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Greasy Spoon in Phoenix

After three years in Phoenix, this Tucson transplant has yet to find a reasonable facsimile for Bobo's, or even Frank's - if you've been to Bobo's, you know what I'm talking about. Good, basic breakfast food, and coffee that keeps on flowing. My guess is that the good greasy spoons are in the outlying areas - Chandler, Glendale, etc. - and none are left in my neighborhood (7th St. / Camelback). Any suggestions? Thanks in advance,


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  1. Try Matt's Big Breakfast, it is higher quality than Bobo's and Frank's with the right feel.

    1. im not sure about either place in tucson, but depending on how greasy you like your spoon, we have some spots here ;)

      close to you is mcalpines, which is a 1920's coffee shop with some lots of charm.....ok food & coffee...seems to change owners alot but they keep all the original interior. on 7th street north of mcdowell...

      there's marvins gardens on mcdowell just east of central...decent grub, smoke o' rama on the inside..if you're lucky marvin will be there and come and talk to you.

      and my new fav greasy spoon - mel's diner. as in the real mel's diner from the tv show..its on grand and about 17th ave. looks like the diner from the opening credits of the show, HUGE portions, nice staff, loads of coffee, and if you are a regular, you can keep a mug there :)

      1. Winedubar - tell me more about Marvin's Garden, please. I pass by it every day to and from work. At a certain point in the afternoon it seems to close and then becomes a hangout for some of the local homeless. Whenever I pass by in the morning there seems to be a very small number of people inside.

        Is it good? It's just never appealed that much to me from the road to pay it a visit. But I'm no chi-chi snob. If the food is good I'll give it a try.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mamamia

          hi mamamia :)

          marvin's garden used to be the sunnyside cafe, which was shady shady shady. marvin, a charming new york transplant, bought the place after he moved out here to retire. he's in his 80's and blind, which he will tell you when he stops at your table.

          the food is classic diner greasy spoon, and on the weekends, its full of downtown hipsters. sort of the first fridays crowd only saturday morning.

          when marvin's there, the food is top notch greasy spoon. when marvin's not there, the service is slow, the food not so good, and my deal breaker - not so clean.

          marvin is trying to open a second spot by greenway and 32st street, i think that's where it is ;) so he hasn't been there 100% of the time. imo the place has suffered because of it.

          which is why we go to mel's diner more. if marvin's not there, well, its not up to par....if he is there? get some pie!! they make it fresh every day and boy, is it GOOD!!!

          as far as the homeless contingent? next door to marvins is the cancer survivor park, and several folks appear to have made a camp there. mostly harmless - we'll drop off our leftovers when we eat at marvins.

          you're right about them closing - its breakkie and lunch only.

          i like to support local spots, esp when there is a character involved, and believe me, marvin's a character. i just wish it was alot more consistent...and clean ;)

          1. re: winedubar

            I just read this today.

            Thanks for the info! I know all about the homeless - I live down the street and will sometimes find a pair of legs hanging out of our alley dumpster.

            We're so wrapped up in the kids these days, the only real kid-friendly breakfast place in the area is The Good Egg or The Eggery. Say what you will, they have the booster seats and crayons ready when we walk in so they get my business at this stage in life.

            Next time the kids are at grandma's we'll hit a cool place like Matt's or Mel's. But then the draw of Richardson's breakfast is always there.....

        2. I enjoy the Hangar cafe in Chandler, located within the Chandler Muni Airport.

          Billy Bob

          1. Haven't been in years, but used to like 40th Cafe on NE corner of 40th Street and Greenway. It is a couple of suites down from Big O Tires. Everything is home made...yes, including their salad dressings. Give it a try.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cmwestby

              I tried the 40th St Cafe a few times and was dissapointed. I like my greasy spoons greasy, but my eggs were literally sitting in a puddle of grease. And they only have powdered creamer for their coffee. I wish it was better, as it's walking distance from home.

            2. Billy Bob, is the Hangar Cafe the only restaurant at that airport? I heard about a great place to have dinner at the Chandler Airport.

              1 Reply
              1. re: tattud_gurl


                I haven't heard of another place there, but really haven't looked into it either. I know there is also a cafe at Williams Gateway, but I don't know if it serves dinner. I guess I am a fountain of non information. Sorry


              2. Hey Rob, I have no recommendations on Phoenix but just wanted to say hello as my parents started Bobo's and ran it until my Dad's death(my Mom then sold it). It amazes me that after so many years the restaurant is still there and with most of my Mom's menu still in place. I worked there on weekends and in the summers until about 1991 when I left Tucson after completing graduate school. Hope you find a great new place!

                1 Reply
                1. re: DeborahB

                  Thanks, Deborah. Bobo's is always on my itinerary whenever I visit Tucson. Mel's Diner here in Phoenix does a great job, and I can't wait to check out the other colorful locales folks have posted. If Tom Waits would feel comfortable there, I am all over it!

                2. The Hangar Cafe is a great spot for breakfast. The chicken fried steak and eggs are, to me anyway, the perfect greasy spoon breakfast. The pancakes are good as well. Funny, I would go there all the time for breakfast when I would visit my sister in Chandler and now that I've been living here for a month-not once!

                  1. I kinda like Pinky's at 7th Street and Thunderbird (NW corner). There is one waitress (Rose?) who has a booming/cackling laugh, and another waitress who always repeats your questions with correct grammar ("Can I have another napkin?" "Yes, you MAY have another napkin.")

                    I've read a few very non-descriptive reviews of the Eye Opener on Hatcher and approx. 5th Ave (?) but all I gleaned is that it was sold to new owners a few years ago, and it is definitely a greasy spoon. Anyone been there?