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Flagstaff Dining


I am wondering if I can get some input from some Arizona Hounds. Contemplating a move and wondering what the food scene is like in Flagstaff. I am not too concerned with upscale resturaunts, but was wondering if there are good places to eat in Flag covering a variety of cusines.

Thanks in Advance,

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  1. I kept hoping all day that someone would respond to you because I'm planning on moving there.

    I can tell you from my experience is that the dining in Flag will be more limited than that of a bigger city. There are the usual suspects: sushi, Thai, Mexican, Chinese, and Indian, but fewer restaurant choices. My favorite Indian place closed to move to Scottsdale. :-( The Thai restaurant (south of the RR tracks--can't remember the name) has been good imo.

    For fine dining Flagstaff style (which you mentioned isn't a priority), the Cottage Place http://www.cottageplace.com/ seems to get nice reviews; I've eaten and enjoyed Josephine's too http://www.josephinesrestaurant.com/.

    There are a few wine bars, at least one brewery that I know of, and a variety of coffee shops (including Starbucks). I ate at Cuvee 928 recently http://www.cuvee928winebar.com/ and I really liked the casual atmosphere and I thought the food was really good -- $9 for a brisket sandwich with a bleu cheese fondue; it was delicious.

    Overall, Flag is very laid back and casual. I feel like my internal engine is running a 100 mph compared to people in Flag. (I live in Phoenix.) I love visiting, and I tell myself I'll cook more when I move there.

    If you move there or visit, please share what you find out! I'll be up there the weekend of May 12. I usually don't eat out because my sister cooks, but if I do, I'll share.

    1. I haven't eaten at many places in Flagstaff (my secret shame since I love the town), but I have had good to great food at:

      Mike and Rhonda's (the one on Route 66, not the one on Milton) - Breakfasts are sizable and delicious.

      Stromboli's (Italian) - Nothing fancy or creative, but decent pasta.

      Beaver Street Brewery - A local brewpub that is a big favorite.

      Bun Huggers - I love their hamburgers and cheese fries. They charcoal grill your burger in front of you and you trim it as you wish.

      Phoenix Magazine just did a feature on some high-end Flagstaff restaurants and gave nods to Cuvee 928, Brix Restaurant and Wine Bar, and Karma Sushi.

      1. I am not too concerned with upscale resturaunts, but was wondering if there are good places to eat in Flag covering a variety of cusines.

        Sure, loads of 'em - just do a search! I'm into Asian food myself and Flag has the best Chinese buffet in the state, the best Thai, very good (east) Indian, and lots and lots of others. Being a combo college town, rez town, and international tourist stopoff on the way to the Canyon, plus now a Mexican population, it's got much more interesting restaurants than most towns its size.

        3 Replies
        1. re: werewolf

          I didn't know about the Chinese buffet! My sister's family often goes there, and I kind of laughed inside (my snobby PHX side). But I'm glad to hear about it!

          Thanks for opening my eyes too!

          1. re: AzChelle

            It's the Szechuan Chinese Rest. accross the main drag (Rt. 66/Milton) from the Bookman's mall.

            1. re: werewolf

              Thanks for the info! I am just at the research point now. I used to live in Phoenix (live in San Diego now) so I have been in the area a bunch of times, however I never stayed to long. I want to try to get out there in the next couple of months, I will let you know what I find out.

              I did find some good info via search after I posted to original message.

              Thanks Again,

        2. I've been living in Flagstaff for about 10 1/2 years now and I can say that I NEED a trip to Phoenix once a month to feed my inner foodie. That said, here are my comments.

          The Flagstaff food scene has been primarily outdoor, hiking loving people's grub for quite some time (not that it's bad--there's good food to be had) with a couple notable exceptions. The Cottage Place has been a long time stand out, but not someplace you go every day. Definitely special occasion food.

          In the past year we have had several new restaurants open that are part of the changing food environment here. Cuvee 928 is the new wine bar that has been mentioned in a few other posts. Also, Brix (no relation to the original Brix which closed around 1996) is another moderately upscale new addition. I believe the chefs at both locations are alumni of Josephine's, which has become a Flagstaff standard for restaurants.

          Karma is one of several sushi bars in town, but has been described as "Flagstaff's Scottsdale Sushi bar." It definitely has a look and feel unlike most of the other Japanese places in town. Most people either love the place or hate it. I happen to enjoy it mostly because it's the only place in town that you can get real wasabi grated with your sashimi.

          I have to disagree with the post about Asian food, but I'm Chinese and a Chinese cooking instructor, so I'm a snob. I don't eat Chinese food in Flagstaff if I can avoid it, but when I do, I prefer Lu's Mandarin Buffet because they have Mongolian barbecue. Thai food is mediocre in town. There's no Vietnamese, and the little Korean place is acceptable in a pinch. The Indian place is okay, as long as you're willing to put up with really spotty service. We seem to have more than our share of Japanese, all of which seem to serve the same menu, with the exception of Karma.

          Mexican food is surprisingly lackluster in Flagstaff, so I usually wait and head to Tucson or Yuma for that.

          We have our share of chains, although much less than Prescott.

          As for supplies, we have two kitchen stores, but neither one has a huge selection. Any gourmet foods you have to be able to buy at Safeway, since we don't really have any gourmet food stores, although there's a new, teeny-tiny fine foods store that just opened.

          And you'll quickly make friends in Flag if you say this before driving to Phoenix: "Trader Joe's run! What do you need?"

          You can do a search on stand outs in Flagstaff on this board, but to summarize, I think Flagstaff is a "chow-puppy" community right now, rather than a "chowhound" community. We're getting there.

