No we haven't considered Prescott and we aren't into Casinos.
We also have a rule no fast food joints on vacation - We like to eat where the locals do.
I hope someone can come up with the name. There is a restaurant that looks like it was a house on the south side of Payson on Hwy 87 in the west side of the road. It is local, and the food was very good.
This isn't directly in town, but you could try the Zane Grey Steakhouse at Kohl's Ranch. We ate there recently and it was pretty good - not fine dining by any means, but the steaks were tasty! It's about 10-15 minutes East of Payson, though. Kohl's Ranch used to be an independent lodge, but is now part of the ILX timeshare group. The lodge itself is kind of fun; has that rustic western atmosphere, and you could wander down by the creek while you're there.
OK, here's a funny story. Several years ago when we were contemplating a move from FL to Sedona, a friend of ours in Palm Beach told us to check out Payson. His siter lived there. We arranged to meet her on our next trip to AZ. She gave us directions to a place where we met for lunch. She told us as we dined that this was the 2nd best place to eat in Payson. We were feasting on chicken fingers from a red plastic basket! MrsRedPony and I pretty much made up our minds that we weren't moving to Payson.
the town has grown since then but honestly, I've only eaten at the Chaparrell Pines CC in all of that time.
A little further up the road in Strawberry, is a place (I think) called the Strawberry Inn. I've had breakfast there a couple of times on my way to a golf event. Not bad. it's a place with 'character'.
Others have told me that the airport in Payson has a good little diner too.
Good for you taking the back roads! There was a jack-knifed 18 wheeler on I-17 north of Phoenix yesterday that shut it down all day. I thought about all our visitors stuck in that mess!
Three places I can suggest in Payson are:
La Sierra Mexican is north of the 260 intersection. What better was to start off a trip to the southwest?
Beeline Cafe is on the right side of Hwy 87 just as you come down the hill into town. Very popular with locals and travelers alike.
Enjoy your trip!
Aztchr - thanks for the 3 suggestions - La Sierra sounds good to me. Been searching online for a menu but couldn't find one - DH isn't much into Mexician food but I think we could all find something to eat here - he could perhaps have fajitas.
Redrox - funny story
I was just looking at the pictures posted online of Payson - looks similar to here. Nicely wooded my kind of place.
The best places we have discovered in Payson are:
Lunch - Main Street Grill, just off 87, left on Main, nice patio, good food
Dinner - Fargo's, east of town on 260 about 2 miles, ribs, steak, seafood, nice bar and patio. They may be open for lunch too, not sure
Pizza - Cardo's by the Safeway on 260, they don't deliver but good food
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