Coffee & Treats in Riverside


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  • Lalibela Cafe Ethiopian
    At Café Lalibela, you're expected to eat with your hands. The communal Ethiopian meals typically consist of injera—thin, spongy bread that tastes similar to sourdough—that diners, sans forks, use to scoop up wat, a stew made from veggies, meat, or both. Made from a grain native to Ethiopia, torn-off pieces of injera become utensils for fish stew simmered with red pepper or tikil gomen, a mix of cabbage, carrots, and potatoes. The menu features à la carte wat selections, as well as suggested combinations for individuals, parties of three, and tall figures made by parties of three concealed within a long overcoat. The staff's commitment to an authentic experience extends to its beverage offerings, including imported African wines, freshly roasted and brewed Ethiopian coffee served in a clay pot, and Tossign, an herbal tea from the country’s highlands.
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    849 W University Dr
    Tempe, AZ US
  • Cornish Pasty Co.
    Swing by Cornish Pasty Co. in Tempe for your next meal. For those tired of trendy diets, Cornish Pasty Co. s lack of low-fat food is sure to make your stomach smile. Drinks are also on the menu here, so diners can start the night off right. Cornish Pasty Co. features some of the most affordable happy hour deals in town. Free wifi is on hand here as well. Cornish Pasty Co. offers patio seating in the warmer months. Fridays and Saturdays really bring in the crowds, so make sure there's space for you by calling ahead for a reservation. Or, take your food to go. Cornish Pasty Co. makes bikers feel at ease with the multiple storage racks outside. Delicious food is never hard to find, but it is hard to find at the right price. Cornish Pasty Co. is making it happen. Chow down on breakfast, lunch, or dinner fare at Cornish Pasty Co. — they're open for all three meals.
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    960 W University Dr
    Tempe, AZ US
  • Essence Bakery Care
    Essence Bakery Cafe Eating dessert first may be a classic faux pas, but no one could blame you at Essence Bakery Café. Chef and owner Eugenia Theodosopoulos studied in France and has earned quite a reputation for her macarons. Unlike the chewy, coconut-based variations commonly found in American bakeries, Eugenia’s macarons are crafted with finely ground almonds and then shaped into tiny sandwiches with decadent fillings like chocolate ganache, salted caramel, or tart raspberry jam. Of course, it's also hard to pass up mini desserts such as white chocolate and raspberry cream petits fours or fresh, buttery croissants, which the chef makes from scratch, and uses as the base for savory breakfast sandwiches topped with fried eggs and melted Dubliner cheese. But while many of her best-loved pastries originated in France, Eugenia makes a point of sourcing her ingredients locally. As such, the cafe’s sandwiches and salads are simple by design—the only proper thing to do with such high-quality meats and produce is to show them off. After all, what's not to love about dishes like a grass-fed steak and mushroom sandwich, served opened faced with cabernet butter and bleu cheese? Or organic greens tossed with caramelized onions, pecans, and warm pears poached in red wine? And, to further demonstrate their commitment to the environment, Eugenia’s team has also taken pains to ensure that all of the menus are printed on recycled paper, all of the to-go cups are biodegradable, and all of the cafe’s furniture is constructed from marzipan.
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    825 W University Dr
    Tempe, AZ US
  • Thai Basil
    To make Thai Basil’s signature dish, chefs sauté the restaurant’s namesake herb with spicy garlic, bamboo shoots, and a variety of vegetables. Thai basil is also found in a bounty of other plates—grilled eggplant brightens beneath its characteristic tang, spicy fried rice takes on a Thai flavor with the herb, and three curry dishes incorporate it in their stews of coconut milk and spices. Tofu, beef, chicken, and a selection of seafood play central roles in the restaurant's selection of rice, noodle, stir-fry, and grill entrees, each conveniently priced by protein rather than individual dish or the number of letters in its name. Dishes find complement in a wide selection of iced and hot teas and traditional desserts, such as sticky purple rice topped with Thai custard.
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    403 W University Dr
    Tempe, AZ US
  • Cartel Coffee Lab
    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.
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    225 West University Drive
    Tempe, AZ US
  • Moonshine Whiskey Bar & Grill
    Strung from the ceiling are mason jars transformed into light fixtures, illuminating the wood-paneled walls and spacious dance floor of Moonshine Whiskey Bar & Grill. It’s a fitting touch for the country western bar, whose bartenders also fill mason jars with 39 whiskeys, bourbons, moonshines, and scotches, reports the East Valley Tribune. Within the three-story, 11,000-square-foot establishment, libations flow from four bars, as well as in the kitchen, where head chef Chad Holmes pairs housemade blueberry pancakes with housemade blueberry moonshine syrup. Chad incorporates local ingredients into every item on his from-scratch menu, such as the free-range chicken tenders with bourbon peach BBQ sauce. The kitchen serves up grub into the wee hours of the night, and bartenders stick around an hour after last call to supply patrons with complementary soft drinks and water. The bar itself stays open until 3 a.m. four nights a week, giving patrons plenty of time for line dancing, riding the bar’s mechanical bull Willie, or cheering up William, the bar’s bored rodeo clown.
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    410 South Mill Avenue
    Tempe, AZ US

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