The Wilderness Girls pride ourselves on being localvores (someone who eats/shops/does business locally, to use it in the broadest sense), and that holds true for our Fall Foliage trips as well!
It’s really easy to go to a chain that you know and are familiar with, but it’s so much more beneficial to the community you visit if you dine at a locally-owned restaurant and you often get better food quality and service to boot.
This year we had a good mix of 2012 favorites and new 2013 picks. Check out our restaurants of choice below.
Beeline Café (Payson, AZ)
Located on the Beeline Highway is a little diner-style spot called Beeline Café. This has become our annual “kicking off the trip” breakfast spot that we hit before our first hike. The menu includes stick-to-your-ribs classics like biscuits and gravy, hearty omelets, oatmeal, as well as sweet creations like Cinnamon Roll French Toast (they use sliced cinnamon rolls instead of bread). The food is classic comfort and the people are genuinely nice (especially when asked for multiple photos of your group in various locations in the restaurant).
Beaver Street Brewery (Flagstaff, AZ)
Right in the heart of the historic section of Flagstaff, and near the Northern Arizona University campus, this microbrewery/restaurant serves up great beer and American classics like pizza, burgers, chicken pot pie and sausage/brat platters. Our favorite item off the menu was the Beaver Street Brewery Fondue – cheddar cheese, onions and beer, with bread and veggies to dip. I would recommend getting a couple of fondues, or a fondue and side salads. We all agreed that after the fondue, we were not sure we could finish our meals.
The Sweet Shoppe & Nut House (Flagstaff, AZ)
After a long day of hiking, we stopped back in old town Flagstaff to browse the shops, and after walking by The Sweet Shoppe and getting a whiff of the chocolate inside, we were drawn in like moths to a flame. Since we were inside, we all decided we would get “just a piece of something.” It was well worth the splurge. In addition to a huge assortment of fudges and chocolates, they have chocolate covered potato chips, Oreos, pretzel rods, as well as huge caramel-covered apples and a gelato stand.
Northern Pines (Flagstaff, AZ)
Just like The Beeline Café has become our first day of the trip breakfast spot, Northern Pines has become our last day of the trip breakfast spot. You cannot go wrong with anything on the menu. We have sampled everything from their multiple benedicts, to tamales and eggs, to pancakes and French toast and it’s all delicious. They even have a chicken fried steak burrito, which looked amazing when we saw another guest receive it, even though it was easily the size of her forearm. It’s a popular spot too, so get there early!
Rock Springs Café (Black Canyon City, AZ)
Rock Springs Café, hands-down, has the best pie in the world. And you would never guess it, as it’s a small building/restaurant along the side of the I-17 going back to Phoenix. You can either stop in the bakery section and pick up a piece of (or whole) pie to go, or you can do like we do, and sit a spell in the café, and enjoy some comfort food, a piece of pie, and then order another for the road (and for each of The Wilderness Hubs). They have sandwiches, burgers, chili, green chili mac & cheese and fried pickles on the regular menu. And the pies run the gamut from fruit (both full crust and crumble), to cream pies, to meringues, to their signature pie – Jack Daniels pecan. It’s not too far from Phoenix, so it’s worth a day trip.
What are your favorite places to eat in Flagstaff, Sedona, or on the way? Share them in the comments below! We are always looking for new options for our next Fall Foliage trip!
Hungry for more fall foliage photos? Check out our photostream on Flickr.