          Hope that helps.
          Alice in Flag

          1 Reply
          1. re: AlFerris

            "Karma is one of several sushi bars in town, but has been described as "Flagstaff's Scottsdale Sushi bar." It definitely has a look and feel unlike most of the other Japanese places in town. Most people either love the place or hate it. I happen to enjoy it mostly because it's the only place in town that you can get real wasabi grated with your sashimi."

            Real wasabi! That is rare. I must try it. I don't know anyplace in Tucson or Phoenix that has real wasbai, even the great Sushi Ken, Ahwataukee (nee Sushi Ten, Tucson). Why do some people hate Karma?

            I wanted to like that Korean place - Corea - the owner is friendly and he has neat signs on the wall about authentic Korean food - but I didn't find the quality acceptable the few times I went there.

            I strongly disagree with you about the Mandarin Buffet (that's the place on the east side of the road next to the (good!) health food store, right?) vs. Szechuan Buffet. The ONLY thing Mandarin has going for it is the Mongolian BBQ, otherwise totally mediocre greasy junk food, my opinion anyway. I see a lot of Chinese tourists stopping in Szechuan, so the word must be getting around.

            Disagree with you about Thai food too, as above. Dara Thai, my favorite Thai restaurant!

            As for spotty service in the Indian place - if you're talking about the place by the Walmart, there I do agree with you. Good food and sometimes quite friendly, but they have overcharged my bill a couple of times and not been all that eager to correct it.

            I'm not that much of a Mexican food fan but someone highly recommended Los Tacos Altos in Flag.

          2. Never eaten there but Brix was listed as one of the best places to eat in the world in Conde Nast recently.

            10 Replies
            1. re: MissaCM

              So no TJ's...boo! Flag seems like an ideal place for it. Is there anything akin, whole foods, Henry's etc...?

              1. re: Saabiar

                Nope, no Whole Foods, etc. We're pretty much stuck with regular runs to Phoenix. There are regular rumors about a TJ's coming to town, and regular petitions that get circulated, but in general, the response has been "we're not interested" from TJ's corporate. Someday, maybe.

                As for the Asian food discussion, I have to emphasize that I don't go out for Chinese food since I can make way better stuff at home. And I *only* eat the mongolian barbecue at Mandarin. Nothing else, and only when desparate or someone else wants to go there. :-)

                I don't go to Dara Thai because they gave me the worst possible service there and kicked me out for having a baby with me. Long story, not appropriate for the board, but that's my personal grudge against Dara Thai. I used to love the food there, though.

                Brix is very good and has a lovely wine selection. It's not the deepest list, but if you ask, they are very willing to make recommendations that are affordable. I've found that their lunch portions can be a little small, but yummy.

                There's a new German place that I want to try--The Matterhorn Grill. It's downtown on the corner of Beaver and Birch. The lunch menu looks incredibly mediocre, but dinner looks like it has some real German dishes. The chef/owner is from Germany and used to be the caterer at the Elks Lodge. If anyone tries it, please post your review!


                1. re: AlFerris

                  "Nope, no Whole Foods, etc. We're pretty much stuck with regular runs to Phoenix..."

                  Saabiar - You are overlooking New Frontiers Natural Marketplace, right next to your Mandarin buffet!

                  1. re: AlFerris

                    "There are regular rumors about a TJ's coming to town, and regular petitions that get circulated, but in general, the response has been "we're not interested" from TJ's corporate. Someday, maybe."

                    Both of my sons attended NAU in the early 90s and those rumors were circulating then. "Someday" is just that!

                    The title of your post tickled me, "Flagstaff Dining" was such an oxymoron when I reqularly visited the boys. Eating, yes. Dining, never.

                    1. re: AlFerris

                      Well I have to say that if you have not tried The Matterhorn Grill, you must. I dont know how I even got to this page because I was looking for the best steak place in Las Vegas. Tried many out there but wanted to see what others thought, Anyway wrong board for that question. But I have been to Flagstaff a few times the last year and have had the chance to eat at The Matterhorn Grill. I live in Chicago and happen to be very picky. The food there is very good. Not just average but very good and for the price you can't go wrong. Well to be honest here in Chicago you pay 2 to 3 times the price for what you get at The Matterhorn Grill. Hope you try it and enjoy it as much as I did. Oh and if you have any tips in Las Vegas please let me know. I have tried the Steak House at Luxor and that is great but always looking for new ones.

                      Go CUBS

                      1. re: private

                        I've never thought about Matterhorn. Drive by it all the time. I'll give it a go. Would be great to have another option in this dining wasteland called Flagstaff.

                        You can do a whole lot better than Luxor Steakhouse. The options in Vegas are endless. My preferences are Charlie Palmer for old school, dark, delicious and StripSteak for bright, hip, atypical appetizers and desserts and Kobe options. A superficial search of this site would reveal multiple Vegas steak options.

                        Good Luck!

                        1. re: climberdoc

                          thanks yeah i also had that a great steak at the steak house right behind the Walgreens on the strip cant remember name but real good, always looking for new places. Will give that a try next time thanks for the tip. GO CUBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                      2. re: AlFerris

                        I'm actually sitting in Szechuan Chinese Restaurant right now doing their $7 lunch buffet. It is COMPLETE garbage. You don't need to be Chinese or a Chinese cooking instructor to dislike this place. It serves your extremely typical Americanized Chinese crap that you can find at basically any old Chinese buffet. Let's see... LOTS of breaded and fried stuff like General Tsao's chicken and sweet and sour stuff. The fish is breaded and has the consistency of those cheap frozen Kemper's fish sticks. Some of the worst wonton soup I've ever had. Fish-less "sushi" rolls. Very common and Americanized hot and sour soup. And they attempt to do American dishes like fried chicken, fried potato wedges, hot wings, and disgusting looking pizza. Soft serve ice cream. Everything is just so typical I'm not sure why this place even made it onto Chowhound. I'm having trouble going back up and getting a third plate after my first two meager plates. Sounds like there are Mexicans doing the cooking because all I hear is Spanish from the kitchen.

