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Our Favorite Outdoor Dining in Flagstaff

Updated on January 17, 2017
Patio seating for Cuvee 928 at Heritage Square
Patio seating for Cuvee 928 at Heritage Square

Looking for a Nice Place to Eat Outside?

You can always choose a pretty spot -- and there are plenty of those around here, in the midst of the largest ponderosa pine forest in the world with the San Francisco Peaks in our collective backyard -- to lay down a picnic blanket or barbecue at a local park. But if restaurant fare is what you're after, I've got some suggestions for local eateries where the food is good and the outdoor atmosphere is too.

When spring gets a solid foothold here in northern Arizona, the conditions are often favorable (albeit sometimes a little breezy) for outdoor dining. And the often warm and dry -- but not too hot -- summer temperatures make for perfect weather for sitting outside while you enjoy some of the great food that Flagstaff has to offer. This isn't a big city (more like a large college town to me), but we do have a LOT of good restaurants to choose from.

My husband and I enjoy going out to eat, especially on the weekends. And when it's warm enough, we prefer to get an outdoor table. It kind of makes us feel like we're on vacation in our own hometown. So, these are some of our favorite places to go to enjoy the fresh air and food cooked by someone else.

All images on this page were taken by me, Deb Kingsbury.

Outdoor Dining around Heritage Square

Diablo Burger and Mix at Heritage Square
Diablo Burger and Mix at Heritage Square


Choose from the best burgers in town; wine, hors de ouvres and fine dining; Chinese and Japanese dishes; soups, salads and sandwiches; or Italian cuisine

Heritage Square, in the heart of downtown Flagstaff, is a fun place to hang out, people-watch, be entertained, and eat too. There are several restaurants right off the square that have outdoor seating.

Our top pick: Diablo Burger

This is our favorite outdoor eatery at Heritage Square, where you can order a variety of flavorful burgers made from free-range, local beef (or a veggie burger, salad, and a few other options if beef isn't your thing). The burgers are served on grilled and branded English muffins with a generous portion of tasty seasoned shoestring fries. Be aware that they'll serve your burger on the rare side -- they recommend it that way and explain it on the menu -- so if you want it cooked more, be sure to let them know when you order.

The interior of Diablo Burger is really tiny and tight, but there are plenty of places to sit outside overlooking the square, with a fun fantasy Joe Sorren mural as the backdrop.

FYI: This a "community seating" eatery that accepts cash only, so you may want to stop at the ATM first.

Outdoor dining at Cuvee 928
Outdoor dining at Cuvee 928

Other Outdoor Options At and Near Heritage Square

Cuvee 928

Serving lunch or dinner along with a large selection of fine wines, beer, and cocktails, Cuvee 928 offers everything from a cheeseburger to filet mignon, but even their Mac & Cheese of the Day is on the gourmet side. I've eaten there a few times, sampling a variety of their appetizers along with a salad, finishing off with their White Chocolate & Nutmeg Creme Brulee Sugar Cookie. Yum!

Cuvee 928 offers plenty of outdoor seating right on the Square, and they put out the portable heaters (you can see them in the photo here) to add a bit of extra warmth in the evening. You can hang out as long as you like, sip some wine (or water), and enjoy the company you're with and the goings on at Heritage Square.

Website: cuvee928winebar.com

Monsoon at Heritage Square, Flagstaff
Monsoon at Heritage Square, Flagstaff

Monsoon

This is a "Chinese Bistro" with sushi too. They offer outdoor seating in their covered sidewalk patio next to Heritage Square, so you're safe grabbing an outside table during summer monsoon season. They open for lunch at 11:00 and serve until late in the evening.

Location: 6 E Aspen Ave

Website: monsoondowntownflag.com

Mix on the Square

Mix is what I'd call lighter fare when it comes to lunches and dinners, featuring lots of good salads -- and you can create your own, too -- interesting sandwiches, and freshly made soups. But they do have baked goods to go along with all the healthy stuff.

