7 Fantastic Restaurants to Try in Sedona on a Budget
Gorgeous red rocks fill the landscape, providing stunning views in all directions. The magnificent beauty of Sedona, Arizona is breathtaking. No wonder it’s one of the most popular vacation spots in the United States. Known for its mystical vortexes and outdoor adventures, there’s no place quite like this. Unfortunately, visiting Sedona is going to cost you dearly. Accommodation and food costs are expensive in Sedona.
Pro Tip: Many people prefer to stay outside of Sedona in Cottonwood, Arizona for more affordable housing.
All in all, Sedona is not a place where “cheap” and “restaurant” go together. There are plenty of very good upscale restaurants where you can enjoy a top notch gourmet meal. But of course you will pay for it. But if you’re like me and looking for good food that doesn’t cost a fortune, you’re in luck. You can find this stuff in Sedona. We’ve found that the cheapest rates are usually found in low-key, casual places. This was fine with me because most of the time I was in leggings and hiking boots and didn’t want to get dressed for dinner after a day on the trails. If you want to save some money and have a great meal, try some of these great restaurants while in Sedona.
Note: I have been hosted in some of these restaurants. All opinions are mine.
1. Picazzo’s healthy Italian cuisine
The best happy hour food I’ve ever had! That’s what I got when we stopped at Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Food. Honestly, I didn’t even know it was happy hour. We had just finished a great hike and were hungry! We passed by Picazzo and thought we would give it a try. I’m a huge pizza fan, so whenever I see a pizza place, I’m in for it. Picazzo’s serves gourmet pizzas, Italian specialties and more, including a wide range of gluten-free and vegan options. When the hostess asked if we wanted a happy hour at the bar, we agreed, although sitting by the outdoor fire pit also seemed very inviting. The bar was covered in menus, the bartender having brought out the menus while he had time before the rush hit. Already a good sign! knew he would be busy once happy hour was in full swing.
The bartender said he liked the wings and the brie. Brie on the happy hour menu? How intriguing! Let’s be honest, a lot of food at happy hour can be mediocre, so I wasn’t expecting much. I love when I’m wrong! This plate of brie was amazing. Hot brie cheese served with focaccia, apple slices, roasted garlic and dried fruits, it was delicious. Really, really impressive to have a super fresh homemade appetizer like this. So totally unexpected. And did I mention it was under $10? Hubby had the Spicy Thai Peanut Wings and gave a big thumbs up covered in peanut sauce. So whether you’re stopping in for happy hour or wanting a full sit-down meal, I think you’ll like the options here at this small, family-run Arizona restaurant chain. Good news for anyone with dietary restrictions or just wanting to eat healthier – Picazzo’s offers an extensive menu dedicated to gluten-free and vegan options. Picaazzo’s may have the best happy hour in Sedona!
2. 89Agave Cantina
Slip into 89Agave Cantina for some of the best fresh Mexican food Sedona has to offer. Sizzling fajitas and cheesy enchiladas are just a few of the delicious dishes you’ll find here. Try my favorite prickly pear margarita with freshly made guacamole. To be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of margaritas – it’s something about tequila that just doesn’t do it for me. Everything changed when I sipped my first prickly pear margarita. What makes the prickly pear so good? Either way, goodness awaits at 89Agave. Enjoy the happy hour menu and great views from the patio all afternoon. Open for lunch and dinner, 89Agave is very popular, so you can reserve.
3. The coffee maker
We ventured into the coffee shop on our first trip to Sedona and had to go back this time. The Coffee Pot is something of an institution in Sedona. And for good reason. They do breakfast here. With over 100 omelets (101 to be exact!), they’ve thought of almost every combination imaginable. What does the Peanut Butter and Jelly Omelet sound like? This time we were really ready for a basic no frills breakfast. When I say basic, I don’t mean average. Some days there’s nothing better than a traditional breakfast, and that’s exactly what we had on our last visit to The Coffee Pot.
My hot eggs with a side of turkey sausage, home fries and toast were a delight. My breakfast here, although one of the simplest, was also one of the best. They’re open for lunch with all the usual suspects from the lunch menu – burgers, sandwiches and salads, plus a wide selection of Mexican specialties. Also check out their lunch specials such as chicken-style fried steak, meatloaf and pork chops. A scan of the menu shows that the most expensive thing, the smoked salmon omelet, is less than $15. The Coffee Pot is a perfect place to have breakfast or lunch, but get there early as this place gets very busy.
4. Cowboy Club Grills and Spirits
How about a real western vibe with your meal? That’s what you’ll find at the Cowboy Club Grille & Spirits. A longtime Sedona landmark, the Cowboy Club opened in the 1940s as Oak Creek Tavern. Restored and updated, it was converted into the Cowboy Club in the 1990s. If you love western movies, the Cowboy Club has a fascinating history. Many Western movies were filmed in the area at the time, and major movie stars are said to have frequented this establishment. Think of legends like John Wayne, Donna Reed, Jimmy Stewart, Robert Mitchem and even Elvis! From waiters wearing cowboy hats to shots of old Hollywood westerns, the Cowboy Club is the place in Sedona to revel in that Old West charm. The menu features unique dishes rich in meat and game, such as buffalo chili, elk chops and buffalo roast. Although some items are pricey, you can definitely get a solid lunch or dinner here on a budget. Look for the juicy Club Burger or the chef’s Mac n’ Cheese with steak and bacon bits. Or, head to their daily Cowboy Hour for specials on appetizers, home fries, and drinks, all at great prices.
5. Moon Dog Pizza
We already know my opinion on pizza. It’s one of my favorite food groups. I could eat pizza every day and be very happy. But since it’s not the healthiest food on the planet, daily is probably a bad idea. But if I could, I would. And I would definitely choose Moon Dogs casual pizza for a few slices of New York style pizza. They are known as one of the best pizzerias in Sedona and have been here, family owned, since the early 2000s. The Moon Dogs Classic, which includes pepperoni, sausage, onions, mushrooms, peppers greens and black olives, costs less than $30 for a large 16-inch pie. It’s a good sized pizza that can feed at least three people, maybe more. It’s a bargain, especially in Sedona. And if you don’t like pizza, they’ve expanded their menu to include burgers, wings, salads, subs, calzones, and pastas.
6. Layla Bakery – Cafe
With a craving for something sweet, we stopped one morning at Layla’s Bakery for some food. Located just off Main Street 89A, Layla’s is open for breakfast and lunch most days of the week. Dine indoors, outdoors on the patio, or grab your take-out treats at this modern bakery-café. With an emphasis on European pastries and other sweet offerings, the menu is surprisingly extensive for a small boutique. The prices here are super affordable. Layla’s offers a variety of coffees, freshly made smoothies and savory dishes like avocado toast, croissant sandwiches and fresh salads. I found exactly what I was looking for in the succulent cannoli.
7. Cafe Jose
With its delicious Mexican cuisine and breakfasts that will fill your belly, Cafe Jose is a favorite of many in Sedona. Serving huge portions and less wait time than other Sedona hotspots, Cafe Jose deserves a chance to win you over! Check out their dinner specials served almost every night. Starting at 4:30 p.m. most nights, Cafe Jose offers dinner specials like prime rib, roast turkey, pot roast, barbecue ribs, and even seafood night. They also do a excellent breakfast, serving traditional and authentic Mexican dishes like huevos rancheros and tamales with eggs.
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