Don’t Forget the Beans ~ Lux Central
The Place: Lux Central
Location: 4400 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix
The Dishes: Pesto Mac’n’cheese, Dirty Chai, Cinnamon Roll
Hours: Sun-Thu 6 a.m. to 12 a.m., Fri-Sat 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.
By: Mackenzie Barrena
Open 365 days a year, Lux Central has become not only one of the most popular coffee shops in Arizona, but also my all-time favorite. The coffee house is way more than your average Starbucks. Everything from the building, drinks and people are incredibly unique and authentic. The layout of the shop is vast and open; with an outdoor patio, TV room, open bar, and a quiet recreational room (that you can usually find me hiding in). Each room is full of eclectic furniture and communal-wooden tables. The exposed brick, rich wood and intimate lighting creates a warm and rustic environment that compliments owner Jeff Fischer’s goal of making people feel comfortable and at home. Each room is unique and full of interesting and surreal art; including the bathroom, which is famously known to be tagged with words and art from the shop’s customers.
Aside from how unique and interesting of an appearance Lux has, one of the main reasons this shop is my favorite is because of the experience you have. Walking into this building is like an adrenaline rush. Each room is full of people laughing, talking and enjoying their time together. When there isn’t a live band or DJ playing, an eccentric playlist blares while the smell of hand-roasted coffee beans flows through each room. The place is crawling with hipsters and quirky, friendly people, and the staff are incredibly kind and outgoing. And though you may have to wait in line, orders are turned out pretty quickly for such a busy place. Not only is Lux booming with life, but it is also the perfect place for every occasion. It offers a fantastic space to hide in your Mac book and work (as it is equipped with countless outlets and free wi-fi); it’s also a great place to meet new people, have a first date or just enjoy your time with others.
If you’re not already convinced to try out this coffee bar, let me get into the glory of their food and drinks. Lux is not only famous for their coffee, but also their incredible, comforting food. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, their menu is vast, including fantastic vegan pastries and meals; such as the vegetarian egg bake on toast ($8.50) and vegetable white bean soup ($9.50). Many of their menu items can be tailored for people who are gluten free or vegan (even the beverages). Some of my all-time favorite dishes include their creamy Pesto Mac n’ Cheese at a great price of only $10 (Tip: I highly recommend you order it with chicken!), and their rich, cream cheese frosted cinnamon rolls ($5.25).
If you have a bigger appetite, I would suggest their extravagant 8 oz. steak and potatoes ($14). When it comes to drinks, Lux does it best. They offer everything from coffee, tea, wine, craft beer, and cocktails. Their coffee beans come from all around the world, including Brazil, Ethiopia and Nicaragua, just to name a few. The beans are hand-roasted and crafted to perfection. A Dirty Chai, (a chai tea latte with a shot of espresso) is my go to drink ($5.25); alongside a hot mocha latte, that comes in a simple mug with adorable foam art ($4.75). If you’re craving something sweeter, they have amazing freshly-squeezed Virginia style lemonade ($4.00) and tropical juices that come in mason jars ($5.00). You can even grab a quick cocktail or craft beer at the bar; or if you’re feeling a bit classy, a nice glass of wine. I spend a significant amount of time at Lux and enjoy my visit each time. It offers insanely good food, drinks and an unforgettable experience, but most importantly, as Jeff Fischer says, “Don’t forget the beans”.
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