A Taste of Flagstaff

Guest blog by Brandon Matzek. We look forward to seeing you visit our mountain town when we are all back on our feet.

Several months ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Flagstaff, Arizona for a long weekend where I got to take in plenty of gorgeous views and delicious bites. Nestled amongst groves of ponderosa pines, this cozy college city is bustling with a diverse mix of food offerings. If you’re planning a trip to Flagstaff this spring season, here are three spots you simply must visit.

Begin your day at MartAnnes Burrito Palace, a vibrant Mexican restaurant known for its stacked breakfast and brunch plates. Chilaquiles, a dish made of saucy, toasted tortilla chips, are the thing to get here. You can order classic red or green chilaquiles or get them with chorizo or MartAnne’s punchy green chile pork. For something sweet, try the Banana Split French Toast or Blueberry Buckwheat and Banana Pancakes.

Taste of Flagstaff - Martannes Burrito Palace

If you’re fueling up for a long day of hiking and sightseeing, order the J.B.’s Volcano, a generous helping of chilaquiles, green chile pork, chorizo, rice, beans, hash browns and a runny egg on top. It’s truly everything you’d want to eat before an outdoor adventure (or after a craft brewery crawl the night before!).

For lunch, swing by Tourist Home All Day Cafe, a trendy, casual spot located on the south side of Flagstaff. This energetic cafe serves elevated breakfast and lunch bites along with a tempting selection of pastries and sweets.

There are plenty of tasty things to order at Tourist Home All Day Café , but I would highly recommend the Pastrami Sandwich and the Annex Burger.  Served on fluffy marble rye slicked with horseradish cream cheese, the Pastrami Sandwich is stuffed with house-cured pastrami and tangy braised cabbage. Each bite is rich, balanced and keeps you coming back for more!  The Annex Burger is topped with cheddar, bacon jam, bread and butter pickles and a thousand island-ish secret sauce. For both plates, you’ll want to get fries on the side with some of Tourist Home All Day Café’s housemade ketchup. Just make sure you save some room for one (or two or three) of the decadent treats from the pastry case.

Close out a day in Flagstaff with a visit to Criollo Latin Kitchen. You’ll definitely want to order a spread of shared bites, tacos and margarita flight. The Barbacoa Flauta is stuffed with braised beef, onion and potato, then topped with shaved zucchini, avocado crema and chimichurri sauce. The fresh green things on top provide nice contrast to the bold, rich beef within.

Criollo’s Bacon Nachos are over-the-top in all the right ways.  Warm with melted jack and Oaxacan cheeses, this mound of crunchy tortilla chips is littered with bacon lardons, black beans, roasted jalapeños, guac and smoky tomato salsa.  Be sure to ask for some of Criollo’s house-made salsas on the side.

The tacos at Criollo are inventive, yet approachable. The Catfish Taco, a spin on a Baja fish taco, features crispy, beer battered catfish, shredded cabbage, sliced avocado, smoky tomato salsa and a drizzle of ancho crema. The Pork Belly Taco is stuffed with golden, crispy pork belly sauced with black garlic mojo and spicy chile de arbol salsa. Chopped, fresh cilantro on top adds a note of freshness.

These three spots will give you a delicious taste of Flagstaff; however, if you’re still hungry for more, you should check out Pizzicletta for wood-fired pizzas and local brews, or Tinderbox Kitchen for craft cocktails and elevated American fare.

About the Author

Brandon Matzek

Brandon is a food explorer, recipe curator, cocktail shaker, dessert lover. He does all of the cooking, photography and writing for Kitchen Konfidence. Brandon started Kitchen Konfidence in 2010 shortly after purchasing his first DSLR camera. The website is his way of marrying two of the activities he loves most, cooking and photography. Coming from an Italian-Eastern European family, his comfort zone is filled with pizza, pasta, and pierogies. He spent many years cooking in this comfort zone, replicating the family’s delicious recipes. When Brandon moved from New Jersey to California in 2004, he was introduced to a new, intriguing food scene that would eventually ignite his passion for culinary exploration.

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