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Santa Fe Food


Hatch Chile Ristras

Tasting the local food can be one of the most memorable parts of traveling. Northern New Mexico cooking is known for green chile, which comes in a variety of types from mild to blazing hot. And ordering chile, whether red or green, may get you a very literal result: a bowl of chile, no beans, no meat. You can get those, of course . . . you just have to specify that you want them. Restaurants will bring you a taste of the chile on request, so you can calculate whether it is hotter than you want before you order. “Smothered” on a menu refers to having a chile sauce poured over the item, for example, over a burrito. The “New Mexico State Question” is “Red or green?” – referring to what type of chile you want with your meal. If you answer “Christmas” you get red chile on half the plate and green on the other half!


Santa Fe is a "food heritage community." celebrated for preserving traditional foods and preparation methods.  Visit The Food Museum Online This remarkable site has a fine, concise overview of the history of Santa Fe, information about New Mexico food stuffs, information about current conservation and education efforts, and more, more, more, all illustrated with current pictures, early maps and drawings.


Wines of New Mexico  You may be surprised to learn that New Mexico has a wine making tradition.   The Spaniards introduced wine to New Mexico in the late 16th century.  Now there are over thirty wineries throughout the state, and various winemaking festivals.   Walk over to the wine tasting room at Vino del Corazonwhich provides exclusively New Mexico wines, and sample our great New Mexico varieties.   Wine Spectator gave Gruet's sparkling Blanc de Noirs 90 points, and considered it one of America's 100 best wines.  Read about New Mexico wine country, upcoming festivals, and specific wineries at     


Or, you can go on one of the wine tours, seeing vinyards and sampling wine, while someone else does the driving.  Learn about those here:  Wine Tours



Several markets featuring fresh and prepared organic food are within a few blocks of La Casa Santa Fe. Standard and gourmet supermarkets are within a mile. A good selection of wines and some beer is available in the nearby Sanbusco shopping district, and two liquor stores are within 5-8 blocks.

La Montanita Food Coop (formerly “The Marketplace”)

You don’t have to be a member to shop at La Montanita, 5 blocks to the west of La Casa Santa Fe. This compact but crammed cooperative market features fresh, prepared, frozen, and canned organic foods. They stock seasonal produce from local farms, as well as bulk and packaged herbs. Toiletries, cleaning supplies, pet food, and some housewares also are available. The local branch does not have a website, but you can get an idea of what they carry by looking at the Local Harvest website which describes the sister store in Albuquerque

The Santa Fe Farmers Market
Produce, meat, flowers and plants, handicrafts, street musicians – the Santa Fe Farmers Market provides an extraordinary opportunity to buy the freshest food around and to meet the people who produce it. Permanent home for the Farmers Market is now in the Railyard Park, about five blocks from La Casa Santa Fe.  The market website has maps and directions.

National Chains

You’ll probably want to drive to these, especially if you expect to lug home a lot of produce. Whole Foods is approximately ten blocks, another four blocks brings you to Wild Oats, and across the street catty-corner, to Trader Joes. World Market is in the Sanbusco area, about five blocks . It has a small selection of canned and dried gourmet foods, candies, a good, inexpensive wine selection and some beers.  Sunflower Market is in the De Vargas Mall, as is Albertson's.  The Mall is about five blocks going the back way on foot, or ten blocks on the streets, by vehicle.



Hatch Chile Ristras

Santefesinos must eat out more than most folks, we have a bounty of restaurants. On those days you want somebody else to do the cooking (and we all have those) over two dozen restaurants are near La Casa Santa Fe, most moderately priced. We’re working on collecting sample menus from many of them so you can figure out where you want to go while you work up an appetite – look for them in the “Guest Album.” The Quest phone book yellow pages lists restaurants by food type, as well as by name, so you can look for a specific cuisine. The restaurants in bright yellow, bold-face italic type are the ones we find ourselves in most often (think tasty and fairly cheap.)


