I have lived in Sedona since 2000. Weekend tourist traffic requires some patience, but on the weekdays, Sedona retains its small-town charm.
Where to Eat Out in Sedona
Sedona, Arizona, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in not only Arizona, but also in the world. Most people come to view the massive red rock formations, which are set against a clear blue sky and surrounded by the green of pinion pines and juniper pines. They come for the beauty of Oak Creek Canyon and the fun of Slide Rock on Oak Creek.
Some come to camp and hike or participate in the Sedona Marathon, while others come for the annual film festival or art festivals. Some come for spiritual peace or guidance, or for a special occasion—but whatever the reason for a visit, I'd like to suggest some of our family's favorite restaurants.
10 Great Places to Eat in Sedona
- Miley's Cafe
- The Cowboy Club Grille & Spirits
- Cucina Rustica
- The Coffee Pot
- Bar 1902 at Whole Foods Market
- Steakhouse 89
- Wildflower Cafe and Bakery
- Going out for a picnic (get outside and enjoy those red-rock views!)
It needs to be noted that I do not have any financial connections to any of our favorite restaurants, and my opinions are just suggestions of restaurants that we continue to enjoy.
Getting to Sedona and the Restaurant Locations
Getting to Sedona from towns in Southern Arizona or Central Arizona requires traveling north on I-17 to Exit 298 Sedona, and getting to Sedona from Flagstaff involves taking the 89a Exit to Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, or by staying on I-17 to Exit 298. Coming down Oak Creek Canyon by car offers some breathtaking views but there are some switchback turns to consider. On weekends, the Canyon is especially congested and requires more travel time.
Once in Sedona, the restaurants I will suggest will be located in Uptown, our tourist shopping area, West Sedona on 89a, or in the Village of Oak Creek, which is located in the area of Bell Rock and Courthouse Rock. (You can receive a free area map in a number of visitor centers, our Chamber of Commerce, or in many of the Uptown stores.)
1. Miley's Cafe
Type of Food: Comfort food, Mexican food
Location: 7000 Hwy 179, Tequa Plaza in the Village of Oak Creek
Miley's serves breakfast and lunch. It offers very generous portions at moderate prices. They specialize in cafe comfort food such as burgers, meatloaf, liver and onions, chicken, fish and mashed potatoes, but they also have wonderful Mexican food. Their outside tables are pet friendly for those walking or traveling with their pets.
- Daily specials
- Beer and wine license
- Great place for families
- Great place for pie and coffee
- Friendly service
- Pet-friendly tables
Type of Food: Varied
Location: Hillside Shops on Hwy 179
Hudson's opened in 2016. While it's considered to be a "new" restaurant, it is owned by the Shugrues, a family well-known in Sedona for many years. The decor is modern, the bar has been expanded, and the views to the north are outstanding. Dining can be inside or outside, and the dress is casual. During the day, the views are wonderful. This restaurant isn't inexpensive, but it's a great value for the selection and quality of food.
The menu is varied, and the portions are huge. Their wine selection is impressive, and their signature cocktails are varied. A few of our favorites include pulled pork tacos, burgers, Thai scallops, and their kale salads.
Their desserts are meant to be shared. My favorite is their cherry cobbler. The biscuit is rich, the berries have a sauce that isn't overly sweet, and it comes piled high with ice cream and a strawberry.
- Indoor and outdoor dining
- Nice views
- Perfect for special occasions
3. The Cowboy Club Grille & Spirits
Type of Food: Western specialties
Location: Hwy 89A, Uptown Sedona
The Cowboy Club Grille & Spirits. formerly the Oak Creek Tavern, has a rich history as the bar where four cowboy artists met and formed The Cowboy Artists of America association in 1965.
During the days when many Western films were made in Sedona, Hollywood stars such as John Wayne, Joan Crawford, Glenn Ford, Jimmy Stewart, Rock Hudson, and Maureen O'Hara all enjoyed "hanging" at the Tavern. Many remember a giant polar standing in the back of the bar.
Today, the restaurant is a fine place for lunch opening at eleven daily or dinner and serves Western specialties such as Cactus fries, Rattlesnake bites, wild game, buffalo burgers, planked salmon, and clay pot chicken. The Cowboy Club features several cuts of steak, prime rib, and BBQ.
The atmosphere is one of fun, and the Western decor and art is an experience for cowboys and cowgirls of all ages. Their margaritas are great, and their prickly pear margaritas are a favorite. Appetizers, salads, and entrees are a la carte. Sandwiches are very generous and average about $15.00, and dinner entrees average about $30. Their carrot cake is dense and delicious. This is a good choice for those who arrive on bus tours in Uptown.
- Western food and decor
- A la carte dining
- Rich history
4. Cucina Rustica
Type of Food: Rustic Italian
Location: 7000 Hwy 179, Tequa Plaza in the Village of Oak Creek
Cucina Rustica features rustic Italian cuisine and wines. They have a "farm to table" approach of serving organically grown foods, according to chef/owner Lisa Dahl who owns five other restaurants in Sedona. Whether you dine indoors or outdoors, the setting is lovely and the menu varied.
Appetizers, salads and entrees are a la carte, so a "typical" dinner for two with wine will cost over $100. But, it is well worth the cost, as the restaurant has consistently won Trip Advisor's Award of excellence. Cucina Rustica often features live background music, and the setting is warm and romantic.