                        A complete and utter waste of money.

                        1. re: fuzzybabybunny

                          Fuzzybaby - I was away from Flag for quite a while, but I went back a couple of months ago, and back to my old favorite, Szechuan Chinese. All different people there now. It's nothing like it used to be. I agree with your dismal assessment. Too bad.

                  2. La Bellavia, S. Beaver St (across from Beaver St Brewery): we've had breakfast here several times in the past month or so (and many over the years) and found them consistently good. My favorite is trout & eggs; consistently excellent trout, eggs cooked just right. My wife's fave is Fiesta Eggs (scrambled with green chile & diced tomatos) -- mild & tasty. Yesterday I tried their French toast and enjoyed it, though I was unable to finish the truly enormous portion that literally lapped over the edges of the plate. Cheerful place, good service, mostly a student-age crowd.

                    Another Flagstaff institution is next door: Macy's coffee shop. Macy's has a very limited breakfast selection, but excellent cofee (long lines at peak hours). Good pastries, and a good selection of light lunch items (quiche, sandwiches, salads). WiFi included. A comfortable, old-shoe sort of place, also a student hangout.

                    Bon appetit!
                    Pete Tillman, Rimrock

                    1. I second Tillman's recommendation of Macy's coffeehouse. I go there every time I visit Flag. Great pastries, and outstanding coffee. Haven't had the vegetarian food, though. I like the casual, Bohemian atmosphere. It's usually crowded in the mornings, for good reason.

                      1. Cafe Ole on San Fran St.....haven't been in some time and they used to have spotty hours, but good Mexican food and friendly owners.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: iwannaeat

                          We have had good food at La Fonda- east side, near 4th and Rte 66. Very homey, fajitas to share, enchiladas, tacos, and sopapillas.

                          The sandwich shop south of Barnes and Nobles gets great reviews too.

                          Has anyone tried Fratellis pizza? I always liked Pizza by George for the green chili and beef pizza but may try some more places.

                          We thought Brandys was okay - liked the local art diplays as we had lunch.

                          1. re: bluecat

                            Moved here a year ago. I have to say, I am quite confused by Flagstaff. On one hand there is money and affluence everywhere you look. Many Phonecians own second homes and this drives up the housing costs (i.e. it's tough to find a decent place for less than half a mil). One would think the presence of so much money would attract a Whole Foods, Wild Oats or something similar. My apologies to the poster who mentioned Frontier, but that place is not remotely comparable to Whole Foods. I also find myself craving time in larger cities like Scottsdale and Vegas. It's unfortunate because there are so many great things here, especially for folks like me who enjoy the outdoors. Not all outdoor types are content to eat tofu stir fries at Mountain Oasis however. Although there are a few nice places to eat (Cottage, Brix, Jackson's), it seems like Flag could support more. Okay, rant over.

                        2. Flagstaff is a dining desert. I have lived here since 1995 and can attest to the scarcity of restaurants one would wish to return to. Brix and Cottage Place are the only two fine dining restaurants one would hope to have success going to. Josephine’s and Jackson’s occasionally will perform but just as occasionally fail. To the person who recommended La Fonda. I am sorry for that. There is not a single Mexican restaurant in Flagstaff that would hold a candle to a middle of the road Mexican restaurant in the valley. Same with Italian. Marginal choices for a dinner or lunch might include Charlies or Beaver Street Brewery. Good breakfasts can be had at La Belavia, Macy’s or Brandys and a good breakfast that is Mexican infleuneced can be had at Martans downtown. Mike and Ronda’s is no better than Dennys with large portions despite its popularity. Thankfully we only live a short drive from Sedona and can make do between trips to the valley.

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: AzDumpling

                            What do you like in Sedona? It seems like a semi-desert to me, foodwise...

                            Don't even get me started on Prescott -- though it's better now than when we left, about 5 years ago. N. AZ is getting better, but starting from a pretty low base.

                            For that matter, even Phoenix was pretty grim, 25 years ago...

                            Cheers -- Pete Tillman, 30 yrs+ in AZ now.
                            (now in Rimrock)

                            1. re: Tillman

                              In no particular order and far from inclusive. We simply find these to be the places we go to the most.

                              Dahl and Diluca
                              The Hideaway for pizza
                              Heartline Café
                              L’Auberge, mainly for brunch

                              1. re: AzDumpling

                                A couple of years back we had an absolutely charming experience and delicious, reasonably priced meal at Pasto. We talked about it for weeks and told everyone headed to Flagstaff they must try Pasto. Last Summer we saw a different and confusing menu which did not entice us (we tried Cuvée 928 instead and loved it.) If I remember correctly, Pasto displayed a tasting menu format but with each dish was priced individually. Does anyone know what's going on there and is the food any good?

                                1. re: Herbalicious

                                  The format at Pasto is small plates and multiple courses. The food is good but can be erratic. They have an excellent selection of Italian wines (for Flagstaff). We have gone there a couple of times with a particular wine in mind and ordered items to match it. It seems to work real well for that. To me, it seems like a middle of the road place in most cities, but above average in a dining black hole like Flagstaff.

                                2. re: AzDumpling

                                  Had an overpriced, light-handed-on the-salt, mediocre dinner at Heartline. The menu looked average (Yavapai was closed at Enchantment Resort) so we went but could barely want to get through half our meal. So far, food in Az have been less than good, non-salted, super-sized portions, and overall I give it a...meh... And as far as Mexican goes, might as well make your own by picking up some items at the super cool Rancho Market on 16th in Phoenix. I'm excited that there might be a good cup of coffee in Az; heading to Macy's in the morn.

