Whether you need to refuel after a muscle-burning ride up Mt. Lemmon or you’re looking for a spot to meet your friends for brunch, the self-described “European style espresso bar and patisserie” Le Buzz Caffe has been serving up tasty food for 20 years on Tucson’s northeast side. Owner Margaret Hadley points to French and Italian cafes as the original inspiration for the menu, with an additional emphasis on Southwestern flavors, which Le Buzz added when they began serving breakfast. A variety of tantalizing baked goods drawn from “all-American comfort food” round out the menu.
Hadley says Le Buzz Caffe was one of the first restaurants in Tucson to roast their own coffee, and they take great pride in both the coffee they serve and the beans they sell. We ordered a latte and a mocha, which arrived in two generously sized mugs. The coffee lives up to the hype: smooth and without bitterness, and the chocolate flavor of the mocha is subtle yet sweet.
Our entrees quickly followed the coffee. The Scrambled Eggs ($5.50) come with a choice of toast or French roll, and was just the right size meal for a modest appetite. The eggs were light and buttery, with a fluffy texture and good mouthfeel. The roll, served with butter and raspberry jam, had a nice crust to it and was a substantial companion for the eggs.
If you’re used to the hefty tortilla-bound morning meals served up at Mexican fast food joints, the Le Buzz Breakfast Burrito ($8.50) will seem small by comparison. Don’t let the compact size fool you. This burrito was big on taste, with crispy bursts of bacon and perfectly cooked home fries, scrambled eggs, fresh pico de gallo, and cheddar cheese distributed throughout. The roasted tomatillo salsa is sweet with a mild heat, marking this dish as a Southwestern favorite that is safe for all palates.
Le Buzz’s Housemade Chorizo Potato Hash with Poached Egg ($9.50) is only served on the weekends, so I jumped at the chance. The egg was expertly poached, the toast crusty and light, and the sliced avocado perched on top was decadent. The chorizo, potato, bell pepper, and onion hash was flavorful but not spicy, with browned potatoes.
We capped off our meal with a piece of Apple Almond Cake, which was everything we could wish for in a breakfast dessert. Almond and brown sugar crumbles topped a lightly sweet cake, with a generous portion of baked apple filling making the end result resemble an apple pie with cake taking the place of the pastry.
Before Le Buzz Caffe opened their doors two decades ago, Hadley tells me they posted a notice in the shop window saying they hoped to “provide […] customers with an espresso bar in the European tradition, with great coffee and pastries and an inviting atmosphere in which to enjoy them.” The menu may have expanded, but that hope continues to be realized.
Le Buzz Caffe
9121 E Tanque Verde Rd #125
Tucson, AZ 85749