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Dec 19, 2009 07:43 AM

driving from Vegas to Grand Canyon, Sedona, Phoenix with young kids-- need suggestions

We're taking a road trip between x-mas and new years from Vegas to the Grand Canyon (sleeping in Flagstaff) then driving through Oak Creek Canyon/Sedona to Phoenix. I'd love some suggestions of where to get great food with kids (7 year old twins and a 3 year old). One kid is a burger eater, none of them like pizza. Any suggestions-- breakfast, lunch, dinner, great snacks/desserts would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. There are lots of great restaurants in Las Vegas, Sedona and Phoenix - hopefully those areas' residents will chime in here soon with some good suggestions for you! I live in the Grand Canyon area, so that's where I'll concentrate on.

    Before I get into that, however, just want to make sure you're aware of a couple of things. 1. the driving distances between all these places: from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim is about 5 hours; from Grand Canyon South Rim to Flagstaff is about 90 minutes; Flagstaff to Sedona, 1 hour; Sedona to Phoenix, 2 hours (more if traffic is heavy). Another consideration: 2. winter weather. It is snowing here as we speak, and there's a good chance it might be when you get ready to come over. Fortunately road closures are relatively rare, and the state Transportation Department does a good job of clearing them, but check road conditions before you set out at

    Now: onto the subject at hand - food!

    At the Grand Canyon, the top restaurant in the area is the El Tovar Dining Room, inside the Historic El Tovar Hotel on the canyon rim. This hotel, which dates back to 1905, is full of old-world charm and atmosphere, and their dining room occupies a huge space bookended by two fireplaces, with hand-painted murals on the walls. Their menu is kind of a "continental meets Southwestern" fusion. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and yes, they do have a kids' menu. Reservations are strongly recommended for dinner and may be made up to 30 days out for non-hotel guests. Otherwise, breakfast and lunch are first-come first-served. There are other restaurants in the park as well, ranging from coffee-shop to cafeteria style. For more info on in-park dining options, visit

    In Flagstaff, some of my favorite places to eat are the Beaver Street Brewery and Macy's Coffee House. The former, as the name suggests, is a local micro-brewery with kind of an eclectic menu (which includes pizza, yes, but lots of other things too). Macy's serves wonderful coffee and fresh breakfast and lunch items. They cater quite well to vegetarians. Both places are located in the downtown area.

    Drive carefully and enjoy your trip!

    1. For Sedona, here's an earlier topic with good suggestions:

      Sedona with family

      5 Replies
      1. re: Rubee

        Thank you! This is a week long road trip so we'll have plenty of time to eat. We have hotels booked in Vegas, Flagstaff and Phoenix and hopefully the weather will cooperate.

        1. re: roxhills

          Let us know the area in which you are staying in the Phoenix area, and I'm sure you'll get a bunch of suggestions.

            1. re: roxhills

              Sorry you're not getting much for Phoenix, everybody must be away from their computers for the holidays.

              A couple of places where I have seen a lot of kids are Over Easy and Chelsea's Kitchen. Both have their menus on-line.

              Chelsea's Kitchen
              5040 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018

              Over Easy
              4730 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

              1. re: roxhills

                Kid friendly & near the AZ Biltmore:

                Frank & Albert's -- New casual restaurant on the grounds of the Biltmore itself. We ate there about 10 days ago and our 3-year old had a roasted chicken entree from the kid's menu. It was amazing -- no chicken nuggets. Instead, a real piece of bone-in, skin-on roasted chicken that I cut for her, organic carrots from a local farm, al dente broccoli, and excellent mashed potatos. The adults ate well, too.

                The Parlor -- craft pizzas, salads, daily entrees

                Delux -- fun burger place; fries are served in mini shopping carts

                Radio Milano -- Italian

                LGO Pizzeria -- pizzas and salads

                Arlecchino -- outstanding gelato; next to LGO pizza & across the street from Radio Milano

                Chelsea's Kitchen -- like John said; good food for all ages

                3146 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

                Chelsea's Kitchen
                5040 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018

                4410 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018

                Milano Radio
                3950 E Campbell Ave, Phoenix, AZ

        2. Canyon:
          Depending on which way you go this is a really fun place to stop:

          Huge gift shop area and a "local specialty" navajo tacos.

