Posted on: December 12, 2012
Lights. When I think of the holidays, I think of dazzling light displays. As a native Arizonan, I also feel cold when it’s 70 degrees. That’s why a perfect evening for me would be driving around to look at holiday lights while holding a tasty hot beverage from one of Tempe’s independent coffee houses.
To make your light-viewing trek a bit easier, the Arizona Republic has a list of the best displays around town. To make your drink selection a bit easier, here’s a list of my favorites at some of Tempe’s best cafes.
Try the Lavender Latte at Gold Bar Espresso, located on the northeast corner of McClintock and Southern. A step beyond the tried and true Vanilla Latte, the flavor replicates the soft scent of lavender. They also have a nice selection of hot chocolate.
Speaking of which, chocolate lovers can’t go wrong with the Xtreme Bean’s Café Mocha-X with Ghirardelli chocolate, half and half and chocolate shavings. After all, ‘tis the season to celebrate, not count calories! Xtreme Bean is located on the southwest corner of McClintock and Southern.
Cartel Coffee Lab in Tempe is known for the cool industrial interior and the smell of freshly roasted coffee. It should also be known for its Chai Tea. The Chai Tea Latte is a perfect blend of spicy and sweet. If you need a bit of a kick, try their Dirty Chai – the little something extra is a shot of espresso. Cartel is located on Ash Avenue, just south of University.
Steve’s Espresso is also a great first stop before a holiday light drive. It is located on the southeast corner of McClintock and Baseline. It’s always hard to decide on what to order, but I usually go with their Honey Vanilla Latte or one of their hot teas. My favorites are Lady Londonderry (black tea) and Caribbean Sensation (green tea).
Happy holidays everyone!
Plan your next vacation with the Tempe Visitor's Guide.