                                  And what's with the restaurants doing the "Hi, I'm (fill in the blank), I'll be you're sever today, can I get you a drink?!?" routine, along with the corporate logo shirts?

                                  Sorry to sound so down in the, um, tummy? But I like good, tasty, local, seasonal food. Granted Yavapai and Elote were closed, but I am begging for a good rec.

                                  1. re: emmelle

                                    Flag never was much as far as food goes, haven't been through since '92, but I did like Nana's Casita. They had great big hamburgers with coleslaw on them. Is it still there?

                              2. re: AzDumpling

                                After my last trip, I would agree that Brix is near the top of the list...and LaFonda is no longer on my list. Mike and Ronda was just ok. Beaver Street had tasty salad but the bread was too salty for me. I look forward to more of your current spots before my next trip. thanks!

                                1. re: bluecat

                                  LOL, I wish I could tell you about a bunch of great new places. Alas, I cannot. Thank you for scratching La Fonda from your list. I am at a complete loss to understand its popularity. There is a little hole in the wall pizza place on Cedar called the New Jersey Pizza Company that serves a pretty good pizza and uses a lot of locally (Arizona) grown and organic toppings that is pretty good. They have dine in but I have only gotten them to go before. There is also a place downtown called the Mountain Oasis which is very reasonably priced and offers what they call an international menu (Middle Eastern and Greek influences) It might be worth your while when strolling the downtown to take a peek at their menu and see if it appeals. Their food is not what I would call gourmet but it is usually pretty good. It is a pleasant restaurant with a lot of plants and they generally have a little bit of music in the evenings. Almost next door to Pasto in fact. I have not been to Pasto in ages. I was disappointed too many times in the past. My wife and I went to Mountain Oasis about two months ago and had a nice dinner and the place was about 90% full. When we left, after eating, and walked down the street past Pasto there was only one party seated in their entire restaurant. That might be taken as an indication by some.

                                  1. re: AzDumpling

                                    I am a fairly new Flagstaff resident and I agree with you on Mountain Oasis - it is consistently good and a great place to stop for lunch. I'm a big fan of the Greek Salad (add gyro meat) - I have it at least once a week. I've also found myself going to Pato Thai quite a bit. Apparently, it used to be something else, but recently changed over to Pato. They should be getting their liquor license shortly, which will make it a more appealing place for dinner. I also met friends at Cuvee 928 the other night, and their menu had apparently just changed that day. We only ordered the cheese plate and it came with this balsamic raisin chutney that was out of this world.

                                    Pato Thai Cuisine
                                    104 N San Francisco St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

                                    Cuvee 928
                                    6 E Aspen Ave Ste 110, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

                                    1. re: AzDumpling

                                      Just a note for anyone seeking out the New Jersey Pizza Company who may be unfamiliar with the area: Mapquest give directions that will get you almost to the restaurant however it advises the driver to turn left on Cedar Avenue where the restaurant is. Here's the thing, Cedar Avenue is not posted on a sign where it's supposed to be, turn Left on Lockett, and you'll suddenly find yourself on Cedar. I'm not familiar with Flagstaff so I'm not sure how this works! Also the restuarant is easy to miss so look quickly to the right when you do go down Cedar, and it's in a building with a large mural on the wall.

                                      Also, Mountain Oasis is a great place for vegetarians. Their Pineapple Tofu salad sounded intriguing, and I was so pleasantly surprised at how tasty the pineapple, marinated tofu, and spicy dressing over leafy greens was.

                                      1. re: Ready2Eat

                                        Right next door to the vacuum repair shop on the right when heading west on Cedar from 4th Street.

                                2. On the way to Flagstaff from the west, Spankits Cafe in Kingman is great then once in Flag, Bunhuggers.

                                  1. New Jersey Pizza Company - loved it! Thank you AZdumpling, was racking my brain trying to think of the "pizza place off the beaten track" as we call it. Did not get a great feeling upon first walking in, but a closer look at the offerings begged giving it a try, which led to a 180 of our original assessment. Had salad, pizza and gelato - everything was simple but packed with flavor and smacked of TLC. We commented the pizza was --dare I say it-- dangerously close to Bianco quality. If we can time it right, this will always be our 'last meal' as we pull out of Flag and head down the mountain.

                                    Galaxy Diner: we used to like coming here for chocolate malts and a decent burger or sandwich but... second-to-last visit food and service were disappointing; last visit never happened. Arrived shortly before 9 pm (holiday weekend) and were met outside the door by (very) young manager whose greeting was: "Hi folks, sorry we had to close early tonight because it was a little slow." There were 2 other parties who had parked and approached at about the same time. He turned away 3 separate groups containing 10 would-be guests.

                                    Next day I still had ice cream on the brain and we went to DQ, will not bore you with the details (sanitation and hygiene issues) but cross that off our list. So, if we can swing the $4/ gallon gas and actually make it to Flag at all this Summer, where (besides that great gelato at NJ Pizza)can I get my fixes of ice cream, dessert, etc.?

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: Herbalicious

                                      They do make a tasty pizza. For an extra couple of bucks I always have them put their house-made mozzarella on mine. I always have a hell of a time deciding what to have them put on mine. Pleasant people working there and they have a good dough recipe for sure.I am not a big dessert guy but there is a Cold Stone downtown in the square and another on your way out of town in the little strip mall just before Milton turns into the freeway. And of course 31 flavors also.

