy  our locally focused cuisine, hand crafted espresso & craft beverages

Liberty Market Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

S’mores

So I have a friend that made these amazing treats for a fundraiser. I want to eventually feature her on my blog because she makes amazing pasties – so I am giving a sneak preview of one of her awesome creations. These are s’mores that she modified from a Pinterest recipe. I told her she has gotten me the itching to cook again and that I look forward to cooking a gourmet meal alongside her amazing desserts someday.

Coffee Rush

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Coffee Rush has been a regular hangout for me for years!

My Urbanspoon review:

Great atmosphere but too many unwritten rules. Best thing about this location is the view of the lake and the regulars that come to hang out. This place is also a great place to study. I don’t mind the smoke too much because the people that hang out here are pretty down-to-earth and fun to get to know (unlike the annoying Starbucks crowd). The coffee is pretty good too!

Some things that you should know if you aren’t a regular:
– Cash only on orders less than $4
– Wi-fi time is limited and I believe you have to spend a certain amount to get a code.
– You can’t bring in a drink from another coffeeshop (and don’t even think about saying the name Starbucks or ordering a ‘venti’ size).
– You have to hand your money to the barista. If you lay it down, he/she won’t pick it up.
– If you hang around without ordering something, you will be asked to leave

Do any of these and the coffee nazis will come after you – no joke!

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Iced Caramel Macchiato

Coffee Rush Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato