1. Santa Fe, New Mexico
With locally sourced menus, fresh ingredients, and intimate restaurant atmospheres, Santa Fe is a great foodie destination. These are three of the best restaurants that are recommended for visitors!
Fire & Hops: The unique thing about this restaurant is that it is run out of an old house! As you walk through the front door, you are greeted with a whiff of homecooked meals. Each room in the house is used as a separate seating area, where guests can enjoy a somewhat private meal. The restaurant itself is small, but the dishes are bursting with fresh flavors that will leave you wanting more! I recommend trying the fried Brussel sprouts, Kalua pork tacos, and Cubano sandwich.
Opuntia Cafe: If you are a lover of plants, this is one of the best restaurants for you! On its website, Opuntia Cafe boasts that they are a teahouse in a greenhouse. While you are waiting for your food, you can browse the art and plants displayed in their greenhouse. The cafe’s menu options are seasonally inspired, which means that they are bursting with flavors that you won’t encounter anywhere else!
Santa Fe Farmers’ Market: Although it is not technically considered to be a restaurant, you need to visit the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market. Located in downtown Santa Fe, the farmer’s market is a well-established business that offers fresh, local food. If you are staying at Hotel Santa Fe Hacienda and Spa, you will find the farmers’ market nearby! While you are browsing the selection of food, you will find fresh, local produce and snacks that are unique to the area! Whether you enjoy healthy food or not, you need to visit this farmers’ market!
2. Sedona, Arizona
Another location that is known for its unique cuisine, Sedona is home to some of the best restaurants in the west! Whether you are looking for comfort food or completely unfamiliar dishes, Sedona has something to offer you!
Picazzo’s: An Italian kitchen that is known for its fresh food and allergen-friendly menu. Their homemade pizzas are made on dedicated gluten-free stone deck ovens, and their dishes will appeal to anyone following an allergen-conscious diet. After you order your food at the counter, you can sip on a glass 0f wine while you wait for your food to be served. The clean building, fresh food, and moderately busy atmosphere make Picazzo’s a great restaurant for families, couples, and friend groups alike!
Fresh & Natural Thai Kitchen: Similar to almost every other restaurant in Sedona, Fresh & Natural Thai Kitchen provides a menu filled with fresh, local ingredients. Their mouth-watering dishes will leave you satisfied without feeling like a lead weight in your stomach! This restaurant comes recommended by locals and tourists alike, which makes it a necessary stop during your visit to Sedona!
3. Grand Lake, Colorado
Located near Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake is the perfect destination for hikers. With majestic views of the mountains, this lake community is appealing to many western travelers! These are two of the best restaurants in Grand Lake that are recommended by both locals and tourists.
Sagebrush BBQ & Grill: Located along the main street in Grand Lake, Sagebrush has a delicious menu with a wide range of wild game dishes. The restaurant is family-friendly because of its wide assortment of meals and large dining room. Since their menu is so diverse and overwhelming, the waiters are eager to give you recommendations! I recommend trying the onion rings and jalapeño poppers for appetizers, and the rainbow trout and buffalo burger for your entrees. With Sagebrush’s wide menu you can’t go wrong with your meal choice! My only regret is not visiting this restaurant more than once!
White Buffalo Pub & Pizza: White Buffalo’s wide menu makes it a perfect restaurant for families with picky eaters! Their unique pizzas feature a variety of wild game, sauces, and toppings. Since this is such a popular restaurant, you should definitely call in your order ahead of time! If the weather is nice, you may choose to eat at their outdoor seating area. They also do takeout, so if you have had a long day of hiking you might want to pick up your order and bring it home! I recommend trying the stampede, the white buffalo, or the florentine pizzas. Their salads are also a perfect pairing on the side.
4. Kanab, Utah
A hidden gem of the west, Kanab is not well known to tourists. This makes it the ideal place for people wanting to escape crowds. While you are visiting Kanab, you will encounter some of the best restaurants that you have ever visited. Their restaurants are clean with locally sourced menus and friendly staff. Although Kanab does not offer a wide variety of restaurants, you need to visit this town just to try these places!
Wild Thyme: Wild Thyme’s menu provides a wide variety of cuisines, from Indian falafel to American burgers. They grow fresh herbs and vegetables for their dishes in a garden behind the building, and you can taste the freshness in their meals! You won’t be disappointed by any food on their menu, but if you need recommendations, try the Neopolitan lasagna or the goddess salad with falafel. If you go with a large party, you need to order one of each of their desserts. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
Asava: Located next door to Wild Thyme, Asava is known for its menu of fresh ingredients. Their smoothies, pressed juices, and homemade bread are a little pricey, but they are nutritious and delicious! Asava also sells a variety of dōTERRA products, along with homemade health shots to boost immunity and help with inflammation. I recommend trying the country road smoothie and making it into a bowl with cacao nibs, shredded coconut, and strawberries on top! You will want to visit this restaurant multiple times during your stay so that you can try a variety of things on their menu!
5. Ask The Locals
All the cities mentioned in this article are known for their fresh, unique, and authentic food. The locals are proud of the cuisine that their hometown offers, and they are more than happy to share restaurant recommendations with visitors! Whenever you travel, be sure to ask the locals for recommendations on restaurants and activities. They know the ins and outs of their city, which makes them the perfect source for your questions!
6. Read Google Reviews
If you can’t find any locals, try googling restaurants in your area and reading customers’ reviews. In this digitized world, people are more than happy to share their opinions online! You will find google reviews to be very helpful in your search for restaurants. Wherever you eat, be sure to leave a review on the restaurant to boost their website traffic and let others know if it is one of the best restaurants you have ever tried!