Eating and drinking my way through Sedona

What is more satisfying than having food prepared for you after an exhausting day of hiking? If you prefer to go to the “must eat” places in Sedona, this post isn’t for you. I personally like quick eats or casual dining. I do occasionally like the sitdown dinners that have a view of the red rocks. Of course, several restaurants in downtown Sedona boast fantastic views but are more touristy. 

To begin with, I’ll let you know my preferences. I enjoy dry white wine and vegan foods. My diet isn’t strict. I’m not opposed to drinking a strong IPA or eating bbq ribs every once in a while. I like restaurants with unassuming vibes. I don’t have fine dining recommendations for you here. 

(FYI, this post is not sponsored. And you can probably tell by the way I call out my favorites.)

Let’s start with drinks

You have three brewery options.

Oak Creek Brewery & Grill is located in Tlaquepaque. This place is in the tourist center. It feels more like a restaurant than a brewery but they do brew on premises. I personally don’t take friends here if they want to chill at a brewery. However, this place does have regular happy hours from 3 to 5pm Monday through Friday.

Sedona Beer Company is behind the Elote Cafe. I came here after hiking Soldier’s Pass from the Jordan Road trailhead. Their outdoor patio has a little view of the red rocks. I go here if the weather isn’t too hot. They have a good food selection though a little pricey. There are a couple hard kombuchas and a hard seltzer on the menu.

Oak Creek Brewing Company is located off of HWY 89A near the Coffee Pot trailhead. This place has happy hour daily from 4 to 7pm and live music on Fridays. Out of the 3 options, this has the best brewery atmosphere. Their food menu is limited but I suggest getting the tamales. The tamales are bomb. 

Grapes grow in Arizona so try some local wine.

Sedona has a handful of good options for wine tasting. Vino Zona is located in the bustling Tlaquepaque center. The tasting room is nicely decorated and service is stellar. Winery 1912 is located near the Pink Jeep Tours shop and it boasts fantastic views of the mountains. My personal favorite is the Southwest Wine Center, located on the Yavapai College campus. The vineyard is right next to the tasting room and service is provided by students of the wine program. It’s about a 30 minute drive from Sedona and down the road from Walmart (in case you forgot to bring any necessities).

Cocktails aren’t a scene here.

Sedona isn’t a town with cocktail lounges. You can grab a cocktail at most restaurants. Just yelp restaurants with bars. Usually, there will be something on the menu with cactus infused liquor. I haven’t tried it yet but people seem to really enjoy the prickly pear margaritas! 

On to my favorite part of the day: eating

Essential snacks

If you remember only one thing from this post, it’s that you need to try the acai bowls at Berry Divine. This cold snack always hits the spot after a day in the desert sun. Their blended bowls have a bolder flavor than the soft serve. I recommend trying the Brazilian blended or the Red Rock blended. This place is a great option for vegans too. Add on options include almond butter, goji berries, pea protein, and agave. 

The regular Brazilian blended bowl, pictured above, is a decent size. However, I know better now. I only order large bowls because it is too good.

Sedonuts is a family owned donut shop, located in the same strip mall as Safeway grocery store. These aren’t the best donuts I’ve ever had but these are still very delicious. Their donuts are made fresh every morning and supply does run low by the afternoon. You can also grab your morning coffee here or walk to the Starbucks inside Safeway.

Filling meals for vegans and vegetarians

Berry Divine is also my favorite vegan option but if you must go elsewhere, options are limited in Sedona. I haven’t tried the food at Creekside Coffee but they offer almond butter toast and avocado toast. This made the list because the view on their patio is a calming start to the day. Tamaliza serves vegan tamales in their restaurant and at Oak Creek Brewing Company. Indian Gardens is soo cute! It’s a little far from the town center but this is where to go if you want a variety of vegan friendly choices.

In the unfortunate case that you left a restaurant feeling hungry because of their limited vegan menu options, there is always the frozen section at Whole Foods and Safeway. Both close at 9pm.

A few special shout-outs

Sedona has an annual food truck festival! It’s normally held at the end of March so go if it aligns with your visit. Like many millennials, I’m a fan of food trucks and food halls. Grabbing a variety of tasters and drinking beer makes for a fun weekend.

A big tourist restaurant is the Cowboy Club. This is fun for the family or big groups. Get outdoor patio seating if available. Their menu items make you feel adventurous. They serve elk chops, rattlesnake meatballs, and legendary cactus fries.

Bet that Americans find a way to fry anything. Cowboy Club’s cactus fries have been on their menu for decades for a good reason. Don’t be afraid to smother the fries in the prickly pear dipping sauce that it’s served with.

If you’re in the nearby town of Jerome, go to the Haunted Hamburger and order the haunted burger with guac. There’s usually a wait so feel free to spot the ghosts while you wait. Yes, this restaurant is allegedly haunted. Jerome is an Old West Ghost Time. Over time, art galleries and tourism has increased and allowed the town to revitalize. No one knows who the ghost is but people have seen shadows of a woman.

Cat Cathy

Hey it's Cat Cathy here. I left my exhausting accounting job to freelance full-time. I now live a slow nomadic lifestyle where I stay on location for a month or so to write. Please feel free to reach out (IG @cattywud). I believe in living fully, maybe not everyday, cus that's too much energy, but like at the end of the day. #happyhapa

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