Best restaurants in Flagstaff, Arizona

For anyone planning a vacation to the Grand Canyon, you will probably end up spending the night (or several) in Flagstaff if the park hotels are all booked out. Flagstaff is a popular lodging area due to several attractive features including close proximity to the canyon (a little under 1.5 hours), an abundance of local dining options, a variety of hotels at varying price points, and easy access to other natural wonders. It’s a good base for exploring natural wonders throughout the Northern Arizona region. During your time in Northern Arizona, you will likely be doing a lot of eating to replenish your worn out body after all the high altitude hiking, long drives in the car, and time spent exploring outside in a dry, high altitude environment.

Along with most of the standard chains, the Flagstaff restaurant scene also offers a number of independent establishments. More and more local businesses are setting up shop in Flagstaff. Today, a vast variety of ethnic restaurants are available to please all different types of diners making their way to one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. Here are 12 of my favorite restaurants in the Flagstaff area.

1. Delhi Palace

Delhi Palace Cuisine of India in Flagstaff, Arizona

Delhi Palace is a wonderful local Indian restaurant with the most delicious lunch buffet you will ever come across. During lunch hours, a scrumptious 30+ item lunch buffet of Indian favorites like Saag Paneer, Vegetable Korma, Onion Bhaji, are offered. And the complimentary Naan bread is the best! The best part of all is that this buffet will only set you back about 10 bucks- a real steal in this pricey tourist area. If you are new to Indian food, why not give it a shot? Indian food is the perfect choice before/after any intense activity – it fills you up and it is delicious – you really cannot go wrong! Service here is great, as is the ambiance. All the entrees are more mildly flavored, so those avoiding spicy foods need not worry! And do not let the Wal-Mart strip mall location fool you – Delhi is one of Flagstaff’s best!

Veggie soup at Delhi Palace in Flagstaff, Arizona
Delhi offers 2 wonderful soup options including a veggie and chicken based soup with lentil and herbs, both of which are on the lunch buffet line.
Fabulous Indian cuisine at Delhi Palace in Flagstaff AZ
A few items from the fabulous lunch buffet spread
Delicious indian food at Dehli Palace in Flagstaff, Arizona
Beautiful dining room at Delhi Palace in Flagstaff, Arizona
The ambiance is perfect for an afternoon date.

Update: Delhi no longer offers a lunch buffet. However, the food, service, and ambiance are all fabulous enough to warrant the higher dinner prices. Do not leave without trying the Vegetable Korma and Aloo Gobi!

2. Salsa Brava

Salsa Brava in Flagstaff, Arizona

Salva Brava is a wonderful local Mexican restaurant located along historic Rt. 66. You may have seen it featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. When Guy Fieri visited, he ordered the Stuffed Chicken Sopaipilla, and boy is it delicious! Other must try dishes include the shrimp fajitas, the farmer’s market burrito, the chimichanga, and Navajo taco. And of course, you will be tempted to make multiple return trips to Salsa Brava’s famous salsa bar, featuring a number of tasty salsas (using fresh tomatoes daily), in a variety of mild to spicy flavors. As an added bonus, Salsa uses no lard, MSG, and only antibiotic/hormone free chicken, so you can rest assured that you are eating a healthier version of traditional Mexican fare.

Salsa Brava in Flagstaff, Arizona - Diners Drive-Ins and Dives
The Stuffed Chicken Sopaipilla and Farmer’s Market Burrito – both delicious!
Fajitas at Salsa Brava in Flagstaff, Arizona
The fajitas (available in several varieties such as shrimp, blackened salmon, or portobello mushroom) are fantastic!
Salsa Bar at Salsa Brava in Flagstaff, Arizona
The never ending salsa bar, from super mild to scorching hot!

3. Oregano’s Italian Bistro

Oreganos Pizza Bistro in Flagstaff AZ

For those craving traditional Italian, Phoenix area chain Oregano’s is your best bet. As Oregano’s was started by a Chicago family, it is the place to go if you are craving Chicago style thin crust & deep dish pizza. Asides from pizza, Oregano’s offers a whole lineup of likely unhealthy (go ahead and treat yourself – you are on vacation!), but totally delicious pasta entrees, appetizers, sides, and desserts.

