Top Ten Lists

Flagstaff Restaurants

As soon as you enter Flagstaff, a popular Northern Arizona vacation destination due to its' close proximity to the Grand Canyon and enjoyable 4 season climate, you will notice an abundance of restaurants lining every nook and cranny of town.

The town offers quite a surprising number of restaurants despite its' small size of just 70,000 year-round residents. Because of the heavy tourist traffic year-round and the increasing popularity of this high altitude mountain town, the demand exists and continues to grow for more and more dining options.

The town itself sees more than 5 million visitors a year, as well as additional road stop travelers on their way to major Southwestern cities like Vegas and LA. Some of the restaurants are overrated and simply exist for the tourists, while others are more worthy of a visit. It can be overwhelming experience to pick amongst the sea of options, not knowing if you are falling into a tourist trap!

Here are 10 great independent restaurants to check out instead of the usual chains like Olive Garden and Red Lobster.
  • 1. Delhi Palace
    Delhi Palace
    2700 S Woodlands Village Blvd, , 86001
    Delhi Palace is one of the best Indian restaurants you will ever step foot in. Everything here is consistently fresh and delicious. Visiting during lunch hours, you will be treated to a wonderful lunch buffet (just under ten bucks!) with 15+ options including delicious Vegetable Korma, Saag Paneer, Onion Bhaji, 2 tasty soups, the most delicious Naan bread, and much more. Everything is perfectly spiced (not too hot) and bustling with flavor. Service is wonderful and the dining area and buffet line are always kept very clean.

    It's definitely the top ethnic restaurant in Flagstaff, if not in all of Northern Arizona. If you have never tried out Indian food before, the buffet is a great introduction to this tasty exotic cuisine. You will get to try a diverse variety of Indian foods and decide which is your favorite before committing to a full entree. And after enjoying your first meal, you are sure to be back for more!
  • 2. Zenith Steakhouse
    Zenith Steakhouse
    22181 Resort Blvd, , 86004
    Zenith Steakhouse is located inside the Twin Arrows Casino, located just 20 minutes or so outside of the city. Although the casino itself is nothing spectacular, this great steakhouse is definitely worthy of a visit. In fact, it's the best fine dining choice in or around Flagstaff. While other "high end" downtown restaurants tend to be cramped, crowded, and noisy, Zenith offers a spacious, elegant, & gorgeously decorated dining space, which is perfect for a date or celebration.

    The vibe is less touristy, and more relaxed & romantic. Service is outstanding, and the same goes for the food presentation.

    Try out the delicious Wild Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto or the Pan Roasted Chicken Breast and split the Chef's Salad, presented tableside for 2. Top off your meal with a fantastic glass of wine from the extensive menu which has earned the restaurant a place on the Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence.
  • 3. The Toasted Owl
    The Toasted Owl
    12 S Mikes Pike Street, , 86001
    The Toasted Owl offers the best & most diverse breakfast menu in downtown Flagstaff, as well as the most attractive patio dining. Service here is unusually friendly for the area (service is not Flagstaff's strong suit!) and the ambiance is a bit more quirky, consisting of cute owl decor everywhere. While every other restaurant in town seemed to go with a bland, template pattern, The Toasted Owl's decor is especially creative.

    The breakfast menu offers a bit of something for everyone, from southwest style tacos, to standard omelets, to unique smashed avocado toast. There are lots of gluten-free options including the most delicious, moist ginger buckwheat pancakes. Portions are great for the price, and you do not feel like you are dining at a tourist trap just taking your money like some other businesses downtown. Their bottomless coffee is a rich dark roast, and definitely recommended if you like your coffee strong!

    The entrees are really filling here, making it a good choice for anyone looking to hit the trails following breakfast.

    For a relaxing weekend brunch in a relaxed, charming setting, be sure to plan on a visit to The Toasted Owl.
  • 4. Horsemen's Lodge
    Horsemen's Lodge
    8500 US-89, , 86004
    Horsemen's Lodge is another fantastic breakfast restaurant with a great theme. This restaurant is located a bit outside of town, which is a great thing as it sees much less tourist traffic.

    The rustic ambiance of this restaurant really sets it apart from the rest. Flagstaff barely has any mountain themed restaurants, which makes the woodsy atmosphere of Horsemen's Lodge reason alone to pay a visit. Nature and outdoor lovers should both appreciate the attractive mountain design.

    The breakfast menu includes a bit of everything - the French Toast, burritos, and Southwest omelet are all worthy of a try. Dinner is also a great time to plan a visit as you will be treated to live entertainment and a great soup and salad bar.

  • 5. Charly's Pub and Grill
    Charly's Pub and Grill
    23 N Leroux Street, , 86001
    Charly's is the best overall restaurant in the downtown area due to the diverse menu, friendly service, and beautiful historic setting. Located in the historic Weatherford Hotel (built in 1897 and featured in the National Register of Historic Places), the restaurant holds a special charm which the more modern dining options are lacking. It also happens to be one of the few businesses in town which goes all out for the holidays, festively decorating with each passing season, thus giving it a more charming, eclectic vibe.

