There are plenty of egg-and-bacon breakfast spots to fuel your day, plus to-die-for donuts, top-notch pizza and tasting menus that will take you places. So pack your hiking shoes and your appetite and get ready to taste some of the best dishes Flagstaff has to offer.
Fish and Chips at Evans Fish and Chips
113 S. San Francisco St., Flagstaff Hands down the best place to catch the classic British dish in Flagstaff, Evans Fish and Chips opened in October 2021 and has quickly made a name for itself. One look at the perfectly battered and huge piece of cod and you'll see why. A generous, made-to-order portion with a shatteringly golden finish comes on a generous bed of thick, hand-cut fries. But first impressions aside, it’s the taste that’ll really get you. The crunch of the airy coating gives way to the steaming white fish inside. The itty bitty counter-service spot with the bright red exterior is so good, it's a must-visit while up north.
Oysters at Atria
103 N. Leroux St., Flagstaff Flagstaff has hit a new, upscale dining note with Atria, a posh hotspot in the heart of downtown with exquisitely plated dishes from James Beard Award-nominated chef and owner (and Phoenix native) Rochelle Daniel. Indulge in sumptuous roasted bone marrow, savory smoked short ribs with Bordelaise, beef tartare with ramp foam and coal-roasted beets that sing with smoke. But, oh boy, the oysters! Whether you go with the preserved lemon, ginger and lingonberry-spiked raw version or the grilled oysters bathed in buttery chorizo, lemon and parsley broth, they’re shucking good.
Brunch at Forêt Flg
2 S. Beaver St., Flagstaff Forêt Flg makes only 12 canéles a day. A rare find in Phoenix, let alone Flagstaff, the pastries are baked in traditional copper molds, creating a ridged and burnished shell that protects an impossibly rich and smooth custard-like center. The caramelized confections sell out fast, but you can’t go wrong with an Omelette au Fromage cooked the classic French way; the melty Croque Madame with smoked picnic ham, Gruyère, and a fried egg; the billowy brioche toast topped with avocado and fennel slaw; or the cherry wood-smoked chicken sandwich that gets a taste of France with its Fromager d'Affinois cream cheese. Plus, the patio practically feels like Paris with the Motel DuBeau sign across the street.
Db House Burger at Diablo Burger
120 N. Leroux St., Flagstaff Everything at Diablo Burger is a level up from the norm. The substantial 6-ounce patties, made from 100 percent grass-fed beef raised on northern Arizona ranches, are grilled to order. Toppings come courtesy of local farmers and cheese-makers. And innovative combos such as the Db House which comes with blackening spice, chimichurri and an over-easy fried egg, are served on English muffins branded with “db.” No boring buns here. Burgers are big enough to share and come with a side of Belgian-style fries made from whole potatoes, double-fried in peanut oil and seasoned with Herbs de Provence. Wash it down with a local beer on the shaded patio.
French Cruller at Tourist Home All Day Café
52 S. San Francisco St., FlagstaffThe best time of day to head to Tourist Home All Day Cafe is at 6 a.m., when glorious trays of freshly fried French crullers hit the pastry display. More than mere donuts, these glazed darlings are creviced and irresistibly crispy on the outside and pillowy perfect on the inside. Their spiraling ridges glisten in a glazy haze giving way to a center that is impossibly light and pocketed with airy holes. No wonder they sell out daily and especially on weekends. This popular breakfast and lunch joint also serves up superior salads, sandwiches and eggy delights, not to mention a cinnamon-dusted churro cruller plus a cruller of the day (think chocolate coconut). But it’s their OG French cruller that rises above.
Pizza at Pizzicletta
203 W. Phoenix Ave., Flagstaff Picking the best pizza at Pizzicletta is like choosing your favorite child. There’s the take-charge Carne Dolce, a confident mix of house-made mozzarella, mascarpone and spicy sausage with a sweet kiss of local honey and sage. There’s the diplomatic Margherita, with its blend of Bianco DiNapoli tomato sauce, house mozzarella, basil and olive oil. And there’s the attention-seeking SS-145, a glorious mix of gorgonzola, almonds, kale, and lemon juice as unique as its name. All the pies are perfectly executed with naturally leavened dough beautifully charred in a wood-fired oven that was hand-built in Naples. The buzzy vibe of the cramped yet cozy interior and patio only add to the experience.
Tokyo Roll at Red Curry Vegan Kitchen
10 N. San Francisco St., Flagstaff Red Curry Vegan Kitchen proves you don’t need fish sauce for larb, eggs for pad thai, sashimi for sushi or crispy pork, period. Founder and chef Suchhada Tirakul whips up traditional Thai and Japanese dishes, all 100% vegan. Yet everything is smacked with the same sweet-spicy-sour flavor you expect. Start with the Tokyo Roll, six seaweed-wrapped rolls of brown rice, avocado, carrot, cucumber and sunflower sprouts topped with a spicy quinoa roe served with gluten-free soy-ginger ponzu sauce, and you’ll wonder why seafood was ever invited to the party.
Tasting Menu at Shift Kitchen + Bar
107 N. San Francisco St., Flagstaff The seasonal menu at Shift changes regularly, but there are a few things you can count on. The best seat in the house is at the chef’s counter, a seven-seat stretch that gives you a front-row view of owner and pastry chef Dara Wong and her crew in action. You can’t go wrong with shared small plates, say the Artichoke Rockefeller with artichoke bottoms, compound butter, habanero crystals and lemon aioli or the absolutely must-order pickled French fries. But the same can be said for the Chef’s Tasting Menu. This $75 per person revelatory experience takes you on a four-course journey that ends with a can’t-miss dessert, like the baklava rice pudding served with rosewater rhubarb sorbet. Wong is an acclaimed pastry chef, after all.
Blackened Catfish Style Po'Boy at Satchmo’s Cajun & BBQ
2320 N. Fourth St., Flagstaff The blackened catfish po'boy at Satchmo’s starts with the seasoning, a hand-blended combo of seven herbs and spices, including cayenne, white and black peppers. The fish is then cooked in a cast-iron pan pre-heated to 500 degrees and finished with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Finally, on goes the crunchy, vinegar-based coleslaw, smoky remoulade and sliced tomato. The counter-service Cajun-Creole-barbecue joint also serves impressive barbecued ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork, jambalaya and house-seasoned tots.
Chilaquiles at MartAnne’s Breakfast Palace
112 E. Route 66, Flagstaff Family-owned Flagstaff favorite MartAnne’s is “The house that chilaquiles built.” It’s declared on the front door, on the art-adorned walls and on the all-day breakfast menu. It’s not just an empty brag. The legendary plate is layered with scrambled eggs, cheese, onions and either green tomatillo or red chile sauce, plus fried corn tortillas. Or step it up with J.B.’s Volcano which adds pork green chile and an over-medium egg to the mountainous mix. Either way, you’ll sop up every gooey bite with this breakfast plate that lasts well past lunch.
Giant Cinnamon Roll at The Toasted Owl Cafe
12 S. Mikes Pike St., Flagstaff
5300 E. Cortland Blvd., Flagstaff The Toasted Owl Cafe has more than one menu standout. This brunch hot spot, with its packed patio and thrift store-like interior, serves fat French toasts, loaded omelets, crispy house potatoes, vegan burritos, endless coffee and $7 all-day mimosas. But as one waiter recently put it, “If you come to Toasted Owl and don’t eat a cinnamon roll, you didn’t really come to Toasted Owl." Topped with a generous spoonful of glaze that melts down into the warm, cinnamony-sweet roll, this is the ultimate start to any day or end to any meal. And yes, it really is lumberjack big.