Best Local Food in Santa Fe
New Mexico may still be flying under the radar as a culinary destination, but it does have a unique cuisine all its own—a surprising blend of Mexican, Spanish, Mediterranean and Native American influences. In Santa Fe, these are the places you can dig your forks into earthy dishes like chiles rellenos, green chile cheeseburgers and tamales as well as more modern but equally delicious local creations.
Chef John Rivera Sedlar shows off his creativity with dishes like Frito Pie with corn chips, chile verde chicken, cotija cheese, onion and cilantro while the duck enfrijolada with blue corn tortillas and New Mexico Cabernet chili sauce puts a new spin on things.
In the Railyard District, La Choza (its sibling happens to be the legendary Shed) serves heaping bowls of green chile clam chowder and steamy plates of blue corn enchiladas smothered in red and green sauce in a colorful dining room. Come spring and summer, the patio is prime for cerveza sipping.
Commence with chef Marc Quiñones’ tortilla soup of smoked chicken, avocado, corn and cilantro and slowly graduate to the green chile cheeseburger “McMuffin” with Tucumcari cheddar, Tabasco ketchup, State Pen Porter (from Santa Fe Brewing Co.) green chili fondue and house fries. Certainly, you want to linger with a seat on the peaceful, spacious patio.
Fresh guacamole is made tableside, and preferably seated on the garden patio with views of the Sangre de Cristos mountains. Main dishes like stuffed chile rellenos and crab enchiladas along with platters of lone star ribs in special barbecue sauce ensure you won’t leave hungry.
This well-traversed family-owned mainstay, is situated in a late 1600’s hacienda and hasn’t lost its cool or crowds thanks to its ample portions of classics like enchiladas, tacos, blue corn burritos and grilled shrimp best paired with a margarita. Cleanse your palate with the fresh lemon soufflé.
Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen
This grand old institution (since 1952) serves traditional, straightforward New Mexican cuisine at its best. Try the blue-corn enchiladas or the green-chile tamales, best paired with over the selection of over 100 margaritas. Afterwards, a siesta is in order.
A meeting of Texas BBQ, Old West and New Mexico flavors, there’s a menu of smoked chicken short stack with blue corn tortillas. The New Mexico lamb chimichurri with sautéed cabbage and sweet onions pairs well with a cold beer. And later, kick up your heels for some live music.