Phoenix, AZ

Get to know Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe in Phoenix

Sandy Casariego

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Alyssa li

PHOENIX, AZ — Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe is known among the locals for serving classic southern-style food for almost 60 years.

Over the years, Mrs. White has served its famous oxtails, pork chops, and fried chicken recipes to generations of customers, from local residents to professional athletes and celebrities to politicians and government officials. Some of the regulars at her cafe are James Brown, Devin Booker, Jesse Jackson, and late Senator John McCain.

Elizabeth White, a single mother of four, moved to Phoenix from her hometown in Texas when the parts of the city were segregated. The situation determined who someone could work with based on their skin color.

Mrs. White saw things differently and undismayed with the situation and opened her first restaurant in 1964, which was first located at 1029 E. Jefferson St.

“We trusted everyone the same. Color didn’t make any difference to me. God knows your heart.” White recalled.

The restaurant moved to 808 E. Jefferson St. in 1976 and used to open for 24 hours a day. With its popularity, many restaurants try to copy her concept but Mrs. White stays true to her homemade recipes and simple decor.

The cafe has thrived through many challenges, including economic recessions, civil rights movements, Valley Metro Rail construction, and now, the COVID-19 pandemic. Mrs. White believes her success is the result of her original way of serving generous, old-fashioned comfort food.

“You have to be consistent in the recipes, in the amounts you give,” she explains.

Today, the cafe is run by Mrs. White’s son, Larry White Sr. together with his daughter, Kianna. While his son, Larry White Jr., expand the business by opening the Monroe’s Hot Chicken, Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles, and Brunch & Sip.

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