In about a century's time, the city of Cottonwood has gone from mining to artisan cheese making, Al Capone to craft beers. Once known as the bootleg capital of Arizona, it later served as a location for Wild West films before becoming a destination for fine foods. Old Town fixture Crema Cafe reaches out to neighborhood pubs, bistros, bakeries, and chocolatiers to assemble afternoons of strolling, sipping, snacking, and soaking up history for vacationers and hungry locals alike.
If drinking tea makes one wise, WhiteAugust has more wisdom than a microfiche containing two centuries of Greek philosophy. Green teas such as the Meyer-lemon-infused Playful Daydream ($5.50 for 50g, $10.50 for 100g) and the raspberry- and pomegranate-flavored Morning Geisha ($9.25/$17.75) satisfy the greenest cravings, while spicily colorful Kaleidoscope ($5.95/$9.95) and bold, vanilla-beaned Constellations ($15/$29.95) represent the richness of moderately caffeinated black teas. Whites, oolongs, herbal reme-teas, and the audacious new Camellia Sin teas help round out an impressive collection of rejuvenating extracts that will soon overflow and overwhelm the earth with pungent potabilities.
After 15 years of wandering Mexico, Chef Jeff Smedstad had eaten enough of the country’s cuisine to begin inventing his own recipes. He still honors the classics in his signature elote appetizer, which coats grilled corn kernels with cotija cheese and spicy mayo, but he flaunts his inventiveness with desserts of chocolate tamales filled with dried cherries.
Sedona Bike & Bean provides the two necessities for any mountain-bike trek: the bike and the energy. Its dual-purpose shop serves imported Sicilian coffee and rents out bicycles in all sizes. In addition to pouring your joe, the staff can suggest trails for different skill levels that pass by stunning rock formations.
Cuppers Coffee House’s atmosphere isn't the only thing that makes it memorable. Sure, the shop is housed inside of a Victorian home—the last in Arizona with wooden quoins on its corners—but the carefully selected coffee and handmade drinks served inside make the quaint surrounds feel all the more special. The staff strives to curate an upper-tier selection of organic javas; after all, a “cupper” is the name for a professional coffee taste-tester. And so they use Arizona-roasted Arabica beans and feature two single origin blends–-one dark and one light––each week. From there, they blend coffee with milk to create creamy frappes and melt Dutch cocoa, Ghirardelli, and Mexican chocolate into a range of mochas. As for their espresso, they keep that recipe top-secret: they roast a special combination of beans to give it a chocolate undertone, like nearly every satirical essay written by Willy Wonka. While many of the beverages sound good enough to eat, Cuppers Coffee House also serves breakfast and lunch plates to quell munchies all day. Homemade syrup and whipped cream top crispy Belgium waffles and thin, "skinny" pancakes, while savory selections include house-made quiche and albacore tuna salad stuffed betwixt thick slices of toasted wheat bread. As for dessert, Cuppers has that covered, too: the staff bakes fresh cupcakes, lemon bars, scones, muffins, and coffeecake in house.
Many of the Chilleen family's recipes share some serious history. Their restaurant dynasty dates back to 1962, when "Crazy Ed" Chilleen opened The Copper Lantern. Several eateries and breweries—including The Horny Toad and the Satisfied Frog—followed in the Lantern's wake, and many of the concoctions found on those menus eventually made the transition to Chilleen's on 17.
As they sip cocktails from mason jars, guests chow down on chicken-fried steak, southwestern smoked brisket, St. Louis-style pork ribs, and green chili con carne. Wednesday poker nights allow diners to test their skills at bluffing without spending another long night in a police interrogation room, and live music tempts boots to shuffle across the sawdust-covered floor. Recently, the national spotlight shone on Chilleen's on 17 after it was featured on Spike TV's Bar Rescue.