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Arroyo Vino

Located 15 minutes from downtown Santa Fe, Arroyo Vino bistro and wine shop serves New American food featuring seasonal ingredients. Indagare Review
Entrance at Café Pasqual's, Santa Fe, American West

Café Pasqual's

Yes, it’s been covered by every major magazine; yes, you can order T-shirts and baseball caps off the menu; and no, you will definitely not be the only tourist here; but locals adore the Pasqual’s and frequent it for breakfast, brunch and lunch (but never dinner). The split-level dining room is straight out of a kids’ book on New Mexico, with colorful banners, wall murals and bunches of chiles suspended from the ceiling. The food is typically Southwestern and Nuevo Latino and includes perfectly prepared classics, like huevos rancheros and enchiladas, as well as hearty creations, like huevos motuleños (eggs over easy on corn tortillas with black beans and topped with sautéed bananas, feta cheese and salsa). Owner Katharine Kagel has long held a farm to table philosophy, so the ingredients are mostly organic and locally sourced locally. With just 50 seats, there’s always a line for a table (you can cut the wait time if you agree to sit at a large communal table in the center), but everyone waits, and the local scene makes the whole experience a lot of fun.

Stairs at Coyote Café, Santa Fe, American West

Coyote Café

Since the 1990s, Coyote has thrived as one of Santa Fe’s favorite big-night-out places. The restaurant is housed in a massive second-floor space and has a large dining room and a long bar facing on an open kitchen, so you can admire the line chefs’ graceful culinary dance among the hot ranges. The dishes they turn out – a recent meal included mesquite grilled Maine lobster tails with house-made papparadelle pasta, organic spring onions and a spicy creamy chile sauce – are beautifully presented, the flavors an exciting mix of influences. As at most fine-dining establishments in the city, the prices for the rather delicate dishes are worthy of Manhattan ($35 for osso bucco, $43 for elk tenderloin). To sample as many dishes as possible, go for the chef’s tasting menu, which changes almost daily. Those who want to sample DiStefano’s cuisine in a less formal ambience should head to the fun, buzzing Rooftop Cantina, where they can wash down homemade tacos and flavorful salsas with stiff margaritas (the rooftop is open for lunch and dinner during the summer months). Cocktail aficionados will love the infused concoctions prepared by the mixologist at the downstairs restaurant bar; some, like the Champagne & Pearls (local sparkling wine with round peach "pearls” in the glass) are almost too pretty to drink.

Editors' Picks
Food at El Farol, Santa Fe, American West

El Farol

Said to be the oldest restaurant in town, El Farol occupies a rustic adobe building on Canyon Road, so it’s a great choice for lunch while gallery-hopping; although to get a taste of the boisterous, bohemian ambience, complete with live music and dance performances, you’ll have to come for dinner (for a more sedate tapas scene, head to El Meson or La Boca). El Farol’s menu is heavily Spanish- and Portuguese-influenced and includes more than forty tapas, including chorizo de Rioja, gambas al ajillo, jamón serrano and albondigas. The flamenco performances at El Farol are extremely popular and usually sell out.

Food at Geronimo, Santa Fe, American West


One of Santa Fe’s most lauded restaurants, Geronimo occupies an 18th-century adobe building in the midst of the colorful galleries on Canyon Road. The dining room has an unfussy elegance, featuring tan leather chairs, corner banquettes and wood-burning fireplaces; in the warm months there’s also a shaded patio. The menu showcases myriad culinary influences, and the restaurant calls its cuisine “global French Asian”, which translates to dishes including green miso sea bass; oven roasted rock hen; and Fujisaki Asian pear salad.

Editors' Picks

La Boca

Tucked away one block north of the Palace of the Governors, La Boca’s intimate dining room opened in 2006 is a great pick for an elegant dinner or a linger-worthy lunch. The happy mélange of New Mexican and Spanish cuisines results in such inspired small-plate dishes as carrot-garbanzo hummus with cumin, mint, lemon and grilled house-made yogurt flatbread; grilled artichokes with Spanish goat cheese and mint, and tacos de la Boca; shrimp, morcilla and Napa cabbage slaw on corn tortillas with pimentón agridulce. For innovative tapas, this place has no equal in Santa Fe. Make sure you reserve in advance; the small room always fills up.

Food at La Casa Sena, Santa Fe, American West

La Casa Sena

Housed in a hacienda dating from the late 19th century, La Casa Sena occupies a picturesque courtyard, a flower-filled extravaganza centered on a splashing fountain; it’s a half- block from the Plaza but feels a world apart. Like the Café Pasqual, La Casa Sena is big on local and seasonal food, and nearly all the produce, meat and fish on chef Patrick Gharrity’s menu is farmed or harvested in a sustainable manner. The lunch menu features salads and sandwiches, as well as classic New Mexico options including enchiladas. Before or after a meal, don’t miss the La Casa Sena wine shop and Todos Santos Chocolates, which are part of the courtyard complex.

Food at La Choza, Santa Fe, American West

La Choza

When I asked a young gallery owner on Canyon Road where residents go for great food at more reasonable prices, he suggested La Choza. Owned and run by the same team behind the beloved eatery The Shed, La Choza has an out-of-the-way location, and its decidedly no-frills dining room, which has a wood-burning fireplace, draws a more local crowd. The menu is the more-or-less-expected New Mexico rundown of tacos, enchiladas, burritos and green-chile stew, but everything is freshly prepared, and most dishes can be cooked for vegetarians.

Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen

This local joint, near the Railyard District, is still said to have the best margaritas in town. It certainly has the longest list with more than 100 options. The Mexican food served in the dark-wood-paneled, somewhat dated dining room gets mixed reviews. It’s best for a cocktail before you head to one of the restaurants downtown.

