Santa Fe is an amazing place where “art” extends to almost all mediums and lucky for us, that also includes food and drinks! The challenge though is finding the hidden secrets that will make you glad you walked past another place to get there. These picks are a combination of places I discovered during my visit earlier this year as well as some advice from Santa Fe Tourism.
This is a New Mexico delicacy and so you simply must try this while you are in town. Lucky for you, pretty much every restaurant in town will have their own variation. If you’ve never tried it before, forgot everything you think you know about “chile”. In other parts of the country, chile is red and hot but here it has heat – but also sweetness and more like a vegetable than a spice. It may be difficult to describe and it comes in a myriad of forms but trust me – you’re going to have to try it at least once while in town.
We recommend that you check it out at The Shed at 113 East Palace Ave.
Green Chile Cheeseburger:
If “Green Chile” is king then this is the bastard brother in law that’s so much fun to party with. Again, you can find this on the menu virtually everywhere but you gotta check out “The Mother” at Cowgirl BBQ for the ultimate.
Just imagine how good it would be to sink your teeth into a blend of beef, buffalo, and bacon served in a cheddar and green chile bun with melted brie, truffled green chile and a slice of heirloom tomato! Now head on over there and make sure to wash it down with some great New Mexico craft beer.
Cowgirl BBQ is at 319 S Guadalupe St.
Breakfast Burritos are a big hit in Santa Fe and I’m told the best one in town can be found at Tia Sophias. Oh and just in case you forgot – this is Santa Fe, so make sure to top it with chile and cheese too!
Tia Sophias is at 210 West San Francisco St.
Lucky for you guys, I did EXTENSIVE research in this area during my visit. The challenge though is how do I break this category down since there are a huge number of margarita varieties – frozen, on the rocks, spicy, and of course prickly pear.
Santa Fe even has an official “Margarita Trail” dedicated to this nectar of the gods, but while I enjoy trying different ones as much as the next guy, you’ll find me sipping the Tomasita Special at Tomasita’s 500 S Guadalupe St.
New Mexico Craft Beer:
Honestly, I’m not a fan of New Mexico’s beer scene (yet), but I was told by a local that I just need to do more research! So hopefully one (or several of you) are up to helping me taste my way through the list at places like Cowgirl BBQ, Blue Corn Cafe and Brewery 133 E Water St, and Second Street Brewery 1607 Paseo De Peralta.
If there’s only one place that you venture out to visit, it’s gotta be the Kakawa Chocolate House. While this place makes a great early morning stop to liven up your day with some Aztec Warrior Chocolate Elixir (drinking chocolate) complete with herbs, flowers, nuts, spices, Mexican vanilla and Pasilla de Oaxaca chile or something more soft like the 1692 French Lavender Elixer (New Mexico lavender and Mexican vanilla with almond milk), you are sure to find something you love.
While the elixirs are fabulous, it’s New Mexico so that means you at least need to try the Chile D’arbols – whole roasted New Mexico Arbol Chilis dipped in agave caramel and finished in 80% house blend dark chocolate.
Oh and btw guys – if you buy some chocolates to take home for your partner, you might just be allowed to come back for TAP West 2017!
Kakawa Chocolate House is at 1050 Paseo De Peralta.
For some reason every time I tried to grab a Navajo taco, something went wrong for me earlier this year. However, I’m bound and determined to succeed this time! You’ve heard of Texas tacos and you’ve maybe even had a Mexican street taco but this is something completely unique and wonderful.
These are plate-sized tacos where Navajo frybread serves as the shell. Each restaurant makes things slightly different but the frybread is then topped with traditional ingredients including cheese, meat, beans, lettuce, and sometimes even … you guessed it – green chile!
I’m told that Plaza Cafe is the place to go for a fantastic Navajo Taco as well as other New Mexico specialties. It’s Santa Fe’s oldest restaurant and a legend in town since 1905!
Plaza Cafe is located at 54 Lincoln Ave.
While walking around the plaza this spring, the smell of charred meats and peppers smacked me in the face and drew me to a little cart that was selling fresh grilled fajitas rolled up in a tortilla. Don’t blink though, this is a tiny cart but it’s been there for years so it’s worth a stop while browsing jewelry and other native crafts.
No matter where you go in Santa Fe, you have my personal guarantee that you won’t go hungry. Their prices are generally very reasonable and portions tend to be pretty big. If you are thinking about heading out to try any of these suggestions, let me know how you like it … or better yet, take me with you!