Head up north for exceptional local cuisine among the evergreens
Flagstaff isn’t just a pit stop on the way to the Grand Canyon. Nor is it a tourist trap — 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.
413 N. San Francisco St., Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Locally farmed, sustainable, and organic food is the focus of Brix in Flagstaff. 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.
Criollo Latin Kitchen
16 N. San Francisco St., Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Sister restaurant of Brix, Criollo has seasonal menu updates featuring Latin cuisine.
Past favorites included 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.
2500 S. Woodlands Village Blvd., Ste 8, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Another gem tucked away in a strip mall, Delhi Palace offers exceptional Indian cuisine even Londoners rave about. Get the Saag Paneer.
For more information, visit delhipalaceflagstaff.com.
120 N. Leroux St., AZ 86001
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 DB Special Sauce manage the fine balance between a crunchy exterior and a creamy interior. This location is more intimate than that in Tucson and includes a mostly-shaded patio.
For more information, visit diabloburger.com.
FLG Terroir Wine Bar & Bistro
17 N. San Francisco St., Flagstaff, AZ 86001
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.
Macy’s European Coffeehouse & Bakery
14 S. Beaver St., Flagstaff, AZ 86001
This cozy café makes a delightful vegan waffle. The entire menu is quite affordable, making it a great stop to fill up on the way to the Grand Canyon.
For more information, visit macyscoffee.net.
MartAnne’s Burrito Palace
112 E. Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
You won’t leave MartAnne’s hungry — portions are gargantuan. Rancheros, Pork Green Chile and Cheese, and Lunch Chilaquiles will all prepare you well for a long day.
Keep up with MartAnne’s Burrito Palace on Facebook.
Nomads Global Lounge
19 W. Phoenix Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Nomads lives up to the global name with dishes ranging from Yucatán Chicken to African Peanut Stew and Hara Bhara Salmon Cakes.
With $10 dinner entrees, it’s one of the best values you’ll find.
Keep up with Nomads Global Lounge on Facebook.
203 W. Phoenix Ave., Flagstaff, AZ 86001
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.
Proper Meats + Provisions
110 E. Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
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.
Red Curry Vegan Kitchen
10 N. San Francisco St., Flagstaff, AZ 86001
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Red Curry Vegan Kitchen is mostly-authentic Thai and 100% vegan. The Tokyo Roll is a favorite appetizer, and you can’t go wrong with any of the noodles. Tofu, black beans, and red kidney beans are the protein choices for the curries.
For more information, visit redcurryflagstaff.com.
Root Public House
101 S. San Francisco St., Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Though fantastic eats are located throughout San Francisco Street in Flagstaff, 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.
2320 N. Fourth St., Flagstaff, AZ 86004
What started as a tiny drive-thru has transformed into a family restaurant with Cajun, Creole, and barbecue. Visit on Saturday for burnt ends and don’t miss out on the House-seasoned Tots.
For more information, visit satchmosaz.com.
107 N. San Francisco St., Ste 2, Flagstaff, AZ 86A001A
Shift presents elegant, local fine dining in a casual, approachable atmosphere. The menu changes regularly but Pickled French fries were a favorite in the past.
For more information, visit shiftflg.com.
12 E. Route 66, Ste. 104, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Unconventional noodle dishes and cocktails are proudly featured at SoSoba. While they don’t intend to preserve tradition, they do preserve their dedication to local ingredients through farmers markets and CSAs.
Try The Mic Drop — Tonkotsu pork broth and udon creation — or the Tantanmen — spicer broth with ramen noodles and Hoisin ground pork.
For more information, visit nonstopnoodleshop.com.
Tinderbox Kitchen / The Annex Cocktail Lounge / Tourist Home
34 S. San Francisco St., Flagstaff, AZ 86001 / 50 S. San Francisco St., Flagstaff, AZ 86001 / 52 S. San Francisco St., Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Try to grab a seat by the plating area in Tinderbox Kitchen, which features the chef 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.
This article originally was originally published on Tucson Foodie in November 2016.