Flagstaff, Arizona, elevation 7,000 feet above sea level, is known as the City of Seven Wonders because seven spectacular experiences are within 10 to 80 miles of the city. With 200 Flagstaff restaurants in the area, from fine dining to picnic-to-go experts, many exciting feasts await the eager traveler along historic Route 66.
Visiting other destinations in Arizona? Check out our other guides:
- 15 Best Restaurants in Prescott, Arizona
- 7 Sedona Restaurants With a View
- 10 Fun Things To Do In Goodyear Arizona
- 6 Must-Try Glendale Restaurants
- Route 66
- Brewery Trail
- Mother Road Brewing Company
- Alpine Pedaler
- Flagstaff Restaurants
Historic Route 66, one of the most famous roads in America, was established in 1926. It’s also known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road. Originating in Chicago, Illinois, and terminating in Santa Monica, California, Route 66 is memorialized in a song (Get Your Kicks on Route 66), a television series (Route 66), and a novel (John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath).
Originally, Route 66 covered 401 miles in Arizona. Not to be forgotten, Route 66 memorabilia keeps the memory alive in Flagstaff.
I certainly got my kicks on Route 66!
Click here to check out our guide to the 11 best restaurants along Route 66!
Seated as a leading Arizona Craft Beer City, Flagstaff brags about the vibrant Brewery Trail with well-earned rights. National recognition comes with honors from the World Beer Championships and the Great American Beer Festival for the nine craft breweries in town.
1300 E. Butler Avenue // 928-774-0492
This impassioned craft beer maker resides on a lost portion of Route 66 that symbolizes the Marquess family’s journey in beer making, motoring, and history.
Mother Road Brewing Company not only makes excellent craft beer, however. They are sincere stewards of the land and build community one pint at a time. For every can of Conserve and Protect Golden Ale sold, they donate a portion of the proceeds to the Arizona Game and Fish Department to help with the on-the-ground conservation of over 800 species. If that isn’t reason enough to tip a pint, the slightly fruity flavor and nice head packaged in an infinitely recyclable can, make it worth trying.
Tours start at Hops on Birch or Collin’s Irish Pub // 928-213-9233
The Alpine Pedaler is a fleet of human-powered pedal bicycles–either a trolley that seats 7-14 passengers or a smaller six-passenger bike. All bikes come equipped with a driver/guide, a sound system, LED lights, water to drink, cup holders, and a cooler. See the fun here! You can bring your beer or wine on the historic downtown Flagstaff tour.
Tours last about two hours and make three stops which you select when you arrive. Alpine Pedaler partnered with several local bars, shops, and restaurants in downtown Flagstaff and provides you with discounts.
See also Lumberyard Brewery and Dark Sky Brewing Co. listed below.
I was introduced to several Flagstaff restaurants and was hosted for some meals. Others, I discovered and planned my visits before arrival. These Flagstaff restaurants are in no order and are not rated in the order presented.
All opinions are my own.
Be sure to check the websites listed for open hours, as times may have changed since my visit.
Little America Hotel // 2515 E. Butler Avenue // 928-779-7950
The convenience of dining at the same place where a cozy and restful hotel room awaited at the end of the day was an enormous treat. Moreover, the extensive Silver Pine Restaurant menu at this upscale restaurant was a welcome pleasure and very satisfying. The service was excellent and accommodating.
One of the best parts of my experience at Little America in the Silver Pine Restaurant was the Dine-In Cocktail Menu. No driving restrictions after such a nice meal and signature cocktails was an unusual pleasure.
While challenged with a decision between all the craft cocktail choices, I chose the Arizona Mule. Locally brewed beers on tap and bottled beers are on the menu. Wines served by the glass come from Italy, California, and Argentina.
My dinner choice was the Chicken Picatta with the lemon white wine butter sauce. Flavored with capers and served with pasta and steamed vegetables, the dish was very satisfying.
Chocolate cake, bread pudding with rum sauce, and my favorite, Crème Brule, was the perfect end to the enjoyable meal.
In the morning, I chose a modest breakfast of poached eggs dressed artfully with microgreens and an order of avocado toast sprinkled with poppy and sesame seeds. It presented a simple, healthy, and delicious meal to start the day.
