Where to eat
Sedona is where to find the best Mexican food you'll eat outside of Mexico, with the best sunset scenery you'll see outside of some sci-fi flick. Budget about $35 for dinner with drinks at a sit-down restaurant, and maybe $10 for a hearty lunch of slow-roasted meats and fresh-made salsas that will put you right after a long hike.
Even if you're not spending your days scaling rocks, the fresh tamales, inventive vegetarian feasts, and Southwestern cuisine should lure you to this small city. Mostly it's laid-back, but as Sedona is an early-to-rise, early-to-bed town, dinner may fall between 5 to 7pm. (Retirees.) If you plan to eat during the rush, make reservations, or eat closer to 8pm. Most restaurants (and bars!) close by 10pm, if not sooner, so stock up at the liquor store if you're partial to nightcaps.
Recommended by locals as the "best restaurant in Sedona," this industrial bar and dining room could easily have been plucked out of Brooklyn and placed -- with spectacular red-rock views! -- in Sedona. On the menu are New American small and large plates like Fireball whiskey-coated chicken wings, a signature pot pie emblazoned with a pie crust "H" on top, a triple-blend beef burger, and fresh fish flown into the landlocked town. Expect generous portions with some homemade flare, or as one Sedonian pointed out to me, "it's not gourmet, but it's great."
Another local favorite, this upscale, copper table-adorned Mexican restaurant serves excellent margaritas (visit early for the daily special) and a wide range of refined Mexican and Southwestern dishes. Come hungry, but beware of filling up on creamy elote corn dip when platos grandes like carne asada topped with melty Point Reyes blue cheese and smoked brisket enchiladas, all with made-to-order flour or corn tortillas, await.