Rock Springs Cafe

written by Julie Cohn

Rock Springs Cafe

When you visit Phoenix, you have to make a trip to the the famous Rock Springs Cafe!  Located one exit south of Black Canyon City on I-17 N, at the Rock Springs exit.  This little eatery attracts thousands of local cowboys and weary I-17 travelers looking for a hot meal.  40 miles north of Phoenix, Rock Springs Cafe is in the heart of the Sonoran desert, part of the wild west!    The Rock Springs Cafe is famous for their old west attitude, their BBQ, and most importantly, their pies.  Oh those pies!

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Something to keep in mind–this is not Scottsdale, folks.  There are no fancy foreign cars here, except for the occasional tourist–the parking lot was full of pickup trucks and motorcycles, and the inside is true diner meets wild-west.   This is the place the locals go, because the food is good every single time.

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Rock Springs Cafe is advertised as one of the best pie shops in the country, so you do not come for the decor, at least come for those pies!

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The main entrance leads to a gift shop, as well as the to-go pie cases…with lots and lots of pies! On our left was a dark saloon; to the right, the main dining room. The dining room is decorated in a cute kitschy western theme with wooden tables and booths, as well as old-fashioned telephones on some of the tables.

We intended to just have pie, but the breakfast menu looked appealing, so we decided to try breakfast first and then eat pie!  We both ordered the western omelet with coffee.  Chock full of veggies, the omelet came with a choice of toast, biscuit, or english muffin, as well as home fries.  It was nothing fancy, a basic cowboy breakfast, hot and fresh.  The price was a little steep at $9.95 per plate, but the omelets were huge.  We decided that we were paying for the “authentic wild west” atmosphere as well as the food, so did not balk at the prices.

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Now for those pies!  They advertise on their website that they sell an average of 50,000 pies a year.  That is a lot of pie!  Rock Springs Cafe is most famous for their pecan pie, but also have at least twenty-five different varieties available at various times, including two different styles of various fruit pies (crumb crust and regular crust), cream pies, and two varieties of pecan pie (Jack Daniels and regular pecan).

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I ordered a piece of the Jack Daniels Pecan and a piece of the Cherry Crumb Pie to share.  We would have ordered more but were too full from breakfast.  The pies were heavenly!!

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The slice of cherry was a nice mix of sweet and tart, with a buttery pecan crumb crust.  The Jack Daniels pecan was sweet and chock full of pecans, with a faint hint of Jack Daniels in the pie syrup.  I am a pie snob, but this was damn good pie!

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My son ordered the banana cream pie and he said it was the best he has ever tasted (in his 16+ years).  The custard was rich with banana and vanilla flavor, and had a layer of fresh cream piled high on top.

We ordered several more pies to take home (for research purposes of course) and I found that I liked the fruit and pecan pies more than the cream pies, but only because the cream pies were so rich!

I’d love to come back again some time and try a few of the other varieties of pie, as well as the dinner menu, which includes steak, ribs, BBQ, and Bradshaw Mountain Oysters (not the oysters from the ocean…you know, bull “oysters”).

If you are taking a trip to Sedona, Flagstaff, or the Grand Canyon, you’ve got to stop at exit 242 off of I-17 and grab yourself some pie!  Rock Springs Cafe Website


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1 comment

Shobha 01/21/2015 at 12:46 pm

Yum! Those pies look great. I might have to try the Jack Daniels pecan too. We went years ago from Phoenix (yes, visiting friends in Scottsdale) up to Sedona pre-kids. We were saying we would have to do the trip again with the kids because we liked it so much! I will bookmark this place because we are a family who would detour for a good pie!


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