My Santa Fe Restaurant Recommendations
The Absolute Must List:
Tesuque Village Market – They rotisserie their own turkey and chicken, so my favorite salad is the Hacked chicken salad. If you want some seafood, try the truck tacos with shrimp. They are famous for their tortilla soup. You definitely need a prickly pear margarita to wash it all down, then either a slice of pecan pie (my husband’s favorite) or key lime pie (my favorite).
Clafoutis – Close your eyes, and pretend you are in Paris (where the owners are from). I typically order my food to go (they serve breakfast and lunch only). It is always busy, and they don’t take reservations. I enjoy the clafoutis (sweet quiche with fruit), crepes, croissants, and especially the lavender macaroons.
Cafe Pasqual’s – The colorful and intimate dining space seats only 50, so make a reservation well ahead of time. Chef Katharine Kagel only uses organic and naturally raised ingredients from certified organic farmers. My favorites are the mole enchiladas & Napo’s Pupusa (corn masa cake with zucchini, corn, cheese, and green chile). They have many vegetarian and vegan options as well.
Classic & Easy on the Wallet List:
Bumble Bee’s Baja Grill – Don’t blink, or you’ll miss this small restaurant just off Guadalupe. Believe me, you don’t want to miss their fish tacos or the trout filet (from the nearby rivers and streams of New Mexico).
Santa Fe Bite (formerly Bobcat Bite) – Green chile cheeseburgers … omg … nuff said.
The Plaza Cafe – If you are shopping on the plaza and need to find a place to eat, walk into the Plaza Cafe – the oldest restaurant in Santa Fe. They specialize in New Mexican cuisine, but they also have the Greek diner staples. Their sopaipillas are the best, by far. I crave their bowl of chile and the posole.
Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen – My family has been patrons of this Santa Fe legend for years. My sister had her rehearsal dinner here. Obviously you go for the margaritas first and foremost … there are over 100 to choose from! Wash it (them) down with the carne asada or the blue corn enchiladas. They have the best salsa in town.
Totally Worth Every $ List:
The Compound – You should book (well in advance) your reservations for the same day as your walk up Canyon Road. The James Beard award-winning chef, Mark Kiffin, prepares fresh and fancy cuisine. The menu changes regularly, and I do not go that often, but I tend to order the fish and my husband orders the duck.
La Casa Sena – This restaurant is located in one of the many courtyards in Santa Fe, and this one is particularly quaint. They have an extensive wine list (which you can check on their website). All you winos can pair your reds with the venison sausage sandwich and the enchiladas. Whites pair well with the poblano chile relleno and the halibut.
El Farol – Another evening stroll up Canyon Road will find you at El Farol. Make a reservation on the same night as the Flamenco Dinner Show (an additional fee will apply) and you will certainly be entertained. The Paella is excellent, along with the fried avocado, portobello mushrooms, and the parmigiano reggiano-crusted artichokes.
Worth the Drive List:
El Parasol, Pojoaque – Yes, there is a location in Santa Fe – but you have to drive all the way out on Cerrillos and there are very few places to sit down. Pojoaque is just a short drive north on 285. I actually declared to my cousin that they are the best tacos I have ever eaten. The chicken tacos are out of this world. You have to try the chips and guac too, because I think they add red chile powder to both. I am salivating right now just thinking about them.
Harry’s Roadhouse – This place is totally worth the short drive outside downtown. Everything … and I mean everything is delish. Take advantage of the lovely outdoor patio in the summer months. We really enjoyed the Moroccan vegetable stew, Venice beach sandwich and the hanger steak. The desserts are also fabulous, and I think we tried them all. It is a kid-friendly restaurant as well.
The Mine Shaft Tavern, Madrid – Drive 40 minutes south of Santa Fe to experience the adorable town of Madrid. Grab a local Waygu beef burger and sweet potato fries at the Mine Shaft, and you will be taken back in time when there were saloons and roadhouses. We love the rustic and down-to-earth vibe.
The Java List:
Downtown Subscription – A perfect place to buy a newspaper or magazine and get your morning cup of coffee, or tea and a pastry. Walk outside to their patio area to relax and unwind. It is conveniently located just off Canyon Road.
Ohori’s Coffee Roasters – My husband stumbled upon this coffeehouse on our recent trip, and he loved it. Ohori’s has been around since 1984. They have an assortment of yummy baked goods as well. There is a store on the corner of St. Francis and Cerrillos, and a smaller location at Cerrillos and Sandoval.