Harlow’s Cafe | Must-Eat Tempe Arizona Diner

Review by: Michael Stern

Breakfast is the Meal to Eat

If you hunger for a great Tempe Arizona diner breakfast, put Harlow’s at the top of your itinerary. Even when I arrived at noon — height of lunch hour — a majority of customers were tucking into omelets, Benedicts, blueberry pancakes, corned beef hash, creamed chipped beef, and huevos rancheros. Of course, you can have lunch. That starts at 11am. In fact, I have enjoyed an immense fried fish sandwich and a decent char-broiled bacon cheeseburger. (Desiccated French dip I did not enjoy so much). And the house-made chili satisfies like few other single-bowl dishes. But breakfast, served all day (until 2pm closing) steals the show.

Best Dishes

Eggs Maximilian, for example, is a phantasmagoric plate of food built upon a large flour tortilla. Top savory hash browns, three eggs, onions, zesty diced green chilies and (optional) chorizo sausage with sour cream and salsa. It’s monumental … and monumentally satisfying. Crisp, easy-to slice chicken-fried steak earns accolades both at breakfast and lunch. In fact, I like it as the latter, along with good mashed potatoes, sweet corn, cream gravy, and a bowl of house-made chicken noodle soup. That satisfying meal will cost you well under $20. An open-face hot roast beef sandwich is immense, its plate crowded with mashed potatoes and gravy, plus vegetables. Half-size versions are available.

A Fun, Happy Place

Harlow’s is a noisy, bustling, high-energy joint, its wood-paneled walls covered with pictures of local and national sports heroes. Honors and awards from local and national press crowd wall space above the booths. Vintage movie memorabilia, especially pictures of Jean Harlow add kitchy end-of-the-rainbow glamour to this Tempe Arizona diner. For those who want to have a conversation or a relatively private meal, a booth is the place to go. If you are a single diner or if you enjoy watching short-order cooks doing twelve things at once, grab a seat at the counter. It provides an hypnotic show.

Tempe, by the way, is home of the Arizona branch of Buffalo, New York’s legendary Ted’s Hot Dogs.

What To Eat

Eggs Maximilian

Chicken Fried Steak

Fish Sandwich



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