    During the summer months, you can enjoy dining on the beautiful outdoor patio: the perfect place in the center of downtown to people watch and take in the all the sights and action.

    Must try entrees at Charly's include the Najavo Taco, a traditional Native American frybread topped with all sorts of taco toppings, and the delicious creamy 4 cheese Mac and Cheese.

    Charly's offers one of the most unique menus downtown with lots of Southwestern style choices which you will not find anywhere else.
  • 6. La Fonda Mexican Restaurant
    La Fonda Mexican Restaurant
    1900 N 2nd Street, , 86004
    Although Salsa Brava tends to get most of the attention and praise, being that it is located on historic Route 66 & was featured on Food Network's popular "Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives" TV show, all the locals know that La Fonda actually serves the most authentic, tasty Mexican food in town!

    La Fonda tends to be very busy and crowded most days of the week, however, it's well worth the wait for the quality Mexican fare. The 1/2 lb Veggie Fajitas are an absolute must try - the best you will find in the Northern Arizona area, hands down. The Chimichangas are also a safe bet.

    Although the decor could be spiced up a bit and the dining room expanded to accommodate the heavy traffic, the tasty Mexican food, easily makes up for the lackluster setting and service.
  • 7. Salsa Brava
    Salsa Brava
    2220 Rt 66, , 86004
    Salsa Brava is a Rt 66 classic. This long running Mexican favorite has even been featured on Guy Fieri's popular Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives show. Not only does Salsa Brava serve the best comfort style Mexican foods, but the vibe is really fun and touristy. The lively, colorful, upbeat setting makes it the perfect choice for a fun vacation

    Highlights here include the Portobello fajitas, Farmer's Market Burrito, and the Chimichangas. If you want to test out a local specialty, try the Navajo taco. This tasty dish includes a traditional Native American frybread topped with all the regular taco toppings. If you are wondering what guy ate - the Navaja taco and Stuffed Sopapilla. And, best of all, Salsa Brava is known for their complimentary chips and endless salsa bar!

    If you are seeking comfort food in a lively setting, there is no better choice than Rt 66 classic, Salsa Brava.
  • 8. Beaver Street Brewery
    Beaver Street Brewery
    11 S Beaver St #1, , 86001
    Beaver Street Brewery is the best of the numerous bar/pub style restaurants over flooding the downtown region. Beaver Street offers a pretty diverse menu which includes burgers, house made pizzas, lots of fun pub style appetizers, and even healthy vegetarian options like a quinoa loaded Mediterranean salad. Start your meal off on a fun note by ordering a tasty cheese fondue, served with fresh veggies, bread cubes, and fruit slices,

    A summer visit is a must to enjoy the lovely outdoor patio, which is surrounded by trees and lit up beautifully at night.

    For some appetizing comfort food, a lively ambiance, and plenty of craft beer options, look no further than Beaver Street Brewery.
  • 9. Mix
    120 N Leroux Street, , 86001
    Mix is one of the healthier options downtown, a salad/soup/sandwich restaurant, which comes in as a refreshing change in an area loaded with burgers and fried foods. At Mix, you can customize your own salad, order from a list of specialty sandwiches, and/or check out the specialty homemade soup of the day. The staff will prepare your entree right in front of you, allowing you to request more/less of certain ingredients.

    Mix is also very popular for their unique breakfast menu which include a variety of tempting creative pancake creations.

    Service is always pretty chipper here and food is always served fast without a lengthy wait. Everything is clean and stocked all the time, giving the restaurant a fresh, clean look.

    Mix offers a great little outdoor seating area in Heritage Square, the heart of downtown. As an added bonus, because Mix is located in the Old Town Shops, you have a variety of interesting novelty shops to browse around either before or after your meal.
  • 10. Oregano's Pizza Bistro
    Oregano's Pizza Bistro
    605 Riordan Road, , 86001
    Oregano's is a regional Italian chain with numerous locations throughout Arizona. The Gibbilini family of Chicago started the restaurant as a tribute to their father who loved Italian food. On the menu, you will find traditional dishes like lasagna, ziti, and Alfredo, as well as new & exciting selections like the Huge Guaca-Tony, which is a handmade pizza crust, topped with Parmesan cheese, and served with a big dollop of guacamole.

    There are lots of fun appetizers to choose amongst such as French fries, spinach artichoke dip, garlic bread, and fried zucchini. They also specialize in Chicago style pizza, which includes both thin crust and the famous deep dish pizza.

    One of the best times to visit is during lunch hours when a variety of specials are offered. The servings here are very large - you will definitely leave with plenty of leftovers. If you are looking to stuff yourself after a hard hike & treat yourself to some tasty filling carbs, Oregano's is probably your best bet in town!

    The Bollo Pasta, a tasty bowl of angel hair noodles topped with homemade marinara sauce, is offered unlimited for under ten bucks. It really is a great deal in a tourist town where most restaurants are overcharging everything.

    Service is super friendly here and the staff is willing to accommodate your needs.

    The setting is lively and the space is spacious with attractive decor. If you are looking for a fun dining experience with lots of great comfort food choices in an upbeat atmosphere, look no further than Oregano's Pizza Bistro.