See, folks in Gilbert look at breakfast differently than most. Instead of simply conversing about how fresh the locally sourced menu items are, they look out the window and see the vegetables and herbs growing. Like at the Coffee Shop and Joe’s Farm Grill located next to Agritopia's picturesque urban farm.

Both use a number of ingredients found only a few feet away, and both offer up breakfast brilliance with a fresh Gilbert twist. Whether it’s a fresh TJ omelet with bold chorizo and seasoned potatoes and a cappuccino in a big cup on the Coffee Shop back patio or a “waffles & ribs” special with Agritopia orange juice at Joe’s, the difference in freshness is undeniable.

But if you ask the locals in northern Gilbert, you’ll inevitably hear about the Gilbert Road trio: Liberty MarketThe Farmhouse, and the Gilbert House. Located in a renovated 1930s grocery store of the same name, Liberty Market calls itself an “unpretentious urban bistro in the heart of Downtown Gilbert.” They serve up everything from classics (griddled bread pudding!) to mouthwatering specials (green chili pork scrambles with herbs from the back garden!!!). But their claim to fame is their vintage E61 Coffee Bar, built in Milan in 1965. If you could only have one espresso drink for the rest of your life, make it a Liberty Market cortadito. In fact, make it a double. It’s craft coffee-making at its best.

To round out the trio, the Farmhouse and Gilbert House take the cake—the pancake—for fans of an old fashioned dining experience. Both offer no-nonsense menus with omelets, pancakes and French toast, and are located in wonderfully restored buildings that take you back to a clearly more delicious time. It’s often hard to choose between the two, so I’d recommend eating at both. On the same day. Your stomach will thank you.

del Piero panini- frames.jpgNow there’s one more place you really have to try to complete the whole breakfast experience. Just a few miles southeast of Gilbert, in the town of Queen Creek (Gilbertians like to claim it as their own), the Trattoria del Piero at the Queen Creek Olive Mill simply can’t be missed. Their delicious frittatas and amazing Panini breakfast sandwiches are truly mouthwatering, and the vanilla bean olive oil waffle with bananas and toasted pecans may very well be a life-changing experience. Just saying it out loud makes me hungry.

When you’re done, don’t forget to peruse the indoor marketplace, filled with Queen Creek olive oils, local wines, fresh breads and fresh-roasted Superstition coffee. For extra credit, I’d also go up the street a ways to the Pork Shop for some of the best take-home bacon (and chops, and ribs…) you’ll ever find.

Chris Hall is a native Texan who moved out to Arizona in 2003 with a voracious appetite and a budget heavily skewed towards dining out. When he’s not eating, he’s thinking about eating while experiencing the best of Arizona with his fiancé and his three-year-old puggle, Ms. Betty Crocker.