7 Things to Eat and Drink in Flagstaff

Coppa-tagliatelle.jpg
Buchanan
Tagliatelle with seasonal vegetables, basil, pecorino romano, and grated wood-smoked egg
This time of year, conversations at Chow Bella staff meetings tend to turn to who's eaten what and where. With the summer travel season in full swing, we bring you Food Tours, our writers' suggestions of what to eat and drink out of town.

Raise your hand if you've already been to Flagstaff at least twice this summer. And why wouldn't you? It's our close-to-home getaway for tall pines, cool breezes, a breath of fresh air and the possibility of wearing something more substantial than shorts and a tank top. Ah, but where to eat? That's easy. Flagstaff has more and better restaurant choices than ever before. Here are seven things you won't want to miss while you're there.

See also:
13 Favorite Cold Dishes in Metro Phoenix

Coppa-Tyscoppa.jpg
Courtesy of SALT
Coppa di Testa Piccante
Coppa di Testa Piccante
Coppa Café
1300 S. Milton Road, #107
928-637-6813, CoppaCafe.net

Located in a nondescript strip mall on Flagstaff's traffic-choked main drag, this adorable European-style café has been flying under the radar for nearly two years now -- which means the average food lover who tastes Coppa's bread, charcuterie, and desserts (all housemade, all exceptional) for the very first time invariably has a dismayed "where've you been all my life?" moment. Husband-and-wife chef-owners Brian Konefal and Paola Fioravanti (he's savory, she's sweet) met in culinary school in Italy years ago, and their impressive résumés include stints at Robuchon, Aqua, Campton Place, and 11 Madison Park. It's impossible to name just one great thing to try here. You won't want to miss the flakiest, best open-face croissant sandwich imaginable, topped with bacon, poached eggs, and rich Hollandaise (found on lunch and brunch menus); or the amazing housemade tagliatelle with local, seasonal vegetables and grated cherry wood-smoked egg yolk at dinner (yep, you read that right: cured and smoked egg yolk, grated like a cheese over the top). Meanwhile, Paola's classic desserts (think custardy, crisp-edged cannales, and tiny, brownie-like chocolate bouchon) are simply outstanding. But for the truly geeky, the signature Coppa di Testa Piccante, served as an antipasto, is a must. This spicy pork terrine (head cheese, to be exact) is marinated in a dry rub of chiles, smoked paprika, and garlic, then braised for 17 hours and rolled up like a foie gras torchon. Thickly sliced and presented on a bed of lightly pickled fennel with a garnish of fennel seed and Moroccan harissa, its flavor profile brings Spanish chorizo to mind although its texture is softer and more unctuous ($11). Seconds, please!

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Courtesy of Cameron & Kelly Studio
Amore oi mari pizza

Amore oi mari pizza
Pizzicletta
203 W. Phoenix Ave.
928-774-3242, pizzicletta.com

Chef-owner Caleb Schiff loves bicycles and pizza, having ridden the former and sustained himself on the latter on his own self-guided tour through Italy a few years ago. He came home inspired, building his own domed, wood-burning oven from gleaming white tiles and finding a tiny, charming space in an historic, wedge-shaped building in the Southside District. Pizzicletta (a conflation of pizza and bicicletta) is the delicious result, built upon a short menu featuring three starters (cheese, salumi, and salad), five pizzas (three red, two white) and variously flavored, made-from-scratch gelatos based on Schiff's Italian friend's recipe. All the puffy, crisp-edged pies are first-rate, but our favorite is the amore oi mari, lavishly topped with mascarpone, prosciutto di Parma, arugula, Queen Creek Meyer lemon oil, and pecorino ($15). It feeds two, if you can bring yourself to share.

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21 comments
papahutch2000
papahutch2000

Nikki, your English usage is impeccable.  I mean usage, not just 'grammar.'  Absolutely expert writing.  I would like to take some credit, but honesty and humility prevent it.  We did spend some time paying close attention to the craft.  It is a joy to read you, as well as the fun and informative content.  Got two kids up there who will enjoy and use this.  I will assign reports. 

hjoemora
hjoemora

What ever happened to Mike and Rhonda's? That was my favorite place to eat.

nheimstra1
nheimstra1

You nailed this one.  I used to live there and you have many of my favorites.

Gwynne Heiser
Gwynne Heiser

glad to see criollo on this list. ropa vieja is so good! sangria not bad either...

Craig Ganster
Craig Ganster

We'll have to hit up Macy's for some coffee when we're there in Sept Alicia Gaier Ganster Cedar Braun Onchi

AZnikkib
AZnikkib

@papahutch2000 Hey Mike! Wow, it's been a while! Thanks for the kind words. They mean a lot, coming from you! What I remember more than paying attention to the craft (although we did that) was all the other crazy, fun stuff OUT of class. Your cool little house on the hill and the bathroom without a door and the billy goat and Billy (where is he, btw?) and well, just a whole lot more. You were the first teacher to tell me I could write. So there's that, and I thank you. And you loved English and knew so much for a young guy in grad school. Hope our paths cross again some day.

AZnikkib
AZnikkib

@Nikki Fennell Hi Other Nikki. I do like Salsa Brava, but I haven't been in a long time. Still good, I'm guessing.

rickyleepotts
rickyleepotts

@Christopher Renning We were in Flagstaff last weekend, and all we did was drink beer! From Mother Road to Flagstaff Brewing Company, we bounced around hitting all of the breweries and drinking our way around town. We don't travel to eat!

aztecapts
aztecapts

@Gwynne Heiser One of my favorites for lunch!

aztecapts
aztecapts

@Craig Ganster No Macys in Flagstaff.  Try Late For The Train.

aztecapts
aztecapts

@AZnikkib Try Fat Olives.  It's right down the route and has the same chef (owner).

aztecapts
aztecapts

Macys: Was thinking of the department store. Good choice.

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