Fall has officially arrived in Arizona, and all across town I’m noticing coffee shops expanding outdoors.

One of the best examples of this was on my trip to Copper Star Coffee on Thursday morning. The temperature hadn’t risen much past 70 degrees by 9 am, and there were seats indoors and outdoors.

Since Copper Star Coffee is inside an old oil and lube garage, they have a big garage door with high ceilings. In the mornings they are opening the garage doors, and the fresh air blows into the shop. It’s REALLY nice.

What are some of your favorite coffee shops that have good outdoor seating?

Arizona Coffee

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  1. Rebecca

    It seems to me that there are very few places around here with good outdoor seating, mostly because there isn’t a whole lot to enjoy outside in most places. In other parts of the country, outdoor seating is close to places that have a lot of pedestrians (think sidewalk cafes), and not a lot of cars whizzing by, creating noise pollution and unsafe conditions. Copper Star’s seating looked pretty nice, although I haven’t had an opportunity to enjoy it.

    The place that first comes to mind for me is one of the coffeeshops on the ASU campus. It’s called “Cafe Biblioteque” because it’s housed in the undergrad library, but most of the people who have been around campus for a while call the place Charlie’s, after the guy who runs that coffeeshop and additional ones in the Architecture School, Law School, and Honors College (although the last one may have been closed down–I can’t remember). The outdoor seating there is in the courtyard in front of the library, so there are always a lot of students passing by on their way to or from the library. The tables are also small (2-person tables) and sheltered from direct sunlight.

    The other place that comes to mind is the Garden Klatch, an espresso stand at Harper’s Nursery in Scottsdale. People are encouraged to buy espresso and then wander through the nursery, which is arranged into a pleasant set of small gardens.

    Lastly, the Fair Trade Cafe and Gallery in downtown Phoenix has a small, quiet courtyard in back, which was all right.

    So altogether, my definition of “good outdoor seating” would include:
    1. A quiet space with lots of visually interesting elements (plants, people walking by, etc.) and shelter from car traffic and too much sunlight.
    2. Lots of small (2-person) tables.

  2. That is a great wrapup, Rebecca. I would add another great place is Cave Creek Coffee Company. They have a really nice patio area, and it’s nice when it’s cool outside.