By Jeff Ficker
November 13, 2014
Courtesy of The Herb Box

Full disclosure: I’m not a big breakfast guy. Wrangling a cup of coffee is often the best I can muster most mornings. So imagine how darn good these breakfast spots must be to force me out of bed an hour earlier. I’m practically a rooster crowing at sunrise thanks to these Scottsdale mainstays, which serve really special dishes as well as classic staples like made-to-order omelets, slabs of crispy bacon and freshly squeezed orange juice. This being Arizona, you’re almost always sure to find a few Mexican favorites on breakfast menus. Be bold: Try a spicy egg-and-chorizo burrito or the beloved huevos rancheros, fried eggs served with tortillas, beans and one of a dozen of sauces, ranging from slow-simmered red chili to fresh pico de gallo to tomatillo-and-avocado salsa verde. If that seems bit gutsy before noon, I’ve highlighted a few more gringo-friendly dishes below at my five favorite spots.

Arcadia Farms Café

You don’t have to be one of Scottsdale’s ladies-who-lunch to appreciate Arcadia Farms. The modern cottage décor provides a pleasant setting, and its simple, organic menu features omelets, quiches and crepes. Try the breakfast quesadilla filled with scrambled eggs, sausage, cheddar cheese and roasted vegetables, and topped with house-made salsa and guacamole.

Alo Café

The Herb Box

If only my breakfast could be this good every morning. Cinnamon buckwheat pancakes. Bourbon-ginger-peach brioche French toast. Smoked salmon hash. Still not convinced? Three words: red velvet pancakes—a decadent masterpiece served with Gran Marnier syrup, mascarpone crème and a side of applewood-smoked bacon. Breakfast is served all week at the DC Ranch location, but only on Sundays in Old Town.

La Grande Orange

LGO is one those perfect neighborhood spots. Drop in early for the signature fresh-squeezed O.J., and try out the killer Commuter egg sandwich, served on the housemade English muffins. The hip market also offers a fun selection of gifts and wine, and its coffee bar is first rate—give the Spanish latte a try if you don’t believe me.

Butters Pancakes & Café

Get ready for breakfast overload. There is a veritable pancake-apalooza at Butters, from classic short stacks to buttermilk, banana crème, berry, Swedish and gluten-free options, just to name a few. There are plenty of other satisfying non-pancake alternatives, too, including savory egg skillets, fruit-filled crepes, veggie scrambles and Mexican egg burritos.