1 El Tovar Road, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023
This is a quintessential stop on any Grand Canyon itinerary. Constructed using native stone and Oregon pine, El Tovar Dining Room in El Tovar Hotel (which opened in 1905) is a longstanding landmark that’s hosted everyone from Theodore Roosevelt to Paul McCartney. The menu reflects regional Southwestern flavors and is filled with dishes showcasing local ingredients, such as the red chile tamale with adobo crema and the pork chops with apple-jalapeño chutney (inspired by the restaurant’s 1946 menu). Before you sit down to dinner, be sure to catch the sunset on the small outdoor patio. And definitely check out the wine list. There are plenty of tasty local varietals grown in regions all around Arizona.
9 Village Loop Drive, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023, USA
A more casual alternative to El Tovar Dining Room, the Arizona Room sits directly on the rim of the Grand Canyon and the menu is all about Southwestern specialties: homemade tortilla soup, oven-roasted native squash and heirloom beans, and Arizona-raised prime cuts of meat. The drinks list features local wines from Carlson Creek and Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, as well as lesser-known Grand Canyon State liquors such as Copper City Bourbon (Tempe), Gold Miner Agave Rum (Kingman), and Thumb Butte Vodka (Prescott).
135 Historic Route 66
Located in historic downtown Williams, Arizona, just outside of Grand Canyon National Park, Red Raven Restaurant is cozy and casual with a brick exterior painted fire-engine red. The kitchen is small but sends out gourmet comfort food to diners seated in its high-ceilinged dining room. They tuck into dishes such as portabella and zucchini fries with a balsamic reduction sauce, broiled pork medallions topped with cilantro pesto and tempura-style broccolini, and a lamb and vegetable stew made with Guinness. Seating at this husband-and-wife–owned establishment is limited, so definitely call ahead.
514 East Route 66
Featuring mostly local wine and craft beer, South Rims Wine and Beer Garage is located on historic Route 66 in uptown Williams, Arizona. Here, you’ll find some of the best local white and red varietals on tap, such as Keeling Schaefer’s Viognier and Page Springs Cellar’s plum-and-pepper–forward Vino Del Barrio red blend, plus a deep selection of microbrews, including rich Koffee Kölsch from Huss Brewing Company in Tempe and a Hefeweizen courtesy of Oak Creek Brewing Company in Sedona. South Rims’ menu of food items, from the gourmet pretzel basket to the grilled sirloin, pair perfectly with the drink options. You’ll want to allow yourself plenty of time to sip at the bar, or enjoy a full meal on the sprawling outdoor courtyard.
141 W Railroad Ave, Williams, AZ 86046, USA
With its 16 craft beers selection and lengthy list of Arizona wine and signature cocktails, Historic Brewing Barrel and Bottle House is a can’t-miss. And we haven’t even mentioned the food yet: a Southwestern take on classic pub fare, with dishes such as fried avocado; a salad with black beans, corn nuts, and charred jalapeño vinaigrette; and a pulled-pork sandwich with homemade barbecue sauce. What’s especially unique about this spot is that it makes its own beer and wine; order the Love at First Flight for a sample of six wines or six beers, and enjoy them on the patio, if weather allows.
2550 West Route 66, Williams, AZ 86046, USA
It’s a clever name to be sure, but the food at Kicks on Route 66 is even more enticing. With a focus on local and organic ingredients, the menu features “Arizona Kickers”—jalapeños stuffed with cheese, wrapped in crispy bacon, and topped with a sweet prickly pear sauce. The gourmet burgers are definitely a draw, but you’ll have a tough time choosing between them and other imaginative mains like the green chili chicken pot pie. (That flaky crust, though.) Sunday brunch at Kicks is popular with locals and travelers alike. Maybe it’s the buttermilk vanilla pancakes?
120 N Leroux St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA
I hate wimpy hamburger buns--you know the kind: pickle juice and grill marks bleed through the sad white carbs...Downtown Flagstaff’s Diablo Burger rejects mushy bread in favor of hearty “db"-branded English muffins. Their beef patties are from just down the road a bit, where the cows are grass-fed, open-range, hormone & antibiotic-free...The cheese--local. Beer on tap? Almost always regional. The potatoes for their Belgian-style fries? From the local “food-shed” too. “Landscape-scale conservation that you can taste,” they say. Savor a beefy taste-of-place on your way to or from the Grand Canyon, or linger a while in this college-ski-town that defies Arizona‘s all-desert reputation. The outdoor seating area boasts a mural that is redolent of Hieronymous Bosch and Picasso. Chew on that at 7,000-ft. above sea-level... (Diablo Burger has also opened a second location a few hours south--down in Tucson...)
11 S Beaver St #1, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA
After hiking, skiing, or Grand Canyon gawking, what better way to spend an evening than in Flagstaff’s oldest microbrewery? Wood-burning stoves in the entryway will keep you warm if the wait is long in this family-friendly brewpub. In addition to the handcrafted beers, you will find wood-fired pizzas, fondues, and apple cake made with oatmeal stout. I opted for the “Brewer’s Platter": bratwursts and spicy southwest sausage braised in their Railhead Red Ale, with caramelized onions, red cabbage, cinnamon apples, and skin-on mashed potatoes. So glad I listened to the guys in the mountain-gear-store up the street who recommended the place. For two decades, Beaver Street Brewery has been a Flagstaff institution, its sign a beacon on foggy winter nights... (Just remember, at 7,000 ft. above sea level, the brews go to your head much faster...so eat up!)