2400 E. Rt. 66 // 928-679-9818
If you need a picnic lunch for your excursion to the National Monuments located a short drive outside Flagstaff, order online and pick up your order before leaving town. Get one for the road–a sack lunch, that is.
The original breakfast and lunch menu is local, fresh, and delicious. The folks at Good Eats on 66 don’t take shortcuts in food preparation where soups and dressings are made from scratch, smoothies are made with real fruits and veggies, and the coffee is roasted locally.
The Neta Bee–a Lavender Latte combination of espresso, honey, lavender syrup, and milk, was calling my name. A multitude of drink extras and a choice of milk allows for a perfect combination.
Some favorites on the menu include a Waldorf Salad, Mexican Chop Salad, or the Hog Wild Waffle w/Fruit Salad, along with Avocado Toast and an Italian Sandwich.
Pro tip: If you visit the monument trio, Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater Volcano, and Wupatki, Walnut Canyon is your best picnic option. After a challenging hike on the Island Trail, gather your picnic sacks and relax at one of the many picnic tables near the ranger station.
34 S. San Francisco St. // 928-226-8400
Tinderbox Kitchen offers a dining experience that you won’t find anywhere else. They emphasize meticulously curated entrees and take great pride in presenting them at the table. The waitstaff is knowledgeable and exceedingly adept at delivering high-quality service.
The meals are meant to be shared (small plates and entrees sized for two) and paired with the perfect wine (over 100 wine options).
Perfectly crafted cocktails are cleverly named like the non-alcoholic Jail Bird, or Youth Lagoon, and Kill of the Night. I chose The Gardner that came in a martini glass along with a unique and pleasing taste. The potion includes gin, shochu, blanc & dry vermouths, green apple, absinthe, and yuzu.
During the Small Plates course, my tablemates and I shared Warm Brie with Stone Fruit, Burrata with beets, pistachio, and elderflower balsamic, and Marinated Olives with Marcona almonds.
Main courses served at our table included the stunning Bistro Filet with truffle parmesan frites, asparagus, and soubise, and the Seared Scallops with red curry, pineapple, cilantro, and sesame. I chose the Rack of Lamb with baby carrots, sheep yogurt, and pine nuts. Prepared medium-rare, the meat was tender and succulent.
50 S. San Francisco St. // 928-779-2811
The Annex, originally the abandoned property next door to the Tinderbox Kitchen, is the waiting room for a table at the Tinderbox. Annex Cocktail Lounge has taken on a life of its own since the founder, Kevin Heinonen, opened the fine dining restaurant next door in 2009.
Open daily from 3 pm, Annex Cocktail Lounge, where every cocktail is a story, offers world-class drinks, special bar fare, a huge patio, and high standards of hospitality. Irresistible bar snacks, entrees, and sweets combine with the craft cocktail menu that rivals any bar from New York to San Francisco.
Shandies are beer and spirits combinations that I wish I would have sampled.
5 S. San Francisco St. // 928-779-2739
This small independent brewery and brewpub located in downtown Flagstaff, Lumberyard Brewing Co., offers nine brews on tap, an Ace Blood Orange Space cider (light, flavorful, and refreshing), and a memorable menu with all sorts of noshing possibilities.
Chicken wings, with or without bones, or breaded cauliflower are served dry with nine different sauce options. Attention-grabbing appetizers like flash-fried Brussels sprouts, mac & cheese balls, nachos, chili, and a soup of the moment make up the “fast” part of the menu.
A large selection of burgers and sandwiches (I ordered the Vietnamese Burger) shares space with the Specialties (five of which are exciting versions of Mac and Cheese), Fish & Chips, and Sausage Platter.
Flights of six beers, selected by the guests from nine possibilities, are an excellent way to sample the craft beers on tap. A laminated sheet lists the beer names and descriptions numbered according to their placement in the ingenious cupcake pan used to serve the flight.
503 N. Humphreys St. // 928-779-3400
American fare at Josephine’s Modern American Bistro is created from seasonal seafood and produce. Chef of the Year, Tony Cosentino, entices diners with a frequently updated menu and an extensive wine list.
The Craftsman Bungalow that houses Josephine’s is on the National Historic Register for its architecture. I was encouraged to explore every room and was fascinated by the charming décor. The soft buttery yellow paint in our dining room and antique floor lamps lent a softly lit ambiance to the casual and comfortable setting.
