Bun Huggers

Worth a return

A tip of the hat to Laura Anair, waitress and blue-ribbon pie-baker down at the Red Rock Café, for recommending Bun Huggers in Flagstaff. She was abashed to suggest it because it is a self-consciously disheveled dive that seems not to have changed in decades; and its name is a little embarrassing to say. But this extremely colorful joint just off Historic Route 66 delivers surprisingly good eats.

Its heart and soul is a mesquite-fired grill on which meats are cooked. Hamburgers are the main attraction – cooked through, glistening and crusty-edged, perfumed by smoke. They are not extraordinary burgers as you get them, with or without cheese on a nice grill-toasted bun. There are juicier patties in town (at Diablo Burger). But near the grill is a large buffet of condiments where customers are free to dress them to the nines with lettuce, tomato slices, relish, mustard, ketchup, pickles, jalapeno chips, chopped onions, and mayonnaise. That’s the fun part of burger eating here.

Better than the burger are Bun Hugger’s steak sandwiches. Because you pay $10, including a side dish, you don’t expect a prime cut; but I was happily surprised. Unlike the burgers, these sirloins are cooked to order; and while they aren’t pillow-thick, they do have enough substance that degree of doneness is an issue; I ordered medium-rare, and that is what I got: warm and pink in the middle, crusty around the edges, surprisingly tender and tasty. Real beef flavor, for sure! Several variations of steak sandwich are available, with mushrooms, peppers, onions, etc. I recommend one billed as the Sonoran Steak, which includes grilled onions and pepper jack cheese plus a whole roasted chile pepper that adds a halo of gentle geothermal energy heat to the package.

Long a favorite of Northern Arizona University Students, Bun Huggers sports fraternity house décor, its walls covered with a discordant hodge-podge of road signs, old tools, neon, and flea market finds, its wooden booths carved with years’ worth of graffiti.

What to Eat
Bun Huggers, Regular Hug
Regular Hug
A Regular Hug, smothered with condiments from the dress-it-yourself bar
Bun Huggers, Sonoran Steak Sandwich
Sonoran Steak Sandwich
The Sonoran steak includes sirloin, roasted pepper, cheese & grilled onions.
Bun Huggers, Onion Rings
Onion Rings
Onion rings have a good ratio of batter to onion.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday11am - 4:30pm
Wednesday11am - 4:30pm
Thursday11am - 4:30pm
Friday11am - 4:30pm
Saturday11am - 4:30pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
12 stops | 580 MILES | 9 hr 57 min

While magnificent scenery along Route 66 in Arizona and California is abundant, good meals can be scarce. But it isn't necessary to take a major detour down to Sedona or Palm Springs to eat well; here are a handful of restaurants on or close to the old Will Rogers Highway that provide excellent food and…

9 stops | 170 MILES | 3 hr 44 min

Road Trip Overview

This potential three day Roadfood Adventure will take you around Phoenix, Arizona before heading north on Interstate 17 to the small town of Sedona. With a mere population of 10,397 Sedona has three fantastic restaurants that are a must try in our expert opinion. After Sedona, hop back into your car for…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Red Rock Cafe

    Sedona, Arizona

    Cinnamon rolls are preposterously large in this friendly Arizona town café. Red Rock also offers expertly-made southwestern breakfasts and blue-ribbon pies.

  • Indian Gardens Oak Creek Market

    Sedona, Arizona

    Modern food in a vintage Arizona waystation makes Indian Gardens a best bet for healthful meals, fresh-pressed cider, lattes, and great sourdough bread.

  • Brandy’s Restaurant & Bakery

    Flagstaff, Arizona

    A bustling café in an otherwise unremarkable Flagstaff strip mall, Brandy’s is a #1 breakfast destination for locals as well as travelers along Route 66.

  • Casa Sedona

    Sedona, Arizona

    Elegant breakfast in a secluded spot by the regal red rocks of Sedona. Ricotta pancakes are great, as is Arizona bagels and lox – sopaipillas and smoked salmon.