                                      1. re: AzDumpling

                                        Anybody have an opinion on Monsoon? Looks intriguing, but I have not been yet.

                                        1. re: climberdoc

                                          I went there for lunch and was not impressed at all. We were the only table in the whole restaurant, which I've heard is unusual. I had a roll of some sort (not very memorable) and was a little sketched out by the fish - it didn't seem remotely fresh. So, I would probably recommend sticking to hot, cooked items! I have heard good things about Hiro Sushi, but haven't had the chance to try it yet.

                                          1. re: climberdoc

                                            where is Monsoon? The original location used to be on Milton. Have they relocated? I had a fabulous meal there 6-7 years ago!

                                            1. re: ciaogal

                                              Monsoon is in Heritage Square in downtown Flag. I would agree that they are mediocre at best. I had a spectacular meal at their other location on Milton, but that's now a Mexican place.

                                              Hiro's Sushi is probably the most consistent in town and is usually comfortably busy.

                                              Sushi Fuji in the Woodlands Village Plaza on McConnell behind the Wal-Mart plaza is also pretty consistent, but I find the serving sizes a little more modest here. The miso soup is better here, though.

                                              Oh, I don't know if someone else has already posted this, but Racha Thai has now closed at it's relocated place. They moved from downtown to the Western Hills Motel, and now that restaurant location is for lease.

                                              1. re: AlFerris

                                                I walked by Monsoon the other day and all of the furniture was out of the restaurant and I wasn't sure what they were doing. This week, everything is back in place and it looks like they are trying to hire new staff. I heard that their sushi chef left, so maybe once they get some new life in there, it will be worth trying again.

                                                I also tried Bangkok Thai on Fourth Street this week - it's right behind Fratelli's Pizza. While Pato Thai on San Francisco is still my hands down favorite, Bangkok Thai is a great alternative and a great addition to that shopping plaza. I had the panang with chicken and my bf had the pad thai. I got the panang with a 3 spiciness level and could have definitely handled more. Same for the pad thai - he got a 2 and should have gone one higher. We'll know for next time!

                                        2. re: Herbalicious

                                          We went to NJ Pizza for dinner and had a "Perfecto"- very good. About $12 with fresh,tasty crust and toppings. The menu is more limited during the week and has more (Antipasto, ingredients, dessert) on Fridays and Saturdays. They are open for dinner everyday and lunch only some days so call and check. It is the building covered by an Italian theme mural and they are going to put the hours up on the window soon. The Farmer's Market by the railroad tracks downtown is on Sunday mornings til mid October and I think they also do something good there for breakfast.

                                        3. Northern Arizona isn't much by way of foodie-approved restaurants. There is one little place I love though... It's not Flagstaff but it is a beautiful drive from Flag, in Payson, called Cucina Paradiso. A little Italian place with lots of regulars and fabulous food. I've never been dissapointed when eating there. If you end up moving to Flag, google Cucina Paradiso in Payson. You must try it.
                                          Otherwise the Valley (phx) isn't TOO far of a drive for your food-fix. Maybe a nice drive on the weekend will be enough for you.

                                          1. I agree with most below!

                                            Josephine's -- Wonderful for enjoying outside with a nice meal and a glass of wine!
                                            Beaver St. Brewery -- reasonable and yummy!

                                            1. Wow! What a great experience. My wife and I visited Brix in Flagstaff, Arizona on 9 & 10 Nov, 2008 and we very impressed with our meals, service and experience. Night One: On our first night we started our meal with the cheese plate with three cheeses (Le Delice (the best), Ibores and Point Reyes Blue). The cheese servings were huge and were served on Lavash with an apricot and fig reduction on the side. The delicious cheese flavors and the sweet fruit were a great combo. From there we split a Caesar salad made with Spanish anchovies (Bocherons) and found the salad a nice departure from the traditional salty anchovies. From there we shared the Tuxedo Tuna (seared Ahi with black and white sesame seeds) and the grass fed Steak Frites. The Ahi was done perfectly and the New York Strip steak was absolutely amazing with the wine-rosemary demi, frites and delicious truffled aioli. We were too full to even think about desert. Night Two: We enjoyed our meal on night one so much we decided to return again. The Chef and staff remembered us from the previous night and gave us a warm greeting. The Chef even presented us with a surprise crab cake appetizer that was simply over the top. Nice touch for repeat customers. We repeated the cheese plate (Roaring 40’s Blue (too strong), Le Delice and Piave Vecchio (great flavor)), Caesar salad, Washington State Bouchet Mussels with Pancetta, garlic, tomato, white wine and cream – absolutely amazing flavor, and the Churro Navajo sheep plate. The locally grown Churro sheep plate came three ways – medallions, Pot-au-feu and ribs. Each was prepared to perfection. Our favorite was the Pot-au-feu with the buttery crust. We were not a fan of the cured vegetables. Night two ended with another great meal with great staff in a fun town. Both nights we ordered the Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay and found the wine went especially well with the cheeses. I wish we could eat this way once a week – forever.

                                              We have been to a 1 Star Michelin in the San Francisco Bay Area and Brix was just as good, if not better because the staff made our stay very enjoyable. Chef David Smith took the time to tell us how he prepared our meals and let us peak into the tiny kitchen – how does he cook such great food in such a small kitchen I don’t know? Chef David’s food is simply great. We guarantee will be back soon.

                                              1. So the Flagstaff "fine dining" scene has taken a hit. Jackson's Grill has been closed "until further notice". I know this because I threw a party there for my staff last night and there was nobody else besides our party in the restaurant. Staff says the economy and slow winter season forced them to shut down. There is no word as to if and when they will reopen. I guess this leaves The Cottage and Brix as the sole higher-end venues in Flagstaff. It's becoming real clear as to why I seem to spend most of my free time in Vegas.