          Bun Huggers (fun burger place


          Coffee Pot Resturaunt (big hype breakfast place there, its a fun atmosphere)
          Javelina Cantina (good senoran mexican

          1. The drive from LV to the GC traditionally posed a problem of where to stop to eat. KIngman is the only sizable town along the way. Years ago there was nothing much there, but finally an In-n-Out opened up and that basically solved the problem. I haven't done that drive for a while, so there may be new possibilities that I don't know about--perhaps others can fill in.

            3 Replies
            1. re: johnb

              A Sedona restaurant that you and your kids might like is Red Planet Diner. There's a Mars theme as well as good burgers, salads, etc.

              1. re: johnb

                Further to Kingman, Arizona possibilities, here is a recent review of a couple of new places:


                1. re: johnb

                  Thanks for all the suggestions! We had a great trip! In Las Vegas, we did some fine dining and the kids did really well. Our favorite "kid friendly" place was BLT Burger in Mirage. In addition to great burgers and other kids choices, they offered us kids sized versions of their amazing milkshakes for $3 each. The toasted marshmallow milkshake was probably the most delicious thing any of us have ever sipped through a straw!

                  We wound up spending the night at Grand Canyon instead of Flagstaff. We stopped at Mr D's Route 66 Diner in Kingman for lunch along the way. The staff was friendly and the food was pretty tasty and it met our goal of not stopping for drive through fast food on our trip.

                  The food at Grand Canyon was probably a step above prison food but we managed. The fajitas at Bright Angel's coffee shop were barely edible but we didn't go there for the food. Our dessert at El Tovar wasn't much better.

                  We stopped for lunch the next day at Beaver Street Brewery. It was packed! The staff was nice. The food was good. We're glad we had lunch there. We continued south and spent some time at Slide Rock Park which was beautiful. We didn't stop for a meal in Sedona as we were short on time.

                  In Phoenix, our first meal was at Frank and Albert's in the Biltmore. We finally arrived at our hotel in Phoenix at 6:30 pm and decided just to eat there as we were tired and hungry. It was easily our worst meal of the trip. The service was awful. We had a pretty straight forward order and they couldn't get it right. My daughter's hamburgers arrives as cheeseburgers, we reminded them we asked for no cheese. When they brought them back, they were barely cooked. When they brought them back for the 3rd time, the rest of us were finished eating. My husband had asked for his salad without bacon-- it came with and it came with our entrees, not as a starter. My other daughter's chicken with veggies was pretty good but it didn't make up for the rest of the meal. also, my flatbread with salmon, which was highly recommended by our server was not great. The kicker was when the bill arrived, we were charged for 3 items-- 2 tequilas and another drink, that we didn't order. After they took those items off the bill and after I told the manager that we were really disappointed by both the meal and the service, he asked if we'd come back so he could make it up to us. We were only to be in Phoenix for 2 more nights and I am not a glutton for punishment.

                  The following night, we had a nice dinner at Bandera in Scottsdale. They had the exact same burger problem-- brought cheeseburger instead of hamburger, then brought back raw hamburger then finally brought cooked burger when everyone else had finished. We walked over to Sugar Bowl for dessert! Everyone loved that.

                  Our last night, we got the Chelsea's Kitchen and 6 and there was a 1 hour wait-- on December 30, a Wednesday! So they called over to Radio Milano and we had a nice dinner there. The kids meals were lovely-- sliced apples, cute divided plates, but the portions were terribly small. My kids are not big eaters but my daughter needed a second order of spaghetti. For dessert, we walked across the street to the Gelato place near Le Grande Orange.

                  Thanks so much for all your suggestions! We had a wonderful family trip and learned about some great chow thanks to you!