Travel

New Mexico Restaurants

Restaurant neighborhood
Bodega Prime
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.
El Meze
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.
Eloisa
228 E. Palace Ave., Santa Fe
When Chef John Rivera Sedlar of the acclaimed (but since closed) Latin American restaurants Playa and Rivera in LA returned to his hometown of Santa Fe a few years ago, it was a warm homecoming: His latest venture, Eloisa, is a successful homage to his Northern New Mexico roots. Named after Sedlar’s grandmother, who was Georgia O’Keeffe’s personal chef for 15 years, the menu is full of traditional favorites including Frito pie, rellenos, calabacitas, and carne adovada. The space in the Drury Plaza Hotel is bright with gray and white touches of exposed brick, hardwood floors, and marble. Definitely consider ordering a drink—local bartender Dede Roybal’s cocktail program is on par with Sedlar’s culinary excellence.
Paper Dosa
551 W. Cordova Rd., Santa Fe
Chef Paulraj Karuppasamy and his wife Nellie Tischler had been serving Indian food at private parties and pop-ups for a year when popular demand convinced them to open a brick-and-mortar of their own. Though the only Indian restaurant in town, Paper Dosa's cuisine certainly holds up against what you'd find in bigger cities. We hear the regulars order white truffle masala dosa and the chicken curry. They only take reservations for parties of six or more, so come early if you're with a small group.
Radish & Rye
548 Agua Fria St., Santa Fe
Head straight to the bar at this aptly named New American restaurant, where the cocktail program (curated by mixologist/sommelier Quinn Mark Stephenson) offers more than 50 varieties of bourbon. If that wasn't reason enough for a visit, chef David Gaspar de Alba’s menu of fresh, seasonal fare, inspired by finds from the local farmers market, is an equally powerful draw. Be prepared for some tough decision-making—their small plate offerings include corn chowder with bone marrow and green chili, smoked black ribs, and steak tartare with alabria chili, lime oil, and quail yoke.
State Capital Kitchen
500 Sandoval St., Santa Fe
A relatively recent addition to Santa Fe’s revitalized Railyard District, State Capital Kitchen offers a refreshingly unpretentious fine-dining experience. Peruse their classic menu, or see for yourself as the wait staff continually rolls around its seasonal, elevated New American fare on dim-sum carts—it's great fun for those who like variety. Exposed brick and reclaimed wood add to the restaurant’s warm, rustic vibe, which is echoed by its commitment to using ingredients sourced from sustainable fisheries, small farms, ranches, and the local wild. Expect good wine and a unique cocktail program—they get creative with their beer-and-wine-only license.
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