Must try specialties include the Bollo Pasta (all-you-can-eat angel hair marinara pasta for just 11 bucks), Alfredo the Dark (pasta topped with a creamy Southwestern style sauce with several cheeses, jalapenos, tomatoes, and poblano peppers), the Guaca-Tony (a huge pizza crust topped with a big dollop of guacamole), and the Boom Dip (the most delicious spinach artichoke dip around). For dessert (if you can handle any more food that is), treat yourself to the Original Pizza Cookie, a half pound of your choice of cookie topped with ice cream. Be prepared to wait as Oregano’s is one popular local restaurant – luckily it is worth the wait!

Spinach artichoke dip at Oregano's in Flagstaff AZ
The best app is definitely the tasty Boom dip (spinach, artichoke, and creamy cheese served with pizza chips!)
Unlimited pasta at Oregano's in Flagstaff AZ
The Bollo Pasta – unlimited angel hair pasta topped with housemade marinara and served with garlic bread! The best treat after a full day of hiking!
Cookie cake at Oreganos Pizza Bistro in Flagstaff AZ
The dessert cookie cake – try it if you are not completely stuffed!

4. Zenith Steakhouse

Zenith Steakhouse at the Twin Arrows Casino in Flagstaff AZ

Zenith is a wonderful steakhouse located inside the Twin Arrows casino (about 30 minutes outside of town). It may seem like quite a drive, however, considering the fantastic food, ambiance, and service, it’s worthy of the extra time involved in comparison to waiting in line at one of the overcrowded touristy dining options. Zenith offers the best ambiance of any fine dining restaurant in the area. The service here is several notches above the best in town. The beautiful Navajo inspired design is outstanding, making Zenith the top choice for a romantic date night. The Chicken Parmesan and Mediterranean Seafood Pasta are both must trys! And do not worry if you are a vegetarian – the Mushroom Risotto is sure to please just about anyone!

Pan fried chicken at Zenith Steakhouse in Flagstaff AZ
The Pan Fried Chicken is delicious!
Mushroom risotto at Zenith Steakhouse in Flagstaff AZ
Zenith offers serveral options for vegetarians – check out the delicious Wild Mushroom risotto!
Nice setting at Zenith Steakhouse in Flagstaff AZ
Zenith offers the perfect setting for celebrating a date or special occasion!

5. Charly’s at the Weatherford

The Weatherford Hotel in downtown Flagstaff, Arizona

Charly’s is a Southwestern style restaurant located inside downtown Flagstaff’s historic Weatherford Hotel, which happens to be one of city’s oldest. Out of all the restaurants downtown, Charly’s offers the most attractive setting. The inside dining area is both beautiful & historical, while the outdoor patio offers one of the best opportunities for people watching during the summer season. Here, you can try out a traditional Navajo Taco, which was featured in Zagat’s 50 states, 50 sandwiches. This delicious traditional Native American dish consists of fry bread topped with black or pinto beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, cilantro, and onions. You can up the protein factor by adding beef or chicken or try it out as a breakfast taco in the morning! So delicious – you must try it before leaving!

Breakfast at Charly's at the Weatherford in Flagstaff AZ
Charly’s is a nice choice downtown for an affordable, relaxed breakfast.
Navajo taco at Charly's at the Weatherford in downtown Flagstaff, Arizona
Trying out a traditional Navajo Taco is a must while visiting Northern Arizona!
Mac and cheese at Charly's at The Weatherford in Flagstaff AZ
The Southwestern style mac and cheese is delicious!
A nice historic settin at Charly's in Flagstaff's Weatherford Hotel
Charly’s offers a nice quiet, cozy setting complete with a fireplace
Outdoor seating at Charly's at the Weatherford in downtown Flagstaff
Charly’s offers one of the best settings for summertime patio dining!

