Glamping, Goat Yoga, and Gourmet Food: A Girls’ Getaway in Mesa, Arizona

My best foodie friend Caitlin (@befatbehappy on Instagram) and I took a girls trip to Mesa, Arizona to explore the #FreshFoodieTrail! We found some great food, and we also checked some things off our bucket lists, like hot air ballooning (!!), Airstream glamping, and goat yoga! Keep reading to see everywhere we ate and all the fun things we did in Arizona:

restaurants

1. Jalapeno Buck’s – My favorite meal in Mesa, and some of the best barbecue I’ve had. Our favorite was their brisket peanut butter and jelly sandwich (sounds crazy, but trust us!), and we also loved their burritos, quesadillas, and their house-made salsas. The salsa-making started as a hobby for Dianne and her husband Duaine, but after a while they couldn’t keep up with the demand from their friends and neighbors. Next, Dianne started making burritos to go with her famous salsa – she couldn’t roll the tortillas fast enough! When she was making hundreds of burritos a weekend, her husband built her a restaurant. We’re sure glad he did. Wonderful story and a beautiful location on their historic citrus grove – don’t leave without tasting some of their navel oranges!

2. Biscuit Freaks – There’s a biscuits and gravy bonanza in a food truck, outside Cider Corps every Sunday afternoon. I’ve never loved biscuits and gravy the way I loved the “Fajitas” biscuits – buttery biscuits topped with steak, grilled peppers, onions, and a whole lotta gravy.

3. Postino – Locally loved Italian chain, famous for their $20 bruschetta board + wine bottle special every Monday night. We went to the Gilbert location - cute space and fun vibe!

4. Joyride Taco House – Right next door to Postino (literally) is a cute Mexican restaurant with creative tacos, margaritas of all flavors (prickly pear, blood orange, strawberry hibiscus), and, my personal favorite, churro sticks with chocolate dipping sauce.

5. Liberty Market – The town’s old market kept its name, but has been converted into a restaurant. We sampled a few of their desserts, and were really impressed by the ice cream cookie sandwich, hot chocolate crème brûlée, and the bread pudding. Liberty Market is also located in Gilbert, right next to Postino and Joyride Taco House.

6. Queen Creek Olive Mill – We popped into this olive oil farm for dinner when staying in Queen Creek at Schnepf Farms (more on this below). Pizza, wine, lots of olive oil, live music, and sharing pasta, Lady and the Tramp-stylewith Caitlin made it a really fun night.

7. TC Eggington’s – This cozy farmhouse is a brunch staple in Mesa. We tried the cinnamon swirl French toast with honey butter, the Red Hot Mama Frittata, and the waffles with fresh fruit. They served fun seasonal lattes on the side – I opted for a peppermint mocha.

Bakeries

8. Dulce Churro Café – Really high-quality churros made fresh (and fun!) at this dessert spot. We loved watching them make the churros to order – filling them or glazing them with whatever topping you prefer (chocolate, dulce de leche, nutella, sprinkles, and more).

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9. Crème & Chocolats – Casual crepe and ice cream shop where we tried a rich, dark chocolate sea salt-filled crepe. We topped ours with vanilla soft serve, because why not?!

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10. The Coffee Shop at Agritopia – Yummy lattes (I got pumpkin!) and baked goods. Their cupcakes won on Cupcake Wars, so we tried a coconut and a red velvet cupcake, as well as a peanut butter cookie.

Bars

11. Garage East – Really cute winery at Agritopia – they make most of the wine themselves, including signatures like their #BreakfastWine (a lighter, easy drinking wine with hints of apple), and their Sonoran Spritz (an homage to the Italian spritz, made with citrus from their grove).

12. White Rabbit – A brand new speakeasy in downtown Gilbert, but you have to know the password to get in! Fun hidden entrance, delicious cocktails (I loved my floral “Desert Bloom”), and a great playlist here.

