Where are the best coffee shops in Tempe? In recent years the number of coffee shops in Tempe has exploded! There are lots of new entrants to the market. I thought I would provide a quick summary of the new and old coffee shops. Cartel Coffee Lab 225 W University Dr #101, Tempe, AZ 85281 Big, authentic, and extremely busy. One of the most popular coffee shops in the Tempe area because of its great coffee and proximity to ASU. Located on the south west corner of University and Ash, Cartel Coffee Lab is a coffee shop, brewery, and roastery all in one. Cartel Coffee Lab serves excellent coffee beverages. They know how to make an authentic and traditional cappuccino. Some days Cartel feels like a laptop lounge, but if you look closely you’ll be able to find a seat. Just watch out for the parking lot attendant who will have your car towed if you stay too long. Royal Coffee 502 S College Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281 A newcomer to the Tempe scene, Royal Coffee is located on College Ave. Boasting a quieter atmosphere, and a much smaller interior than other shops in the area. The shop has a beautiful wood bar that stretches across the entire length of the shop. King Coffee 1020 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281 Another new shop, which just opened in Tempe. King Coffee occupies a small space across from Gammage Auditorium. The shop serves coffee and tea as well as an assortment of baked goods. It’s a really tiny shop, but has a cozy atmosphere and free wireless internet. They serve beans from Cortez Coffee. Press Coffee 15147 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254 Located inside the Skywater Apartments on the south side of Tempe Town Lake. This new Press Coffee location is swimming with cool and unique details. They have extremely comfortable couches, a huge community table, and a beautiful blue espresso machine. Press Coffee is known for their excellent coffee and for their shops in Scottsdale and at Sky Harbor Airport. CupZ Coffee 777 S College Ave # 101, Tempe, AZ 85281 I haven’t visited CupZ Coffee in a few years because the last time they made me a cappuccino it was just super average, and had lots of foam. CupZ is located on College Ave. and unless you know a trick, there is no free parking nearby. I had to park in the parking garage next to the shop. Crepe Bar 7520 S Rural Rd, Tempe, AZ 85283 Located in the south part of Tempe, Crepe Bar is the place to go for great breakfasts, awesome coffee, and crepes! Did I mention the coffee? They’ve made cappuccino’s for me that rank among the best in the valley. Solo Cafe 107 E Baseline Rd, Tempe, AZ 85283 One of the hidden gems of Tempe. Solo Cafe is located on the south side of Baseline Rd. They’re located in the back of a salon, but don’t let that stop you! They have a dedicated place in the store, with seating and tables. These guys are serious about coffee, and their roaster is Cortez Coffee (also based out of Tempe). Solo has been making great coffee for years! Steve’s Espresso 1801 E Baseline Rd #102, Tempe, AZ 85283 Almost a Tempe tradition! Steve’s Espresso, founded by a guy named Steve (go figure!), specializes in all kinds of fancy espresso-based drinks. They have lots of unique variations, and also serve breakfast and lunch. The interior is simple, but spacious. They have a pretty decent patio, too. Seattle Espresso 1840 E Warner Rd #136, Tempe, AZ 85284 Located in a shopping center at the corner of Warner and McClintock in Tempe, Seattle Espresso has been in business for over 20 years in the valley! They have a white Russian mocha that’s to die for. They have a really great patio with a fountain, perfect for summer or fall evenings. Kona 13 1845 E University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281 A small coffee shop that almost reminds me of Dutch Bros. They offer a Hawaiian take on coffee here in the valley. They feature Kona beans and make lots of different types of drinks. Xtreme Bean 1707 E Southern Ave #2, Tempe, AZ 85282 An old standby, and a favorite in Tempe. Xtreme Bean is a college-town coffee shop that has been around for what seems like forever. They have an awesome $5 breakfast burrito with lots of options. Or, get a bagel with cream cheese. Lots of blended coffee drinks, including frapps, and frothy sugary lattes. Gold Bar Espresso 3141 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85282 A coffee shop located on McClintock in Tempe. They’ve been around for ages and serve all of the normal coffee drinks. They have food and blended coffee drinks, too. They have local jazz music on weekends and offer a comfortable local coffee shop environment. Hazelrock Coffee + Sweets 725 S Rural Rd #103, Tempe, AZ 85281 A new coffee company located at the corner of Rural and University. I visited for the first time recently and here’s the highlights: It’s huge inside, quiet and plenty of seating, they have tons of awesome cookies, muffins, and pastries. The coffee is really good and comfortable couches. They even sell shave ice! They have experienced baristas and this is a great place to go for a traditional cappuccino. If you’re looking for a great place to hangout with your laptop they have tons of space. FiftyOne West 51 W Southern Ave, Tempe, AZ 85282 A small coffee shop and venue on Southern Avenue in Tempe called 51 West. They use locally roasted coffee and offer vegan and glutton free food. They also have live music events. One thing unique about this coffee shop is that they serve nitro coffee and were the first shop in Tempe to do so. They also feature music events fairly regularly. Romancing the Bean 80 E Rio Salado Pkwy #120, Tempe, AZ 85281 Located inside the Hayden Ferry Lakeside building on the south side of Tempe Town Lake at 80 E. Rio Salado Parkway. This coffee company was founded in 1990 by Robert and Louann Withers. Originally it was located in the Pavilions shopping center, but moved in 2006 to this building. Most of the regulars are people who work inside the buildings. Parking is available in the parking garage, but costs money. Dutch Bros. Coffee 1037 S Rural Rd, Tempe, AZ 85281 3213 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85282 6461 S Rural Rd, Tempe, AZ 85283 I barely ever mention Dutch Bros. on this web site because everybody knows about them. They have more than 30 locations across the valley, including 3 in Tempe. They are drive-thru only and serve a lot of different blended drinks. Their smoothies are quite good, but have a ton of sugar! Infusion Coffee & Tea 1300 E 8th St #100, Tempe, AZ 85281 Opened this year in Tempe, this is a coffee company that has been around for a long time but only recently opened a shop. They have a fairly serious knowledge of coffee, so any drink here should be pretty great. They also have panini sandwiches and serve breakfast and lunch. This is also the location of the International Barista & Coffee Academy, which is run by Patrick O’Malley. So, that’s an overview of the coffee shops in Tempe. I’ll keep this post updated and include any new shops whenever I discover a new coffee shop. Leave a comment to share your favorite Tempe coffee experience.