Sierra Vista, Arizona: Fresh, fabulous food in the Sky Islands

Tucked into Arizona’s southeast corner and located about 30 miles south of Interstate 10, bike-friendly and outdoor loving Sierra Vista offers a surprising variety of world cuisine in just a few square miles.

Thanks to the international influence of soldiers who muster at adjacent Fort Huachuca before deploying around the globe, Sierra Vista welcomes flavors from abroad, whether its savory Korean barbeque, hearty German, veggie-rich Vietnamese, or ocean-fresh sushi. In fact, the oldest restaurant in town has been serving south-of-the-border fare for more than a quarter of a century.

Just south of town, Pizzeria Mimosa is nestled against the Huachuca Mountains. With front row seats to the Sky Islands, extraordinary sunsets, and sweeping valley views, the upscale eatery makes slow food a centerpiece. Farm-to-table veggies adorn salads, pasta specialties, and pizza baked in a wood-fired oven atop a house-made crust using flour sourced from Naples. Any more authenticity would require a plane ticket.

Sierra Vista is neatly and nearly centered between Arizona’s two major wine grape-growing regions, Elgin and Sonoita to the west and Willcox to the east. Together, these two regions comprise more than two dozen wineries and produce award-winning wines that have been recognized internationally. Still, the vineyards are small enough that visitors can sit down with the vintner and swap stories while sampling their wares.

Spring begins early in southeast Arizona, and that means fresh produce is readily available at the year ‘round Sierra Vista Farmers Market—the best in the state. Every Thursday, more than 50 growers from around the region bring fresh picked produce, honey, meat, herbs, and nuts to Veterans Memorial Park to complement a cadre of bakers, soap makers, tortillerias, and crafters. This weekly celebration is capped with a smattering of food trucks offering mouth-watering barbeque, tamales, eggrolls, kettle corn, coffee, and more.

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