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Flagstaff isn’t just a pit stop on the way to the Grand Canyon.
An don’t think of Flagstaff as a tourist trap either — the food scene and dedication to local ingredients has exploded over the past few years, making it worthy of a day trip, or better yet, a full-fledged food vacation.
There’s plenty to check out.
If you miss Proper that recently closed in Tucson, check out its sister flagship restaurant Brix in Flagstaff. Locally farmed, sustainable, and organic food is the focus and the drinking water is purified via reverse osmosis. They also feature a seasonal cut of pork from Tucson-based E & R Pork.
For more information, visit brixflagstaff.com.
Don’t let the inconspicuous strip mall location deceive you. Dedication to local is taken to an extreme at Coppa Cafe. Globetrotting executive chef and co-owner Brian Konefal forages mushrooms in the surrounding forests and cures meat from local farms and ranches. Pastry chef and co-owner Paola Fioravanti showcases the ingredients in her irresistible European pastries and desserts. The multi-course tasting menu is worthy of a food pilgrimage.
Seriously, we can’t say enough good things about this place.
For more information, visit coppacafe.net.
Another sister restaurant of Brix, Criollo features Latin cuisine such as the Cuban braised brisket known as Ropa Vieja and the Brazilian hearty beef and black bean stew Feijoada. They also focus on working with local and regional farmers throughout Arizona and the Four Corners region.
For more information, visit criollolatinkitchen.com.
Flagstaff is home to the original Diablo Burger location, which features the same dedication to quality with every single component of the burger. The Belgian-style frites in herbes de Provence manage the fine balance between a crunchy exterior and a creamy interior. The building interior is more intimate that the location in Tucson and includes a mostly-shaded patio.
For more information, visit diabloburger.com.
While underground bars have a rugged hipness, wine lofts present an elegant hipness. Two flights up a nondescript building, FLG Terroir offers 30 wines by the glass and almost 500 bottles, but don’t miss out on the small plates, ice creams, and sorbet. The Pedro Ximenez Ice Cream is a sherry lover’s dream, especially when paired with a glass of Pedro Ximenez. The seasonal Blueberry Riesling Sorbet is also worth hunting down when available.
For more information, visit flgterroir.com.
Just look at the beautiful leopard spotting on that crust made from slowly fermented dough. A play on the word “bicicletta” which means ‘bicycle’ in Italian, the pizza is out of this world. The space itself is tiny, but you can get a seat at Mother Road Brewing Company just two doors down and your pizza is delivered. It’s a simple, euphoric experience. Salute e buon appetito.
For more information, visit pizzicletta.com.
Meats get the respect they deserve at Proper Meats + Provisions. New York strips and T-bones dry age out back, sausages are made by hand within view, and convenient containers of house-made soup are in the freezer by the entrance. All of the meat is local and easily traced back to the source. For a divine sandwich, order the Warm Aleppo Pepper Pastrami. You can even spoil your canine companion with some of Proper’s high-end dog food.
For more information, visit propermeats.com.
Though fantastic eats are located throughout San Francisco Street, Root Public House captures the San Francisco city dining feel in its gorgeous dining room with large windows that bring in a bounty of natural light. The upstairs patio offers a stunning view of the city and sunset. However, don’t let that distract you from refined, comforting cuisine that supports local farmers, ranchers, vintners, and brewers.
For more information, visit rootpublichouse.com.
Unconventional noodle dishes and cocktails are proudly featured at SoSoba. Don’t forget to start with the addictive Pork Belly Ssam, which includes hoisin glazed pork belly, peanut, avocado, sunomono, radish sprout, and chicharron with butter lettuce. While they don’t intend to preserve tradition, they do preserve their dedication to local ingredients through farmers markets and CSAs.
Next door, The Commerce offers a large chalkboard craft cocktail menu with house infusions, vintage spirits, and other tricks up their sleeve. Their fall seasonal specials incorporate hot coffee to keep you cozy yet buzzing through the night.
Try to grab a seat by the plating area in Tinderbox Kitchen, which features Chef Derek Christensen (@heirloombeardyface on Instagram) facing the dining area while spooning sauces, slicing meats, and garnishing plates with long tweezers. It’s a swift yet precise process that’s mesmerizing to spectate while dining on the “Progressive American Food.” Tinderbox also proudly serves wine from their Companion Vineyard in Cortez, Colorado.
Next door, The Annex Cocktail Lounge features creative cocktails crafted by mixologist Nick Williams. The small plates make it a lovely precursor to a full dining experience at Tinderbox.
One more door over, the third sister establishment Tourist Home opens at 6 a.m. to offer a café experience with breakfast and lunch. It’s easy to get carried away with everything in the pastry display case, but make sure you sample other offerings such as the bread and house-smoked salmon. Gourmet goods such as high-end cheeses and local flours are available for retail sale.
For more information, visit tinderboxkitchen.com.
Where are your favorite places to eat and drink Flagstaff? Let us know in the comments.