Flagstaff becoming up-and-coming foodie destination with resurgence of new restaurants
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Many people head north up the I-17 to Flagstaff during the winter season and hit the slopes at Snowbowl. In the summertime, many escape to the high country to get relief from the desert heat.
But more and more people are visiting Flagstaff for the cuisine, as the mountain town has become a foodie destination. “We have been quoted as being pound for pound, the best in Arizona’s dining,” said Meg Roederer with Discover Flagstaff. “We are a place that has the dining you have to come experience!”
Roederer says there are now more than 200 restaurants in a town with a population of about 70,000. Don’t let the small-town feel fool you. Flagstaff offers some big-city culinary creations to tantalize and satisfy your palette.
“One of the beautiful things about Flagstaff is we get people in from all over the world,” says restauranteur Paul Moir. He opened up his first place, Brix Restaurant and Wine Bar, 16 years ago. “These people are used to dining in places like Phoenix, Los Angeles, or New York or in Europe. And so we kind of tried to model that.”
Brix is casual, fine dining serving seasonal, farm-focused, American cuisine. Its success led to Moir opening up Proper Meats and Provisions along historic Route 66, in the space once occupied by Grand Canyon Cafe.
Flagstaff has seen a culinary renaissance of sorts, as dozens of restaurants have opened up over the years. Places like Pizzicletta and Tinderbox Kitchen. Atria is the newest eatery to open up in Downtown Flagstaff, and it’s getting rave reviews too.
Partner and Executive Chef Rochelle Daniel opened up Atria in December, and it’s already a favorite amongst locals. At 36 years old, she has quite an impressive resume, and Daniel was a finalist on the Food Network’s “Chopped” television show, and she was the Executive Chef at the popular “Fat Ox” in Scottsdale and “L’Auberge de Sedona.”
She left the Valley for Flagstaff, seeing how it’s become such a foodie destination. “I thought I’d probably just retire here,” said Daniel. “But I started my real like, restaurant endeavor here sooner than I thought.”
It’s not just the food. With eight local breweries, Flagstaff is also Arizona’s leading craft beer city. More hotels and resorts are being built to keep up with the growing number of visitors. Be Spoken Flagstaff opens up in May, as does High Country Motor Lodge, which sits along Route 66. Both are already accepting reservations.
So whether it’s a day trip or a weekend visit, foodies won’t be disappointed with what they find and bite into in Flagstaff.
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