Back in February I had a fun-filled four days in the Mesa and Phoenix exploring the Fresh Foodie Trail® and all that the area has to offer. Check out my Mesa travel guide for your next visit!
A few years ago Drew and I visited family in Gilbert, a town just next to Mesa. So while I had been to the area before, I wasn’t familiar with all that Mesa and Phoenix had to offer. During my first visit with Drew, we had done the Flat Iron hike, gone up to Sedona for the day and explored Gilbert a bit.
Of course blue skies and sunshine are just one of the perks (especially coming from Midwest or East coast winter), but I didn’t realize what fun foodie experiences one could partake in within a 20 mile radius of Mesa and Phoenix!
During our visit we explored everything from local favorite spots to grab breakfast and lunch, to unique farm experiences.
The Fresh Foodie Trail®
Many stops along the Fresh Foodie Trail® are family run business and often have a lot of history within the community, being able to offer unique experiences to locals and tourists alike.
You can plan your whole trip to Mesa and Phoenix around the trail – there is tons to explore!
Exploring the Trail
Visit Schnepf Farms
As the largest peach grower in Arizona and a designated “Arizona Treasure,” a stop at Schnepf Farms is a must! They have everything from special events happening throughout the year, a bakery and store, Upick tours and “Forage with the Farmer” lunches that take place right in the garden.
This was something we got to experience as part of the tour and it’s a great way to connect with where your food comes from and just enjoy the farm with good company.
They also have the cutest locations for weddings, with beautiful peach blossoms open the month of February.
And GLAMPING! I love a good glamping setup and Schnepf Farms has newly remodeled vintage Airstreams to book your next glamping vacation in.
(Keep scrolling for more details on their Airstreams and booking your stay!)
Tour the Olive Mill at Queen Creek
Another highly recommended stop is Arizona’s only family-owned and operated working olive mill and farm, Queen Creek Olive Mill. This stop hit home for me, being that the family actually moved from Michigan (where I grew up and live), out to Arizona and started this olive mill. A unique story, and a family affair!
In addition to producing olive oil and other high quality products, the OliveSpa studio was created on-site at the Olive Mill in 2012 where you can get natural beauty products all featuring, you guessed it – olive oil!
Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils to use for cooking, but I actually didn’t realize it’s also a great beauty product! Check out their blog here.
Along with an Olive Oil 101 tour, they also have a unique shop where you can taste-test some of the products before buying, as well as an eatery featuring sandwiches, soups, salad, gelato, cupcakes and even an espresso bar.
Oh, and it’s a great place to get some locally made Arizona products and fun gifts too.
There is SO much to see and do at Agritopia, I’m pretty certain you could spend the hours of breakfast, lunch and dinner here.
Located right in Gilbert, Agritopia is its own community centered around an “urban farm.” In this community they have everything from a senior living center, a school, a coffee shop, a place to grab breakfast, get your hair cut, casual eateries to hang out at – you name it.
It’s a pretty unique concept, considering a lot of farms in Arizona are sold off to developers. But this one stayed and they built the neighborhood and businesses around it.
The farm is divided into a patchwork of specialty crops, where community members and visitors can purchase same-day harvest at The Farm Stand –all produce grown on the farm is USDA organic.
AND the food grown on the farm is used in the local restaurants within Agritopia as well. SO COOL.
Tons of Hiking and outdoor adventure
Mesa and Phoenix have a ton of hiking trails in the area so be sure to schedule some time out in nature – the landscape is beautiful. If you’re from the Midwest like me, the red rocks, cacti and mountains are a literal breath of fresh air.
A vast menu with lots of options with (you guessed it) eggs.
Of course they also offer a great variety of your traditional sweet breakfasts – everything from french toast to pancakes and fresh bakery muffins.
Stopping in at T.C. Eggington’s is truly a must when in Mesa. I wanted to try everything and could see myself making more than one stop here!
So many options in Agritopia you could eat here all week!
- Joe’s Farm Fresh Grill – The old Johnston family residence turned into a modern diner. A variety of classic “diner” options but with a fresh take.
- The Coffee Shop – Fun coffee drinks, delicious pastries (their cupcakes were featured on Cupcake Wars!) and their own breakfast and lunch menu.
- The Uprooted Kitchen (in Barnone) – Plant-based, fresh seasonal offerings that don’t compromise on flavor. We didn’t get a chance to eat here (they were closed during our visit) but I wish we would have! The menu looked so great, especially for vegan-friendly!
- Fire & Brimstone (in Barnone) – A wood-fire pizza, with locally sourced ingredients – most coming right from the farm at Agritopia.
- Garage East – Just outside of Barnone in Agritopia, gather here for delicious wine. Place an order from Fire & Brimstone across the way and enjoy with your beverages!
Not only does The Olive Mill serve as a great location to visit for a little Olive 101 tour and shopping, it’s also a great place to stop in for some coffee, sandwiches, snacks and dessert.
Breakfast is served from 8am-11am everyday, and lunch/dinner from 11am-close.
If you like BBQ, this place is right up your alley. Serving up Arizona style BBQ and “New Wave Mexican Soul Food” – ginormous quesadillas, peanut butter & jelly brisket (a must try for the meat lovers) and amazing house-made salsas. Definitely worth a stop!
Places to Stay
In the Mesa area you’ll find everything from traditional hotels to rustic (but very nice!) updated cabins and even dessert glamping!
Next trip to Mesa, this place is on my list! Surrounded by the mountains, a creek down the way, and so much beauty.
This beautiful property was established circa late 1920s. With 19 cabins it’s great for weekend getaways, families, disconnecting (wifi limited), kayaking, tubing, and so much more.
The pictures really don’t do this property justice. It is absolutely gorgeous.
As previously mentioned above, you can glamp at Schnepf Farms!
I mean truly, how fun are these!? A great location to stay at and enjoy the farm activities, as well as what the surrounding area has to offer.
If you’re a Cubs fan, this location is perfect. A lovely property with a great outdoor pool and patio setting. Enjoy views of the little lake out front, a play gym and splash pad for kids across the way and it’s within walking distance to shopping center across the road. Not to mention the Cubs spring training facility.
We also got to do a little exploring in Phoenix too, which is just about a 30 minute drive from Mesa. There is so much to do in this area (Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale) that I highly recommend seeing if you can work in a couple quick stops.
The Farm at South Mountain is another beautiful stop along the Fresh Foodie Trail®. With three options for farm-to-table dining, a gift shop and they host events and weddings too.
Here we got to partake in a plant-based cooking class with Melanie Gilbert, which was so fun! If you see her name on the event schedule, I highly recommend booking the class.
Public Market (downtown Phoenix)
Loved this little stop! Great coffee, food and a casual but fun atmosphere. Located downtown Phoenix where there is tons of exploring to do.
If you haven’t been to Arizona yet, I highly recommend putting a visit to Mesa and Phoenix on your list! There is so much to see and do, with lots of outdoor fun, an amazing food scene and kid friendly activities too.
Thanks to Visit Mesa and Visit Phoenix for having me and hosting this special trip!