                                                1. Honestly I go to Flag every other month for business and stay over. Don't spend too much on food it's definetely not worth it. I ate at Beaver street Brewery not very good, and dined at bun huggers for lunch STAY WAY!!!

                                                  Also a newish Sushi Joint can't remember the name HORRIBLE!!! just stick with the regs pizza and anything to fill you up.

                                                  I went to fratellis pizzeria for lunch the slices were huge and decent would go back but next time I am going to NJ pizzeria herad it is behind a safeway in town??

                                                  Sorry for the negative reviews but I just don't think the food is very good. Wanted to try a thai rest while I was there forgot the name bu they weren't open till 12 so I skipped it.

                                                  Friends of mine love Brix I am sure it is great but if you are watching your money skip it.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: drewb123

                                                    HI drewb123 - Do you have any places you would actually recommend? Heading there next week for the first time. We like all price ranges and eats.

                                                    1. re: tykapfh

                                                      my friends frequent Brix high end but the best place in town.... also there is a place called cuvee 28 and I did not eat there but is is downtown and is is a ncie wine bar with food.

                                                      When I return there next mnth I will be trying cuvee. and a BBQ joint that is in the tiny mall down the stairs I think it is called big foot or something.

                                                      Let me know where you end up going.

                                                      1. re: tykapfh

                                                        Here are my recommendations for Flagstaff:

                                                        Cuvee 928 is one of my favorites. Strictly tapas-size plates at dinner time, but good size lunch plates. I usually order one of the specials off the chalkboard, or if the chef knows I'm coming, he'll make chicken liver pate.

                                                        Brix is pretty good, although allot at least 90 minutes for lunch and longer for dinner. I would agree that it is on the high end, price-wise, in Flagstaff.

                                                        My favorite Thai place is Pato Thai on San Francisco next to the Monte Vista Hotel. Their idea of "medium" hot is a bit hotter than other places in town, so be ready for it.

                                                        Picazzo's Pizza is part of a small chain with locations throughout Arizona. My favorite pizza is "Fire in the Hole" with pepperoni, red and yellow peppers, and fresh jalapenos.

                                                        Strombolli's is a college hangout for inexpensive Italian. I like the pastas, so I very seldom order the pizzas, but I know others like them. Corrina is the manager and makes really good tiramisu.

                                                        Don't like any Chinese food in town.

                                                        Big Foot Barbecue is also pretty good, although it can be uncomfortably loud sometimes, given the acoustics of being in the basement of the Old Town Shops. It's inexpensive and one of those places where you throw peanut shells on the floor.

                                                        For sushi, I'm usually at Hiro's or Karma. I'm at Hiro's when I want a good quality, low key experience, and at Karma when I want to "be seen." Karma does have real grated wasabi, though, the only place in Flag that has that. I'm occasionally at Sushi Fuji when I'm over on the west side, but I don't really go out of my way to go there. It's pretty pedestrian.

                                                        The Pho Loc Restaurant is a new Vietnamese restaurant in the Western Hills Motel on Route 66. Nothing great on the ambiance scale, but solid food. Definitely a hole in the wall, though, and inexpensive. I'm curious about the new Vietnamese place, AZPho in the same shopping center as Sushi Fuji, behind Wal-Mart. Haven't tried it yet, but will do so soon.

                                                        Hope that helps!

                                                    2. NJ Pizza Company was great! Good food and nice people - we were just driving through Flagstaff and our positive experience here really gave us a nice feeling about the town and the people.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. I've recently been to Flagstaff twice. Brix was visited twice (business reasons). The risotto was highly recommended but I found it to be unremarkable on first visit. On the second visit, I had the duck which was very tasty but slightly overcooked. Very friendly staff but a bit too friendly and casual since our conversation was often interrupted at awkward moments. The second half of the meal our waiter disappeared. Very nice building.

                                                        Beaver Street Brewery has great ambience but average food and is overpriced. A recent lunch of the gordito plate (2 shrimp tacos and some chips and dip) plus two Railyard Red beers (very good) and a cup of coffee ran to over $23, not including tip. For lunch in Flagstaff? I think not. Residents rave to me about their soups but haven't tried those.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: rapricemd

                                                          Try the matterhorn grill. I'm from the midwest, chicago and try to go there everytime i'm in arizona, promise you will love it and priced right

                                                        2. We were passing through Flagstaff recently and stopped at Dara Thai for lunch. It was sort of an odd lunch menu because there were a few Chinese looking things on the menu as well. The food was ok, but not exceptional. I don't live in an area with many Thai restaurants, but the last time I ate Thai food on the road was at Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas a few months ago. It's in a whole different league. I think I would pass on this one in Flagstaff and look for something else.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: mountaincachers

                                                            If you're here again, Pato Thai or Swaddee (both in downtown) are excellent choices - Dara Thai is a little more of a college hangout.

                                                          2. This is an old thread but I'll bump it up with some new opinions.

                                                            I second Pato Thai--once you go, you'll never go to any other Thai place in town. It's outstanding.

                                                            I also second Picazzo's--great salads as well as creative pizza toppings. The bagel crust pizza is our favorite.

                                                            Delhi Palace in the Walmart shopping center has good Indian food; I prefer the menu over the buffet. The buffet at the Himalayan Grill is better.

                                                            Favorite go-to place for lunch: Brandy's, up on Cedar. The Brandy Melt (turkey, green apple, green chiles, and pesto mayo on sourdough) is my standard, but the specials are always good, and they have terrific gingerbread chai, too.

                                                            Last time we tried the Matterhorn Grill, it had improved greatly over the time before--I believe they're under new ownership, and are much more authentically German than before.

