Glorious red rocks fill the landscape, offering stunning views in every direction. The magnificent beauty of Sedona, Arizona, is breathtaking. No wonder it’s one of the most popular vacation spots in the United States. Known for its mystical vortexes and outdoor adventures, there’s no place like it. Unfortunately, visiting Sedona is going to cost you. Lodging and food costs are expensive in Sedona.
Pro Tip: Many people prefer to stay outside of Sedona in Cottonwood, Arizona, for more affordable lodging.
By and large, Sedona isn’t a place where “inexpensive” and “restaurant” go hand in hand. There are plenty of really good upscale restaurants where you can get a top-notch gourmet meal. But of course, you’ll pay for it. But if you’re like me and looking for good food that doesn’t cost a fortune, you’re in luck. You can find that type of thing in Sedona. We found that typically the less expensive fare is at low-key, casual spots. This was fine by me as most days I was in leggings and hiking boots and didn’t want to get dressed up for dinner after a day on the trails. If you want to save some money and have a good meal, try some of these excellent restaurants while you’re in Sedona.
Note: I was hosted at some of these restaurants. All opinions are my own.
1. Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen
The best happy hour food I’ve ever had! That’s what I got when we stopped into Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen. I honestly didn’t even know it was happy hour. We had just finished a great hike and were hungry! We drove by Picazzo’s and thought we’d give it a try. I am a huge pizza fan, so anytime I see a pizza place, I’m all in. Picazzo’s serves gourmet pizza, Italian specialties, and lots more — including a wide range of gluten-free and vegan options. When the hostess asked if we wanted happy hour at the bar, we took her up on it, although sitting near the outdoor fire pit looked really inviting, too. The bar was covered with menus, the bartender having put out the menus while he had time before the rush hit. Already a good sign! knew he’d be busy once happy hour got into full swing.
The bartender here said he liked the wings and the brie. Brie on a happy hour menu? How intriguing! Let’s be honest, a lot of happy hour food can be subpar so I wasn’t expecting much. I love it when I’m wrong! This brie cheese plate was incredible. Warm brie cheese served with focaccia, apple slices, roasted garlic, and dried fruit, it was delicious. Just really, really impressive to have a super fresh, housemade appetizer dish like this. So totally unexpected. And did I mention that it was less than $10? My husband had the spicy Thai peanut wings and gave a big peanut sauce-covered thumbs up. So whether you’re stopping in for happy hour or want a full sit-down meal, I think you’ll like the options here at this family-owned Arizona small chain restaurant. Good news for all the people out there who have dietary restrictions or just want to eat healthier — Picazzo’s has a full menu dedicated to gluten-free and vegan options. Picaazzo’s may have the best happy hour in Sedona!
2. 89Agave Cantina
Slip into 89Agave Cantina for some of the best fresh Mexican food Sedona has to offer. Sizzling fajitas and cheesy enchiladas are just some of the delicious foods you’ll find here. Try my favorite prickly pear margarita along with some of the freshly made guacamole. To be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of margaritas — it’s something about the tequila that just doesn’t do it for me. That all changed when I sipped my first prickly pear margarita. What is it that makes the prickly pear so good? Whatever it is, goodness awaits at 89Agave. Enjoy the happy hour menu and great views from the patio all afternoon. Open for lunch and dinner, 89Agave is super popular, so you may want to make reservations.
3. The Coffee Pot
We ventured into the Coffee Pot on our initial Sedona trip and had to go back this time. The Coffee Pot is kind of an institution in Sedona. And for good reason. They do breakfast right here. With over 100 omelets (101 to be exact!), they’ve thought of just about every imaginable combination. How does the peanut butter and jelly omelet sound? This time we were really ready for a no-frills, basic breakfast. When I say basic, I don’t mean average. Some days there’s nothing better than a traditional breakfast, and that’s exactly what we had during our most recent visit to the Coffee Pot.
My piping hot basted eggs with a side of turkey sausage, home fries, and toast were delish. My breakfast here, while one of the simplest, was also one of the very best. They’re open for lunch with all the usual suspects on the lunch menu — burgers, sandwiches, and salads, along with a wide selection of Mexican specialties. Also check out their lunch specials such as chicken-style fried steak, meatloaf, and pork chops. A scan of the menu shows that the most expensive thing, the smoked salmon omelet, is less than $15. The Coffee Pot is a perfect place to grab breakfast or lunch, but go early because this place gets crazy busy.
4. Cowboy Club Grille & Spirits
How about some real Western ambiance with your meal? That’s what you’ll find at Cowboy Club Grille & Spirits. A Sedona landmark from way back, the Cowboy Club originally opened in the 1940s as the Oak Creek Tavern. Restored and updated, it was converted into the Cowboy Club in the 1990s. If you’re into Western movies, the Cowboy Club has a fascinating history. Many Western films were made in the area back in the day, and major movie stars were said to have frequented this establishment. Think of legends like John Wayne, Donna Reed, Jimmy Stewart, Robert Mitchem, and even Elvis! From servers in cowboy hats to photos from Old Hollywood Westerns, the Cowboy Club is the spot in Sedona to revel in that Old West charm. The menu offers unique entrees heavy on meat and game, like bison chili, elk chops, and bison pot roast. While some of the items are on the pricey side, you can definitely get a solid lunch or dinner here on a budget. Look for the juicy Club Burger or the Chef’s Mac n’ Cheese with steak tips and bacon. Or, hit their daily Cowboy Hour for specials on appetizers, house fries, and drinks, all very well priced.
5. Moon Dogs Pizza
We already know my opinion about pizza. It’s one of my favorite food groups. I could eat pizza daily and be very happy. But since it’s not the healthiest food on the planet, daily probably is a bad idea. But if I could I would. And I would definitely hit up the casual Moon Dogs Pizza for a couple of slices of the New York-style pizza. They are known as one of the best pizza shops in Sedona and have been here, and family owned, since the early 2000s. The Moon Dogs Classic, which includes pepperoni, sausage, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, and black olives is less than $30 for a large 16-inch pie. That’s a good size pizza that can feed at least three people — maybe more. This is a great deal, especially in Sedona. And if you’re not into pizza, they’ve expanded their menu to include burgers, wings, salads, subs, calzones, and pasta.
6. Layla’s Bakery – Cafe
With a hankering for something sweet, we pulled into Layla’s Bakery one morning to grab some grub. Located right off main drag 89A, Layla’s is open for breakfast and lunch most days of the week. Dine in, outside on the patio, or grab your treats to go at this modern bakery and cafe. With an emphasis on European pastries and other sweet offerings, the menu is surprisingly extensive for a little shop. Prices here are super affordable. Layla’s offers a variety of coffees, freshly made smoothies, and savory items like avocado toast, croissant breakfast sandwiches, and fresh salads. I found just what I was looking for in the scrumptious cannoli.
7. Cafe Jose
With its delicious Mexican food and breakfasts that will fill your belly, Cafe Jose is a favorite of many in Sedona. Serving up huge portions and less wait time than other Sedona hot spots, Cafe Jose deserves a chance to win you over! Check out their dinner specials served almost nightly. Beginning at 4:30 most nights, Cafe Jose offers select dinner specials like prime rib, roast turkey, pot roast, barbecue back ribs, and even seafood night. They also do a great breakfast, serving traditional and authentic Mexican breakfast items like huevos rancheros and tamales with eggs.
Sedona bound? See all our Sedona content, including