Restaurants in Santa Fe
Right next to the New Mexico Rail Runner train depot, Tomasita’s is the natural next stop for hungry tourists. That’s a good thing—because the chefs here know how to make New Mexican classics.
It’s tough to stick to the red- or green-chile New Mexico party line at this south-of-town café, because Harry’s eclectic menu includes flavors that stray far from the pepper plant.
It’s no wonder La Choza gets its red right. This neighborhood restaurant, which anchors the southern end of The Railyard, has the same owners as The Shed. The difference is that this outpost caters to locals, who have a discerning palate when it comes to red and green chile.
With northern New Mexico locations in Santa Fe, Pojoaque, Española, and Los Alamos, El Parasol serves up a terrific menu of red chile-smothered tostadas, tamales, and burritos.
In addition to smothering their spicy-sweet “Shed Red” over everything from enchiladas to burritos, the chefs at this downtown institution (which has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation) also marinate roasted chicken and beef in their world-famous red sauce.
With a breezy courtyard patio and four interior dining rooms with fireplaces and low-slung ceilings, this 19th-century adobe is an ideal spot in both the height of summer and the dark of winter.
Tight, cozy, informal, and always bustling, Café Pasquals is the kind of place where you’ll want to take a first date, especially if you think you’ll want to follow it up with a second.
One of the best weddings I’ve been to in Santa Fe was held on this property’s Garden Patio, an intimate space filled with a multitude of flowers with an Italian marble fountain as the centerpiece. It’s the perfect oasis for escaping the high, dry desert and celebrating a special occasion.
This restaurant’s high-backed leather chairs, white linen tablecloths, and crackling fire add extra elegance and import to anniversaries and other celebratory events.
In the height of summer this restaurant’s outdoor patio, with its twinkling lights and towering trees, feels like the location for a blockbuster Hollywood romance film.
Strategically based just a few miles down the road from the start of the Winsor Trail in Tesuque, this restaurant within a wine shop, bakery, and grocery store has a covered outdoor patio.
Open for breakfast and lunch, this downtown family-owned restaurant has a regular clientele that is almost as loyal as its waitstaff, some of whom have been working here for more than 20 years.
The green chile stew at this 62-year-old institution is as legendary as its tequila menu. The lean pork and potatoes nicely cut the spice of the whole, roasted, peeled, and stemmed Hatch green chiles that go into the pot.
This always-packed, always-unpretentious neighborhood café—owned by a couple who has roots in both El Salvador and Louisiana—has perfected a sweeter, mellower green chile that still has a spicy kick of an aftertaste.
On a busy commercial strip on the southern end of town, this no-frills restaurant that shares a parking lot with a gas station makes a green chile so hot that it makes native New Mexicans beam with pride…then it brings a dripping sweat to their brows.