Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE to eat out! As a mom of 3 small kids a lot of my eating out is dominated by Chick Fil A and Café Rio. Don’t get me wrong those places are great; I mean play areas and free quesadillas hold a special place in a momma’s heart! That being said, I need, I mean NEED, my time with my man or my girls surrounded by yummy food. Summer is by far my favorite season in Flagstaff and I intend on soaking up every minute of it which means eating outside!
Here are 10 restaurants that have great patios, some for date nights and some also are great for those times you want to eat out as a family. This by no means is a list of all the great patios in town just some of my favorite! So this summer set aside some time to eat some delicious food, enjoy Flagstaff’s beautiful weather, support local businesses and sip a cocktail on the patio watching one of Arizona’s legendary sunsets. If you see me there say Cheers!
1. Criollo – Date night must see.
Criollo serves Latin infusion which pretty much means delicious and super fresh. They list all the farms and local sources they get ingredients from and the wait staff is super knowledgeable in all the menu options. Their little back patio can be hard to snag but is totally worth it! It is everything I love about Flagstaff and I would say is my favorite patio of them all! First off it is in an alley. I mean what is cooler than a downtown back alley?! I’m not talking smelly, creepy back alley, in Flagstaff back alleys are art canvases with murals plastered on all the open spaces. Criollo has fresh herbs and plants all around their patio and lights strung for awesome ambience after the sun goes down. Be sure to get there for happy hour Monday-Friday 3-6 pm. They have great margaritas and special prices on small plates like fish tacos and Sonoran hot dogs! Put this on your list of must sees!
2. Lumberyard – Family by day, party by night.
Lumberyard is a versatile choice. During the day you can bring your family and sit on the patio and watch the trains go by in the heart of downtown. Lumberyard is a historic building aptly named for the Flagstaff Lumber Company from 1890 that used to be run out of that building. Saturday nights are Country Night. Starting at 9 pm meet in the brewery area where you can take country dance lessons. Do not miss this! This is the most fun you will have on a date night or out with a big group of friends. After a time of practice the tables in the restaurant are moved and the dancing begins! If you are a curmudgeon and refuse to dance be sure to at least come inside for a bit and watch the dancing. A loyal group of who show up every week and throw it down! We are talking legit Two Step with the guys flipping the girls over their heads! After you get done dancing be sure to head out to the cooler temps on the patio and enjoy one of their awesome brewed beers under the stars!
3. Macy’s European Coffee House – Delicious coffee south of the tracks.
Macy’s has been a Flagstaff staple forever. They have a loyal following and the place is always full of locals before work and tourists getting their morning start. Summer is the best time to check out the front patio. Always full of people, dogs and the perfect spot to people watch! Their breakfast menu is all vegetarian but don’t let that scare you away. Their biscuits and vegetarian gravy will not leave you longing for sausage! The Coffee Bohemian is my favorite, a cappuccino with chocolate and cinnamon. The coffee is not only yummy, their latte art is on point!
4. Tourist Home – Friends in town? This is your breakfast and lunch spot!
Tourist home is one of the best new additions to our mountain town! The building was built in 1926 and is the perfect mix of history and modern décor. You walk into a coffee bar smack dab in the middle, surrounded with people talking or working on their laptops. Stepping up to the counter you’ll spy some carb eye-candy galore! The pastry chef fills the case daily with everything from the most amazing Cronuts (half donut, half croissant) to cookies and more. For breakfast they have all you could want, from a Breakfast Burrito to Benedict. For lunch they have sandwiches, burgers, salad and a great selection of kids items. The restaurant has two unique patio areas. The front is porch style and the back is a large fenced yard with picnic tables. Bring the whole family and sit in the back where the kids are contained and can run around while you dine on amazing food!
5. Diablo Burger – Perfect for First Friday or Date Night Downtown.
Diablo Burger is located in Heritage Square in Downtown Flagstaff. During the Summer Heritage Square is a weekend hot spot. Between Movies on the Square every Saturday night, to all sorts of events including First Friday Artwalk, this is the place to be on a weekend. Seating at Diablo is SUPER limited and most of it is patio family-style picnic tables. If you don’t want to fight for a spot check this place out for lunch or on a week night! The burgers are made of grass fed beef from the Diablo Ranch right here is Arizona. A unique twist – burgers are served on English Muffins instead of hamburger buns! Once you try them you will only make your burgers at home that way from now on!
6. Old Town Creperie – The sweetest ending to an evening downtown!
Right next door to Diablo Burger is this little gem! It’s a cozy spot with all the charm of Heritage Square. They serve Savory and Sweet crepes. Savory include the Margherita featuring spinach, avocado, tomato, mozzarella, and feta with an herb tomato sauce and fresh basil. My favorite are the sweet crepes like the ‘Flagstaff’ with bananas, strawberries, chocolate chips, powdered sugar, berry puree, chocolate sauce and whipped cream! Crepes are the best ending to any great date night downtown! The Old Town Creperie is open May through Halloween and are also at the Farmers Market every Sunday at City Hall.
7. The Oakmont – Family Friendly Patio with amazing views!
The Oakmont is located in the Continental Country Club on the east side of town. The patio over looks the Continental Golf Course and has a great view of Mt. Elden. They offer all sorts of food from appetizers to pasta to burgers. The patio also offers tons of grass space to let the kids run around, including corn hole and yard jenga! If you can catch a sunset while eating dinner your experience will be complete!
8. Altitudes Bar and Grill – Who doesn’t love a train shot?!
Located south of the tracks on Beaver Street is Altitudes Bar and Grill. This place is locally owned and offers up burgers, sandwiches, salad and soup. My personal favorite is their Green Chili Chicken Stew. They have a great front patio next to the train where every time a train goes by you can join in on their Train Shots served up on a ski! They also have live music during the summer and you may even see the Alpine Pedaler show up, think booze cruise on a big trolley-like bike!
9. The Mayor – Skee Ball and drinks out of an Airstream?! Sign me up!
The Mayor is fairly new on the bar scene here in Flagstaff. Located south of Downtown close to the Northern Arizona University campus. They have a huge patio space with Yard Jenga, Corn Hole, Washoes and tons of seating around multiple fire pits. Make sure you head over to the airstream or as they call it ‘The Land Yacht’ to get your drink of choice or XXX Snow Cones. That’s right – what is better than a snow cone? A snow cone filled with alcohol of course! They also serve sandwiches and salads and even have a snack menu including pizza rolls and soft pretzels. If you don’t mind hanging out with college age folk this place is definitely worth visiting when out with friends!
10. NiMarcos Pizza – Family friendly pizza by the slice!
If you are going to be spending time downtown as a family be sure you hit up NiMarcos! You can get a whole pizza ,or even better – slices served all day! Established in 1979 and then taken over by 2 NAU alumni in 2000 this has become a Flagstaff favorite. Dough and sauce are made daily and they always have a great selection of slices beyond your typical pepperoni and cheese. There are 2 locations one on the west side and my choice for the best patio is the downtown location on Beaver, south of the tracks.