Small plates and soups and side salads precede the entrees. Tempting dishes like Clams and Mussels Josefina or Baklava Baked Brie could be a meal in themselves. However, I held out for the Achiote Smoked Pork Osso Bucco, a smoked and slow-braised pork shank in Achiote Demi-Glace. The meat fell off the bone and melted in my mouth.
Suppose one had room for dessert after this outstanding meal. In that case, you could select Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie, Limoncello Cheesecake, Zeppoles (ricotta Italian donuts with house-made wild berry jam), and more. Coffee drinks are on the menu with ports and dessert wines, Cognac and Brandy, 12-year-old Scotch and Whiskey, as well as top-shelf versions of the same.
Josephine’s Modern American Bistro, voted Best of Flag 2020 by the Arizona Daily Sun Readers, is open daily, and brunch is first come, first served.
Dark Sky Brewing Co. does what they do best – brew and serve craft beer in Downtown Flagstaff. Giving the nod to the famous First International Dark Sky City, the craft beer selection is “as unique and beautiful as every star, meteor, and comet” seen from their backyard. A descriptive Dark Sky mural decorates the front of their building, celebrating astronaut contributions to the region.
Dark Sky Brewing Co. teamed up with Pizzicletta, which serves delicious pizzas along with craft beer. With both businesses co-located in the same building, service is quick and friendly. Two servers take care of each table–one for the beer orders and one for the pizza orders. The servers explain the beer and pizza relationship to new customers.
Eleven beers on tap are an assortment of lagers, pale ales, IPAs, barrel-aged stouts, and porters.
Dark Sky Brewing Co., voted Best of Flag 2020 by the Arizona Daily Sun Readers, is open from noon to 10 pm daily.
Pizzicletta starters include salads, roasted olives, focaccia, and prosciutto served with house pickles. Pizza selections include pepperoni, mushroom, vegan, Margherita, and the Bee’s Knees that boasts mozzarella, mascarpone, sausage, sage, and local honey. They even serve pints of Gelato.
I ate a delicious Pizzicletta combination pizza shared with my travel colleagues at an outside table as we wound down for the day.
20 E. Route 66 // 928-213-1825
The unique interior décor of painted weathered doors and a crystal chandelier give this delightful Thai cuisine restaurant an eye-catching ambiance.
Pato Thai Cuisine serves traditional dishes like curry, fried rice, spicy noodles, and pad Thai that you can order with spiciness levels from 1 to 5. My favorite, pad Thai, is always a must-try. This order did not disappoint. My lunch companions were also pleased with their veggie dumplings and green curry dishes.
Appetizers include items like four pieces of Satay Chicken, grilled and marinated chicken on skewers. A healthy choice for lunch paired with a seaweed salad offers an excellent option for a low-carb meal.
Chef Specials offer flavorful options in chicken, short ribs, pasta, fish, and seafood.
Pato Thai Cuisine, voted Best of Flag 2020 by the Arizona Daily Sun Readers, is open for lunch and dinner.
Northern Arizona University–Starship Robots
There’s an app for that!
If you work, teach, or are a student at the NAU Flagstaff campus, food can be ordered on the app and delivered directly to you by a robot. A fleet of 30 robots, through a partnership between Starship Technologies and Sodexo (who oversees dining services at more than 700 colleges and universities), deliver meals and snacks from on-campus restaurants. When I was there, deliveries were limited to the area around the campus commons.
While Starship Robots are not directly related to Flagstaff restaurants that are open to everyone, it is worth mentioning because of their uniqueness and growing popularity. The entertainment factor alone made me feel like I was Lost in Space or watching the robots “perform” flawlessly in a Star Wars movie.
Many great dining options abound in the City of Seven Wonders. This land of discovery and beauty is matched only by its vast casual and fine dining mix in Flagstaff restaurants.
Which of these Flagstaff restaurants do you most want to try? Let us know in the comments section below!
Julie Diebolt Price is a professional photographer, educator, travel writer, and journalist. She helps corporations and solo entrepreneurs establish their brands with imagery and business training. She educates and mentors aspiring photographers. As a journalist who loves to travel, she creates memorable experiences and shares them with words and pictures. Learn more at linktr.ee/PhotoTravelWrite.