10 Reasons to Love Santa Fe
Green-chile cheeseburgers, perfectly worn-in vintage denim, cocktails with Game of Thrones flavor and more enticements.
The South Indian spot that opened its doors after a year of sold-out pop-ups is proof that Santa Fe’s food scene is moving beyond enchiladas. Mash-ups like a watermelon salad with paneer in lieu of the usual feta would be exciting even in a city known for its cross-cultural cooking; white truffle oil flavors one of the namesake flatbreads, which are golden, tissue-thin and more than a foot wide. 551 W. Cordova Rd.; paper-dosa.com.
Fire & Hops
This pub reflects the backgrounds of the two best friends who run it: Joel Coleman, a chef who lived in Hawaii for 14 years, and Josh Johns, the cofounder of a local hard cidery. Coleman’s Hawaiian-style pork tacos with kimchi pair nicely with one of the dozen or so hard ciders on Johns’s constantly evolving list, which usually includes a few New Mexican options. 222 N. Guadalupe St.; fireandhopsgastropub.com.
Radish & Rye
Any meal at this bistro should start with a drink. Cocktail expert Quinn Stephenson, of the legendary Coyote Café, has compiled a long list of American whiskeys and bourbons that’s a refreshing alternative to the city’s ubiquitous tequila cocktails (a person can only drink so many margaritas). Try the 505 Manhattan, a nod to Santa Fe’s area code that includes bitters infused with the flavors of traditional Mexican mole. 548 Agua Fria St.; radishandrye.com.
Santa Fe Bite
New Mexicans will flavor almost anything with green chiles, and their experiments range from the ill-advised (white wine) to the surprisingly satisfying (apple pie). By far the most successful result is the green-chile cheeseburger. Endless variations exist, but a good one to try is the medium-spicy American-cheese-topped patty at Santa Fe Bite, the new incarnation of longtime local favorite Bobcat Bite. 311 Old Santa Fe Trail; santafebite.com.
Star chef John Rivera Sedlar, who has spent four decades cooking in L.A. (most recently at Rivera), is descended from New Mexico culinary royalty: His great-aunt Jerry Newsom was private chef to the food-obsessed artist Georgia O’Keeffe. Now back in Santa Fe, he has created an ambitious menu that brings New Mexican dishes and ingredients to the fore—he’s serving a version of local cult favorite Frito pie and pairing wood-grilled quail with pinto beans grown in nearby Española. A wacky but tasty pastrami taco is a sign that Rivera Sedlar is becoming more eclectic. 228 E. Palace Ave.; eloisasantafe.com.
Located in the up-and-coming Railyard, Violet Crown is a hybrid movie theater and bar. The three dozen beers on tap, mostly Southwestern, are offered as both full and half-pints, so you can create your own mini tasting. 1606 Alcaldesa St.; violetcrowncinemas.com.
Jean Cocteau Cinema
Movie houses with bars are clearly a Santa Fe mini trend. This cinema, restored by Game of Thrones author and local celebrity George R.R. Martin, is your best bet for a G.R.R.M. sighting. The place screens independent and classic films and serves honey mead at the bar. 418 Montezuma Ave.; jeancocteaucinema.com.
Former home-brewer Trent Edwards specializes in Belgian-style ales like a dark plum-and-chocolate-flavored imperial porter. 1228 Parkway Dr.; duelbrewing.com.
Santa Fe Vintage Outpost
Co-owner Scott Corey is a key player in the current vintage-denim craze. For years, top fashion stylists have haunted his appointment-only showroom, searching for perfectly worn-in jeans, painstakingly sourced turquoise jewelry and colorful textiles. Now he’s opened a shop where anyone can browse his fantastic vintage finds and check out silver jewelry made by his business partner, Julienne Barth. 202 E. Palace Ave.; santafevintage.com.
From this mixed-use space, trendsetting owner Erin Wade teaches Fearless Vegetable Gardening classes and grinds her own wheat in an Austrian stone-burr mill and sells it by the pound in muslin bags. There’s also a small grocery and café, offering produce like hyper-fresh local eggs and a menu of juices, sandwiches and soups. Try the brothy combination of Vietnamese pho and New Mexican posole stew, dubbed “pho-sole.” 637 Cerillos Rd.; moderngeneralnm.com.
Meow Wolf Art Complex
COMING SOON Members of ambitious local art collective Meow Wolf are in the process of converting a former bowling alley into a permanent exhibition space for sculpture installations, performance art and dance parties. meowwolf.com.