Some restaurants within easy walking distance of La Casa Santa Fe are:

Less than a quarter mile


Radish and Rye   -- two blocks away, at the end of Closson Street.    R & R is housed in a Victorian building, with a shaded outside patio.    Recently opened, we haven't even had a chance to try it out yet.   They feature locally sourced foods, and "farm inspired cuisine."   They also have a "Bourbon Bar," with over 50 kinds of bourbon.   See their homepage at Radish and Rye


El Tesoro– in the Sanbusco market complex  Salvadoran/New Mexican food for breakfast and lunch, in a relaxed atmosphere.


Pranzo -- also in Sanbusco, Italian food with nightly food and drink specials, call to see what’s happening on those 984-2645.   Pranzos


Raaga -- On Agua Fria Street, just a bit east of where it connects with Closson.   Really tasty East Indian food, with a nice outdoor patio to boot.   Has a buffet at lunch time, a dinner menu, and also delivers. Raaga Cuisine

Casa Chimayo -- Really, restaurants pop up faster than we can try them.   One new in October 2011 is three blocks from our house.  It serves classic New Mexican cuisine, and is located at 409 W. Water Street.   Call 428-0391 for hours and other information.


Swiss Bakery, Pastries & Bistro -- new in January, 2012, they make decadent pastries and serve breakfast and lunch.   Breakfast is from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  If you're in the mood for crepes, you can get thos until 4:00 p.m.   Swiss Bakery


Kohnami – Japanese, with sushi bar. Try the very reasonably priced Bento Box for lunch.  Also has an outside patio in the rear for pleasant summer dining.  Kohnami


Cowgirl Hall of Fame – Barbeque, with bar and live music most nights; watch for the Thursday night prime rib special, very tasty and affordable..  Cowgirl Restaurant

Zia Diner – Go here when you’re homesick for meatloaf – and you can get meatloaf with piñon nuts and green chile. Said to serve “the best comfort food in town,” it also has a soda fountain and a bar.


Tomasita’s – Housed in the old Santa Fe Railroad Station, Tomasita’s is frequented by everybody who likes New Mexican cooking. There can be a wait, but if you’re willing to be seated in the bar area you may get in sooner. They have the same menu in the bar as in the rest of the place, and you’re closer to the margaritas.


Tin Star Saloon -- Three blocks from La Casa Santa Fe, and voted the "Best Bar in Santa Fe" in the 2008 Santa Fean Magazine's Chef's Picks awards.  Booze, of course, and lots of live music Wednesday through Saturday.  Tin Star Saloon


Aqua Santa – Mediterranean influence in the food, has a patio.  Across the river and a block to the East, on Alameda Street.


Vanessie of Santa Fe – Continental/American; John B. says he had about the best steak he ever ate in his life here. Has live music in the piano bar. Several times a year Vanessie designates a percentage of all food sold to go to local non-profits.


Dinner for Two – French-based continental food, intimate atmosphere.  At the corner of Guadalupe and West San Francisco streets.  A January, 2009 review in the Pasatiempo comments on the "dizzying variety of moderate fixed-price dinners as well as many nightly specials."  They rated most menu items as "excellent," and salivated over the desserts.   We ate here during one of their special events, and found the food delicious, and the desserts way too tempting.   Dinner for Two




Within a half-mile:



Andiamo! -- Italian food made with fresh ingredients, and a wine cellar that has won awards and praises.  The menu is not expansive, but creative and seasonal.  Reservations are suggested, since it's very popular.  The dishes are moderately priced, entrees run around $15, appetizers and side dishes are extra.


Thai Cafe – We haven’t been to Thailand, but folks who have say this food is authentic, as well as delicious. The decorations are very colorful. Remember you’re in Santa Fe, if you choose “hot” for the sauces you may get more than you bargained for. 