                                                            I think Beaver Street has gone downhill, though it's still great for summer evenings in the beergarten.

                                                            I hear wonderful things about the new Tinderbox, though I haven't been there yet.

                                                            Just tried the new burger place on the square downtown, Diablo Burger; wasn't a fan of the seating (they said they were getting ready to put some tables outside) or the English muffin in place of a hamburger bun, but the meat was outstanding.

                                                            That's all I've got for now!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: alwayserin

                                                              "I second Pato Thai--once you go, you'll never go to any other Thai place in town. It's outstanding."

                                                              I third it!

                                                            2. Spent a night in Flagstaff last week, and wanted to add some quick reports:

                                                              * Matterhorn Grill - absolutely excellent start to finish. It was a chilly night, and dinner here couldn't have been a better fit, a perfect combination of delicious, hearty, and homey. Highlights: assorted German sausages, sauerkraut, red cabbage, schnitzel, potato pancakes. Also great were the drinks; loved both the homemade mulled wine and their excellent only on-tap beer choice of Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Dunkel. It's a pleasure to see a restaurant where so much love and care has gone into every facet of the business. This place is a real find, as well as a great example of what CH is all about.

                                                              * Brandy's - very nicely done (if not life-changing) American breakfast fare. Tasty fluffy pancakes, nicely done eggs benny on a very good homemade black pepper and parm bagel. Coffee was overroasted, cinnamon roll was dry and not worth the calories. Friendly staff did a nice job managing the morning rush.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: finlero

                                                                If I was new to Flagstaff and needed a great delicious mexican breakfast- without a doubt !!! I would recommend Martans Burrito downtown flagstaff north of the tracks! They have great tacos encrusted with melted cheese. The best chorizo in town, fresh beans, want spice? just ask- they make it even hotter!!! The green chile is mouth watering. You better arrive early because there is always a line first thing in the morning.

                                                                1. re: redflag

                                                                  I have lived here in Flagstaff for almost 10 years and the food scene is getting better. No one mentioned Pesto Brothers. They have consistantly good food ( italian). Service is not always that good .It is located downtown in the Old Town Shops and has a nice outdoor patio. Pastos used to be good but the last time we went I wasn't impressed. The food and selection just wasn't very good. There are no good chinese places in Flag very sad to say as chinese is my favorite. I must try Brix. Jacksons Grill is open again under new management but I haven't been there yet. We love Charlies in the Weatherford Hotel downtown. We have had great lunches and dinners. You can't go wrong at The Cottage Place. My favorite for sushi is Hiros. I like Karmas Sushi too. But I often take my 3 year old grandson in for sushi and I feel more comfortable in Hiros with him . We Love Picazzos. They have great salads and really unique pizzas. I'm not much of a mexican food lover so I couldn't say for sure if Flag has any good ones. I don't like any of them. For fast food there is The Dog Haus on Rt 66 and Switzer Canyon. Good burger and Hot dogs and my personal favorite the Sea Dog ( Fish sandwich with the slaw on the sandwich) I prefer mine without the cole slaw. Not fine dining but if you're passing through and need a fast meal it sure beats the usual fast food fare.

                                                                  Cottage Place
                                                                  126 W Cottage Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

                                                                  19 E Aspen Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

                                                              2. Depending on where you're moving from, the transition to Flagstaff can be challenging. It is a beautiful place and I'd move back in a heartbeat, but I would sure miss a lot of east coast food.

                                                                That being said, Hiro's is terrific. But that is the only place in town I would think of eating any kind of seafood. The other options are just nasty. I never tried New Jersey Pizza when I lived in Flag because I am New Haven born and bred and, well, I just refused to eat pizza. I switched to tamales. When in Rome...

                                                                Macy's is a bit of a crap shoot, IMO. Sometimes it was wonderful, sometimes it tasted like they'd thrown in a scoop of compost with the pasta or whatever. Perhaps it was a bit too earthy for my tastes. I like natural foods, but they need to be prepared with skill by people who really know what they are doing. Macy's had a pleasant college-kid-in-Birkenstocks feel to it. Not horrible, just not great. If you are a coffee freak, you'll want to go to Late to the Train, another local roaster. They have a lovely medium roast Yrgacheffe, which is just the thing for those cold winter mornings up there in the mountains. And they make their own chai blend, and put chili in it! It is so wonderful that I have contemplated calling them up and asking if they'd be kind enough to ship a bag to me. The peppery taste leaves you so satisfying and makes other chai taste pretty feeble. There are a couple of locations, but it is the one on the way to the ski mountain that does sandwiches.

                                                                There used to be a neat little cafe called Kathy's that made vegetarian reubens with avocado instead of pastrami, and squeezed their orange juice fresh fresh fresh. But they are gone now, sadly. There is a diner that everyone raves about for breakfast that I found pretty feeble. I got dragged there by a friend who was frantic for biscuits and gravy. I like biscuits and gravy well enough, but not without grits, which were sadly not to be found. Never found anything else on the menu worth bothering about.

                                                                Bigfoot seemed to me to lack some oomph, but they'd only just opened when I was there. They may have gotten more of the hang of BBQ since.

                                                                Learn to wallow in beef jerky and big hunk bars. When the season rolls around (now, actually) buy fresh roasted chili peppers in bulk at the farmer's market and throw them in your freezer. You'll find yourself using them for about every meal. There are tamales and Navajo tacos to be had. Go with the flow. Make your own tortillas. Enjoy the view. Hike enough and it all tastes wonderful.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: Pipenta

                                                                  So where will we be finding the tamales and Navajo tacos when we spend a week there, please?

