Rock Springs Cafe
It is not often that I stop at a restaurant that is not directly connected to a hike but when that restaurant has a giant pie sign on the roof I had to make an exception. The Rock Springs Café is a very cool café, known for their pie but the history is what really impressed me.
The Rock Springs Café is one of the coolest historical restaurants that I have found. In the 1800’s this spot was an Yavapai Indian encampment, served as a military bivouac (temporary camp) and was a water stop for miners, cattle drivers and travelers. This all according to the history page of their website.
In 1918, Ben Warner built the first store here to help supply travelers. At that point the stage coach had just been retired and automobiles were the preferred mode of transport. He then built a hotel and general store which opened in 1924.
The “Rock” as it was known was a very popular stop for visitors for 80 years! It continues to be a great stop today! The hotel is no longer active but there are several other buildings around the complex and a large patio behind the café for larger gatherings.
The history is very cool in this old building and you can read up more here if you are interested.
Now the Rock Springs Café may be known for their pies, more on that later, but I was there bright and early looking for some breakfast. I ordered the Big Sky Combo which was 2 pancakes or 2 pieces of French Toast, 2 eggs and 4 slices of bacon.
The breakfast was really good. The eggs were cooked well and the pancakes had that cast iron feel to them and were nice and fluffy. The bacon was out of this world good. This was some of the best bacon I have had in a long time. One thing that helped the meal was some home made hot sauces that were available.
I’m not sure what was better with the sauces, the flavor or the fact they had little cowboy hats as tops!
Now I can’t come all the way to the Rock Springs Café without trying a piece of pie. Pie is good even at seven in the morning, right? I decided on a piece of JD pecan pie. Even this pie has history to it! It was explained that the rumor is that “Uncle JD was chasing Mary around the kitchen and spilled some bourbon in the pie filling” and that is how they came up with the pie!
I will preface this by saying I am not much of a pie person. My palate is limited, other than a slice around Thanksgiving. This pie was so good! The filling was rich with a slight bourbon after taste. The crust was also buttery and overall my only complaint was that I didn’t order a second slice! Rock Springs has several options for pie and you can also order entire pies to go.
Wrapping up Rock Springs Café
My friend Allison recommended that I make the trip to Rock Springs and I am so glad that she did. The restaurant was great and filled with so much history. It had me thinking back to people in the 1900’s driving through this stretch of desert, with no air conditioning, and how wonderful a slice of pie had to taste!
Also, I want to give a shout out to Gaylan who helped me out with breakfast. She helped explain a ton of the history of the area, Mr. Warner, and the café. It was so fun to sit at the bar and chat with her over breakfast about this amazing place. If you find yourself around Phoenix I highly recommend making a stop at the Rock Springs Café.
Finding the Rock Springs Café
The Rock Springs Café is located at 35900 South Old Black Canyon Highway in Rock Springs. If you have driven on Interstate 17 north of Phoenix you have probably seen the building on the side of the road with the giant Pie sign on the top.
I have added this restaurant and all of the restaurants I have been to on my interactive map that you can find here. If you have a suggestion for a restaurant or any comments feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow me on any of the below social media platforms. Bon Appetit!
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What a great stop this was, history, food, friendly people and pie – just doesn’t get any better than that!