Our newest book, which includes Arizona Highways iconic photography and maps, is sorted by region and is written for car-campers and families. Detailed information about accessibilty, amenities and fees is included for each campground.
There are many wonderful restaurants in Arizona, and every April, we spotlight some of the best. This month, we're at it again, but instead of having an editorial board make the picks, we enlisted the help of 10 of our favorite food-loving photographers. We also managed to snag a few of their favorite recipes, which you can find by clicking the links that accompany each entry.
Chef-owner Caleb Schiff spent months riding his bicycle (bicicletta) through Italy, sustaining himself on pizza and gelato. Now he applies what he learned about freshness and simplicity to the short but oh-so-sweet menu at his tiny pizza joint, housed in a wedge-shaped historic building. Using the domed wood-burning oven he built himself, Schiff turns out lavishly topped Neapolitan-style pies, antipasti and dreamy Tuscan-style gelato, the recipe gleaned from a gelato-making friend in Italy. Customers call ahead to reserve a loaf of Schiff's rustic bread, offered Friday through Sunday.
Established: 2011 Cuisine: Italian Chef: Caleb Schiff Price: $$ Open: Dinner Information: 203 W. Phoenix Avenue, Flagstaff, 928-774-3242, www.pizzicletta.com recipe>
Asi Es La Vida, Phoenix (Recommended by Kerrick James)
Once upon a time long, long ago (like the early '90s), there was a Mexican restaurant called Such Is Life, which created a stir for turning out regional Mexican dishes instead of the usual cheddar-cheese-topped AZ-Mex standards. When the Rodriguez family bought the business 10 years later, they changed the name to Asi Es La Vida ("such is life" in Spanish), but kept the same commitment to authenticity. Their faintly upscale little place is adorable, thanks to brightly colored walls, plants, Mexican art and furniture, and the menu hews to tradition, offering cochinita pibil (Yucatan), molé poblano (Puebla), ceviche (coastal) and sincronizadas (Chihuahua).
The Steak Out, Sonoita (Recommended by Paul Markow)
The original building (Sonoita Mercantile, back in the day) burned down in 1997, and when this popular steakhouse was rebuilt in 1999, owners Grace and Michael Wystrach invited local ranchers to brand the walls. Decorated with saddles, bronze statues, oxen yokes, wagon-wheel chandeliers and cowboy art, the place is an ode to the Old West, offering mesquite-grilled steaks, homemade pinto beans and country music on weekend nights. Nowadays, there's a second location in Marana, but it's hard to beat the original for emulating the Cowboy Way in an iconic, far-as-the-eye-can-see Western setting.
Cliff Dwellers Lodge, Marble Canyon (Recommended by David Zickl)
Fly-fishers and river-rafters flock to this rustic old lodge because of its proximity to Lees Ferry on the Colorado River. A hard bed, clean sheets and a meal (decent or otherwise) are generally their only requirements. Instead, they're treated to hearty breakfasts and first-rate lunches, both served with spectacular views of the Vermilion Cliffs. Come nightfall, looming peaks and a sky full of stars provide a romantic backdrop for inspired dinners of Alaskan king crab legs, New Zealand rack of lamb and sesame-crusted ahi, drizzled with wasabi sauce.
A super-friendly service staff makes the experience all the more delicious.
Established: 1951 Cuisine: American/Modern American Chef: John Cochran Price: $-$$$ Open: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Information: 928-355-2261,
Dahl & Di Luca Ristorante Italiano, Sedona (Recommended by Derek von Briesen)
With its crystal chandeliers, heavy draperies, gorgeous table settings and Italian art, this multi-award-winning Red Rock Country mainstay exudes Old World charm. Chef-owner Lisa Dahl (who wrote The Elixir of Life cookbook in 2010) is committed to local, organic ingredients whenever possible, turning out picture-perfect salads, rustic soups, house-made pastas and Italian classics (think scampi fra diavolo, fettuccine primavera and veal saltimbocca), as well as the occasional inspired creation such as grilled Scottish salmon finished with a limoncello reduction. The global wine list, which features Super Tuscans and other regional Italian wines, impresses for its breadth and affordability.
Chef: Lisa Dahl
Open: Lunch, Dinner
Information: 2321 W. State Route 89A, Sedona, 928-282-5219,