This will be my 3rd and final post on Arizona, which is bitter sweet. We really enjoyed the beauty, fun, and activities in Arizona. We certainly enjoyed ourselves with all the hiking and drinking locally in Arizona, so be sure to read those blogs, but I also wanted to tell you about the great food and fun we had! Even though we really tried to eat most meals in to save money (somehow it is never enough!), we did find a few great spots that are totally blog worthy! I have decided to break this one up into the locations that we either stayed in or visited.
After flying into Phoenix from New Orleans, and getting to our Airbnb with Jenni and Adam fairly late, we were too hungry and tired to go food shopping and cook. We took a look at the menus in our room, and chose Crujiente Taco. This place was right down the street from where we stayed, which was perfect because we did not have our rental car yet. We sat at the bar, enjoyed a refreshing margarita and some Arizona craft beer, while enjoying the chips and salsa trio and delicious tacos including pork belly, traditional beef, and ahi poke. Each taco was presented so nicely, and tasted just as great!
While randomly looking at restaurants near us one day, we found Little Miss BBQ. Anytime you see a place on Yelp with 5 stars AND over 1,000 reviews, you KNOW it is going to be a homerun! The catch is, they are only open Tues-Sat 11-4 (or until they sell out…which they do!) We decided to go at lunch time during the week, waited in line for about 25 minutes, and before we knew it, we were enjoying our 2 meat, 2 side plates! We always try to order different meats and sides from one another, so we can try more things!
So this is not fine dining by any means, but In and Out Burger is a must! This place is not just in Arizona, but this was my first time coming here. If you’ve never been, you have to go at least once! Supposedly they have a secret menu you can order from, but I didn’t know about it until after the fact. Until next time! Great late night food if you like burgers and fries!
Sushiholic was right next to Crujiente Taco, and they had an amazing happy hour special on food and drinks which came in handy after the beer festival! We ordered a bunch of different things, ate them all, and it was so cheap!
While staying in Phoenix, we were looking for some good free fun, and decided to look up some place that offered bull riding, and found Buffalo Chips Saloon and Steakhouse! On the way there we caught the sunset in Cave Creek, where we pulled into the hills of some neighborhood to snap a few shots. Then we headed over to Buffalo Chips for some good time bull riding! The shows are at 7:30 and 9 on Wednesdays and 8, 9:30 and 10:45 on Fridays, which feature experienced riders, first timers (so scary!), kids on the training bull, and even younger kids on the SHEEP! Great time, awesome outdoor area with fire pits and heaters, and awesome dancing inside to watch or participate in!
Our Airbnb in Prescott was more of a retreat for us, as our house was near the end of a long dirt road, and it took forever to go anywhere. In order to save money and trips to the store, we made a delicious beef stew here, and ended up being hermits and hikers. BUT we did venture to Old Town Prescott which was pretty cool. In the center of downtown is the court house, where people will walk their dogs (and PIGS!), you can see inmates being taken in to court, and see a timeline of the state of Arizona and Prescott. One side of the block is called “Whiskey Row” where the old time outlaws like Wyatt Earp, Virgil Earp and Doc Holliday used to hangout. Many of the original bars still exist, including Palace, Bird Cage, and Matts.
We really liked the feel of Scottsdale! Lots of nice neighborhoods, parks, plenty of restaurants and bars to visit, and very close to Phoenix too. If you like the old town feel, head to Old Town Scottsdale! We stopped into Růže Cake House for a boba tea for our walk. We didn’t get any, but they had some great macarons, chocolate covered Oreos, and other yummy treats for gifts! Old Town is full of fine art, Native American art, saloons, gift shops, and more! They really kept the fun, old, wild wild west feel here. You can also get a horse drawn carriage ride too!
I know I wrote about Jerome in my throwback to Sedona with my mom, but we saw things a little differently this time around. After we parked our car, we walked around a bit and saw the old asylum building which is now a hotel and restaurant and we went to Nellie Bly II to look at the cool kaleidoscopes and their jewelry store where I got some beautiful opal earrings. We didn’t eat or drink here because it was mainly a stop on our way to Cottonwood and Clarkdale, which was super close. If I could go back, I would check out the Haunted Hamburger, try out a wine tasting room and The Spirit Room for some live music.
On our first night in Clarkdale, we took a stroll down Main Street to check things out, and grabbed a beer and tacos during happy hour at Bootlegger Saloon/Cici’s Kitchen. They had a sign outside which drew us in for their great deal on drinks, and even better deal on tacos for happy hour! The tacos were really great, with a crispy fried shell and an awesome salsa bar. This was our “snack” before dinner. Again, we didn’t feel like going food shopping just yet, so we stopped at Pizzeria Bocce for some fire side pizza, per recommendation from our host, Carlton! One night, we had taken a nap after our hiking, and got ready and needed some late night food, which was hard to find. RIOT’s (Rendezvous in Old Town) kitchen was closing 10 minutes after we got there, so we just made it! I really loved this place because they took an old gas station garage, and transformed it into a micro brew pub. Their food was unreal! Poutine tater tots, wings, and chili were excellent. We also got to listen to some karaoke, chat with the bartender about the place and their beer selection, and our neighbors at the bar were really fun too!
Fireside pizza at Bocce
After you have spent a day at the Grand Canyon, and are headed back to Flagstaff, take the scenic route back, from 64 to 89. There will be a lot of great scenery AND Navajo stands where they sell jewelry, pottery, dream catchers, and other great gift items!
As I wrap up with our trip to Arizona, I have to say this state has a lot going for it because there is something for everyone. In the cooler months, the hiking in this state is amazing, even in Phoenix, there are tons of cool parks, lots of excellent breweries and wineries to enjoy yourself at, no shortage of fun wild, wild west activities to partake in, and plenty of awesome privately owned restaurants! In addition to all of that, there are several great colleges and universities, National Parks, and many outdoor activities. If you can take the heat, Arizona is just the best.