For the 50+ Traveler

From the roadside delis to Uptown food courts to fancy sit-down spots, eateries in Sedona tend to have one wonderful feature in common: stellar views.

Owing to Sedona’s magnificent setting, a surprising number of restaurants offer views of the nearby red rocks or Oak Creek Canyon. Many of them feature outdoor patios or large windows that showcase the views.

And, thanks to the city’s nearly 300 days of sunshine per year, Sedona’s patios tend to be year-round features. When I visited in March, several of the patios were enclosed to protect against the brisk breeze, but the views were still splendid.

After a day of sightseeing and hiking on the rugged trails, what could be better than sipping a salty margarita or lunching on a plate of street tacos while gazing into the depths of a sea of red rock formations?

Of course, some of the views are better than others. Here are 10 eateries in the Sedona area with truly spectacular views.

Views from Mesa Grill in Sedona.

1. Mesa Grill

Perched on a mesa high above Sedona, the Mesa Grill features Southwestern favorites served against a backdrop of floor-to-ceiling views of nearby buttes.

The restaurant, which shares a location with the Sedona Airport, is a short walk from the stunning Sedona Airport Overlook that offers a sweeping vista of much of Sedona.

The Mesa Grill is set back a bit from the big view, but it still offers a great vantage point. If the weather allows, ask to be seated in the enclosed patio, where you’ll have an unobstructed view of the distant orange-hued rock wall.

If you arrive in time for breakfast, try the signature steak and green chili grits with a sunny-side-up egg and guacamole, or breakfast tacos with chicken chorizo. At lunchtime, the go-to choice is the fish-and-chips entree featuring Parmesan-crusted red snapper with Creole remoulade. At dinnertime, check out the small plates such as the eggplant meatballs, Baja ceviche, and blistered shishito peppers with garlic-chili spice.

After dining, be sure to take the short walk to the overlook to take in the one-of-a-kind view.

The Indian Gardens Cafe and Market.

2. Indian Gardens Cafe & Market

For more than half a century, the Indian Gardens Cafe & Market has served as a gathering place for travelers on the scenic byway through Oak Creek Canyon. Over the years, it has evolved from a grocery store to a gas station, ice cream parlor, antique store, and sandwich shop.

Today, the vintage 1947-era building houses a lovely little cafe and market that serves trendy breakfast choices such as smoked salmon toast and garden breakfast bowls, as well as creative lunches like bacon brie melt sandwiches and hacienda burritos stuffed with roasted cauliflower, black beans, and roasted green chilis.

The market also offers loaves of fresh Oak Creek sourdough bread and picnic fixings.

Located 4 miles north of Sedona along the Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Road (Highway 89A), Indian Gardens is just across the highway from the tree-lined banks of Oak Creek.

For a great view, sit in the cafe's charming back courtyard, where tables are arranged at the base of one of Sedona’s famous red rocks.

3. Cress On Oak Creek

A creekside setting awaits at L’Auberge de Sedona’s Cress on Oak Creek, a fine-dining establishment situated on the wooded bank of the meandering creek.

As a part of the L’Auberge de Sedona resort and nature spa, the restaurant taps into the luxury of the exclusive spot located in the heart of Sedona.

For breakfast, try a “morning banana split” featuring muesli, dates, berries, hemp seeds, and almond butter -- or an Arizona mesquite marbled waffle with toasted pepitas, berries, and puffed wild rice. Or for something savory, try the specialty Three Sisters Tostada, served with beans, roasted corn, seasonal squash, a corn tortilla, and apple-braised pork belly.

In the evening, Cress on Oak Creek offers an ever-evolving price-fixed menu featuring influences from Spain, Italy, and France.

The Oak Creek Brewery and Grill in Sedona.

4. Oak Creek Brewery And Grill

A casual taproom setting, a second-story patio looking out onto a beautiful red rock view, and local craft beer combine to make the Oak Creek Brewery and Grill one of Sedona’s most popular gathering spots for locals and visitors alike.

Located in the Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village, the Oak Creek Brewery features pub fare such as burgers, wings, wood-fired pizzas, and fries. For something different for dinner, try the street skewers with chicken, beef, or shrimp served with basmati-walnut wild rice.

Top it all off with a local craft beer such as an Oak Creek Amber Ale, Village Nut Brown Ale, or Snake Charmer IPA.

89Agave Cantina in Sedona.

5. 89Agave Cantina

Located in the heart of Uptown Sedona, 89Agave Cantina offers authentic Mexican fare with a streetside red rock view.

