Recognized as a favorite Arizona food town, Flagstaff will have you wiping the smile on your face with many cuisine choices. Creative cocktails, award-winning craft beers, and artful seasonal menus combine to give you fantastic restaurants to try in Flagstaff, Arizona.
I was eager to try many of the Flagstaff restaurants based on research before my trip. Because of the limited time in town, I selected a range of prices, services, flavors, and beverages to share with you.
Flagstaff is an amazing culinary experience with over 200 restaurants that offer menus featuring local ingredients and international flavors. This list is numbered for the convenience of the reader, but there is no particular order or ranking.
While I was hosted at some of the restaurants mentioned in this article, the opinions are my own.
Pro Tip: Designated as Arizona’s leading craft beer city by the governor of the State of Arizona, Flagstaff is home to nine craft brewpubs that support one of the city’s key economic development sectors celebrating travel and beer. Collect stickers from the brewpubs on the Brewery Trail passport and exchange the passport at Flagstaff Visitor Center for a commemorative beer glass.
1. Fine Dining And Adult Beverages At Josephine’s Modern American Bistro
Created from seasonal seafood and produce, Josephine’s Modern American Bistro serves American fare. An extensive wine list and frequently updated menu entice diners to the Craftsman Bungalow. The historic house is on the National Historic Register for its architecture.
Encouraged to explore every room before our dinner was served, I was captivated by the simple design and charming décor. Our dining room, painted in a buttery, soft yellow, added to the ambiance with the light cast from the antique floor lamps. The cozy setting was casual and comfortable.
Baklava Baked Brie appeared on the small plates menu, as well as the desserts menu. Soups, side salads, and small plates preceded the main course and included clams and mussels Josefina, and Southwest crab cakes.
For my entrée, I selected the Achiote Smoked Pork Osso Bucco, which is smoked and slow-braised so that the meat melts off the bone on my plate. It was served with polenta and baby vegetables and garnished with a stalk of fresh rosemary.
One of the dazzling desserts to reach our table was the Ricotta Italian Donuts with Vanilla Pastry Cream called Zeppoles. Served with Josephine’s Wild Berry Jam, it was a compelling presentation.
2. Tinderbox Kitchen
The famous Southside Historic District is home to Tinderbox Kitchen, a place to discover a fine dining experience that you won’t find elsewhere. Curated small plates and entrées are meticulously prepared and presented at your table with a flourish.
Cleverly named craft cocktails preceded our meal. The non-alcoholic Jail Bird, Youth Lagoon, and Kill of the Night were tempting. I chose The Gardner because of the unique ingredients. The potion contains a couple of Asian juices, shochu, and yuzu, along with blanc and dry vermouths, green apple, gin, and absinthe. The drink was served in a martini glass, and the flavor was unique and pleasing.
The small plates and entrées are sized for two people and are meant to be shared. With over 100 wine options, the sommelier recommends a perfect wine to pair with the dish you select and presents the cork and tasting with flair.
Our group shared delightful small plates of warm brie with stone fruit, Panzanella with burrata, marinated olives with Marcona almonds, and pork belly with plum sauce and kimchi.
The spectacular American Wagyu Ribeye with Root Vegetables was artfully presented on a striking round platter. I ordered the rack of lamb with sheep yogurt, which was tender and flavorful.
Pro Tip: Be sure to make reservations. The attire is business casual.
3. Annex Cocktail Lounge
A renaissance of the downtown district brought the Annex Cocktail Lounge to life. Originally the abandoned property next door to Tinderbox Kitchen, it now serves as the waiting room for a table at the Tinderbox and features a large patio with heaters.
Every cocktail is a story at the Annex, where it serves world-class drinks, offers irresistible bar snacks, small plates, entrées, and sweets. Annex is proud to say that the cocktail menu rivals any bar from the east coast to the west. The shandies — beer and spirits combined — tempted me.
4. Upscale Hotel Dining At Silver Pine Restaurant And Bar
There is a lot to be said for having meals at your lodging. The high-country hospitality and elevated service found at Little America Hotel are hard to beat. Set among 500 scenic Ponderosa pine-covered acres with easy hiking paths right outside our door, the grounds made it a pleasure to walk off the calories we consumed in the dining room.
Silver Pine Restaurant and Bar offers upscale American cuisine dine-in service with a unique cocktail menu and take-out and hotel delivery.
