New Mexico Restaurants
821 Canyon Rd., Santa Fe
This neighborhood spot at the end of Canyon Road is a favorite for their selection of teas, which line the walls of the small entry. You can almost always bet on the sweeping patio and windy indoor spaces to be packed with locals from open to close on the weekends. Even if you don't have a full meal here (they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner), definitely make time to pick up an iced tea and pastry before you make your way through the galleries.
1281 San Felipe Ave., Santa Fe
Chef/owner Noela Figueroa just opened Bodega Prime after moving back from a stint in Colorado, and it's fast become a local favorite. The brunch and lunch menus change weekly depending on what Figueroa's farming partners have on hand, but she really specializes in old-school sandwiches with quirky tweaks, like a sharp grilled cheddar cheese with kimchi, miso-marinated steak with kaffir aioli, and saffron-brined chicken with romesco and fennel relish. All day (and, blessedly, after the kitchen closes at 3pm), you can pick up sandwiches and other prepared foods to go from their deli case. The little retail section at the entry also has a cute buy of handmade home goods like beautiful cutting boards and aprons.
210 W. San Francisco St., Santa Fe
This downtown diner-style spot is a must for grabbing an easy but impressive breakfast. The affordable, kid-friendly restaurant serves pancakes and French toast, but the real draw is of course the classic New Mexican fare they’ve been serving in Santa Fe for more than 40 years. Their breakfast burrito—a hearty combination of bacon and hash browns wrapped in a soft flour tortilla and topped with a poached egg, chiles, and melted cheese—is reason enough to get out of bed.
1115 Hickox St., Santa Fe
Husband/wife pair Charlotte and Jesus Rivera run this cozy neighborhood spot, where they make everything by hand. Jesus grew up in El Salvador—which explains the papusas on the menu—but the menu is full of great New Mexican food, including their delicious, lightly battered chile relleno. Our favorite is the enchilada, which you can order Christmas-style (local slang for something topped with both red and green chile sauce).
709 Don Cubero Alley, Santa Fe
Vinaigrette is farm-to-table in the most direct sense: owner Erin Wade grows most of the produce served here on her own land. The menu is filled with light salads and vegetable-centric dishes, a welcome relief in a town where everything seems to come under a blanket of melted cheese. That said, her homemade pies are dangerously delicious.
121 Don Gaspar Ave., Santa Fe
The first thing you'll notice about Pasqual's is the interior, defined by turquoise paint and New Mexican bits and bobs. The menu here is long, with a healthy mix of salads and classic New Mexican dishes, plus a few fan favorites like the famous quinoa burger. They're open three meals a day, but locals will tell you that breakfast is the best. If there's a line, ask for a seat at the community table in the center.
Coyote Cafe Cantina
132 W. Water St., Santa Fe
Coyote Cafe is good for a more traditional, dressed-up meal downtown with a white tablecloth, steak, an elk tenderloin, or lobster tails. But it's more fun to go upstairs to their rooftop cantina, which has the food from the same kitchen (and the same famous margaritas) in a less fussy ambience—including live music and sunset views. Remember to call ahead and double-check hours, as it's only open in the warmer months.
El Meze (Closed)
1017 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, Taos
At this 165-year-old restored hacienda in Taos—which boasts amazing views of the mountains at sunset—influence of the centuries-long Moorish occupation of Spain takes center stage. Embracing the culture’s impact on northern New Mexico cuisine, the menu is a mixture of Old World Spain, New Mexican, and Mediterranean foods. The result: uniquely American, rustic comfort food, prepared with organic, locally grown produce sourced from Taos’s small farms. Note: El Meze is open for dinner only, and reservations are recommended.
724 Canyon Rd., Santa Fe
Nestled into a quiet section of Canyon Road, with a sophisticated dining room that's subtly Southwestern without being over the top (including a fireplace in the corner), Geronimo is our pick for celebrating a special occasion. The formal plating of the meals suits the dining room, with traditional dishes like elk tenderloin and ahi tuna on offer. They also have a lounge with great cocktails and a smaller menu for something a bit more casual.
333 W. Cordova Rd., Santa Fe
This sweet little French bakery and café right outside downtown has a breakfast menu that's blessedly pared down to a few egg dishes, crêpes, and waffles. If you don't have time to sit down for a full meal, there's a case in the front with excellent croissants and other baked goods; it's the perfect place to stop for snacks and coffee if you're on your way out of town for a day trip or hike.
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