Little Mesa Cafe: A True Gem in Mesa, Arizona

June 29, 2023 By Dennis Robbins

Once a culture centered around the hearth and home-cooked meals, we now find ourselves increasingly drawn to the allure of dining out. The traditional notion of gathering around the dining table for a home-cooked meal has given way to a desire for convenience, variety, and the social experience that comes with eating out. Busy lifestyles, dual-income households, and the rise of technology have all played a role in reshaping our eating habits. Today, Americans seek the ease and pleasure of being served and if “home-cooked” is on the menu, that makes for a satisfying dining experience.

Step into any family-owned diner that has stood the test of time, and you’ll be greeted by a symphony of aromas that transport you to a bygone era. The air is heavy with the scent of sizzling bacon, freshly brewed coffee, and warm apple pie. As you settle into a cozy booth, you can’t help but feel a wave of nostalgia wash over you. This is the place where classic comfort food reigns supreme, reminiscent of the meals lovingly prepared by grandmothers of yesteryear. In a world that seems to be constantly evolving, these diners and the timeless dishes they serve connect us to our past and remind us of the vital role they play in preserving our shared American heritage.

In the heart of Mesa, Arizona, lies a hidden culinary treasure that has been delighting locals and visitors alike since 1985. The Little Mesa Cafe is more than just a restaurant; it’s an embodiment of warm hospitality, mouthwatering dishes, and a sense of community. This family-run establishment has earned a stellar reputation, drawing patrons with its delectable bacon, heavenly pancakes, and unwavering commitment to providing exceptional service. From its humble beginnings to its present-day charm, the Little Mesa Cafe continues to captivate hearts and taste buds, making it a must-visit destination for breakfast enthusiasts.

Stepping into the Little Mesa Cafe feels like entering a cozy time capsule where tradition reigns supreme. The walls adorned with vintage memorabilia tell a story of enduring family values and a passion for good food. The moment you settle into a booth or grab a seat at the counter, you’ll be greeted by friendly staff who genuinely care about your dining experience.

Mesa café a down-home favorite for 40 years.

Matt Stanfel’s parents started the Little Mesa Cafe in 1983 after moving here from the midwest in 1981.

Matt started working at the restaurant at 3929 E. Main Street when he was 13 and is still going strong.

“I always worked at Little Mesa Cafe in the morning but served at multiple restaurants at night – corporate and mom and pops,” said Matt, who bought the business almost two years ago from his parents with Jessica Kell and Jeffrey Stouffer.

“I was actually working at the car wash when my dad called and said they were listing this place,” Matt recalled. “So, Jeff was like, ‘Let’s buy it.’”

He said the secret to their success is good food.

“We’re one of the only places that have liver,” Matt said. “Meatloaf has been the special every Monday night for 25 years. Our chicken and dumplings on Thursday night people go crazy for it. No one else has stuff like that.”

Little Mesa Cafe is famous for having the best bacon in the Southwest, and once you savor a crispy bite, you’ll understand why. Each strip is cooked to perfection, striking an impeccable balance between savory and smoky flavors. Whether you prefer it extra crispy or delightfully tender, their bacon never fails to leave a lasting impression. It’s no wonder locals consider it a breakfast staple and out-of-towners find themselves craving it long after they’ve left.

Restaurant Guru

Perfectly cooked fried chicken, chicken steaks and bacon have a nice taste. You can always degust tasty biscuits and good waffles at this cafe. According to the comments, visitors usually like asking for delicious coffee here.

The cozy atmosphere of Little Mesa Cafe allows customers to relax after a hard working day. A lot of people find that the staff is well-trained at this place. Prompt service is something guests agree upon here. This spot provides food at attractive prices.

When it comes to pancakes, the Little Mesa Cafe sets the bar high. From classic buttermilk to indulgent varieties like chocolate chip or blueberry, these heavenly creations are griddled to golden perfection. Light and fluffy on the inside, with a delicate crispness on the outside, these pancakes are pure bliss on a plate. Generously topped with melted butter and served with a side of their homemade maple syrup, every bite is a symphony of flavors that will leave you longing for more.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Little Mesa Cafe is its commitment to its customers. Open every day of the year, this welcoming eatery ensures that breakfast lovers can satisfy their cravings, no matter the occasion or holiday. The owners and staff go above and beyond to create a warm and inviting atmosphere where everyone feels like a part of the family. It’s this dedication to service that keeps patrons coming back time and time again.

Recent reviews…

Decided to try this place on a whim one morning and I’m SO glad we did. Absolutely delicious food, such a great small town cafe atmosphere inside too. Very friendly service. The breakfast food blows IHOP out of the water, can’t get over now yummy it all was.

My first time here. Cute spot, great food, and our server was busy. My friend had the chicken salad croissant….and she highly recommends it. I had the deep fried vegetables which were awesome. They serve RC products here. We will be back.

We just plain love Little Mesa Cafe! It’s a great family style food destination. You’ll feel like family when you eat here. Classic diner offerings, cooked to perfection. Generous portions to satisfy your cravings for comfort food like Grandma used to make. Great daily specials are priced not to break the bank.

If you haven’t already made it a point to visit the Little Mesa Cafe, now is the time to add it to your culinary bucket list. From the friendly smiles that greet you at the door to the mouthwatering aroma that fills the air, this little gem has it all. Whether you’re a local seeking a delicious start to your day or a visitor looking to experience the authentic flavors of Mesa, the Little Mesa Cafe is the place to be. So gather your loved ones, mark your calendar, and make it a weekly event to indulge in the exceptional delights that await you at the Little Mesa Cafe.

The Little Mesa Cafe is more than just a restaurant; it’s a testament to the enduring spirit of family, community, and culinary excellence. With its legendary bacon, heavenly pancakes, and unwavering dedication to service, this Mesa institution has carved a special place in the hearts of all who walk through its doors. So next time you’re in town, don’t miss the opportunity to savor the flavors that have made the Little Mesa Cafe an icon in Arizona. Make it a weekly event and create memories that will last a lifetime.