The key to this category is "hangout." It's not so much about great coffee, savory sandwiches or a multitude of sweet treats, although Epic has all those things and more. No, it's about the funk. It's about anchoring the north end of Fourth Avenue, that vein of funky gold in Tucson's core. It's about the art that hangs on the walls, the weird stuff hanging from the rafters, and most of all, the funksters who hang out there. On any given day, it's an alternative Who's Who of artists, musicians, activists, students and desert rats. And don't forget the omnipresent guy with the eye patch. Make your next voyage Epic. Stop in for a sarsaparilla float and a good gawk.
2. Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea, 1730 E. Speedway Blvd., 795-0338, www.bentleyscoffeehouse.com
3. Raging Sage, 2458 N. Campbell Ave., 320-5203