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Apr 28, 2008 11:59 AM

Santa Fe and Taos ... Your Recommendations

We'll be spending a week in Santa Fe and Taos in mid-May, and we're looking for restaurant recommendations that offer the flavors, colors and ambience that are quintessentially New Mexican. This is our first trip to the area, and we're really excited. We'll have a car, so driving a reasonable distance beyond these two towns isn't a problem. Your recommendations...?

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  1. We travelled through last weekend and had several really great meals. Breakfast at Tecolote is superb - the fresh fruit with yoghurt & fresh granola (with the local speciality of toasted pine nuts and pecans) was great! Just be prepared to wait a bit - it's a fairly popular place.

    Also, you can't beat the Plaza Cafe - there are 2 locations, the original on the Plaza and newer locale on Cerillos Road. We went for New Mex flavors and the sopes plate was memorable. Both are diners, not fine dining ,but worth an enjoyable meal.

    Of course, Rancho de Chimayo is always worth a visit when your in the area. Enjoy!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Twosojourners

      I highly recommend Rancho de Chimayo as well. A great New Mexican experience, the restaurant is built around the old family hacienda. The upper patio is a great place for lunch on a nice day! The young lady shown in the opening photo was our server.

      1. re: LikestoEatout

        Sorry, but I have to disagree about Rancho de Chimayo. The setting is beautiful and it is great to sit outside on a nice day. They do a nice Sangria. But I've always found the food to be just mediocre and nothing special.

        1. re: wagger

          Is there anywhere special you WOULD recommend? I'm making a listof these various recommendations; we'll be leaving for NM one week from tomorrow.

          1. re: CindyJ

            In Santa Fe, the aforementioned Plaza Restaurant is always great. Horeseman's Haven for breakfast and green chile. If you're REALLY brave, get a side of the level 2 chile which is not on the menu. Be sure to have plenty of milk/yogurt and tortillas on standby.

            My favorite in Taos is Orlando's for New Mexican. This is fabulous. Also in Taos for higher end dining is Joseph's Table although it can be uneven at times. I'd stay away from Doc Martin's in the Taos Inn. It's really bad. But, drinks on the patio is a great way to unwind and watch the people/traffic show. Dragonfly Cafe, Rellenos Cafe and Lambert's are all sure bets, too.

            Haven't been to Embudo Station between Santa Fe and Taos for awhile but it always was pretty solid.

    2. There a bunch of posts from visitors asking the same question, so you will find lots of info if you search the southwest board. Here is a current thread:

      Also check out:

      1. While you're in Santa Fe, stop at Tara's Organic ice cream. After reading a review in National Geographic Adventure, I made a point of stopping there when I went to see my mom in March. So, so good!

        She has a lot of really creative flavors. I especially enjoyed the pink peppercorn, goat cheese / raspberry, and basil varieties. I'm still thinking about it! I think it's on, Second Street (?), across from a brewery.

        1. I used to pass through Santa Fe frequently, and I second Tecolote--best New Mexican breakfast IMO. Get something smothered in green chili. A pricier but excellent (for my budget) dinner option is Pasqual's (or is it Pascal's--going to need a local for verification). You can/should make a reservation--it captures the local flavor perfectly and it is popular as well!

          1. Have to agree with wagger's comments... but...

            If you've never been to Rancho de Chimayo, just go. There IS better food to be had but that at this place will do just fine. The drive alone is worth it. And, of course, one MUST visit the adjacent Santuario.

            Most of the other recommendations by others are fine too.

            What has not been mentioned that are musts are a visit to Harry's Roadhouse for any meal (breakfast is my favorite) and a stop at Bobcat Bite for a Green Chile Cheeseburger. Both places have been mentioned many, many times before on ChowHound.

            In Taos, Joseph's Table for a high-end meal; Bravo or Graham's Grill for a lunch. Avoid The Apple Tree. Doc Martin's is fine for drinks and ambience; wish the food was better. Orlando's, on the northside of Taos is a must-have lunch as well. I live in Tesuque just north of Santa Fe and I'm driving to Taos tomorrow for an Orlando's lunch !

            1 Reply
            1. re: fyfas

              Orlando's for lunch! I'm jealous! Give me a bowl of his posole with green chile, onions, tomatos washed down with a Fat Tire and I'm in heaven! But, I'll be there at the end of the month for Memorial Day week-end.

              I can never remember to recommend Graham's Grill but that place has been terrific since it opened.