Brilliant Bisbee Part II -> Fabulous Food, Bars & Fun Sights
“Would you like a free expresso shot” said the friendly gentleman behind the street stall
“Would I ever!” I replied, amazed at having been pegged as an expresso fiend so readily
From that moment, from the very first sip of that racy liquid delight, I knew Bisbee was going to be my kind of food town. This was a place that knew how to eat, and since eating is one of my very favorite things I knew we would become firm friends. Add-in a few cool bars and some unusual and interesting sights and you’ve got the other three reasons we’ve loved it so much here:
1/ Fabulous Food
I’m an omnivore-opportunist. There are few things I won’t eat (other than shellfish and gluten…sensitivites sadly), and I love to discover new spots. I can’t say we’ve tried everything in town (not even close), but we did come across some gems:
a) Poco – this 100% vegan mexican spot will delight even the most meaty palate. Tucked into a cozy corner of Peddlers Alley (the same spot you get the expresso shot) you’ll get an inexpensive and tasty meal. The spicy bean-tomato soup was one of the best I’ve ever had, meaty or otherwise.
b) Bisbee Breakfast Club – A legendary breakfast place locally known as the BBC just down the road from Bisbee. Huge, tasty plates in a very, very cool setting. Highly recommended stop for you breakfast lovers out there.
c) Santiagos – One of the newer spots in town that serves margaritas the size of your head, and very good food to boot. The salsa was delectable and the tequila chicken fajitas delicious. Can’t go wrong here.
d) Screaming Banshee – Mostly a pizza place, but they’ve also got a super-cool bar AND they serve a pajama brunch 11AM-4PM Sundays complete with mimosa’s and breakfast margaritas…oh HOW coooooool! We didn’t get to go, but you should!
e) Chocoláte – I consider chocolate its own food-group and when it’s this good it deserves its own special mention too. Since this place is only open Fri-Sun we actually stayed an extra day in Bisbee specifically to try the hot chocolate here and it did not disappoint. Be prepared to revel in delicious, dark, decadent chocolate heaven! DO go!!
There are many, many other places to try. Cafe Roka is the “fancy” spot in town which many rate very highly (personally my meal was disappointing, but you’ll have to judge for yourself). There’s also excellent coffee at the Bisbee Coffee Company and a very nice lunch at the High Desert Market Cafe. Oh and if you like honey be sure to stop at the Killer Bee….yum!
2/ Cool Bars
I’m rather fond of bars, not only because I enjoy a glass before dinner, but because I revel in the atmosphere and stories of the places. Bisbee has the added attraction of some rather unique brewing history. Not long after the town was established in 1880, German-Swiss immigrants founded the first breweries on what became known as Brewery Gulch. This legacy combined with Bisbee’s mining heritage gives the town more than it’s fair share of cool bars. Here’s some of our favs:
a) Copper Queen Hotel – This hotel, furnished with Italian tile has a lovely old bar with view to an open patio. This place also happens to be one of the most haunted in town, so if you’re lucky you may run into a spirit or two on your way to your evening drink.
b) Room 4 Bar – This teeeny, tiny bar tucked into a room of the Silver King Hotel claims to be the smallest in AZ and with only 3 chairs I’ll bet it is. They also happen to have a fondness for cats and there’s a fine, old girl who sleeps outside the bar and will happily share a rub while you sip.
c) St. Elmos – Definitely not the classiest of bars, but the oldest and the most local. If you want to see live music and get a real feel of town this is where you go.
Other special mentions are the Old Bisbee Brewing Company and the very artsy bar at the Screaming Banshee.
3/ Fun Sights
Although I’d call Bisbee more of a street art and food town, there are a definitely a few “standard” sights that are worth seeing.
a) Bisbee Mine Tour – Bisbee was founded on mining and owes its success in many ways to its booming copper mine. This was one of the most productive mines in the US and yielded over 8 billion lbs of copper during it’s 100 year history. You can’t help but notice the massive pit as you enter town and one of the “must do” items is to take a trip into history on the Queen Mine Tour. You’ll get to dress up like a miner and ride the narrow-gauge car 1,500 feet into the mine. As with all tours your experience here will vary depending on your tour guide, all ex-miners. I thoroughly enjoyed our guide, but others report mixed results. Still, it’s an interesting experience.
b) Erie Street & Shady Dell RV Park – Although not an “official” sightseeing stop, it’s worth the 5-min drive down the road to see this interesting stop. Erie street is a vintage museum with a selection of old cars and gas stations. Next-door Shady Dell has its own set of super-cool and pristinely renovated vintage trailers. You can’t bring your rig in here, but you can rent theirs by the night.
Other noticeable mentions are the Bisbee Museum and the Ghost Tour. We did neither, but they’re both on our list for when we come back.
After 5 days of gastro-indulgence we wobbled out of Bisbee this morning and headed for a super-secret boondocking spot with bird-watching to boot (fear not, I will eventually reveal). Bisbee has been a brilliant and totally surprising stop. We’ve loved every minute and will certainly be coming back to this town in the future.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this blog post may be affiliate links, so, if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a commission. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. WheelingIt is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
Toni Kaus says
Old Bisbee Coffee Roasters rocks. Since a similar experience five or six years ago, we’ve been getting all our coffee from Seth.
I love it when they fire up the roasters too….we were walking through town one day when we were overwhelmed with the aroma. Just lovely!
Thanks for such an inviting summary of Bisbee. So sorry we missed it. Next time for sure!
