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If you think about it, the MSA Annex is like a treasure map of gift shops, craft beers, cocktails, and veggie burgers, but if you head to the center there’s a cafe that marks the spot.

Since its grand opening in October 2019, Décibel Café Works served coffee to regulars or those just passing by, and now the kitchen is lighting a menu it will help you start your day.

Breakfast Bowl (Photo courtesy of Decibel Coffee Works)

Presentation of Decibel Kitchen

Much has happened in the past year, giving the popular cafe the chance to become a breakfast and lunch destination just west of downtown.

So if your stomach is growling and you crave more than a hot or cold cup of coffee, the chef Michael larson serves breakfast bowls, toast, sandwiches and more every day from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Décibel Café Works

Photo courtesy of Decibel Coffee Works on Facebook

In addition, fresh pastries come out of the oven every day too, from the pastry chef Karen Renda, who landed one of his first pastry concerts alongside Chef Larson at Welcome dinner.

A sweet match made in the kitchen

Larson and Renda met while working at Welcome Diner and eventually moved to San Francisco, where they both served the goods at Cave Domenico & Osteria in Silicon Valley. Once the pandemic took hold in the restaurant industry, the couple returned to Tucson and offered themselves an even sweeter opportunity – Decibel kitchen.

Décibel Café Works

Photo courtesy of Decibel Coffee Works

In Chef Larson’s eyes, Pastry Chef Renda’s cooking is “nostalgic with a twist”, much like the Chonkin ‘Chip savory cookies.

“She loves to showcase seasonal ingredients,” Larson said. “More recently, your nose would be delighted to find the smells of KuBlack sesame mquat scones and Blood orange goat cheese scones, mingling with the smell of sticky, stuffed with marshmallow, Rocky Road Cookies which happens to be gluten free.

When it comes to Chef Larson’s influences, they’re diverse enough to show he’s eaten across the world over the years. Although, despite all the travel, its roots lie in the Pacific Northwest.

Currently, on the menu, it will not take long for your gaze to fixate on the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with Granny Smith Blueberry & Apple Espresso BBQ Sauce. The pork is prepared with a blend of spices and smoked on site for nine hours, bringing a “sophisticated elevation to hearty house-style classics.”

Décibel Café Works

Photo courtesy of Decibel Coffee Works

See that sauce dripping from the sandwich? It’s Decibel’s own espresso mixed with blueberries to create the barbecue sauce.

“I specialize in sauces,” Larson said. “Speaking of sauce, if you like it hot, you have to try this homemade hot sauce. I emulsify the habanero, carrot and vinegar to make it light and airy, coating the tongue with a blanket of heat.

He also recommends that if spicy is not your cup of joe, and you prefer to live a lighter life, try it Green Goddess Avocado Toast.

“Guacamole takes on a whole new herbaceous dimension with the addition of herbs like tarragon, basil and scallion,” Larson said. “The whole toast is a fun chromatic green, topped with crispy Brussels leaves, delicate pea shoots, Parmesan shavings and fried garlic.”

Décibel Café Works

Photo courtesy of Decibel Coffee Works

Weekend specials

In addition to the regular menu, Decibel Kitchen offers weekly weekend specials that alternate between vegan and non-vegan dishes. You will want follow them on Instagram for specials because they are usually posted on Friday afternoons.

Decibel Coffee Works is located at 267 S. Avenida Del Convento. For more information call (520) 838-0750 or visit

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