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13. Cider Corps – Some of the most creative ciders I’ve ever tried! We got a couple flights of cider to try as many as possible – a few of my favorites were the chai, pumpkin, prickly pear, peach, and hibiscus ciders. Cute wooden picnic tables and lots of board games to keep you entertained while you drink. Added bonus: this is where you can find the aforementioned Biscuit Freaks truck.

14. Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row – If you’re looking for late night fun, this live country music and dancing joint is the place to get rowdy!

activities

1. Hot Air Balloon – Checked an item off my bucket list with Hot Air Expeditions! I had so much fun on our sunrise hot air balloon ride – we took a beautiful hour-long flight above the Arizona desert, blew bubbles off the side of the basket, took turns flying the balloon, and finished with a breakfast picnic and champagne after our smooth descent back to the ground.

2. True Rest Float Spa – Do you love meditating? Then you’ll love the float spa – an egg-shaped bath filled with Epsom salts where you float for an hour to de-stress. I didn’t fall asleep during my first float (the eventual goal of floating), but I did leave feeling super loose and relaxed.

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3. Goat Yoga – Less of a yoga class and more of a photo opp, but a super fun one at that! The farm has trained goats to walk on your backs and through your legs while you hold your poses. All while the goats are dressed in headbands and tutus. Namaste.

4. Agritopia – An old family farm was transformed into a planned community, an agricultural utopia (Agritopia) with citrus groves, a community farm, local independent maker shops & restaurants. Agritopia’s Farm Grill was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives; the Coffee Shop (mentioned above) was featured on Cupcake Wars; and the Garage East winery is located here too. Also, it should be mentioned that the owner’s great great grandpa invented THE Kitchen Aid mixer! Pretty dang cool.

5. The Cozy Peach – I’m not much of a camping girl, but I sure love glamping! One of Caitlin and my favorite parts of the trip was Airstream glamping at Schnepf Farms. The Schnepf family have beautifully renovated old Airstream trailers into luxury glamping cabins, complete with Wifi, TV, hot water, heat and air conditioning, coffee machines, a full kitchen, and every amenity you could need. They also provide bikes so you can ride around the farm. Go check out the “Library,” bike to get some cinnamon rolls from the bakery, check out the community garden, and say hi to the deer herd they’ve rescued. Enjoy s’mores by the fire outside your trailer at night, and wake up to room service breakfast from their bakery delivered right to your door (be sure to order the pancakes!). Since Schnepf Farms is a wedding venue, the trailers are frequently rented out for wedding parties or bachelor parties. The Cozy Peach is such a unique place to stay – this was a highlight of our trip.

And if you’re flying in and out of Phoenix, it’s definitely worth stopping in the city for a bite to eat:

Phoenix Restaurants

1. Pizzeria Bianco – Had to pay a visit to the famed Phoenix pizza joint (that’s opening a location in Downtown LA this year)! Caitlin and I avoided long wait times by going at an off-peak time (around 3pm), but this pizza is worth the wait. Our favorite? Their signature Rosa pizza with pistachios, parmesan, and red onions – such a creative topping combination, with a perfect balance of sweet and salty.

2. Mora Italian – Do you wanta some mora?? Unlike my cheesy accent, Scott Conant’s Italian restaurant is authentic, and serving some of the best plates of pasta I’ve had in America. Caitlin and I had a hard time deciding between dishes, so we shared four: arancini, burrata with crostini, lobster gnudi (OMG!!!), and torchio with pork and porcini ragu.

Bars

3. Bar Bianco – Cute little spot housed right next to the pizzeria, serving small plates, wine, and barrel-aged cocktails.

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4. Caffe Boa – Leave it to us to find literally the ONLY natural wine bar in Arizona! Caffe Boa in Tempe supports “nudity in wine,” by choosing mostly biodynamic and organic wines, made with the least amount of chemicals and other additives. The bartenders were really knowledgeable and super fun, and they were happy to keep pouring tastes and teaching us about wine.

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Following along on Instagram? See more from the trip at #CarnivorrArizona.