Museum Hill Café

This is your only lunch option when exploring the fabulous art troves that make up Museum Hill, located southeast of downtown Santa Fe. Luckily, this restaurant, which has lovely alfresco seating and lofty views, does a great job with hearty dishes including steak tacos and daily soup, salad, quiche and sandwich specials. The menu also has lots of options for kids who balk at yet more spicy Southwestern fare.

Interiors at Pink Adobe, Santa Fe, American West

Pink Adobe

Boasting a menu that runs the gamut from shrimp remoulade and lobster salad to grilled salmon and chicken enchiladas, the Pink Adobe is as whimsical as its former owner, Rosalea Murphy, who established the so-called Pink in 1944. Now part of the Inn of the Five Graces, the Pink Adobe restaurant has an undeniably romantic setting, in a historic pink adobe house with low ceilings and walls covered in paintings (Rosalea was an artist, and many of her clients paid for meals with pieces of their work). The tables are very close to each other, which some find intimate, others merely claustrophobic and noisy. The adjacent bar, the Dragon Room, is among the most congenial in Santa Fe, offering a mix of locals and visitors sipping cocktails, including such signature margaritas as the Black Dragon (silver tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice and a float of cassis). It’s a lively atmosphere and one of the few spots in town that isn’t deserted by 10 P.M.

Editors' Picks
Interiors at Restaurant Martín, Santa Fe, American West

Restaurant Martín

A former contestant on the U.S. version of Iron Chef (the only chef from New Mexico to be invited on the show), chef Martín Rios headed the award-winning Geronimo as well as the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi before venturing out on his own. The menu at Restaurant Martín is progressive American and features lots of regional flavors and interpretations that can be seen in the beef rib-eye enchilada with house-made red and green chiles, the Baja-style fish tacos with cabbage-grilled pineapple slaw, avocado-jalepeño salsa and jalapeño-orange vinaigrette and the Maple Leaf Farm duck breast with pearl barley, sharp cheddar, Tokyo turnips, blood oranges, butternut squash and Mayan chocolate. Dinner reservations are a must. 

Food at Santacafé, anta Fe, American West


This American bistro is set in a 19th-century house with an outdoor patio and four separate dining rooms. It’s a great spot for lunch when sightseeing in the downtown area, as the menu features tasty, light fare.

Bar at Terra, Santa Fe, American West


This fine-dining restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado, a fifteen-minute drive north of Santa Fe, features sweeping views of the desert landscapes from the dining room’s floor-to-ceiling windows that are as memorable as the innovative cuisine. The modern, light-filled dining room, which has lots of rough-hewn stone, polished-wood details and open fireplaces, is a far cry from some of the more Southwestern-themed ones in downtown Santa Fe. The food, too, takes its cues from the rest of America while making strong references to the local region. Among the mostly organic, locally sourced dishes are a Piñón smoked quail with green chile sausage, Beluga lentil cassoulet, caramelized Brussels sprouts and a Taos Lightening bourbon reduction. The adjacent Bar is a great spot for an aperitif, and after dinner, guests can enjoy the huge alfresco fireplace.

Interiors at Tesuque Village Market, Santa Fe, American West

Tesuque Village Market

If you’re visiting Shidoni, the sculpture garden and foundry, this no-frills joint is a good spot for refueling; there’s a market and a restaurant-café serving New Mexico staples. While it’s truly a spot for locals, celebs including Robert Redford and Giada De Laurentiis have been spotted here. If you come for breakfast, go for the house-made blue-corn pancakes.

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The Compound

The Compound is housed in a beautiful historic building, and the cuisine is outstanding

The Shed

One of downtown Santa Fe’s most popular eateries (it’s been in this location since 1960), The Shed occupies a hacienda that dates from the 17th century and has a small bar area and a cozy dining room – the latter decorated with colorful Southwestern-inspired art. The menu has all the classics you’d expect: thick green-chile chicken corn chowder, spicy carne adovada (pork slow-roasted in red chiles) and enchiladas, tacos and burritos with all the fixings. All dishes are served with The Shed’s famous French garlic bread. The bar specializes in signature margaritas (try the Red Shed, made with pomegranate juice), and is always a buzzing scene. The Shed is a great pick for a relaxed night out, but be sure to reserve; like Café Pasqual’s, it’s perennially popular with locals. And try La Choza, The Shed’s popular, no-frills sister restaurant.

Editors' Picks
The Teahouse, Santa Fe, American West

The Teahouse

To soak up the local scene, visit this groovy little place, comprised of several small rooms stuffed with a hodgepodge of tables, couches, comfy chairs and a large outdoor patio that operates on a first-come first-serve basis toward the eastern end of gallery-packed Canyon Road. During the high season, The Teahouse is open daily from 9 A.M. to 9 P.M., but it’s particularly popular for breakfast and a light lunch (the homemade sandwiches and pastries and are delicious). True to its name, The Teahouse stocks more than a hundred loose-leaf varieties ranging from pomegranate dragonfruit to black ginger.

Travel Bug

From the outside, this independent, locally-owned coffee-shop-cum-bookstore looks nondescript; behind the worn white screen door, however, lies a comprehensive travel bookstore and map haven, as well as a café with strong brews and free Wi-Fi. If you plan on exploring beyond Santa Fe town, Travel Bug is an essential pit stop for purchasing regional maps, many of which focus on activities including hiking. The cozy shop is stuffed from floor to ceiling with guidebooks (national and international), as well as flags, stickers, globes and travel accessories and gadgets. It’s a local favorite (many claim that it serves the best espresso in town), and the friendly staff can make lots of recommendations for town and beyond.

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