Updated: Nov 3
Sedona is known for its stunning red rock formations, energizing vortexes, outdoor adventures and amazing restaurants. Sedona is full of great restaurants. Chef Lisa Dahl has spent 20 years building renowned restaurants like Mariposa with its Latin inspired cuisine and Dahl and Di Luca with its Italian deliciousness. Jeff Smedstad combines the flavors of south Mexico with the local southwestern flavors at the innovative Elote. Rene and l'Auberge bring the flavors of Europe to Sedona. All of these restaurants are definitely splurge worthy. But where do you eat if you are traveling on a budget? I have included 5 restaurants near Sedona that are easy on your wallet and a delight to your tastebuds. Plus I have included one restaurant in Jerome which is a nice day trip from Sedona. I have included only restaurants where you can get a delicious meal for 2 for around $60 before tax and gratuity.
The Mesa Grill
The Mesa Grill is located on Airport Mesa directly next door to Sedona's Regional Airport. Aviation lovers will enjoy watching the planes take off and land from their outdoor patio or their indoor dining room with its giant picture windows. You can watch the small jets take off and land while enjoying an outstanding meal and cocktails.
Mesa Grill is known for their Fish and Chips and Carne Asada;. Both were delicious, as was the Grilled Salmon. The salads were fresh with innovative combinations of ingredients and artful presentations. Our samplings from their cocktail menu were outstanding with intriguing flavor combinations like Blackberry Jalapeño Margarita and a Skinny Rosemary Paloma. They have a large selection of Arizona Craft Beer and Wines. Mesa Grill is at the top end of budget friendly. If you are on a strict budget, you may want to check the menu to make certain your selections will keep you within your budget.
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PJ's Village Pub
PJ's Village Pub has been serving up traditional Pub fare with a southwest twist since 1976. The menu includes salads, burgers, sandwiches, ribs as well as southwest specialities like street tacos and quesadillas. The winner for me was the chicken wings. They were crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and accompanied by two sauces for every 10 that you order. They have a limited selection of Speciality Cocktails, a full bar and a large beer selection. PJ's is casual and very easy on your wallet.
Adriana's Mexican Restaurant - Cottonwood
Just a few miles outside of Sedona in the riverfront town of Cottonwood and authentic Mexican food at Adriana's Mexican Restaurant. There is a small menu of traditional Mexican fare and a white board of rotating daily specials. I had the Carnitas and Pastor Tacos with a tangy Margarita on the rocks. The tacos were bursting with flavor and were served with chips and salsa. I could eat their chips and salsa all day long, especially if I had a Margarita in hand. Adriana's was the most delicious for the price restaurant of our trip. They are very budget friendly.
While I could eat southwestern cuisine 3 meals a day, some in our party were looking for more diversity in our dining. Szechuan Restaurant in Sedona provided that diversity with large, tantalizing portions. Our desert adventure group was also a group of foodies. Everyone was comfortable with sharing bites with the group. At Szechuan Restaurant, we took that to the extreme by sharing all our appetizers and entrees family style. Our waiter graciously indulged us in our foodie feast. Szechuan is an Asian fusion restaurant with a Sushi Bar, Chinese, Japanese and Thai specialities on their menu. We feasted on Dumplings, Hot & Sour Soup, Kung Pao Chicken, Eggplant in Garlic Sauce, Shrimp in Lobster Sauce, and Curry Chicken. The portions were huge and even with feeding 5 people on 4 entrees, we took leftovers home. Everything was rich, flavorful and just plain delicious. They get high marks for large portions and being budget friendly.
Tamaliza Mexican Cafe makes most lists of the top 10 restaurants in Sedona, for one simple reason, their Tamales are outstanding. This small, family run restaurant serves up homemade tamales in true Mexican Style with homemade corn flour masa, fresh ingredients and no lard.
The Tamales Supremo are large enough to feed even the hungriest hikers. These tamales are topped with nutrient dense food like spinach and black beans and flavor enhancers like pickled radishes, guacamole and salsa. There is also a limited daily selection of Mexican Specialities usually including enchiladas and burritos. They do not have a liquor license. However, don't miss the nonalcoholic pineapple fermented Tepache. This cold drink is so good!
The Clinkscale - Jerome
This is a bonus recommendation. Jerome, AZ is located about 45 minutes southwest of Sedona on Cleopatra Hill. It makes a fun day trip from Sedona. This former mining town turned ghost town turned artist colony, is home to sweeping views of the Verde Valley, a Mining Museum, a haunted hospital now the Grand Hotel, and lots of funky gift shops. It is also home to Clinkscale Hotel and Restaurant .
Lunch at Clinkscale was one of the best meals we ate in Arizona. They are open for Brunch, Lunch and Dinner and serve penny Mimosas with any brunch item before noon. I devoured my comfort food lunch of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich, both prepared with a modern flair. We shared bites of the Grilled and Chilled Shrimp, a Beet Salad, Fish Tacos, and the Beef and Blue Bruschetta. We finished the meal with the Lemon, Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes. They have a broad Wine and Beer selections as well as an innovative Craft Cocktail menu. If you are in Jerome, do not miss eating the Clinkscale.
When visiting the Verde Valley and Sedona, it is not hard to blow your budget on one meal. Let these restaurant recommendations dazzle your tastebuds while being easy on your wallet.
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