I recommend the Ginger Salmon Salad and the Berry Chicken Salad Sandwich. There are also plenty of vegetarian and vegan choices, and gluten-free sourdough bread (just ask for it).

Breakfast options include a number of egg dishes, biscuits and gravy, and pancake creations like the Caramel Apple Stack and Blueberry Compote Pancakes.

There are some tables out back, right off the Square, right next to the Diablo Burger area.

Location: 120 N. Leroux St.

Website: mixflagstaff.com

Charly's Grill at the Weatherford Hotel
Charly's Grill at the Weatherford Hotel

Charly's Grill at the Weatherford Hotel

This one isn't right on Heritage Square, but it's just across the street. Charly's has both sidewalk patio seating with tables for up to four each and smaller tables for two on the upstairs porch. My husband and I like to eat here when we have a craving for nachos (be aware, their "Mini Macho Nachos" is a BIG portion, more than enough for two), but they have lots of other appetizers and fine meals, from sandwiches to Southwestern specialties to steaks. If you choose to eat upstairs, though, you'll be ordering from the more limited pub menu rather than the full restaurant menu you'll have downstairs.

Charly's serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Location: 23 N. Leroux St. (928.779.1919)

Website: Weatherfordhotel.com/food-spirits/charlys-pub-grill/

Pasto

If you're in the mood for some fine Italian cuisine, Pasto is one of several good choices around town, this being one the only (that I know of) with outdoor dining in their romantic inner courtyard, where you'll be surrounded by flowers, herbs, and vegetable plants. The courtyard usually opens around May 1st, weather permitting.

Dinner reservations are a good idea, by calling 928-779-1937. And be sure to request a courtyard table.

Their menu prices range from about $20 up to $48 for the Rack of Lamb. You can also order pasta as a main entrée a la carte for $9 to $17. Pricey, yes, but you can dress casually. After all, this is Flagstaff.

Location: Across from Heritage Square at 19 E Aspen Ave

See the Pasto menu at gayot.com

Sit Outside at Aspen Place Restaurants - A lot of excellent food to choose from -- American, Mediterranean, organic and natural foods -- and more on the way....

Outdoor seating at Wildflower Bread Company
Outdoor seating at Wildflower Bread Company

Located along Butler Avenue, Aspen Place at The Sawmill is a new and growing collection of shops and restaurants, including a few (so far) with outdoor dining areas.

Our top pick: Wildflower Bread Company

I eat here a lot. Their sandwiches, with delicious breads baked in house daily, are delicious, and I love their hearty soups and pasta dishes too ... not to mention the generous salads and the fresh desserts. Wildflower is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Order at the counter, and the friendly staff -- and sometimes the friendly owner -- will bring your meal, whether you're sitting inside or out.

My favorites here are the half-and-half specials with either a half-sandwich or bowl of soup and a salad and fresh bread, the chocolate chip scones (yum!), and the butternut squash ravioli.

You can sit at one of the sunny tables out front or choose a shaded seat on the side patio, where they have an outdoor fireplace you'll find adding some heat and ambiance on cooler days. They also have overhead heaters to make things more comfortable out there when the air is chillier. Sometimes people sit out there on milder early spring and autumn days too.

Website: wildflowerbread.com

Pita Jungle at Aspen Place
Pita Jungle at Aspen Place

Pita Jungle

This is one of my top choices of places in town to eat, especially when it's warm enough to sit outdoors. There are lots of healthy choices on the menu, but they're healthy and tasty, including their soups, wraps, salads, and Mediterranean dishes. I really like their black bean burger with the garlic potatoes on the side, their glazed chicken lovash pizza, the salmon with steamed vegetables, and Meditteranean roasted chicken wrap ... to name just a few. I've also made a meal of their blue corn nachos. Oh, and their smoothies are yummy too.

They have ample outdoor seating along two sides of the building, where it can get very sunny. So don't forget your sunglasses and some sunscreen. No special view, unless you like looking at parking lot and apartment buildings, but the food is great and the service always excellent.

