Page Spring Cellars
1500 N. Page Springs Rd., Sedona
About twenty minutes outside of Sedona is one of the most remarkable sights around: Arizona wine country. Known as Verde Valley, this unlikely wine terroir is rocky, full of clay, well over 3,000 feet in altitude, and increasingly considered a wine region of note. One of the first wineries in the region was Page Spring Cellars, which opened in 2004. It produces several varietals of red, white, and rosé—and is deeply committed to sustainable practices. These are clearly essential to the ethos of the winery, which also has a bistro café on-site and offers yoga and massage treatments. Bring a blanket and a picnic lunch, hit the tasting room, and buy the bottle you want to have with your picnic (plus a few more to bring home). The grounds are lovely, and exploring them is highly encouraged.
2245 AZ-89A, Sedona
Lisa Dahl has a handful of restaurants in Sedona—Mariposa, Dahl & DiLuca, and Cucina Rustica all deservedly get a lot of ink. But our favorite feather in her cap may be her less famous pizzeria. Pisa Lisa is more of a lunch joint than a fancy evening out. It’s loud and boisterous, and there are televisions mounted on the walls. But the pizza is all wood-fired and could easily rival the best in Italy. The melanzane parmigiana (homemade tomato sauce, grilled eggplant, and spicy peppers topped with Parmesan and fresh mozzarella) tastes like something you would have had as a kid in Naples, if you’d ever been a kid in Naples. There are salads, grilled panini, and plenty of antipasti to choose from, but the reason to come here is the pizza. Oh, wait. Did we mention the gelato bar?
700 AZ-89A, Sedona
An evening at Mariposa is like a tiny trip to southern South America. The menu, which favors sustainable, organic ingredients, is heavily influenced by chef Lisa Dahl’s travels to Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile. That translates to handmade empanadas (the portobello, poblano, and queso version is insanely good), shrimp ceviche, fresh fish, carne, carne, carne, and accents of mole or chimichurri sauce throughout. It’s all spectacular. We had to mention the menu first because if we started with the space, we might never have gotten around to the food. The restaurant is built on a rise over Sedona, and some smart person thought to make the windows as big as the walls. The view will blow your mind. Our advice: Go early, order as much as you can possibly eat, and stay until they kick you out. This is an evening to remember.
671 AZ-179 D, Sedona
Imagine comfort food, only more elegant. Now imagine eating that elegant comfort food in a beautiful dining room with a vaulted ceiling or, better yet, on the deck overlooking maybe all of Arizona. The view is so stunning that you might think it’s the star of the show. It’s not. Chef Jeff Storcz’s menu consists of unfussy, completely delicious crowd-pleasers. An evening might look like this: a glass of Riesling, salted soft pretzel bread with mustard, some form of bruschetta (there are many), and butternut squash ravioli with crispy sage. Or maybe the chicken pot pie? Oh, or the Hudson mushroom burger? No, no, definitely the ravioli. And chocolate peanut butter pie for dessert.
350 Jordan Road
Head to Elote Cafe about an hour before sunset. It’s inside the Arabella Hotel, but there’s nothing much worth checking out in the hotel, so go right to the café. Grab a table outside close to the firepit. Order the guacamole (it’s the perfect level of spicy) and a mezcal margarita, while you check out the menu. Chef Jeff Smedstad leans heavily on local, seasonal Southwestern and Mexican food. Charred green corn tamales, fish tacos—you really can’t go wrong. It’s the kind of food you should be eating in this environment. And when the evening starts to get chilly, wrap the blanket (it’s behind you, on the back of the chair) over your lap. Order another mezcal, lean back, and look up at the stars. This is what you came to Sedona for. (But be advised: The café doesn’t take reservations.)
Dahl & Di Luca
2321 AZ-89A, Sedona
Ask anyone what the best fancy restaurant in Sedona is and they will likely point you to Dahl & DiLuca (and if they don’t, they’ll probably suggest its sister restaurant, Mariposa). If you’re craving fine Italian, Dahl & DiLuca is the place to find it. This is Italian food by way of Sedona—many of the ingredients are organic and local to Arizona—but the architecture of the meal is classic Old Country. Arancini (fried risotto balls stuffed with peppers and cheese), something invitingly called the Wine Lovers Antipasto (Pecorino, cured meat, you can imagine the rest), insalata mista, gnocchi alla vodka, polenta con funghi…all the marquee players are here.
Coffee Pot Restaurant
2050 AZ-89A, Sedona
Every town has its greasy spoon, and Sedona’s does not disappoint. This is the Mexican-food version, and everything we have tried we love. Tacos, taquitos, fajitas, burritos—the guys are all here. And there is more flavor in one bite of the cheese enchilada than in entire courses at other Mexican spots in the area. The Coffee Pot is, naturally, a favorite for breakfast, but both the food and the colorful, lively atmosphere make it a fun place for a meal anytime of day.
Garland’s Indian Jewelry
3953 AZ-89A, Sedona
The minute you step off the plane, you will see turquoise jewelry everywhere you look—it’s built into the history of this city. Ignore every vendor, every lobby shop, every ad you see and head straight to Garland’s. This is hands down the best spot for a wide selection traditional Native American jewelry—Zuni, Navajo, Kewa Pueblo, and more—all of it crafted by artists, not machines. There’s an impressive selection of sculptures, woven baskets, rugs, pottery, and everything else you can imagine that speaks to the culture of this part of the world. A quick visit to buy a small souvenir can easily turn into an entire day and plans for a new suitcase.
Sedona Heritage Museum
735 Jordan Rd., Sedona
When you visit such a tranquil place, one with so much spirituality and history that it seems to have many stories to tell, questions come up. Like what does Sedona mean in Spanish? (Hint: It’s a trick question.) Or who were the first settlers? And: Didn’t I see that place in the movie with that guy? (Probably.) Answers to the all questions you have and those you didn’t know you have are here at the Sedona Heritage Museum, which focuses on the history of the city from 1876 to the present. This charming trip to the past is brief—you can cover the whole museum in an hour.
Cress on Oak Creek
301 Little Ln., Sedona
Cress on Oak Creek is the name of the restaurant—as well as the directions to it. Tables are set up on the patio overlooking a rushing stream, and adding to the vibe: twinkling candles, a view of the forest, rustling trees. In other words, you should go with someone you’re willing to marry—it is that romantic. Chef Michael O’Dowd has created a menu that relies heavily on local, foraged ingredients presented in a vaguely Italian way. We’re big fans of the Oak Creek salad with frisée, sweet corn, and goat cheese; the rainbow trout; and anything O’Dowd does with burrata.