Il Vicino – Wood oven pizza and microbrewery. The pizzas are creative and light, not heavy with cheese. Order an “Il Vecino” salad and split it, and then get two different 10” pizzas to share. They have their own micro-brewery beer, and a wine selection.   Il Vicino


Pizzeria Da Lino - Recently opened, this place also has a wood oven, and fresh, thin-crusted pizzas that are distinctive.   We are going to have a hard time choosing between this and Il Vicino when we crave pizza.  Pizzeria Da Lino


Sakura – Sit in your own shoji-screened room (hint – it looks like you have to sit seiza [kneeling, sitting back on your haunches] but they actually have a hole under the low table so you can drop your feet in and sit western-style.) Order sushi, tempura, or any of a number of Japanese favorites. Ask if they are serving green chile tempura. . .


El Cañon – This is one of three restaurants in the Hilton Hotel. It’s a good place to get hand-carved sandwiches and fresh pastries.


Del Charro -- for sandwiches and other light fare, along with beer, wine, and mixed drinks, visit this restaurant which is in the Inn of the Governors.  There is an attached patio with a kiva fireplace, to take the chill off summer evenings.  Del Charro food menu


Old House – When we bought our house in Santa Fe it was a convenient walk to Big Jo’s Lumberyard. Instead of a lumberyard, the site is now occupied by the very upscale Eldorado Hotel, which houses the highly praised Old House restaurant. We haven’t eaten there (it’s pricey), but you can visit their menu at  Old House Restaurant


San Francisco Street Bar and Grill -- Casual dining upstairs in a turn-of-the-last-century building, the old Santa Fe atmosphere is complemented by current paintings and sculptures.


Tia Sophia’s The breakfast and lunch spot for locals and local politicos. John B. would probably go into withdrawal if he couldn’t get a breakfast burrito there at least once a week. At 11:00 a.m., they start making the sopapillas.


Saveur – Delicatessen, many items on the menu change daily.  Serving breakfast and lunch, 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., also take-out.   At 204 Montezuma Avenue, just before you cross the street to the Bataan Building.


Cleopatra’s – Tasty, very inexpensive mid-eastern food, in the Design Center, a two-story shopping mall that features a number of old world antique and handcrafted furniture shops, and other home furnishings.


Yin Yang – A long-time favorite for Chinese food, with friendly wait-staff and a very large selection of items on their menu. East end of the Design Center.


Besides the prepared food available at La Montanita market, the Solano Center on West Alameda has restaurants:

      Masa Sushi – Japanese and Korean food, has a beer and wine list as well as saki.


      Annapurna – Featuring Ayuvedic cuisine which “changes daily in accordance with each day’s planetary ruler.” Vegetarian food and chai.


     Pho Kim -- Vietnamese food, with a huge 124 item selection.  We ate there recently and found the food fresh, tasty, and very reasonably priced. 


      Home Run Pizza – This popular, locally owned pizza spot occupies a fairly tiny space, because most of their customers have the pizza delivered.


Bumblebee’s Baja Grill – Very fresh, made-on-the-spot food with more of a Mexican than New Mexican flavor. The tacos made with fresh corn tortillas are a real treat. They also have take-out and a drive-up window.


O-Gelato - Well, gelato is a food, right?   Made fresh locally, there are exquisite treats, including dairy and non-dairy temptations, in the DeVargas Mall.  See the flavors at O-Gelato




Dashing Delivery – a courier for food, working with a number of local restaurants.


Upper Crust Pizza – terrific pizza with a wide variety of optional toppings, and they will deliver it hot within about 45 minutes. We like the “combination,” with extra sausage. You can also go there and eat in, but we’re lazy.




In New Mexico, grocery stores are allowed to sell beer, wine, and hard liquor. Most of them have a good selection.  Alcohol (including liquor-filled candies!) is not allowed to be sold before noon on Sundays.


The Owl – Some of the best prices in the nearby area, about seven blocks away. Small, crammed with stuff, has local microbrewery beer as well as wines and hard liquor.


Andy’s Liquorette – Down Agua Fria Street, about five blocks from La Casa Santa Fe. Claims it has the coldest beer in town.


World Market – in Sanbusco Center, has a large selection of wines and some beers, in a range of prices.

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