April 28, 2009

Best restaurant patios in the Flagstaff area

Best Patios
By Angele Sionna

The weather’s warming up, so take advantage of the beautiful Flagstaff fresh air. Sit under the big blue sky, kick back and relax. There are several spots in Flagstaff to do just that. Here’s a look at the best of the best that add the inviting ambiance of our town.

Café Ole
119 S San Francisco

Tranquil and whimsical. That’s the feeling you’ll get on the courtyard-like patio tucked in the back of Café Ole. This isn’t the biggest or fanciest patio in town, but it’s a favorite of almost everyone who’s been there with its brick floor, large fountain and Mexican pottery and trinkets that add color here and there. The sun warms the area but it never seems hot or too sunny, just comfortable. Turn up the enjoyment with one of their special drinks like blueberry mojitos and pomegranate margaritas. The food is good too. I rec the “make your own combo” platter with 2 cheese enchiladas and a guacamole taco.

Josephine’s American Bistro
503 N. Humphrey’s Street

Josephine’s patio is alluring even from the street. It’s big umbrellas and stone floor surrounded by a rock wall and flowery garden make this a great place to relax and kick back for a nice lunch or dinner. I particularly like lunch here on a warm spring day. My fav to order: the pecan encrusted fish tacos, when that’s on the menu. Josephine does change their menu seasonally, so be sure to check josephinesrestaurant.com to see what they’re serving up right now.

Ski Lift Lodge Restaurant
6355 N Highway 180 (at the base of Snowbowl Road)

Homey is the perfect description of the patio at the Ski Lift Lodge Restaurant. It’s anything but fancy with its plastic tables and chairs. But sitting here on their patio feels timeless. It’s only seven miles north of downtown, but you feel like you’re sitting at a small countryside diner, relaxing in the sun. They’ve got several good beers on tap that add to the experience. The menu has such items as Volcano Caps (which are beer battered fried jalapeño rings), chicken fried steak, pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, even a kids menu. Plus daily specials. You can check out the details at arizonasnowbowl.com/lodging.

Flagstaff Brewing Co.
16 E. Rte. 66 (Downtown)

Flagstaff Brewing Company is the patio for people watching. It’s out in front of the pub’s entrance looking onto a busy little area of downtown. A hot spot in town, Flag Brew’s on tap especially made microbrews and Stink Burger (topped with roasted garlic, swiss cheese and an onion ring) are among their most popular items.

Hotel Weatherford
23 N. Leroux Street

If you’re looking for a beer with a view, you’re going to want to check out The Weatherford’s upstairs bar with its own balcony. They’ve got several beers on tap, plus lots of other tasty beverages. But best yet, it’s a great place to sit and watch all the folks walking around downtown. Maybe you’ll meet some of the hotels famous ghosts while you’re there too.

Junipine Cafe
8351 N. Hwy 89A, in Oak Creek Canyon

While not technically in Flagstaff, on a nice day a drive down through Oak Creek Canyon can be enjoyable on its own. Top that off with a visit to the Junipine Café at the Junipine Lodge. About 20 minutes outside of Flag (10 before you get to Sedona), the open spacious decked patio at the Junipine Café is a great spot to sit an enjoy canyon views, catch some rays and eat one of their signature fish dishes, including some featuring locally caught trout.

(Note: This article first appeared in Flagstaff Live! - written by me too.)

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