Designated as “Arizona’s Christmas City,
” Prescott feels like everybody’s hometown. Come the holidays, the central Arizona destination turns up the cheer with twinkle lights and holiday decorations galore. But seeing the Courthouse Plaza sparkle isn’t the only reason to visit. Over the past few years, Prescott has raised its restaurant game, adding chef-driven concepts and menus that highlight local ingredients. So bring your holiday cheer and appetite as you sample everything from standout burgers to farm-to-table feasts. Here are six Prescott restaurants not to miss.
Sammies Burger Joint
2161 E. Hillsdale Road, Prescott
You won’t find anything pedestrian like lettuce and tomatoes atop Sammies
burgers. Instead, there are teeth-sinking toppings like melty American cheese, grilled onions and tangy pickles that enhance the meat’s flavor. That flavor comes from an 80/20 blend of locally ranched beef from grass-fed, grain-finished cows. Better yet, these 1/4-pound patties are smashed to perfection, leaving crispy edges that topple over griddled, fresh-baked buns. Level up with The M.O.A.B., a stacked behemoth with smoky pulled pork, pickled jalapenos and Sammies' special M.O.A.B. sauce, a mayonnaisy mix that ties it all together. Fries are hand cut and bathed in beef tallow for an extra crispy finish and piping hot pocket pies come in flavors like apple and cherry. Order at the window and take a seat in the '70s-style interior; food comes out of the swinging saloon doors, often delivered by owner Sam Merenda himself.
Outlaw's bestseller is a go-big or go-home kind of apple fritter.
414 W. Goodwin St., Prescott
You don't have to share the apple fritter at Outlaw Donuts
, but good luck finishing this mammoth mountain of deep-fried dough on your own. Not that it will be easy to stop. Colossally big and deeply delicious, the glistening fritter is lacquered with a landscape of glossy glaze that coats and crystalizes the exterior into a brilliant vista, all devilish peaks and valleys which demand to be demolished. Shatter through the shellacked outside and find a pillowy soft middle, laced with cinnamon and apple deliciousness, with a deeply satisfying chew. Yes, it should be outlawed. Not that you can go wrong with any of the offerings, from cereal-topped yeast donuts to maple bacon Long Johns. The apple fritter just happens to be the biggest and best.
There are sandwiches and then there are Nick’s sandwiches. These handheld feasts do indeed feed your face.
Nick’s Feed Your Face
418 W. Goodwin St., Prescott
There’s a reason Nick’s
has been a Park Plaza Shopping Center fixture and fan favorite in Prescott since 1981. The secret isn’t in the bread, although it’s baked fresh daily and comes in both white and wheat. It isn’t in the subs' size, even though the 12-inch option is indeed a feed-your-face affair. It isn’t in the menu, despite stacked combos like the Rude Boy with turkey, ham, genoa salami and Swiss or the Belt Buster with cotto salami, ham, turkey, genoa salami, provolone and Swiss. And it isn’t in the sauce, an oil and vinegar dressing that punches up the tomato, onion and pickle insides. The secret is in the addition of finely shredded cabbage, a hefty layer that adds incredible texture and makes every sandwich pop. Note: The counter-service spot is only open Monday to Friday 10:30 to 2 p.m. and often sells out of bread.
Bill’s Pizza has been locally owned and operated since 2009.
107 S. Cortez St., Prescott
Coming from a pizza behemoth like Phoenix, why pie it up in Prescott? The answer is Bill’s Pizza
located on the east side of historic Prescott Courthouse Plaza. Creator Bill Tracy made it his mission to taste pizza across Italy and the U.S. and learn from the best, including Phoenix’s own Chris Bianco. The result is a pie that features a sourdough pizza crust made with imported flour from Italy capped with house-made tomato sauce and toppings such as Schreiner’s custom-made sausage and fresh veggies. Popular choices of the gas-fired brick oven pizzas include Bill's Favorite with pesto and red sauce, pepperoni, salami, Sicilian sauce, onion and mozzarella and the Elton John with garlic-infused olive oil, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, spinach, onions, feta and a four-cheese blend. The cozy interior complete with red-checkered tablecloths and local art on the walls only adds to the vibe. Slices and whole pies are available.
Pizza al taglio, kale salad with roasted butternut squash and chai snickerdoodle cookie at Pangaea.
Pangaea Bakery & Café
1260 Gail Gardner Way, Prescott
Good news: The best loaves in Prescott, not to mention standout sandwiches, salads, cookies, croissants, scones and pastries, are all found under one roof at Pangaea Bakery & Café
. The cafe, located at Village at the Boulders shopping center, also serves Roman-style pizza by the slice on focaccia-style dough, quiche made with pasture-raised eggs and organic cream and baked-daily chicken pot pies that sell out fast. There’s also a market section filled with fine chocolates, local produce, canned fish and specialty cheeses. The whole place has a European market vibe with a bustle of regular customers coming for the bread and neighborhood feel. Dine on the patio or pick up a loaf of San Francisco Sourdough and imported Gruyere for a picnic at Watson Lake.
Feast on grilled wild scallops with roasted beet mascarpone risotto and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus at FARM Provisions.
148 N. Montezuma St., Prescott
When husband and wife team Ryan and Brittany Peters opened FARM Provisions
in 2018, they had a vision: Simple food elevated. Inspired by the rich ranch and farm culture of Arizona, they offer a seasonally changing menu featuring locally sourced produce and locally raised meats. That could mean a fresh-baked rosemary boule with Arizona sundried tomatoes and roasted garlic whipped butter to start followed by Arizona prime beef with a red wine demi-glace alongside wild mushrooms and local herbs or perhaps deep-fried deviled Arizona eggs with maple peppered bacon jam followed by a balsamic Portobello mushroom “steak” with organic quinoa and local squash. The setting also conveys simple elegance, with a spacious dining room and garage doors that open onto the patio in nicer weather. Reservations suggested for dinner