                                                                  1. re: lemons

                                                                    I'm partial to the Navajo tacos at the Cameron Trading Post. But it is a dish that is hard to ruin, so almost everywhere you have them, they're decent. In town, I remember Molly's Tamales at the Farmer's Market.

                                                                    But these are both dishes that I have enjoyed in many places. I've had delicious tacos served up at yard sales and bought fine tamales from enterprising independent vendors working the parking lot at Safeway on the sly. Tamales can be stuffed with just about anything, so try as many different kinds as you can from EVERYWHERE.

                                                                    Cameron Trading Post
                                                                    PO Box 339, Cameron, AZ 86020

                                                                2. If you like local, fresh, sustainably raised ingredients beautifully prepared, then try the Criollo Latin Kitchen in Flagstaff. It's amazing.

                                                                  1. Several restaurants have closed. We just opened up our summer home there and here is an update.
                                                                    Closed, Alvin's and Pesto Brothers, Jontinis at Continental Country Club is being remodeled. Ate at Pasto on Aspen downtown. Best Italian meal is years, anywhere and I spent a month in Italy.
                                                                    Mussels appetizer in light garlic tomato sauce was wonderful.
                                                                    Also the Tinderbox south of the tracks is doing the most amazing takes on confort food.
                                                                    Pork belly pot roast to die for.
                                                                    Disappointment was Salsa BravaMexican Restaurant on 66, east of city. As you remember this guy has been on the Food Network. Unfortunatly it has gone to his head. My husband ordered an enchilida style burrito and it tasted like canned sauce. Meat in the fajitas was like dog meat.
                                                                    Hoping to try another Mexican restaurant on Milton that advertises in the Spanish language paper for Northern Arizona "El Latino" , it is on Milton but I haven't gone there yet, so no mention here.

                                                                    19 E Aspen Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

                                                                    1. Also the Matterhorn has closed.

                                                                      1. Someone mentioned the lack of good Asian restaurants.
                                                                        The Himilayan Grill is unlike any other in Arizona. Tibetian Food, spicy or not very fresh ingredients. Rivals any other Asian cuisine and they do it so well there.

                                                                        Himalayan Grill
                                                                        801 S Milton Ave, Unit A Flagstaff, AZ

                                                                        1. First, I need to apologize for my double faux pas on CH. I originally posted a new thread on the Phx group. Then it was transfered over here and there was already a nice long thread on Flag. Oops. In any event I am heading up to flag for the fourth and need a few recommendations. We will visit Tinderbox and try Diablo burgers, but would like a few more recommendations. Any help? How about a breakfast spot other than Mike and Rhondas? Thanks .

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Random987

                                                                            For breakfast, Brandy's is always reliable. I've also heard good things about the breakfast in particular at Criollo downtown but haven't tried it myself.

                                                                            1. re: alwayserin

                                                                              Brandy's is definitely worth the short drive. Whatever you order, I'd recommend sharing an oat pancake on the side. (It's huge.)

                                                                          2. A few new updates: Our favorite Mexican place now is El Capitan, in the same shopping center as Buster's. It has filled the hole that Salsa Brava left as it got less and less consistent, and I think is even better.

                                                                            The Lumberyard was a miss for me the first time I tried it, but someone dragged me back, the menu has expanded, the portion sizes went down to reasonable and sides got added, and now I recommend it. It was more bar-food before, but now it's got a good range of dishes that takes it out of that category.

                                                                            I don't think anybody mentioned Greek Islands here. It's tucked in a strange little place, on a side street off S. San Francisco, and the seating and building are nothing to write home about, but the food is wonderful and the staff friendly. The owner is Greek and it shows.

                                                                            New on Fourth Street: Satchmo's. Their catfish is AMAZING, their BBQ done perfectly; great use of seasonings in all of their food, although lots of people rave about the tater tots and I don't find them to be anything special. They fairly recently moved from another location and gained a bigger kitchen and they're always working on adding new things to the menu, asking customers' opinions, and so on. Along the same strip mall is Nelly's Soul Food Kitchen, but it doesn't even come close to competing.

                                                                            Roma Pizza has just closed their long-time location near the university, although they still have a restaurant on the east side of town. NiMarco's, which I had tried recently for the first time in decades, opened another branch in the former Roma's spot. When I ate at the original NiMarco's location I was pleasantly surprised. The pizza was quite well done and they had a good selection of wings I'd order again.

                                                                            That's all I can think of for now!

                                                                            Roma Pizza
                                                                            1800 S Milton Rd Ste 500, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

                                                                            1. How is Tinderbox these days?

                                                                              How easily could they accomodate a party of 8?

                                                                              1. I went to college in flagstaff and am born and raised in NYC. I'm a major foodie and discovered several great food spots while living in Flagstaff. Interestingly enough, Flag has great Thai food. I moved back to NYC in 2009 so many places have openned since however, these were my staples:

                                                                                Flag does great breakfast and brunch
                                                                                Amazing american style Eggs and Omlettes: La Bella Via
                                                                                Best TexMex breakfast: Martaans* (my favorite)
                                                                                Coffee and pastries: Macys

                                                                                Casual Lunch/dinner:
                                                                                Mountain oasis- the pinapple tofu salad is very tasty
                                                                                Pato Thai- Gooood thai food
                                                                                New Jersey Pizza- Damn good pizza
                                                                                Burritos Fiesta- Awesome burritos and quesadillas
                                                                                Hiro Sushi- Great Sushi. The owner came from Japan to cook for the Japanese Olympic Team at Flagstaffs former High Altitude Olympic Training Center and then stayed and opened his own place.

                                                                                Hope this helps!

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. Pizzicleta for wood burning oven pizza is good. Very small, communal dining.