Sonoma's Delicious Gastronomy

Sedona always seems to be ahead of the curve, leading the trends instead of following them. No doubt that played a role in attracting a new generation of chefs eager to explore, experiment and reinvent. The town draws chefs with classical training and chefs in the forefront of new styles. Ask any of them how they landed in Sedona and you'll likely receive a big loopy smile and a sweep of the arm toward the towering red rock formations just outside the restaurant door.

Beauty may not have a specific flavor, but make no mistake, it is a rare and exotic seasoning that enhances any dish. And Sedona serves as Arizona's spice rack, where a liberal dash of accompanies every meal. There are two distinct sides to Sedona. It's at heart a small Arizona town founded by farmers. At the same time, its an internationally acclaimed travel destination that draws millions of visitors from all over the globe. Sedona has become a village that feeds the world.

The only way it can pull off such a feat is by developing a strong and distinct culinary voice. Rarely will you find this much quality and diversity in such close quarters - Sedona can satisfy hard-core foodies as well as stubborn, picky eaters.

Dining With a Healthy Twist

Start your day with a fluffy omelette at one of America's most scenic golf courses, where fairways lap at the base of red rock cliffs. An urban-chic neighborhood restaurant dishes up sophisticated comfort food, and diners line up to try fanciful bruschetta, complex salads and entrées like steamed fish in a bag. A family-friendly place in Uptown serves juicy burgers of Arizona-grown beef, conjuring up the burgers you remember from your youth. Not far from a bakery and deli where the pastries are still made from scratch, you can have Colorado rack of lamb carved tableside in elegant surroundings.

White waiting for your elk chops at a classic cowboy steakhouse, order an appetizer of rattlesnake cakes atop a grilled cactus pad, because hey, this is Arizona. At one artisanal pizza parlor the wood-fired pies emerge from the oven with a charred, chewy crust and topped with items such as smoked salmon, figs and spicy prawns. Even if you're not vegetarian, it's hard to resist the fire-roasted poblano Chile relleno stuffed with a medley of cheeses, spicy tomato sauce, pumpkin seeds and sunflower shoots from another popular eatery.

Serving Scenery on the Side

Sedona is one of those rare places where you can nourish your soul and body at the same time. Dining establishments occupy some of the prime pieces of real estate across the stunning landscape. Enjoy not just what chefs are offering but what nature cooks up as well. Savor the seductive spice of beauty.

Tuck into a roasted vegetable and polenta tower garnished with goat cheese on a deck, with the distinctive profile of Snoopy Rock looming overhead. Or treat yourself to Sunday brunch at a luxurious resort in the lap of stunning Boynton Canyon. Latin-inspired cuisine is ofrered in one of Sedona's newest and most beautiful restaurants, set on a bluff and ringed with wraparound views of forest and soaring sandstone. You'll have plenty of eye candy to enjoy while waiting for handcrafted empanadas to kick off your meal.

You can even experience pine-smoked Arizona venison from a candlelit table at the edge of splashy Oak Creek. And if a few playful ducks paddle past during dessert, well, that's just part of dining out in Sedona.

If you prefer, you can pick your own view, choose your own private slice of paradise. Grill some ribs or stop by a gourmet sandwich shop on the edge of Uptown for a heaping concoction piled high on fresh-baked bread — the roasted portobello, zucchini, egg plant, slow-roasted tomatoes, goat cheese and organic arugula on grilled rye is a picnic in your mouth. Then head for your favorite spot in shady Oak Creek Canyon. Scramble up a mesa where heart-wringing views spill away in all directions. Hike into the outback among the bristling pinnacles of red columns and spires. Picnic like there's no tomorrow. Discover the best locations for dining among family, friends and nature at Think that's a sandwich you'll forget any time soon?

More Information:

Sedona Origins

When T.C. Schnebly saw a need for regular postal service, he applied for a post office and suggested his wife's name, Sedona, for the new mail stop in 1902.

Fishing Sites

A guide on where to find trout, catfish, carp and bass in streams and rivers of Red Rock Country. Start your fly fishing adventure here.

Viewing Opportunities

An overview of nature viewing opportunities, including plants, wildlife and bird watching, where to see them and what to expect.