Get Overland News, including Overland Tech & Travel, each month by email (with short weekly digest blasts), sign up below.

eNews Signup

Where is Mormon Lake & Flagstaff?
About Flagstaff & Mormon Lake, AZ

Population: 60,000

Lat/long: 35.20 N 111.63 W

Elevation: 6,900 feet

Map of Mormon Lake area (30 minutes southeast of Flagstaff): Mormon Lake

Distance to Phoenix: 145 miles

Distance to Los Angeles: 468 miles

Distance to Denver: 677 miles

Avg. May high: 67F

Avg. June low: 34F

Industry: Northern Arizona University, tourism, Lowell Observatory

Flagstaff Census Data

Flagstaff Downtown Business Alliance 

Mormon Lake Lodge

-> Overland Expo 2013 highlights now available on our BUZZ page <-

Get Overland News, including Overland Tech & Travel, each month by email (plus short weekly digests), sign up below.



Macy’s and other coffee shops

It’s impossible to imagine Flagstaff without Macy’s, the hippie-esque coffee shop on Beaver Street just south of the railroad tracks. It feels like it’s been there forever, although it only opened in 1980. In a town blessed with lots of excellent coffee options, Macy’s is, if not unequalled, certainly unsurpassed. The triple latte is practically breakfast on its own—but don’t cheat yourself of their waffles, biscuits and gravy, or even the homemade granola. If you’re a tea drinker, you’ll find the offerings just as good as the coffee (that is, considering tea’s vast intrinsic inferiority). There’s superb people watching at Macy’s, too: everyone from suited businessmen to buffed bicyclists to ponytailed, VW-Combi-driving Deadheads straight out of the Whole Earth Catalog—the first one. Opens properly at 6:00 a.m. every day. Macy's, 14 S. Beaver Street, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Despite its location in a strip mall, the Campus Coffee Bean is another favorite, with easier parking than Macy’s and more room for larger groups. In addition to breakfast, they offer a full lunch menu. If you think you’re a hard-core coffee drinker, try the Hammerhead—three shots of espresso in a full cup of regular coffee. Also opens at 6:00 a.m. 1800 South Milton Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001


It’s rare to peruse a restaurant’s dinner menu and exclaim out loud, repeatedly, “Oh wow.” Yet that happens every time we visit this loosely Latin-oriented restaurant on San Francisco Street in downtown Flagstaff. Generally I can look at a menu and decide what I want in 30 seconds flat. At Criollo I painfully reduce my initial selection of five or six possibilities (out of perhaps seven entrée choices) down to four, then three—at which point I usually wring my hands for several minutes. Pathetic. 

The good news is, you won’t go wrong with any of them. Everything we’ve had (and during a three-day visit to town we’ve been known to eat dinner there three times) has been sublime. Even such prosaic fare as fajitas achieves transcendency, much less, for example, the Guajillo barbecued duck breast or mojo marinated pork tenderloin. The ingredients are all sourced as locally as possible, including Arizona beef. Finally, unlike many restaurants that do dinner well but fall down on dessert, Criollo keeps up the momentum all the way through. Simply put, we don’t know a better restaurant in the state, counting quality, imagination, service, and price. A mandatory stop. Criollo Latin Kitchen, 16 N. San Francisco Street, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

The Galaxy Diner

Imagine the perfect diner to front historic Route 66, and you’ll have the Galaxy nailed. The waitresses don’t ride roller skates, but that’s about the only period trick missing here. And it’s not   just a recreation—the Galaxy has been around since the 1950s. Food quality varies (did diners in the 50s really have better?), but there’s plenty of it. On the other hand, the soda fountain creations are all well above average. 931 W. Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86001


Flagstaff had microbreweries before they got chic. There aren’t any bad ones I know of. Beaver Street Brewery (11 S. Beaver Street, Flagstaff, AZ 86001) is excellent and usually crowded. The new and very large Lumberyard Brewing Company (5 S. San Francisco Street, Flagstaff, AZ 86001), just up the tracks, has a similar menu, probably because they're owned by the same family. For a more neighborhood-bar experience, the Flagstaff Brewing Company (16 E. Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86001), opened in 1994 in a 19th-century building right off Highway 66, is our low-key favorite and also the place to sample High Spirits' amazing single malt, Arizona whisky (finished in mesquite-smoked barrels). Despite my historical fascination with India Pale Ale I’m a little weary of the current mania for hops, hops, and more hops in American microbrews, but there’s a broad selection of alternatives here. Good pub food as well, and, at least the last time we were there, absolutely dynamite music. Muddy Waters was on when we left. The menu says it all: “Beer like your mom used to make.”

References (3)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (2)

For the Best fresh & unique Mexican food, fresh salsa bar & best view from any bar in Flagstaff go to El Capitan Fresh Mexican Grill at 1800 S Milton Rd. Suite #21 #21 Flagstaff, AZ 86001. (928) 774-1083
Monday–Friday, Open at 11 a.m.
Saturday & Sunday Breakfast, Starting at 9 a.m.
There is a 10% off coupon on El Capitan's web site.
This is the personal favorite of many of my friends & my husband Seth & I. By far, Grant, the owner & creator of all of El Capitan's delicious dishes has the most fresh and creative flavors of any Mexican restaurant ever. This is not the place for the same ole burro or taco. If you get tacos ask for them Dorado style, you will love them. There are always fantastic specials every day & if you like margaritas try the Lilly Margarita it is Great, it is a secret recipe that only Grant knows & the Lilly is so strong there is a 2 drink limit on it. El Capitan has a beachfront-type atmosphere that is casually elegant, a great bar & an out door dining patio with a view of the San Francisco Peaks. You will not be sorry if you choose to experience El Capitan.

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKande Jacobsen

Few additions to Kande's post:

Diablo Burger has been written up in USA Today, Arizona Republic, Arizona Highways and others as one of the most unique burgers on the planet. Free Range beef comes from the Diablo Trust in Northern Arizona, not too far from the Expo site at Mormon Lake. They only take cash - no credit cards, no checks - and it ain't cheap, but it's dang tasty. In the heart of Downtown Flagstaff just off the square.

Pizziocleta has tasty wood fired pizza and is located at Mike's Pike and Phoenix just around the corner from Macy's coffeehouse. Community style dining tables, good beer and wine, tasty eats.

New brewery in town in the same building as Pizzicleta is Mother Road Brewing - nothing fancy, just well crafted beer.

Another relative newcomer is Coppa Cafe on Milton next to Discount Tire - European eats in a simple storefront - tasty breakfast entrees Euro style - Yelp reviews here:

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Tuitele

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>