Website: pitajungle.com

New Frontiers

While this is actually a natural foods market, they do have a really nice salad bar, soup bar, and fresh, cooked food bar, as well as a deli and bakery, with tables to eat indoors and out. The outdoor seating is available in a covered patio. Just pay at the checkout like any other grocery store and grab a table. There are utensils available up front.

Website: newfrontiersmarket.com

Eat Outdoors at Flagstaff Mircobreweries - A lot more than locally brewed beer

The Lumberyard in Flagstaff
The Lumberyard in Flagstaff

Tied for our top pick: Beaver Street Brewery

This is our favorite Flagstaff brewery when it comes to the food, with outdoor seating available in the back courtyard.

Beaver Street has a pretty extensive menu, including fish, steak, a variety of salads and soups, sandwiches, and burgers (the portobello burger on ciabatta bread is very good), and small wood-fired pizzas. They've also got fondues and some excellent appetizers, like the mussels in thai curry sauce and the Maltese tapas. And, of course, their beer -- some of which are award winners -- is highly praised by those who drink it ... which doesn't include me (because I've just never acquired a taste for beer, period).

The indoor restaurant can get pretty crowded and noisy, so we prefer the quieter patio in the nice weather, even if the wait is a bit longer during the busy times. FYI: They don't accept reservations, even for large parties.

Location: 11 S. Beaver Street

Website: BeaverStreetBrewery.com

Flag Brew outdoor patio
Flag Brew outdoor patio

Top Pick #2: The Lumberyard

In 2010, the owners of Beaver Street Brewing Co. restored one of the last remaining buildings from Flagstaff's lumber era, just a block away right along the railroad tracks, and created a new restaurant and expanded their brewery. Honestly, at first I didn't think the food was so hot ... meaning, not all that great compared to the original restaurant down the street. But something definitely changed, as friends agree, and now the food is very good. I really like their chili (the cornbread is yummy too) and their barbecue combo meals, which I don't see on the online menu for some reason.

We prefer the outdoor seating in the front, but be prepared for some very nearby rumbling of trains as part of the atmosphere. They no longer blow their horns at the crossing there, but the engines and wheels on the tracks make plenty of their own noise.

Location: 5 S. San Francisco St

Website: Lumberyardbrewingcompany.com

Flagstaff Brewery

On a warm spring or summer day, the ample patio at Flag Brew fills up with locals, visitors, and college students (I put them in a category of their own) sipping handcrafted beer and eating burgers and sandwiches, Belgian fries and appetizers, and soups and salads. Then they sip some more brew, fine whiskey, or maybe a refill of their soda and watch people go by in the courtyard off of Route 66 where the patio is located. Bring your sunscreen or a wide-brimmed hat, because you'll be in full sun.

Location: 16 East Route 66

Website: flagbrew.com

Enjoy Some Pizza and Wings at an Outdoor Table

Alpine Pizza in downtown Flagstaff
Alpine Pizza in downtown Flagstaff

Alpine Pizza

This is one of Flagstaff's oldest pizza places, where patrons have been carving their names in the tables and walls for decades. You can order pizza by the (large) slice or pie, wings, calzones, lasagna, salads and sandwiches, and top all that off with cheesecake or apple pie a la mode. See their menu on the Urban Spoon site.

They have outdoor tables on their covered streetside patio, but space is limited and it might be a wait for one of those spots on a busy summer afternoon or evening during prime pizza-eating times.

Location: 7 N Leroux St

Wings at Nimarco's Pizza
Wings at Nimarco's Pizza

NiMarco's

Another longtime Flagstaff favorite, this southside pizzeria has been around since 1979 (though it changed owners in 2000). Order at the window, and they'll bring your food to your table, even if it's one of the picnic tables on their patio out front. As you can see here, dogs are allowed in the outdoor seating area.

