A review of my favorite coffee shops in downtown Phoenix

Throughout the course of this semester, I’ve written articles about five amazing coffee shops in the downtown Phoenix area. Equipped with caffeine and free WiFi, they’re all ideal places for ASU students to visit; however, each cafe is unique and creative in its own way. They all showcase and sell art in addition to typical coffeehouse items. All five are open on First Friday too, which is when they are the busiest. Since this blog is coming to an end, I’m going to review my favorite cafes under certain categories listed below. For each one, I’ve chosen my top three contenders.

To refresh your memory, these are the five places I’ve covered in this blog (you can click on the name to take you back to each blog post):

Category 1: BEST COFFEE

  1. Jobot – It’s totally worth waiting 45 minutes in line just to order a toddy coffee or iced mocha from here, which is what my friends and I do every First Friday. It’s just really great coffee. Period.
  2. Squash Blossom – Candy corn and peppermint pattie lattes, and other seasonal drinks that are new every month and crafted to perfection. Need I say more?
  3. 8th Day – Not only is their coffee community traded so you know you’re making a difference with each purchase, but their iced drinks are served in mason jars! It makes your cup of coffee that much better.

Category 2: BEST PLACE TO STUDY

  1. 8th Day – There are several couches accompanied by lots of natural light coming in through the numerous windows all over the cafe, and study groups can meet in their conference room. It’s a spacious coffeehouse with different seating areas and there are huge tables so you can layout all of your work. It’s comfortable, convenient and quiet.
  2. Fair Trade – At both locations, there’s a wide variety of commodious seating ranging from sofas to cushioned wooden benches. It’s also peaceful and spacious like 8th Day. When you have a lot to get done, I would recommend either place.
  3. Songbird – This cafe is significantly smaller, but the long tables with outlets are efficient for students looking to charge their devices while completing homework or writing a paper. There’s a huge bookcase that makes you feel like you’re in a super cool, hipster library too. You can check out thier range of novels on your study break.

Category 3: BEST PLACE TO ADMIRE/PURCHASE ARTWORK

  1. 8th Day – There’s a wonderful assortment of artwork here. There’s huge pieces like a painted door and sculptures near the back wall, but there’s also oil paintings and drawings too. Since it’s found in all shapes and sizes all around the cafe, I guarantee it is not a boring place to visit. You can check out their monthly art gallery premieres every First Friday if you’re interested in that as well.
  2. Songbird – Part of an ongoing art exhibit, it’s located inside the MonOrchid building in the heart of the Roosevelt Row art districts. Their Scrabble-inspired menu is a work of art in itself. There’s obviously other great pieces of art on their walls, but if none of it catches your attention then I’m sure something inside the MonOrchid will.
  3. Fair Trade – There’s a perfect balance of framed photographs and paintings here. I appreciate that it’s not overbearing or distracting, and it tastefully integrates coffee with art.

Category 4: BEST PLACE TO HANGOUT

  1. Squash Blossom – Because it’s also a restaurant, this place is ideal for hanging out with friends. Everything on the menu is fresh, tasty and relatively cheap. It’s perfect for a lunch date with classmates and the 10% ASU discount makes it that much better. The staff is super friendly and the music selection is exquisite. If you haven’t tried it yet, you must do so immediately. Your friends will love you for bringing them there!
  2. Jobot – It’s open until midnight, so take a break from your schoolwork and grab a cup of coffee with your friends after dinner. The lounge environment and loud music provide an excellent escape from your daily routine.
  3. Songbird –  What makes Songbird different from the other cafes is the fact that the owners will sit down with you and get to know you. If they’re not behind the counter making coffee, then they’re probably making conversation with their customers. They love getting to know people and keeping in touch on social media. Check it out!

As I previously stated, each place is unique in its own way and there’s a cafe out there for everyone. I recommend visiting all of them in order to determine which one best suits your preferences. Downtown Phoenix is overflowing with coffee shops and places filled with art, so go out and try something new.

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Local coffee shop links students to art, especially on First Fridays.

Jobot Coffee Shop on September’s First Friday.

A coffee bar that was previously found in Conspire Cafe and Boutique, is now at its own location and thriving off the business of college students. Located on 5th street, Jobot offers downtown Phoenix a coffeehouse with a creative edge, blending together art and coffee.

“We’re not your average cafe,” Jobot barista Robert Zunigha stated. “We offer the kind of environment that attracts college kids.”

If you’ve never been there, you might be asking yourself, What sort of environment is he talking about? An “ambiance made up of a mixture of art, music and awesome coffee and crepes” of course. The fact that they offer free wi-fi and are open until midnight every day of the week adds to the appeal, according to Zunigha, who has been employed there for a few months now.

Lily Reynolds, an ASU student, first heard about Jobot when she was a freshman living at the downtown campus.

“We had no idea what to do down here and heard some other kids talking about an edgy coffee shop that’s open late on the weekends,” she said. “So we decided to check it out.”

Reynolds also pointed out that Jobot isn’t your “run-of-the-mill coffee bar” by any means. “Everyone I know who goes there for the first time either loves it or hates it.”

The bookshelf of weird doll figures and art hanging on the wall, the mismatched doors and seats, and the loud music are enough to scare customers away or give them a coffee shop experience unlike any other.

“It’s difficult to find things to do here because some of the best places to hangout downtown are hidden treasures, like Jobot,” Reynolds explained. “But it’s a great place to chill with friends after a night out or somewhere to go other than your dorm when you need to stay up late to write a paper.”

Jobot is especially packed on First Friday, which is an art walk held on the first Friday of every month.

“First Fridays are our most busy days from what I’ve encountered working here so far,” Zunigha said. “I still see a lot of students which doesn’t surprise me. The creative environment we’re known for goes hand in hand with the art walk.”

Zunigha previously worked at various art galleries around the area, so he’s experienced the First Friday crowds for years now.

“Working those shifts is so different now than when I was first hired in the downtown area,” he stated. “It just exploded about 3 or 4 years ago and I’m sure ASU’s downtown campus had a lot to do with that.”

Ditching their laptops and textbooks, students can be seen with groups of friends in a line out the door on these Friday nights.

“[Jobot] has a completely different vibe on First Fridays,” Reynolds explained. “It goes from being cool and calm to a crazy and crowded lounge environment, with giant speakers blasting music and a quirky cluster of other First Friday goers.”

Students who appreciate the art of the coffee shop or just crave a cup of Cartel Coffee Lab roast continue to expand its business.

“I think it’s great that Jobot connects people to art in such an interesting way,” Reynolds added. “And I love their iced mocha. It’s the only place I’ll ever order that!”

For Jobot’s full menu and contact information, click here: http://jobot-coffee.com/