Guests can choose from either an inside Mexican-art-inspired cantina atmosphere or an outdoor patio buzzing with a fun Uptown vibe.

For starters, be sure to try a basketful of Oaxaca-style chili-dusted corn chips with a trio of salsas. Follow that up with an order of double-tortilla street tacos filled with green chili chicken with tomatillo salsa, spicy pico de gallo, and watermelon relish.

If you're looking for something on the lighter side, try the grilled street corn with chipotle aioli or a Mexican chopped salad topped with cilantro lime vinaigrette and avocado.

For an afternoon treat in the warm Sedona sun, order an Uptown Paloma margarita featuring citrus-infused tequila and grapefruit soda and served up in a glass rimmed with grainy salt and pepper.

Famous Pizza and Beer in Sedona.

6. Famous Pizza & Beer

After a day of hiking or mountain biking the trails around Bell Rock or Cathedral Rock, a pizza-and-beer break is definitely in order.

Famous Pizza & Beer, located right along Highway 179 in Village of Oak Creek, offers a range of red pies, specialty pies, and white pies. Try the Great White Buffalo with chicken, Buffalo sauce, red onions, and blue cheese, or the margherita with fresh mozzarella and fresh basil.

If you need more incentive, consider the views. Famous Pizza is located amidst the red rocks, and its patio offers a close-up view of the nearby Courthouse Rock.

For a fun happy hour, try a local amber ale and an order of beer-battered onion rings.

7. Canyon Breeze

Views don’t get much better than the one from the patio at Canyon Breeze. Perched over a canyon in the center of Uptown Sedona, the patio showcases not just the surrounding red rocks but the lively Uptown scene as well.

Playing off the sweet breezes that blow in off the red rocks, Canyon Breeze also includes a massive open-air food court.

Canyon Breeze’s menu features more than 70 items, including brick-fired oven pizzas, burgers, salads, sandwiches, Mexican cuisine, ice cream, and smoothies.

If you’ve worked up an appetite after a day of outdoor activity, try the Vortex Nachos Supreme -- a mound of house-made tortilla chips topped with shredded chicken, Cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream, and guacamole. For something lighter, try a veggie wrap with lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, red onions, Swiss cheese, and hummus.

The comfortable bar located in front of a window is a great spot for a beer and an appetizer. Or for a sweet treat, Sabrina’s Gourmet Ice Cream offers a range of flavors, from brownie to pistachio almond.

The Secret Garden Cafe in Sedona.

8. Secret Garden Cafe

A garden setting, European-style cuisine, and premium wines make the Secret Garden Cafe a captivating spot for lunch or dinner.

Located just inside the northern entrance of the Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village, the Secret Garden Cafe has the added benefit of red rock views in the distance.

The cafe is known for fresh, healthy cuisine, such as sliders made with grass-fed beef, chicken corn tostadas topped with homemade salsa and avocado, shrimp puttanesca, and a traditional vegan chile relleno.

Billed as a spot where elegant simplicity meets sophisticated contemporary, the cafe features an intimate, light-filled space inside -- complete with a wine bar -- and a relaxing year-round garden patio amidst a colorful flower garden.

Open Range Grill and Tavern in Sedona.

9. Open Range Grill And Tavern

Among the most sought-after lunch spots on a sunny Sedona day, the Open Range Grill and Tavern offers contemporary American cuisine and cantina favorites in a relaxed environment.

Located on the top level of the Sinagua Plaza shopping center in Uptown Sedona, the restaurant features a temperature-controlled patio as well as an open-range-inspired dining room. Both offer unbeatable red rock views.

For lunch, start with Open Range’s signature cornbread -- rich with corn, sweet green chili, and cheese, and served warm with house-made prickly pear butter -- and finish with a Sedona chopped salad featuring romaine lettuce tossed with a creamy cilantro lime dressing with tomatoes, red onion, avocado, roasted corn, sunflower seeds, and cotija cheese. The ranch-style menu also offers a range of steaks and barbecued ribs.

A fruit ice cream bar from La Michoacana Dulce Passion.

10. La Michoacana Dulce Passion

Along with the wide array of food and drink, Sedona offers many spots for unique desserts, including the colorful handcrafted Mexican-style ice cream bars (paletas) and refreshing fresh fruit bars at La Michoacana Dulce Passion.

Located on the upper floor of the Sinagua Plaza, the shop looks out on a gorgeous red rock canyon. For a treat infused with fresh fruit, try the strawberry and cream bar garnished with a fresh strawberry slice.

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