This is a casual, popular place close to NAU. No gourmet pizzas (unless you consider their yummy pesto pizza to be gourmet), but the food is very good and the service always friendly in my experience. This is a great family place within walking distance of downtown.

Oh, and they've always had really clean bathrooms, which are fancier than the restaurant.

Location: 101 South Beaver Street (with a newer second location in the Greentree Shopping Center at 1800 S. Milton)

Website: Nimarcospizza.com

Picazzo's

If it's gourmet pizza (with gourmet prices) you're jonesin' for and want to sit outside while you enjoy it, Picazzo's is a good choice. I don't go there often -- for one thing, because I don't eat pizza very often and, secondly, I'm rather cheap when it comes to pizza -- but the food has been very good each time I've tried it. Some friends and I met there for a birthday and sampled several of their Neopolitan and specialty pizzas and appetizers too. They've also got lunch specials, where you can combine a slice of pizza or one of their pasta dishes with a salad of your choice and a drink. For those who go gluten-free, you'll have lots to choose from here.

They've got plenty of covered outdoor seating, but it's more about the fresh air, the food, and your friends or family at the table with you than the view, because you'll be looking at the parking lot.

Location: 1300 S. Milton

Website: picazzos.com

Altitude's on the south side of the tracks

Altitude's on the south side of the tracks
Altitude's on the south side of the tracks

Fine Dining Outdoor Style

If it's gourmet food in the fresh air you're looking for....

Josephine's Modern American Bistro

Serving lunch and dinner and weekend brunch, award-winning Josephine's updates its menu often and uses the finest ingredients in its chef-prepared dishes. I've eaten dinner here a couple of times -- when I won gift certificates that "almost" covered the cost -- and wow ... delicious! The food, the ambiance inside and out, and the service were wonderful.

The lunch menu is also full of excellent choices too -- Cochinita Pibil Pulled Pork Sandwich ... yum! -- and it's quite a bit less expensive than dinner. About half the price.

The patio outside the historic home that houses this local fine dining favorite has a lovely garden setting that helps you forget the busy street nearby.

For dinner reservations, call 928.779.3400

Location: 503 N. Humphreys (downtown)

Website: JosephinesRestaurant.com

Brix

Named one of the top 25 restaurants in Arizona by Arizona Highways magazine, Brix serves quality -- meaning delicious -- gourmet American cuisine in the cozy atmosphere of a renovated historic carriage house. You can do your "casual fine dining" inside or out, with tables on their small patio which is set far enough back from the main street that you won't be bothered by traffic.

It's a good idea to call 928-213-1021 for reservations.

Location: 413 N. San Francisco St.

Website: BrixFlagstaff.com

Criollo Latin Kitchen

This downtown restaurant with a cozy back patio for outdoor dining is owned by the same couple who owns Brix, and the food, though a completely different menu, is just as good. Excellent, actually, as far as I've ever tasted. Even their happy hour $2-dollar fish tacos and sliders are super tasty. Like at Brix, the menu here is based on locally grown and sustainably raised ingredients -- even much of the décor was locally made -- but, unlike Brix, the dishes here are largely Latin American.

Criollo serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 2pm, lunch on Monday thru Friday from 11 to 4, and dinner every day but Sunday beginning at 4pm.

Location: 16 N. San Francisco St.

Website: CriolloLatinKitchen.com/

Other Flagstaff Restaurants with Outdoor Seating

  1. Collins Irish Pub & Grill(downtown)

    Outdoor area: Very limited, as in just a few small sidewalk tables

    Fare: Basic (but good) burgers and sandwiches, nachos, soup of the day, and dessert, as well as a few token Irish dishes (ie. corned beef and cabbage)

    Location: 2 N. Leroux St (on the corner of Rte. 66)

    Website: CollinsIrishPub.com

  2. Altitudes Bar & Grill(downtown, southside)

    Outdoor area: Ample seating on the porch and the streetside patio, with views of the train, downtown and the peaks beyond (live entertainment on the porch on some evenings)

    Fare: American (burgers, sandwiches, salads, pasta, chicken, fish and steak)

    Location: 2 S. Beaver St.

