5 Places in Sedona to Taste Local Flavors
Every time our family visits a new region of the country, we get excited to try the regional cuisine. Even my pickier eater tends to be more adventurous when we’re on vacation. On our first visit to Sedona, we knew we would taste a lot of Mexican-influenced food, but we were pleasantly surprised with the variety that we found. After our family conducted a thorough investigation, here are five recommendations of places to enjoy Southwestern flavors in Sedona.
Best Sedona Restaurants for Southwestern Food
This unassuming restaurant regularly has a line of hungry patrons waiting daily at 5 pm for opening time. Are they waiting for the selection of fresh margaritas, or the entrees inspired by the markets of Mexico like duck flautas or roasted squash chile relleños? Elote Café doesn’t take reservations, and at 7 pm the wait time was an hour so we decided to eat elsewhere. But with a personal recommendation from a foodie friend and the throngs of patient diners, I feel confident recommending it.
Just down the street from Elote, we found Javelina Cantina, a casual, festive place that satisfied our cravings for Mexican-inspired food and full-sized margaritas. If it’s traditional Tex-Mex fare you are seeking like chicken mole enchiladas or mahi mahi tacos, this is the spot for you. The amount of food was staggering, and we were happy to have a fridge and microwave back in our hotel room at Hilton Sedona at Bell Rock.
The Grille at Shadow Rock
Speaking of Hilton, their restaurant, The Grille at Shadow Rock, has a number of delicious and original offerings on their newly revamped menu. Have you ever tried bison? The chop block bison meatloaf with its savory mashed potatoes and creamy mushroom ragout would be a delicious first taste.
My cheese-loving kids were in heaven with the queso fundido dip and the substantial mac and cheese, made with cavatappi pasta and five cheeses. For a southwestern standard, try the chicken tortilla soup that is made in-house daily.
Barking Frog Grille
We needed a place to re-fuel in between excursions and found the Barking Frog Grille is open for both lunch and dinner. Since we hadn’t researched it, we weren’t expecting much. But we were delighted with our first taste of cactus fries (similar flavor to fried pickles) and prickly pear margaritas. Everything we tried was unique and delicious. One stand-out dish was the vegetarian pot pie. The crust was buttery and flaky, and the filling was creamy and chock-full of vegetables, perfect for a post-hike meal.
On our last night in Sedona, we ventured out into the city to try Salt Rock. This quaint dining room offers casual meals with a fine dining flair. Upon being seated, a waiter brings every table a plate of delicious cheesy yucca rolls as an amuse-bouche.
There is a prix fixe menu option that allowed us to try several of their specialties, including the roasted corn bisque, roasted salmon with southwest succotash, and a sumptuous osso buco dish. They have a varied wine list, local beers and craft cocktails. The live guitar music and and deck seating with views of the valley created a peaceful ambiance that would be ideal for a romantic dinner for two.
You may also enjoy:
- Sedona Jeep Tours
- Favorite Sedona Hiking Trails
- Top 7 Things to do in Sedona with Kids
- 3 Unique Day Trips from Sedona, Arizona
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Erin is a native Floridian who has resided in Atlanta since 1995. Her husband Mike and she have two funny, smart, active girls and two cats.