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New Mexican restaurants in Santa Fe

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We would like to go to a good New Mexican restaurant in Santa Fe. Where do you suggest that we go?

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  1. I would suggest La Choza (905 Alarid, 982-0909). Its much-more-tourist-loaded sister restaurant, The Shed (113 1/2 E Palace, 982-9030), serves essentially the same food but gets fewer locals. The Guadalupe Cafe (422 Old Santa Fe Trail, 982-9762) is also somewhat touristy, but has solid red chile enchiladas that are worth a visit.

    Others that consistently get recommended (tho with different levels of disagreement - my comments are included) include: Tomasita's (500 S Guadalupe, 983-5721 - acceptible but not particularly outstanding), Tia Sophia's (210 W. San Francisco, 983-9880 - inexpensive, not as high quality as others but popular with locals - Jada DeLaurentis was just spotted there today, though), Maria's (555 Cordova Rd, 983-7929 - it's been years since I've been there, I wasn't blown away back then but things might have changed), Horseman's Haven (4354 Cerrillos Rd, 471-5420 - especially hot green chile available), Tiny's (SE corner of St. Francis and Cerrillos, 983-9817, my New Mexian brother-in-law likes it, but I'm not especially blown away for the price) and Diego's (De Vargas Mall where Paseo de Peralta and Guadalupe N come together, 983-5101 - generally just fine).

    1. I would seriously consider La Casa Sena. http://www.lacasasena.com The other places mentioned are fine, but too many imperfections. Why settle for second best, when you can dine here with no complaints about food, service or ambiance.

      1. I wouldn't consider Casa Sena to be a "New Mexican" restaurant, though it's certainly a nice restaurant in New Mexico.

        I think that Jeff's "second best" comment is sort of off-point: La Casa Sena's menu does not feature traditional New Mexican cuisine, so he's kind of comparing apples and bananas. "Kiwi-Guava Martinis," "pomegranate-Thai chili granita," "Maine Lobster and Bosc Pear crepe," "Dungeness Crab," "Pan-Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras," "Sauteed Mussels, "Flash-Fried Crab Cake" - these items are all featured on the current menu at Casa Sena, and . . . well, I've never had any of them served to me by a native New Mexican at home (and I've had hundreds of opportunities between native friends and family who've invited me into their homes and fed me). To say the least, this is not mi abuelita's cooking (I can just imagine her laughing at the gabachos locos who would eat such things). I understand that Casa Sena does serve enchiladas for lunch (though with the completely UN-New Mexican black beans accompanying them - another item you'll not likely be served in the home of a native New Mexican), but I'd warn Jessie that if "New Mexican food as eaten by New Mexicans" is what's sought - perhaps one of the many places I listed previously may give more authentic results.

        If a nice meal that's not featuring traditional New Mexican cuisine is sought, Jeff is right, and certainly La Casa Sena (or Santacafe, or Geronimo, etc.) is worth a visit.

        1. Tomasitas is good. Santa Fe does not have any great new mexican. Sorry Santa Feans. You want really good new mexican you need to go south to Albuquerque. Santa Fe is great for upscale like Geronimo, but basic New Mex is sorely lacking. In Albuquerque i say go big and go Sadies in the North Valley.

          1. While I certainly agree that Albuquerque offers many great New Mexican and ethnic food options, I think Jessie B will do just fine having New Mexican food in Santa Fe. ;-)

            1. After living in Santa Fe for 3 years and trying out restaurants in other areas. I have found that Santa Fe New Mexican restaurants are not nearly as good as other areas. I now live in Abiquiu, 1 hour north of Santa Fe and our restaurants in near by Espanola are far better, may not have nearly the ambiance as some Santa Fe New Mexican restaurants, but far better. Better chiles, hotter chile, usage of more traditional spices, more traditional recipes and usage of lamb too. Not as much usage of cheese like Santa Fe restaurants.
              Jeff http://www.casitadechuparosa.com

              1. I agree that EspaƱola has fine New Mexican restaurants - in fact, one is owned by relations of my wife. And you're not going to find chicos on the menu in any SF restaurant.

                Still, Jessie B asked for good New Mexican food in SF restaurants - it's not real helpful to say that's the wrong question and that a person should go to another city entirely. As I said, I think Jessie will do just fine having New Mexican food in Santa Fe.

                1. Lived in the area for 12 years. My rec in Santa Fe would be Maria's on Cordova just East of Cerrillos Dr. Very good and priced right. Great Margaritas. Another place is Rancho de Chimayo ---North toward Espanola. Ask anyone in the area