    Website: AltitudesBarandGrill.com

  3. San Felipe's Cantina(downtown)

    Outdoor area: Very limited sidewalk seating

    Fare: Mexican, Southwestern, American

    Location: 103 N. Leroux St. (downtown)

    Website: SanfelipesCantina.com

  4. Tinderbox Kitchen(downtown, southside)

    Outdoor area: Limited sidewalk seating

    Fare: American "comfort food" (gourmet-style) with an ever-changing menu

    Location: 34 So. San Francisco

    Website: TinderboxKitchen.com

  5. Oakmont (east side)

    Outdoor area: Nice seating area overlooking the golf course, with views of the peaks

    Fare: American (serving lunch and dinner) with a wide variety of dishes from salads, to hand made sandwiches, and steak and fish

    Location: 2380 N Oakmont Dr. in Country Club

    Website: OakmontlFlagstaff.com

  6. Orpheum Stage Left Deli

    Outdoor area: Sidewalk patio seating

    Fare: Hot and cold subs, salads, platters, and breakfast

    Location: 15 W. Aspen

    See: Stage Left Deli Facebook page

  7. Maloney's Tavern(downtown)

    Outdoor area: Limited sidewalk seating

    Fare: Bar grub, meaning burgers and sandwiches, appetizers, and a couple different salads

    Location: 101 N. Leroux (downtown)

    Website: MaloneysTavern.com

Sidewalk seating at San Felipe's in downtown Flagstaff

Sidewalk seating at San Felipe's in downtown Flagstaff
Sidewalk seating at San Felipe's in downtown Flagstaff

When you eat out, do you like to sit outside? Have a favorite place to do that?

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    • Uplifting Light profile image

      M.B.Conant 2 years ago from Flagstaff AZ

      gotta try there red sauce.

      MY fave is the chicken parm sub with fries!

    • Uplifting Light profile image

      M.B.Conant 2 years ago from Flagstaff AZ

      Great Italian eat in or take out.

      Boars head is the base stock

      and very good food indeed!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image
      Author

      Deb Kingsbury 2 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      No, actually, I haven't been there, so I didn't include it. Just the places I've actually eaten at that we really like. I wonder if this is the little place with some tables out front, that serves sandwiches and burgers too. If so, we might try it once the weather warms up enough for sitting outside. There are just so many restaurants in Flag, and we don't eat out that often these days, so it's hard to get to them all.

    • Uplifting Light profile image

      M.B.Conant 2 years ago from Flagstaff AZ

      Have you over looked Il'Rosso Italinene"

      It's been there a year now!

      City: Flagstaff /AZ

      State: Arizona

      Address: 105 N. Beaver

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      They all look tantalyzing, and I'm surprised to learn that it's not hot there in the Summer. Should I move there, I wonder?

    • mariacarbonara profile image

      mariacarbonara 4 years ago

      This is making me hungry... and such cool places to eat!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 4 years ago

      Thanks for all these wonderful suggestions on outdoor dining. I'll reference it next time I'm in Flag.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      What an amazing selection of outdoor dining options. It makes me want to head on down to Flagstaff right this minute. Congrats on making the Imminent Highlight Reel! I'm going to bookmark this page for the next time I head your way.

    • mrdata profile image

      mrdata 4 years ago

      Congrats for your LOTD! Wonderful place to visit.. Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Love outdoor restaurants! I would love this place!

    • profile image

      fullofshoes 4 years ago

      Love to sit outside and so excited to read this lens. We are taking a trip to Sedona to visit family in the fall and will be stopping in Flagstaff at some point, most likely for lunch or dinner. Great info here, thank you!

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 4 years ago

      Yes I do, as long as it is not too close to traffic. Flagstaff obviously has many great places to eat.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      On nice days, yes, eating outside is so nice! You really presented great choices for everyone to find a tasty meal in Flagstaff!