6. Golden Dragon

Golden Dragon Chinese in Flagstaff AZ

If you are craving some authentic Chinese food, there is no better choice in town than Golden Dragon. While Monsoon’s Downtown gets all the attention due to its’ prime touristy location, Golden Dragon offers the real deal. The best time to visit Golden Dragon is during lunch hours where you will get to pick from a number of delicious lunch entrees, all served with an egg roll, soup, and fried rice for under ten bucks. The ambiance here is just great and the restaurant never gets too crowded due to its’ location on the East side of town far away from tourist crowds.

Veggie soup at Golden Dragon Chinese in Flagstaff AZ
The delicious Vegetable soup. Other tasty options include the Egg Flower and Hot & Sour
Egg rolls at Golden Dragon Chinese in Flagstaff AZ
Golden Dragon serves the most delicious egg rolls in town!
Great lunch special at Golden Dragon Chinese in Flagstaff AZ
Golden Dragon offers a number of fantastic lunch specials, all under ten bucks. Try the veggie loaded Budha’s Feast!
Veggie fried rick at Golden Dragon in Flagstaff AZ
You can never go wrong with classic fried rice!

7. Beaver Street Brewery

Beaver Street Brewery in Flagstaff AZ

Beaver Street Brewery is a tourist favorite in Flagstaff. With a prime downtown location, a diverse menu of comfort style pub foods, and a nice summer patio, it’s no surprise that most tourists flock here, especially when the mild weather summer season arrives. While definitely not the best restaurant in town, Beaver Street Brewery does offer a nice ambiance and a nice large menu with a bit of something for everyone. If you are looking to relax with a few drinks and comfort style appetizers after a long day of exploring natural wonders, Beaver Street is a great place to do so. Try the Beaver Street Fondue, Hummus Im Snovar (served with delicious blue corn pita), or one of the tasty woodfired pizzas!

Hummus plate at Beaver Street Brewery in Flagstaff AZ
The delicious homemade hummus appetizer – served with veggies and blue corn pita. Or try a side of GF bread as an allergy friendly alternative
Grilled chicken salad at Beaver Street Brewery in Flagstaff AZ
A healthy grilled chicken salad
Mediterranean Quinoa salad at Beaver Street Brewery in Flagstaff AZ
Mediterranean Quinoa salad served with hummus and blue corn pita- one of many excellent salads on the menu!

8. Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen

Picazzos Organic Italian Kitchen in Flagstaff

Sadly, Flagstaff has little to offer in terms of decent Italian dining choices, nor many health conscious restaurant choices. Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen comes in as the best choice in both areas. Picazzo’s is by far the top dining choice for anyone needing gluten-free choices as the menu is 100% free of gluten. That’s right, everything including the bread, pasta, ravioli, appetizers is completely free of gluten! The menu here is very creative with lots of interesting selections including a tasty vegan Alfredo sauce. Be sure to try the Shrimp Scampi, Butternut Squash Ravioli with roasted cauliflower sauce, spinach artichoke dip, and Mama’s Meatballs. Pricing is high but you get what you pay for as Picazzo’s uses only organic ingredients. To save a few bucks, visit during Happy Hours for 1/2 priced appetizers and special drink discounts – by far one of the top deals in town!

Gluten free ravioli at Picazzo's Organic Italian in Flagstaff, Arizona
Gluten-free sweet potato ravioli with a creamy Alfredo sauce!
Spinach artichoke dip at Picazzo's Organic Italian Kitchen in Flagstaff, Arizona
The most delicious spinach artichoke dip around!
Turkey meatballs at Picazzo's Organic Italian Kitchen in Flagstaff, Arizona
Delicious turkey meatballs!

Update: The Flagstaff location of Picazzo’s is now closed. However, you can take the scenic Oak Creek Canyon drive into Sedona to enjoy a great meal at the Sedona location! This drive (one of the country’s most scenic) alone makes the drive to Sedona well worth it!