Dine-In Cocktail Menu
It’s fun trying to decide on the Signature Cocktails. Should I have the Prickly Pear Margarita, The Silver Pine with Arcadia Rosemary Vodka, the Arizona Mule with AZ Grand Canyon Vodka, or the Flagstaff Fashioned with AZ Cave Creek Bourbon? Oh, so many choices! I chose the Arizona Mule served in a traditional copper cup. Did you know that copper keeps the drink cold?
Slow-Roasted Prime Rib of Beef is the daily special served after 5 p.m. Starters include chips and salsa and the light tempura green beans that I had, along with soup and salad. I ordered the Caesar salad and the chicken picatta. Sandwiches and entrées include pasta, poultry, fish, and beef.
It wasn’t easy to choose a dessert. With only three options on the menu, they just happened to be all my favorites — chocolate cake, little America bread pudding, and crème Brule. Our group decided to share the desserts, so we each got a taste to satisfy our sweet tooths.
Healthy starts for breakfast, along with omelets, eggs, griddle cakes, and breakfast sandwiches, make a perfect beginning for the day. I ordered the Avocado Smash Toast served with tiny microgreens making my breakfast a mini work of art, and paired it with my favorite café latte.
5. Pato Thai Cuisine
After completing your Beer Trail Tour, submit your passport to Flagstaff Visitor Center to collect your commemorative beer mug. Walk across historic Route 66 to Pato Thai Cuisine for an authentic, delicious Thai meal.
The pictures in the 12-page menu offer rice, noodles, ala carte, curries, soups, salads, appetizers, and chef specials. I always like to try the Pad Thai to compare it to that dish from other restaurants. This one did not disappoint, and green curry spice and veggie dumplings were a favorite with my companions, too.
6. Dark Sky Brewing Co. & Pizzicletta
Before or after the Friday evening Art Walk or a stage show at the Orpheum in downtown Flagstaff, stop in at Dark Sky Brewing Co. and try a pint in the Taproom. Descriptive names like Key Lime Pie, a gluten-reduced beer on tap, or, the dry, effervescent, and smokey Grodziskie are interesting. Kick off the fall season with the American Stout with notes of roasted coffee, chocolate, and subtle caramel (did you say chocolate and caramel?!)
You can’t drink all that beer without soaking it up with fantastic pizza slices, or DSB starters served onsite by Pizzicletta. Focaccia, a simple or Caesar salad, roasted olives, or prosciutto with house pickles along with pizzas for mushroom lovers, vegans, or honey lovers makes up the inventive menu. Get gelato and wine to go with your pizza if you prefer takeout.
Service was double-quick. Because the two businesses are separate, different servers take your beer and pizza orders. It worked seamlessly because they are efficient and attentive.
7. Lumberyard Brewing Company
Lumberyard Brewing Company, housed in one of the last standing buildings of Flagstaff’s lumber era, this award-winning brewery offers a large patio, a full menu perfect for noshing, as well as beer flights.
Our lunchtime meal began with a beer flight sampling. I chose six out of the nine beers currently available. Five-ounce taster glasses of beer served in a practical cupcake pan were cold and ranged from light lagers to IPAs and full-bodied brews. A guest brew, Ace Blood Orange Cider, tasted citrusy, fruity, and light.
The hearty Vietnamese Burger that I ordered with coleslaw was the perfect pairing with the beer samples. I could hardly resist the Mac’ n Cheese Balls, Flagstaff Brussels Sprouts, and Irish Egg Rolls on the Noshing Menu. The specialties and wings are Lumberyard-unique jazzed up traditional dishes like fish and chips, the sausage platter, and several versions of mac and cheese.
8. Picnic Takeaway: Good Eats On 66
Perfect for the City of Seven Wonders (seven experiences within 10 to 80 miles), Good Eats on 66 makes a terrific picnic takeaway sack lunch. Fresh salads, soups, and dressings from scratch, locally roasted coffee, and smoothies made with real veggies and fruits will fuel your outdoor adventures.
Order a picnic lunch for your daylong visit to all three of Flagstaff Area National Monuments: Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater Volcano, and Wupatki. These national monuments are open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All have a visitor center, bookstore, museum exhibits, walking trails, and picnic areas.
Pro Tip: You can recreate some of the chef-crafted recipes at home. Look for “wipe the smile on your face” web pages at the Discover Flagstaff website.
Try these other Flagstaff area experiences on your next visit: