Phoenix, AZ – Lola Coffee at The Yard

(UPDATE: This Lola location is closed. You can still find the Roosevelt Row location of Lola, and The Yard is still open.)

Me and my friend Mary have always been all about Lola coffee in Phoenix. They roast their own coffee, are local, and their coffee is so good. So when we heard of their new coffee shop location we had to go together. The new Lola coffee shop is inside the Fox Restaurant Concept called The Yard.

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The Lola coffee shop is one of three local restaurants at The Yard located in Phoenix. It was a nice space of wood menus, brick walls, lots of hanging lights, and community tables and bar stools for seating.

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We each got iced flavored lattes that were just the best. But this location is way more than coffee and pastries, they have also expanded into a breakfast menu and serve tapas.

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After seeing that they now had a breakfast menu, I decided to go back the following week and introduce another friend, Jr. He snapped this photo of me in front of Lola.

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Visiting in the morning is nice as most of the space is open to the outside and there’s tons of light.

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Me and Jr each got omelets.  I got The Adriana omelet which was mushrooms, asparagus and aged white cheddar. Jr got the egg white omelet with turkey, tomato and avocado.

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The breakfast over all was so good, from the food and coffee, to being outside on a nice day chatting about travel and cutures and photography and trusting God. And by the end, right when I was ready to adventure around and photograph, Jr was already speaking the same thought. Downtown Phoenix is a great place to do that. There are so many unique buildings and walls.

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When trying a new place, it’s always awkward trying to figure out how things work, so here’s some advice on what I learned about parking and entering the building. There is complimentary valet if you enter on Montebello. But going on a Friday night, we came too late and the valet lot was full. You can park north of the street by the brown building or across the street by the white building. There is no parking south of The Yard, so don’t try that like we did. The entrance into the building is on the west (“back”) side of the building where you drop off your car for valet.

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Phoenix, AZ – Ollie Vaughn

One of my favorite things about traveling is discovering hidden gems of local food and coffee. I’ve been implementing that into my lifestyle here in Phoenix. There are a lot of great places to discover for a foodie.

Me and my friend Melissa discovered this cute local spot called Ollie Vaughn.

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We drove up to the parking lot and stumbled on a huge mural that covered the side of the building. I love art and love that it feels typical to find so much of it in Downtown Phoenix.

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I think the greatest appeal of Ollie Vaughn is their atmosphere. The whole store is well lit with sunshine, which mixed with the white walls and blue chairs, feels overall clean, classic, and European. Then there is the back patio. The tables are topped with succulent pots, lined with the same blue chairs, and at the edge of the patio are two stand up gardens. All the sunshine gives this place the mood of feeling like a great place you would want to lunch.

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Me and my friend got breakfast items: quiche, French toast and toddys. I’d love to return and try their lunch items, as two-thirds of their menu is salads and sandwhiches, plus their pastry case looked delicious with fresh pies and bars. Even so our breakfast was good. The quiche had ham, spinach and a creamy white cheese and was topped with cheese that had melted when heated. Also, the price was great. For my toddy and quiche I paid $7.50. And the rest of their menu was really reasonable too under $10.

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Tempe, AZ – Crepe Bar

I had heard alot of recommendations for Crepe Bar before I finally made my way there. Within two weeks after my first visit there, I had taken six friends who then started taking their friends and family. Crepe Bar is definitely doing something right.

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I have a few reason why I recommend Crepe Bar to others:

PERSONAL: The staff will always bring your food and drink to  you, no matter how busy they are.  And everything they hand out reflects personal attention to presentation: latte art on the coffee, sauce drizzled on the plates with the crepes, and samples in jars and flasks.

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FRIENDLY. The staff is always kind and friendly. I like to engage, but I don’t expect it, so it’s nice when there’s mutual engaging.  The staff was friendly to chat about Phoenix and travel with me. Even to bring samples to my seat by the window and converse about any input I had on a new recipe. My favorite thing about supporting local business is that there is heart in what they create and connection with their community.

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CREATIVE. I love that this place is always creating. And their flavors are unique. Nothing boring here.  First time I came, I had the smokey crepe (turkey, avocado, chorizo and smoked gouda) and a cappuccino and I can’t help but come back to get the EXACT same thing every time. Though the crepe bar would do their best to persuade me otherwise: every time I come in, I get 2-3 samples of something different. It makes me feel secure that if I ever did sway away from my usual, I would find something equally as good. So, here were the three samples I received on this visit: housemade granola, spicy kale chips, and milk and cookies.

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COFFEE. From my first visit, I was obsessed with their coffee. For real. It was amazing. I later learned that it’s from heart roasters in Portland. So much sense: from my visit to Portland, heart roasters was my favorite, and I was in love with the fact that Crepe Bar imports heart coffee to right here in Phoenix. I may be wrong, but Crepe Bar is the only place I’ve found serving and selling heart coffee, which would be reason enough for my support, if they hadn’t given me so many other reasons already.

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Everything here is worth recommending. I’m all for finding something great locally and then getting support behind it.