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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
"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.
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!
"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.
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.
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.
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.