I’m fortunate to live less than two hours from Sedona, AZ, one of the most beautiful places on earth, so I make a road trip to there about once per month when I can help it. As such, my fiance have “wined and dined” across Sedona, and have found the dining scene there to have some fabulous food & service. We’ve rarely had a bad experience, but here are the “best of the best” restaurants we’d recommend when our friends visit Sedona. I’m writing this blog post half as a public resource, and half so that when my friends ask me where they should eat I can just send them this link. Enjoy!
Cucina Rustica / Dahl & Di Luca
These sister restaurants have nearly the same menu and owners, and both are absolutely great. They’re definitely considered “fine dining” so you won’t want to go in your hiking clothes. We eat at Cucina Rustica every time we come to Sedona as it’s on the South end of town which is perfect once we first get in to Sedona or on our way out. They offer amazing italian dishes, home made pasta, great appetizers & deserts, a good wine list, and best of all it’s reasonably priced and charming inside. These two are absolutely our favorite restaurants, and something we recommend to everyone (and are always thanked for that recommendation later!).
Elote is perhaps the most well known (and also highest rated) restaurant in Sedona, and it’s a unique experience. The food is definitely worth of its reputation, and the cocktails are very creative. The major downside is they don’t take reservations, are only open on weekends, and the wait to get a table can be close to two hours unless you get there right at opening. We stayed at the hotel that is attached to the restaurant when we ate there, which was nice as we could go back to our room while waiting for our table, but otherwise I’d save this for a special occasion or an early dinner. I don’t think we’ll be going back that often as I really hate having to wait so long and going through such an ordeal, but it’s definitely worth trying out once. I understand they want to reserve the spots for those who want them the most, but I’d prefer not to be treated like carnies at the town fair waiting to get on a ride when trying to have a nice dinner with my lady.
Barking Frog is a fun, casual place – they’ve got a great happy hour, especially if you like cheap margaritas, and they also have some unique things like cactus fries (made of actual cactus). The chile relleno is also very good (and super cheesy!). This is a great place to take the family, or to get a nice hearty meal after a long day of hiking without having to worry too much about your appearance or acting “formal.”
Heartline doesn’t look like much from the road, but inside it is very nice, with exceptional food to match. They focus on local food where possible, have a nice wine list, and are another “special occasion” restaurant where you won’t want to go in your hiking clothes (although I have done this once, and they accommodated us just fine, I just felt a little underdressed). They also have a to-go market if that’s more of your thing.
Chocolatree is a bit “crunchy” for some people, but if you love chocolate, you must go. It’s a vegan restaurant that specializes in raw chocolate superfoods – in other words, healthy chocolate. It’s by far the best chocolate you’ll ever taste, and worth the trip at least once to experience it. The food itself is a bit too odd for some, but I like it because it’s light & healthy.
Natural Frontiers is a grocery store, much like a local version of Whole Foods. They have a ton of prepared foods, so a stop here is usually a staple to fill up the cooler & back pack for some snacks or a lunch picnic while out hiking. They’ve got some really unique food like the raw lasagna and tempeh salad that we really enjoy. Also a nice cheese & wine selection, if you want something to enjoy when you get back to your room at the end of the night
This place is easy to miss but a GREAT lunch spot. It’s right along the creek with nice views from the patio. They allow dogs on the patio and have great food – a lot of healthy options as well as your not-so-healthy options like burgers and fries. It’s a crowd pleasure no matter what you’re in the mood for.
Cheers and enjoy Sedona!