While I have seen young children eating there, the sophisticated dishes, and the amount of time between courses that is perfect for conversation and eating at leisure, add up to a very long dinner for children.
The restaurant has recently begun to serve lunch during the warmer months and, dinner reservations are suggested. Owner Lisa Dahl also owns Lisa Pizza, Butterfly Burger, Dahl & D'Luca and Mariposa on 89A. Mariposa is the most elegant restaurant in Sedona, with the best views, but they come with a hefty price tag.
- Indoor and outdoor dining
- Live music
- Farm-to-table approach
- Romantic atmosphere
Type of Food: Mexican
Location: In Uptown Sedona at 350 Jordan Road
Elote (Mexican Street Corn) Restaurant serves Mexican food with sophisticated twists, such as their seafood tacos, baked (not fried) chili relleno, corn crusted scallops and of course their Elote roasted corn appetizer with chile, lime and cotija cheese. There are usually several wild game offerings. I always save room for their Mexican chocolate ice cream with its homemade dense chocolate flavor.
Space is limited to a small outdoor seating and two small dining rooms and a tiny bar. The only negative to dining at Elote, is the fact that they don't accept reservations and there is always a wait. They are open for dinner from 5-9 on Tuesday-Saturday.
6. The Coffee Pot
Type of Food: Omelets and other breakfast foods, lunches
Location: 89-A, West Sedona
The Coffee Pot has been a favorite restaurant for breakfast since the 1950s. They boast serving 101 different omelets that are served with various bread, meat and potato choices. I recommend their homemade biscuits and hash browns. They have a variety of pancakes and other breakfast favorites. They also serve lunch.
The decor is standard cafe, but their omelets are anything but standard. There is a gift shop inside that offers a variety of merchandise. Open from 6:00 until 2:00, daily.
7. Bar 1902 at Whole Foods Market
Type of Food: Sandwiches, salad bar, hot and cold deli bar
Location: Inside the Whole Foods Market at 4120 W Hwy 89A
The 31,000 square-foot Whole Foods Market was renovated to include Bar 1902. While the market portion of Whole Foods opens daily at 8:00, Bar 1902 is open from 11 to 8:30 daily. The Bar offers casual indoor and outdoor seating and boasts serving 18 local craft beers.
The market offers healthy, responsibly grown selections of hot and cold foods such as pizza, deli salads, soups, an extensive salad bar, an olive bar, sandwiches and fabulous desserts from their bakery. It is rapidly becoming one of Sedona's most popular gathering places for juices, coffee or wine. Items are available for take-out.
8. Steakhouse 89
Type of Food: Steaks and seafood
Location: 2620 W Arizona State Route 89a, West Sedona
Steak 89 is noted for their hand selected variety of steaks, which arrive with wonderful mashed potatoes and crisp asparagus included. Their Chateaubriand for Two is fork-tender and I highly recommend it. They also have some pricey but delicious appetizers such as their lobster bisque and deviled eggs. They have a great selection of seafood and offer gluten-free and vegetarian options. There is a full bar and an impressive wine list. For us, this is a special occasion place due to their prices, but they have a large bar area and they offer a fantastic happy hour which is a great way to enjoy being at Steak 89 without ordering a full meal.
This has nothing to do with their food or service which we love, but they have also contributed to a number of community fundraisers. Steak 89 opens at 10:00 on Sundays, through 10:00 and Tuesday-Saturday at 11:00 for lunch and closes at 10.
9. Wildflower Cafe and Bakery
Type of Food: Baked goods, soups and sandwiches, breakfast
Location: 89 A in the Hyatt Stores, Uptown
Wildflower Cafe and Bakery is a great place to pick up a variety of excellent breads, pastry, and desserts, or to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner in a casual setting with indoor and outdoor seating.
Six soups are offered daily and their signature soup is potato cream cheese which is served with bread or in a bread bowl. There is a variety of salads and sandwiches, and for breakfast, try their pancakes. Expect a line during breakfast and lunch, but it moves quickly. After eating, browse the specialty shops.
10. Going Out for a Picnic (Non-Restaurant)
While many Sedona restaurants offer carry-out service, there are a few places that are perfect for on-the-go eating. Depending on which part of town you're in, I'd suggest any of the following options.
- West Sedona: The Safeway and Bashas grocery stores make great sandwiches to order and the price is right. They both offer top grade deli meats and cheeses and have all the sides such as potato salad, beans, other salads, chips and cookies.
- Uptown: Sedona Memories Bakery and Cafe is a bit pricey at $14.95 for a turkey sandwich; however, one overstuffed sandwich can be shared.
- Oak Creek Canyon: The general store at Garland's Indian Gardens offers nice to-go food. They also have picnic tables behind the store.
- Village of Oak Creek: To-go foods may be purchased at the Desert Flour Bakery, Subway, or Webbers Market.
© 2016 mactavers
eyoungsedona on May 29, 2018:
Thank you for the suggestions. This is a beautiful town, and it's great to see the new restaurants arrive, and the established ones continue to thrive! I like Creekside American Bistro also!
mactavers (author) on May 02, 2016:
You would be amazed at all the new restaurants and growth. Thanks for reading.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 02, 2016:
Great article. Fun to get caught up as I have been away from home for some time. Drank too much at the Tavern and short ordered cooked at Coffe Pot. Certainly not a wasted youth.