Coffee & Treats in Tempe

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Cartel Coffee Lab has reaped its fair share of local and national applause, including that of BBC Travel and Food & Wine Magazine. With all those accolades, it's surprising just how modest Jason Silberschlag—the man behind the coffee—actually is. "We're all infants in understanding coffee," Silberschlag mused in a video on the shop's website. "It's one of the most complex beverages we consume." But, more than modest, Jason's comments reveal a very real respect and reverence for the drink—a respect that manifests itself in the staff's persistent experimentation, study, and instruction. The spot, after all, is not a coffeehouse; it's a coffee lab. Each of Cartel Coffee's four locations moderately play up the laboratory theme with lots of stainless steel, but offset any hint of coldness with brightly colored walls and original sculptures. Even more essential to the theme? The baristas are known to carefully explain brewing processes and technique to their customers as they create decadent espresso drinks, including the simple desert favorite: cold-brewed coffee. Light on the sugar, the brew allows sippers to really taste and admire the bold, earthy flavor of espresso beans culled from Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Guatemala. And though coffee is the most obvious drink to order at Cartel, you’ll want to pay attention to the rest of the menu, especially at the Tempe location. Since early 2013, this outpost has evolved from a straight coffeehouse into a full-blown microbrewery.

225 West University Drive
Tempe,
AZ
US

Every day at more than 770 locations, Jamba Juice proves that good nutrition can be both convenient and delicious. Since the beginning, the company has based its philosophy on choosing whole fruits and all-natural ingredients over artificial flavorings and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and artificial trans fats, and it makes additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets.

Although Jamba Juice is serious about using wholesome ingredients, the company is a little more playful when it comes to the palate. Whole fruits and veggies can be blended into an extensive menu of great-tasting smoothies and freshly squeezed juices. But Jamba Juice?s commitment to keeping healthy eating simple informs its solid-food options, too. Customers can kick-start their morning with a steaming bowl of slow-cooked, steel-cut oatmeal, or stay energized throughout the day with six varieties of Energy Bowls: nutrient-rich blends of whole fruit, Greek yogurt or soy milk, and an assortment of dry toppings and fresh fruits.

In addition to nourishing and energizing the human body, Jamba Juice fights childhood obesity by sponsoring Team Up for a Healthy America. The initiative encourages fans to join the Team Up community of celebrities, athletes and other leaders committed to getting kids active?which they can do by visiting the main Jamba Juice website.

1827 E Guadalupe Rd.
Tempe,
AZ
US

At more than 2,600 stores in more than 30 countries, Dunkin' Donuts serves coffee and iced beverages, fresh-baked donuts and desserts, and savory breakfast sandwiches. Since Bill Rosenberg opened the first location in Quincy, MA, in 1950, the donut shop has blossomed into a one-stop coffee and breakfast restaurant familiar to millions of morning rushers and afternoon sippers.

Behind the counter of each location, glazed french crullers twist and curve like Parisian city streets, and Bavarian Kreme donuts are filled with a sweet, golden custard. A cavalcade of meats is available for piling onto breakfast sandwiches, such as sausage, cherrywood-smoked bacon, or ham enveloped with fluffy eggs and melty cheese between a choice of crisp crusts. Health-conscious risers can fuel strenuous bouts of lifting cars in the drive-thru line with a Wake-Up wrap, which offers options such as egg whites with turkey sausage or veggies that add up to as few as 150 calories. Both sweet and savory selections pair well with a freshly brewed cup of coffee or a creamy, frozen Coolatta drink.

Though commuters can snag a quick pick-me-up within minutes, the wafting aromas of baking confections invite patrons to sit inside and embark on nostalgic reminiscences of syrup-coated playground slides. Beyond the bakery walls, the company aims for social responsibility with its support of community volunteer efforts and use of 100% fair-trade-certified espresso beans.

1811 North Scottsdale Road
Tempe,
AZ
US

Forefathers Gourmet Cheesesteaks & Fries

When Tony Crump abandoned corporate America in the pursuit of the perfect cheesesteak, he wanted to make sure he got it right. So before he and his wife Mary opened Forefathers Gourmet Cheesesteaks & Fries, they spent more than two years, tinkering with different recipes in their own kitchen. And it wasn’t just the cheesesteak they aimed to perfect; the Crump’s chocolate chip cookies, steak rolls, and signature fry sauce all suffered the scrutiny of family and friends. It may sound like a lot of work, but the restaurant was more than just a new adventure to the Crumps; it was a chance to fill a gap in the Phoenix culinary scene, which they felt lacked a fast, quality sandwich shop. From the moment they opened the doors at Forefathers Gourmet Cheesesteaks & Fries, that gaping hole in the Phoenix restaurant landscape has been filled with a menu that focuses almost solely on cheesesteaks. Customers choose grilled chicken or steak, then decide whether they prefer traditional Cheese Wiz over American, mozzarella, or provolone. Traditional philly toppings like mushrooms, onions, and green peppers may be omitted upon request or by pointing at the veggies and bursting into tears, while adventurous appetites can opt to add buffalo or pizza sauce to their sandwich for some extra kick.

8707 S Priest Dr
Tempe,
AZ
US

From its humble beginnings in Kankakee, Illinois, in 1938, Dairy Queen has grown from a delicious experiment in soft-serve ice cream to a household name with more than 5,900 restaurants around the world. The shop's signature frozen delights are built upon frosty foundations of creamy chocolate or vanilla soft serve, which swirl idyllically into cones, cups, sundaes, Peanut Buster parfaits, and the chain's iconic Blizzard treats, blended with crumbled candy and other mix-ins. Ice-cream cakes cleverly conceal surprise fillings of fudge and chocolate crunch between layers of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, providing sweet, sliceable sustenance for birthday parties and other special occasions.

Fruit rules the roost on the other side of the slushy emporium, where Orange Julius blends its signature frothy drinks crafted from fruit juice, ice, and a "magic” powdered sweetener that explains why they disappear from most customers’ cups minutes after the first delicious sip. Real fruit purée forms the basis for the shop's smoothies, which also come in diet-friendly light versions that boast one-third fewer calories than regular smoothies.

5000 S Arizona Mills Cir.
Tempe,
AZ
US

It's a sweltering day. Skin is feeling sticky, kids are getting antsy, and the sun hat you proudly whittled from wax is getting less effective by the second. Suddenly: the sound of steel drums. As they grow louder, you look around and spy the source of the tropical tuneage: a colorfully clad Tikiz Shaved Ice & Ice Cream truck, mounted with big Bose speakers and stuffed with syrups and frost.

It's no surprise the Tikiz trucks are always a welcome sight. Whether rolling into parks and beaches or commissioned for private fundraising events, the vehicles blend the tradition of ice cream trucks with the customizable, neon-clad cheer of shaved ice. Each syrup brings another fruit flavor to the snowy, Styrofoam-hugged domes, and customers can layer multiple syrups for customized treats. Along with ice cream cones and other frozen desserts, the shaved ice satisfies sweet teeth while offering relief from the sun's soaring temperatures.

819 North College Avenue
Tempe,
AZ
US