Just outside Flagstaff, Sedona has stunning red rocks surrounding it and spectacular sunrises and sunsets. The food scene in this Arizona city doesn’t disappoint either, with nationally recognized restaurants and plenty of authentic, delicious Mexican food. Whether you’re celebrating, making a stop between hikes or grabbing a bite between gallery and museum visits, here’s our pick of the best restaurants in the city.
James Beard-nominated chef Jeff Smedstad’s extensive travels through Oaxaca, Veracruz and Puebla inspired the menu at this Sedona favorite, replete with upscale versions of traditional dishes designed to lead you through a gastronomic journey. Opt for the namesake elote (grilled Mexican street corn), followed by smoked pork cheeks served atop a corn cake with cascabel chili sauce. There’s also the mouthwatering 14-hour smoked brisket enchiladas. Pair these detailed dishes with a robust aged tequila or mezcal.
Ranked among the 100 most scenic restaurants in the United States on OpenTable, Mariposa offers sunset views along the red rocks and a famed Latin-inspired menu. Operated by local celebrity chef Lisa Dahl, this fine-dining restaurant’s menu features sustainably sourced, organic ingredients that constitute a trip to South America, most notably in dishes such as the handmade empanadas and the rack of lamb. And for the vino? Mariposa can lay claim to more than 600 bottles of wine.
In the 1940s (and beyond), the celebrity favorite Oak Creek Tavern was the original social center in Sedona – the spot to snack and be seen – and today, as the Cowboy Club, it retains this status. Cowboy-era charm permeates this family-friendly steakhouse, complete with western memorabilia and art, a striking antler chandelier, cozy fireplaces and leather furnishings. Stay traditional with a prime top sirloin, or venture to a culinary Wild West with the elk chops, dry-aged bison rib eye and cactus fries.
Dahl and Di Luca Ristorante
First, settle in against a backdrop of old-world artwork, extravagant floral arrangements and crystal chandeliers, romantic dim lighting, silky table settings and burnished tones. Next, peruse Dahl and Di Luca’s dazzling classic Italian menu, featuring moreish dishes such as fresh pasta, veal and tiramisu. The overall experience is one of delicacy perfectly balanced with sophistication. The wine list elicits nods of awed approval all around, and live piano music completes the ambience at chef Lisa Dahl’s fine-dining ristorante.
Tamaliza Cafe ups the ante on farm-to-table dining concepts – this unassuming dining joint sits inside a former house and grows its flavorful herbs on-site. The restaurant features simple and authentic tamales to serve all tastes, with delicious vegan and vegetarian options alongside meat-forward items. The recipes here have been passed down through generations of great chefs and continue to stand the test of time.
René at Tlaquepaque
If you’re treating someone to a special evening of elegance, visit the famed René at Tlaquepaque, where classic French fine dining is fused expertly with Southwestern twists for an adventurous yet always refined menu. The chicken piccata and Colorado rack of lamb beg to be sampled. Surrounded by head-turning sycamore trees, René’s classic Mexican courtyard and bubbling fountains complete the stylish ambience.
The Hudson has not one but two coveted dining options: a scenic deck overlooking the red rocks surrounding Sedona and a cozy industrial-chic dining room. The relaxed neighborhood restaurant’s menu proposes elevated comfort food, including an extensive “pick three” bruschetta offering, Fireball chicken wings, gourmet salads and prickly-pear ribs. While you’re here, try to work your way through at least some of the delights on the craft cocktail menu – excellent value during happy hour.
Tucked within the Enchantment Resort, Tii Gavo’s expansive, firepit-lined outdoor terrace is a lovely gathering place among the striking landscape. Choose your own adventure – perhaps regional tamale bowls filled with mole-braised short rib, summer squash or chili shrimp. And order the house-made fresh guacamole, along with a couple of prickly-pear margaritas. Reservations are recommended for the coveted outdoor tables.
ChocolaTree Organic Oasis
ChocolaTree Organic Oasis comprises a spiritual-wellness center, a health-food restaurant, an Airbnb and a coffee shop, creating a special destination. With an entirely 100 percent organic vegetarian menu, including many vegan and raw options, it remains passionate about caring for Mother Earth. Also, its small cacao farm produces chocolates devoid of processed sugar and gluten. If you’re en route to go hiking, snag something from the deli case for the road.
Coffee Pot Restaurant
You might know this place from its appearances on the Travel Channel and Food Network. It’s a charming family-owned restaurant radiating a classic diner atmosphere and presenting a menu with a few twists. It dishes up 101 omelets, ranging from the traditional (bacon and cheese) to the downright bold (jelly, peanut butter and banana). The extensive menu also features a whole stack of authentic Mexican dishes – so come with a big appetite.
Looking for more recommendations? Why not spend a relaxing weekend away at one of the best wellness retreats in Sedona or find a customized stay at one of these hotels suited for every traveler. Looking for more privacy? Maybe one of these vacation rentals is the place for you. Best of all, you can book right here on Culture Trip. There’s plenty to do in the day, too; discover the top things to do in Sedona or how to fill a day with family-friendly activities.
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