Located in the forested mountains of Arizona, the city of Flagstaff feels a world away from the sun-baked deserts of nearby Phoenix and Tempe. At Flagstaff, you can ski in the winter, hike toward cliff dwellings in the summer, and attend college sporting events year-round. A relaxed, outdoorsy college town, Flagstaff is a diverse area that welcomes families. Most local restaurants are casual, so it’s a breeze to find kid-friendly eateries. These 12 dining establishments are popular, and best of all, they’re located close to most vacation rentals in Flagstaff.

summer wildflowers
Source: Flickr/Coconino National Forest

1. Beaver Street Brewery and Whistle Stop Cafe

Dig into a range of creative pub food dishes with an international twist at Beaver Street Brewery and Whistle Stop Cafe. Pizza fries are a hit with little ones. Other great options include the soft pretzels with cheese and the Arizona quesadilla. For a fun family meal, order the cheesy fondue. The menu also features pizza, salads, sandwiches, and hearty comfort foods. Go for lunch or an early dinner; parking can be difficult, so it’s a good idea to walk or bike from your vacation rental.

2. Wildflower Bread Company

Enjoy breakfast or a hearty meal of soups, sandwiches, or salads at Wildflower Bread Company. After a full day, indulge in a bread-bowl soup or a dish of pasta. A great kids’ menu includes items such as chocolate chip pancakes, grilled cheese, and cheese ravioli. On Wednesdays, your little ones can get a free cookie, milk, and a craft activity. If you can, get a seat on the outdoor patio, which features a fireplace and ample space for kids to roam.

3. Crown Railroad Cafe

If your kids are train enthusiasts, the Crown Railroad Cafe is a Flagstaff must-see. A model train runs through the restaurant, providing endless entertainment for little ones. Parents love the vintage decor, and the whole family can get on board with the diner-style menu. At breakfast, try classic eggs or pancakes, or go for a hearty hash. For lunch and dinner, kids can choose from an enormous list of hot dogs, burgers, and hot sandwiches.

4. Bigfoot BBQ

A Flagstaff favorite, Bigfoot BBQ is in contention for the best barbecue in town. From rich beef brisket to pulled chicken, there’s something for everyone. The kids’ menu includes macaroni and cheese, pulled pork, chicken nuggets, and more. The basement location is ultra-relaxed, and while you eat, you can let your little ones run around in the Kiddie Corral.

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5. Pita Jungle

Pita Jungle is a great spot for a fast, healthy meal. Customize a pita, burger, or pizza, or satisfy more adventurous eaters with hummus and falafel. If your children are younger than 12, look to the fantastic kids’ menu, which offers a grain, protein, vegetable, fruit, and drink for an affordable flat fee. Smoothies and a tempting dessert selection offer the perfect end to the meal.

6. Lumberyard Brewing Company

When your family is craving pub snacks, look no further than the Lumberyard Brewing Company. Locals rave about the chicken wings at this casual spot; get adventurous with the long list of dipping sauces. Other favorites include loaded nachos and cheese fries. Burgers and salads make up the bulk of the menu. If you’re looking for something new, try the Vietnamese burger and the Green Dragon mahi-mahi. Kids love the macaroni and cheese, which is available with bacon, chicken, tomatoes, and more.

7. Black Bart’s Steakhouse

Despite its funky RV-park location, Black Bart’s Steakhouse offers some of the best meat dishes in the city. Go big with prime rib, or satisfy picky appetites with chicken and mashed potatoes. For kids, the highlight of Black Bart’s is the singing staff; watch your little ones’ faces as the talented servers serenade the crowd with familiar tunes.

8. The Northern Pines Restaurant

When everyone in the family has different cravings, The Northern Pines Restaurant is the solution. Whether you’re in the mood for a patty melt or a filet mignon, the restaurant’s huge menu has you covered. The appetizer menu is a great choice for light appetites, with smaller portions of egg rolls, tacos, beef sliders, and more. If you’re traveling with a dog, bring it along and sit on the pet-friendly patio.

9. Tinderbox Kitchen

With its beautiful dining area and friendly service, Tinderbox Kitchen is a perfect spot for a nice dinner out. The menu features elevated American classics, with options ranging from pan-seared chicken breast to a macaroni and cheese dish that changes every night. A selection of sides such as mashed potatoes, French fries, and hummus makes it easy to find an option for kids who can’t manage a full meal. Make a reservation on weeknights, and go early for the most kid-friendly atmosphere.

10. Satchmo’s

Put a little spice into your vacation at Satchmo’s, which serves Cajun, Creole, and barbecue in a fun, laid-back setting. Start with the seasoned tater tots or tot-chos, a riff on nachos. Then, go Southern with gumbo, jambalaya, or delicious barbecued chicken. Be warned: the portions are huge, so be prepared to share.

Grab pizza that delights both adults and kids at Pizzicletta. This popular joint specializes in organic produce and naturally leavened dough, so it’s a healthier take on traditional pies. Order a simple Margherita pizza for the kids, and indulge sophisticated tastes with an arugula or charred kale and gorgonzola pizza. Unless you arrive very early, take your food to go; the tiny dining area can be a bit overwhelming for little ones.

12. Mike and Ronda’s The Place

Mike and Ronda’s The Place is one of Flagstaff’s favorite casual breakfast spots. Food here is affordable and filling, making it a great stop before a day of skiing or a long hike in the hills. The large Hungry Man meal is a must for big eaters, but the menu also features breakfast burritos, diner classics, and burgers. Make meal time more pleasant by releasing your little ones to the play kitchen, which is complete with tiny tables.

 
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