As you may know, I have been blogging for a few months on Flagstaff's Top 3 in various restaurant categories.  My first blog was New Restaurants in Flagstaff, followed by Flagstaff's Top 3: Places To Get Lunch Downtown, and my most recent was Flagstaff's Top 3: Mexican Restaurants for Breakfast or Lunch.  That last one got a bit contentious as I found out that a few of my friends have absolutely no idea what Mexican food actually is!  Oh well, "some peoples kids", as they say!

So, this time I would like to get a little less contentious and talk about Fine Dining in Flagstaff.  The truth be told, there really aren't that many Fine Dining restaurants to begin with, so my job in this blog is not that difficult.  As a matter of fact, the first two below are very easy to pin down, but it's just number 3 that is difficult to decide on.  So, here we go:

Cottage Place

Cottage Place Restaurant is widely accepted as the best restaurant in Flagstaff and has been in most peoples mind for many, many years.  I have heard a few people grumble that they have slipped into a bit too much "southwestern" in the past few years, but in my opinion Cottage Place still is the top restaurant in Flagstaff.

Cottage Place

The restaurant was started by Ron Freeman in 1981, sold to Kurt Gottshalk after that and is now owned by Frank Branham, who bought it in 1994.  Frank is now considered a celebrated local chef, and has won many awards for both his craft and for The Cottage Place.  It repeatedly wins Best Fine Dining in Flagstaff on different sites and newspapers and is a very highly regarded local eatery in anyone's book.

Here is a link to their menu: Cottage Place Menu.

For me, I have always loved the Grilled White Mexican Shrimp.  The grilled flavor is absolutely excellent.  Also, Cottage Place would probably be on everyone's short list for the best place to go on a date.  If that is what you are doing, why not have the Chateaubriand For Two? Imagine a perfectly cooked filet mignon roast that is carved table side and served with roasted vegetables.  It is excellent when paired with the perfect wine.  Finally, the desserts at Cottage Place are excellent as well.  Leave room for the Arizona Cream.  Think of it as a white chantilly cream mousse with raspberries.  It is very good!

Cottage Plates

Overall, Cottage Place could be successful in any large city in the US, but to have a restaurant of this caliber in Flagstaff is wonderful!

Here is a link to the Cottage Place's Yelp Reviews.

Here is a link to TripAdvisor's Reviews of Cottage Place.


Josephine's Modern American Bistro

Located on very busy Humphrey's Street, Josephine's is another cozy fine dining restaurant that is occupying a very quaint, old Flagstaff house.  This craftsman style building is made of local stone and is very warm and inviting.

Josephine's is a good solid choice for lunch or dinner in Flagstaff.  However, their weekend brunch has become very popular and my family absolutely loves it.  Not to be missed.

I have friends that claim that the burger at Josephine's is the best hamburger that they have had anywhere.  So, that would be a recommendation, but to be honest I haven't tried it.  I always get distracted by something else on the menu.


Here is a link to Trip Advisor's Reviews of Josephine's.

Here is a like to Yelps Reviews of Josephine's.


1899 Bar and Grill

OK, this last one is a little tough, because I am not so certain that 1899 deserves the recognition.  I have been there for lunch a couple of times lately and they seemed to have slipped a bit.  However, with being a part of Northern Arizona University, they may just be limiting their lunch menu to attract a wider crowd from the University.  Also I would need to give a nod to both Tinderbox and also Coppa Cafe as they are...not quite "fine dining", but very, very good and I will have to blog about them both later!

That said, I have had some very memorable meals at 1899 Bar and Grill.  I must say that I have had probably the best grilled chicken breast I have ever eaten there.  Grilling a piece of boneless chicken breast to absolute perfection is not as easy at it seems, because it can be over cooked or under cooked immediately.  Also, they can be over seasoned or marinated quite quickly.

Here is a link to 1899's Dinner Menu.

1899 Bar and Grill

I think what I like best about 1899 is that it is part of Northern Arizona University.  So, you are likely to have student staff and cooks serving you as you enjoy your meal.  So, be patient with them as they learn their trades!

Here is a link to Yelp's Reviews of 1899.

Here is a link to Trip Advisor's Reviews of 1899.

Gary Nelson is a lifelong resident of Flagstaff, Arizona and is the Delegated Associate Broker at Realty Executives of Flagstaff.  Find your own part of Flagstaff at