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.
For 25 of our favorite places to eat in Arizona, pick up a copy of our 2011 "Best Restaurants" issue, on newsstands now. In the meantime, enjoy our lists of winners from years past.
Best Restaurants 2010
From a small BYOB in Scottsdale that serves something called Death by Elvis to a rustic-but-comfy, pueblo-inspired hideaway in Greer, there's something for everyone in our third-annual collection of the state's best places to fuel up when you hit the road.
It's one thing to know where to go skiing, fishing, hiking, golfing or shopping in our state, quite another to know where to eat, drink and be merry before and afterward. To that end, we've searched high, low and in between to bring you 25 noteworthy Arizona restaurants you'll want to try. A few bring history or longevity to the proverbial table; one is so new the paint's barely dry. Some offer big-city sophistication, while others are cozy mom-and-pops brimming with small-town charm. Our third-annual "Best Restaurants" list offers choices — to dress up or dress down, to splurge or save money, to challenge or comfort yourself. So tuck in that napkin and let's get started.
In early 2009, well-known Phoenix chef Ivan Flowers bought Fournos, a Greek restaurant almost as ancient as the Parthenon. He kept the name but changed everything else — elevating the décor, creating an eclectic, French-inspired menu and transforming a tired mom-and-pop into an intimate, chef-driven venue. Sedonans and vortex visitors swoon over his inspired, Mediterranean-inflected menu, boutique wines and ultrapersonal service. Try the rack of lamb with garlic-basil persillade or the diver scallops bathed in buttery vanilla sauce and see why Flowers bills his place as "the little restaurant with big flavor." 3000 W. State Route 89A, 928-282-3331.
Janos Restaurant, Tucson
James Beard Award-winner Janos Wilder is Tucson's most celebrated chef, the first in Arizona to marry French technique with indigenous ingredients back in 1983. Twenty-seven years later, the granddaddy of Southwestern Cuisine is still knocking 'em dead, offering dazzlingly inventive dishes that place the cooking traditions of the Southwest in a modern context. His daily changing, seasonal menu (which incorporates cholla buds, mesquite flour and heirloom beans) also shows his wilder side, featuring ... say, apple cider and fennel soup, floated with blue-cheese mousse and minted jalapeño syrup. The toughest thing about dining at elegant Janos is ruling out what you can't have because you'll want it all, including the signature dark chocolate-jalapeño ice cream sundae. The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa, 3770 E. Sunrise Drive, 520-615-6100, www.janos.com.
Los Manjares de Pepe, Yuma
Just in case your Spanish is rusty, los manjares de Pepe means "the dishes of Pepe" or "Pepe's food." It's a modest name for a modest place, and it doesn't begin to convey how down-home and altogether satisfying the dishes of Pepe Jimenez really are. Imagine crisp, house-made chips, vibrant salsa made from fresh-roasted jalapeños, creamy refrieds, fragrant rice ... and these are just the supporting players! As for main courses, Pepe enthusiasts cite a long list of favorites — carne asada, carnitas, pollo al carbon, chipotle pork, chile relleno — which means only one thing: Todo es bueno. 2187 W. Eighth Street, 928-782-2366.
Manzanita Restaurant, Cornville
In the heart of the Verde Valley's wine country stands Manzanita (Spanish for "little apple"), housed in a quaint adobe and beloved — believe it or not — for its German specialties. Besides the sauerbraten and schnitzel, this gracious, candlelit outpost offers classic dishes (dare we call them Continental?) that are nearly impossible to find anywhere else: escargots in mushroom caps, fillet of sole bathed in lemon wine sauce, grilled lamb chops served with mint jelly. Nightly specials might include buffalo medallions, venison, stuffed quail or hasenpfeffer, while Manzanita's signature dessert (which references the name) is good old American apple crisp. 11425 E. Cornville Road, 928-634-8851, www.themanzanitarestaurant.com.
Given the weekend lines out the door, can this funky, art-filled breakfast-and-lunch spot possibly be worth the hassle? "Oh my, yes!" declares what might be the entire population of Flagstaff. The chilaquiles, lavished with super-spicy green chile (a house favorite called Fratelliquiles) or red and green chile combined (called Christmas in the parlance of New Mexico) are the stuff of legend — as are gargantuan portions, crispy hash browns and excellent coffee. 10 N. San Francisco Street, 928-773-4701.
Munich Haus Restaurant, Pinetop-Lakeside
Squint your eyes a little and you can pretend this snug, wood-trimmed German restaurant is a chalet in the Alps. Or you could just be happy that warm pretzels, German beers on tap and sturdy German specialties such as sauerbraten, rouladen and Wiener schnitzel make this friendly mom-and-pop the next best thing. An inexpensive, American-accented children's menu keeps the kinder happy, as does scrumptious apple strudel. Meanwhile, summer evenings on the deck overlooking Fred's Lake (technically, a duck pond) are blissful, especially at sunset. 1443 E. Fir Lane, 928-367-4287, www.munichhausrestaurant.com.
New Jersey Pizza Co., Flagstaff
Garden Staters beware: The thin-crust, stone oven-baked pizzas served at this tiny, Tuscan-inspired pizza place probably won't transport you to the Pizza Belt of your youth. But owners Marco Agostini and Seth Sharkey turn out perfect, golden pies just the same, topped with the best ingredients these meticulous foragers can find — snappy fennel sausage from Schreiner's in Phoenix, Chino Valley jalapeños, Point Reyes blue cheese. You'll overeat, no doubt, but try to save room for something simple and true-flavored from Sharkey's rotating dessert selection — maybe farmhouse ricotta cannoli, Valrhona chocolate truffles or orange blossom-honey gelato. 2224 E. Cedar Avenue, 928-774-5000.
Pangaea Bakery, Prescott
Pangaea is the name for the supercontinent of the Mesozoic era, later broken up into smaller continents by plate tectonics. But forget science. It's the culinary arts that drive this sleekly designed super-bakery, which is home to homemade soups, gourmet sandwiches (such as Brie with fig and apple on freshly baked, artisan bread), organic coffee, organic espresso and made-from-scratch pies, éclairs and brownies (and that's just scratching the surface). If good food is good medicine, could it be that Pangaea is the panacea? 220 W. Goodwin Street, 928-778-2953.