People tend to agree that there are three meals needed in a day. If a group is choosing to go out for brunch, it is a special occasion. Rather than having a light breakfast at home to get out the door to work or class as quickly as possible, brunch is about actually enjoying and appreciating the wonders of food.

Since brunch is treated as much of an experience as a meal, there is no choice but to do it right. For those of us who aren’t adept or motivated enough to create their own brunch for friends at home, our city has some fantastic options for a morning outing.

NCounter and Breakfast Club are a couple of the best. These two spots have distinct menus, vibes, locations, and clientele.


To start, NCounter has a large menu with lots of breakfast, lunch, and drink choices. Expect to drop 8-12 dollars on a meal. I have been to NCounter countless times, it is one of my favorite spots in Tempe.

I tend to get the same thing every time, which is the “Santa Fe Sautee”. It is composed of eggs, chicken, potatoes, veggies, cheese, and a tortilla (which I replace with toast). This dish never disappoints. The ingredients combine perfectly and create one of the most filling options on the menu. There is no shame if one can’t finish this dish in one sitting. I paired it with a white chocolate mocha and left NCounter happy as I always have.

bacon, croque madame, dairy product, meat, fried egg, egg yolk, bread, toast, egg
Delia Johnson

Touching on the restaurant beyond my individual dish, some wonderful fellow ASU Spoon members joined for this outing and seemed equally satisfied with their dishes.

The most common compliment was the restorative properties of brunch after a rough night, and the energized feeling to take on the rest of the day after a substantial meal. Also, the restaurant has a great logo and colors, and a killer location at the northern tip of Tempe’s infamous Mill Avenue. 

Delia Johnson

Breakfast Club

I was joined once again by hungry ASU Spoon members for our trip to Cityscape in Downtown Phoenix for Breakfast Club (BC). This was my first time at BC, but I was aware of the popularity of the illustrious Old Town Scottsdale location. My first trip thoroughly impressed me. 

pancake, cake, chocolate, berry, french toast, pastry, sweet
Delia Johnson

This time, I went with a cappuccino and a light and sweet French Toast dish. This was far from basic French Toast, look at the picture above and try not to cry. Challah French Toast covered with berries, almonds, walnuts, powdered sugar, and cinnamon, aka “BC Signature French Toast”. This was truly spectacular, and I had no chance of finishing it in one sitting.

Like NCounter, the Spoon gang left very satisfied, once again ordering a mix of sweet and salty breakfast dishes. It should also be noted when one of us poured too much sugar into her to-go coffee, the waitress had no problem replacing it with a brand new drink. As all Spoon readers know, the only thing that makes good food better is good service providing it.

syrup, peanut butter, butter, chocolate, pancake
Delia Johnson

Where to go?

We went on a Sunday morning to both restaurants. At NCounter, we had a very brief wait in line and found a seat outside right away. This was a pleasant surprise seeing as ASU students flock to NCounter heavily on weekends (I have waited in line much longer there before). 

At BC we had to wait around 20 minutes to get seated, demonstrating the even larger reputation BC carries in The Valley. BC had more tables, but more people too. Similarly, 8-12 bucks is a good price estimate for BC, heavily influenced by if one orders drinks or not. Unlike the fast-casual walk-up style of NCounter, BC has a traditional set-up, so make sure to prepare to tip the server as well.

So, here we have a couple distinct takes on a weekend brunch. At NCounter we ate in the less packed outdoors on Mill Ave, and I had a savory meal. At BC we ate in the totally packed indoors downtown, and I had a very sweet meal for brunch. There’s no right choice, except to just do it. Set that alarm on Sunday, text a few friends, save a few extra dollars for the cause, and turn a weekend morning from listlessly couching it to the perfect kick-start to a productive weekend afternoon.