Yup, it’s a must do for sure!
I want to go! The head-sized margaritas, street art, espresso, hiking, what else does a girl need?! Can’t wait to hear about the super-secret boondocking site. 🙂
It is TOTALLY our kind of town. Kind of like a mini San Francisco in the desert. Couldn’t believe how much this little place packs in.
Mark Gehring says
Just wanted to mention that when we were there last year, we had the worst Margarita’s of our lives at the bar of the Copper Queen Hotel. We stayed at the Queen Mine RV park, which was fine for an overnighter. It’s a nice short walk to town from there, and right at the mine. You can look down into the open pit mine when you are standing by the office of the RV park there.
We stayed at the same place. Definitely a squeeze to get in, but you can’t beat the location.
The Good Luck Duck says
Oooheee! We gotta get back there. Too much stuff we didn’t see (and eat).
“Omnivore-opportunist” made me think of a pig. 😀 They don’t seek out meat, but they’re willing to give most anything that gets close to their snout a try.
And, if a head-sized margarita gets near my snout, I’m going to “try” it gone.
Ah yes, I love pigs. Goats are similarly opportunistic…back when I was a kid and volunteered for a local zoo I got goat-walking duty. Talk about eating everything that comes into view!
This sounds like the kind of place we want to go to. Thanks for the great info.
Happy to give you another one “for the list” 🙂
You had me at chocolate….and coffee. Seems like we’ll need to put this on our list for next winter 🙂
This is a time where I can honestly say stay where we stayed and do what we did…you’ll love it!
The Lowe's RV Adventures says
Wow, you painted the town red! Those margaritas were really huge and we had Molcajete at Santiagos. Thanks for taking us back. Great post as always.
Those margaritas were goooood too!
Ray Burr says
Never hard of the place but it looks fantastic. Thanks for the enlightening posts. I’m really hungry now and could use a drink. 😉
We’d never heard of it before we started following the Bayfield Bunch blog a few years back either. It’s one of those spots I can honestly attribute to another blogger. Love the RV blogging community!
jil mohr says
Nice report….we never tire of this place…lucky for us it is just down the road from our winter headquarters, so we can get a fix when ever we want….enjoy your boondocking…
I can see us coming back here every year if we drive through. Always a bit more to see and do in Bisbee.
The Bayfield Bunch says
Well, now you’ve gone & done it…….I am totally homesick for Bisbee all over again. Nice job:))
Glad I could give ya a little taste of your “old home” 🙂
You just look like you’re having way too much fun! 😀
We were indeed! Too much fun altogether! I’m going to have to go on a diet for the next week.
Donna K says
Gonna HAVE to go back myself – we missed too much! Thanks for the great posts on this gem of a town. Looking forward to some bird pictures from your next location.
Definitely a TON of stuff to see and do here. I’m sure there’s lots we don’t yet know about. We’re coming back, for sure!
Gypsy Gibberish says
This town looks amazing! You’ve done an awesome review… chock-a- block full of great info. It’s now on our pit stop bucket list for sure!!! Thank You!!
Thanks! I had a hard time writing the posts because there was SO MUCH to talk about 🙂 I really had to think about how to slim things down.
Barrie Bochoff says
I love your enthusiasm! I followed a link from the Bayfield Bunch last year and read every post you make. I have hiked in Arizona but it’s a long way to tow my trailer. Good luck to you and Paul and thank you for sharing your adventures. I’ve been to Jerome and now Bisbee is on my must see list.
Thanks so much for being a follower! It’s part of what makes this blogging business so much fun.
We were in Bisbee for only one day last week (Tuesday) – probably a good thing as I don’t think I could have handled all the added calories. We had a great lunch at the Copper Queen Hotel. So, even with that limited sampling I have to agree there is some great food to be experienced.
You guys definitely did the “fast tour” of all the sights out here, but you managed alot in that time! It’s a good reason to come back.
It sounds like you two grazed your way through Bisbee (lol). Glad you had such a fabulous time. 🙂
I think we did…in fact we ate so much we literally waddled out of there.
We love Bisbee, too! Great town we stumbled upon on a road trip (pre-RV days) and feel for instantly. You capture the street art well here… the vibe is awesome around that little ‘lost’ town. We also loved Poco and the Shady Dell. We actually credit the Shady Dell to our interest in vintage trailers and ultimately becoming full timer road trippers/RVers! Cheers guys, so glad to see you enjoying it as much as we did.
Jeanette & Dennis
What a fun and interesting story! How fitting that Bisbee should be one of the reasons you started getting interested in RVing.
Jerry and Suzy says
Another fine post about one of Cochise County’s gems!
There’s much more to this SE Arizona area than I thought. Definitely enjoying our time here.
Kathie Maxwell says
Hi Nina. I love your write-ups and accounts of where you visit. I especially like how you point out all the things we missed when we were there. We have to return to Bisbee to catch up and share some of those experiences. We did, however, go on the mine tour. Fun! Hope to see you on the road again. Kathie
Hope to see you down the road too! And cheers for the lovely comment.
So, this is crazy…I took that photo of the four of you at POCO! My name is Emily and my husband and I are getting ready to go on the road full-time. So you can imagine my surprise when I was browsing RV blogs and came across a familiar view! Glad you loved our tiny town. It really is one of the very most special places. Happy travels to you!
OMG!! That is totally crazy!! I’m glad we got to meet you if only in passing for a shot. Good luck and good travels for all your upcoming fulltiming plans. Hope to see ya on the road.