9. Mix

Mix in Flagstaff, Arizona

For those seeking a fresh healthy salad, soup, or sandwich, Mix is definitely your best bet. Featuring a full salad bar from which you can customize your own veggie filled salad, along with sandwiches and daily soup specials, Mix is the perfect choice for health conscious diners and vegetarians. For those dining gluten-free, Mix is another nice choice as they offer several GF substitutions like croutons and bread, and all the soups are free of gluten as well. Another benefit of choosing Mix is their delicious coffee – they serve Cartel, a great roaster based in the Phoenix area. The setting is a bit chain-like, however, the outdoor patio is perfect as soon as the summer season rolls around! Mix is located downtown in The Old Town Shops, a small dining and shopping area which is home to a few unique shops which you can browse around after your meal.

Lunch at Mix in Flagstaff AZ
A great place for lunch – make your own salad or choose from a selection of pre made sandwiches.
Salad bar at Mix in Flagstaff, Arizona
Mix offers endless toppings to customize your own healthy salad!

10. Wildflower Bread Company

Wildflower Bread Co in Flagstaff AZ

Like Mix, Wildflower is another great choice for health conscious diners seeking a casual, healthy meal. Wildflower’s menu and layout are almost identical to popular chain Panera Bread. Like Panera, Wildflower offers an assortment of fresh baked breads, soups, salads, and tempting array of pastries. The “Wildflower Two,” similar to Panera’s “You Pick Two” is a pretty great little deal where you get a soup, salad (or sandwich) and bread for just 12 bucks. Wildflower is an Arizona chain with 12 locations spread throughout the state. As it is very popular with both locals and tourists, you can expect a line if you visit during the midday rush!

Pumpkin soup at Wildflower Bread in Flagstaff, Arizona
Delicious Autumn Pumpkin soup – try it out if your visit falls during the fall season!
Broccoli cheese soup at Wildflower Bread in Flagstaff, Arizona
The broccoli cheese soup is creamy and delicious!
Wildflower Bread Company in Flagstaff, Arizona
Wildflower Bread offers a breezy outdoor patio which is perfect during spring and summer visits!

11. Horsemen’s Lodge

Horsemen's Lodge in Flagstaff AZ

Horsemen’s Lodge is a rustic steakhouse with a laid-back cowboy ambiance. It’s located a bit outside of the town, which is actually great as it helps to keep the congestion down. It’s one of the best choices for breakfast as the food is great and the pricing very affordable. Horsemen’s is conveniently located on the way to the Grand Canyon, so if you are heading out that way for the day, it really is your best bet. For breakfast, try the Cinnamon Roll French Toast! Dinner is also a great time to visit as they often host live music and Southwestern style comedy. The food is pretty delicious and the bottomless soup and salad bar is a nice complimentary treat!

Cinammon roll french toast at Horsemen's Lodge in Flagstaff AZ
Cinnamon roll french toast – a must try for anyone with a sugar tooth!
Garden omelet at Horsemen's Lodge in Flagstaff AZ
The overstuffed omelets served with 2 sides is the perfect filling start to the day!
Rustic interior of Horsemen's Lodge in Flagstaff AZ
A rustic country ambiance sets Horsemen’s apart from the rest!

Update: Horsemen’s is now closed. Check out other great breakfast choices in Flagstaff.

12. The Toasted Owl

The Toasted Owl in Flagstaff Arizona

The Toasted Owl is a quirky little breakfast and lunch cafe located in Flagstaff’s downtown neighborhood. This local gem stands out amongst the other diners in town due to the diverse menu (lots of GF and vegan choices), cute decor (owls everywhere) and friendly diner style service. While the ambiance is cute inside, The Toasted Owl also offers one of the bigger outdoor patios in town (perfect on summer mornings). Unlike Southern Arizona, Flagstaff summer temperatures are mild – perfect for patio dining! Try the Almond Cakes, Avocado Toast, or the make-your-own breakfast tacos. They also serve some delicious house coffee, so need for an extra stop at Starbucks!

Breakfast Burrito at the Toasted Owl in Flagstaff, Arizona
The breakfast burrito is one of the best in town!
Breakfast tacos at the Toasted Owl in Flagstaff, Arizona
Make your own breakfast tacos! Start with eggs and add all sorts of veggies, avocado, and black beans – delicious!
Toasted Owl Restaurant in Flagstaff, Arizona
Check out the cute owl decor! You can purchase anything you like!