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Jan 5, 2009 06:41 PM

how is the food scene in taos?

hello all and happy new year! i was in taos once 3+ years ago, and was thinking of moving to taos for a little bit, but am curious as to what kind of ethnic food is available there. can you get decent chinese and sushi? i'm guessing there is decent mexican and new mexican, but is it outrageously priced? i just remember eating dinner at some mexican place and having some shrimp dish that was very good, but probably about $15 (and this was in '05)...thanks for any info! btw, if you had to pick an area in NM in which to live, where would it be and why?

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  1. There are some very good places to dine in Taos and the prices will often reflect that fact.

    Orlando's has excellent Mexican.

    Michael's has great food and may be the least expensive place to eat in town.

    Graham Grille has gotten good writeups.

    Joseph's Table is top notch, Doc Martin is very good.

    Dragonfly Cafe for breakfast or brunch.

    Sheva Cafe for Middle Eastern.

    Old Blinking Light, north of town

    Tim's Stray Dog on the mountain.

    These will get you started.

    NM is a pretty big place with lots of different cities, villages etc. What are you looking for? Cost of living any concern? Need to work - employment? Good schools for kids?

    Try United States board for ideas about where to live since chow is usually all about the food.


    2 Replies
    1. re: DebitNM

      thanks for the prompt response deb...actually, food is a concern, at least being able to obtain different cuisines since i'm pretty used to living in places w/ much diversity. no kids, so don't have to worry about that. i work in TV/film as a production assistant, and from what i understand, ABQ is where most things happen, but i don't think i'd want to live there from what i've heard, although who knows it could be great for all i know. santa fe seems too yuppy for me, as does taos, but taos just really stood out when i was there way too briefly a few yrs ago. i do remember liking madrid, but unless i have my own business, it doesn't seem like there's much work to be had. i also really enjoyed truth or consequences very much, but i think i'd rather be up in the higher elevations since i love snow. i'm 31, so that should be taken into account, and i LOVE outdoor activities ~ hiking, snowshoeing, camping, etc. cost of living does matter since i don't make a lot of $$ in my field, at least not at this point in my career. hope that helps, and thanks for the 411!

      1. re: unocal

        find me on fodors board [same screen name]; it has email info -glad to give you my 2 cents

    2. We lived in Taos for a year before moving to Santa Fe. There are good fine dining options and cheap food also. In my opinion, what you will likely miss is ethnic food. You just don't have the variety you would find a place with a larger or more diverse website. The Chinese restaurant is okay, but nothing more. I am not a sushi person; there are a couple sushi places there, though. I heard bad things about the Thai restaurant, so I never went. FYI, last I knew Sheva Cafe (mentioned by Deb) was closed. I haven't been up to Taos in a while, so perhaps it has been revived. I much prefer the Taos Diner (in both food and ambience) to Michael's, which is always jammed with tourists. Cid's is a great independent grocery store in Taos.
      Taos is an interesting place to live. I don't regret moving there, but I am also glad we moved away. It is VERY out of the mainstream of American life. Read the Taos News online for a while to get a sense of the local preoccupations. There are plenty of places to live in NM with access to outdoor activities, and Taos is a LONG way from most filming. You might look at some of the smaller towns around Santa Fe or Albuquerque: places like Pecos, Cedar Crest, etc. If you liked Madrid, that would give you pretty good proximity to filming (and restaurants!) in both cities, and I have heard of or seen a fair amount of film production going on in that area. For cost of living, I would suggest trolling some real estate listing websites, even if you are not looking to buy a house. It will give you an idea of relative prices. Good luck!

      1. You're kidding, right? Ethnic food? There's a sushi place that is passable, one Chinese restaurant that is interesting and the Thai place which is, well, not really authentic. No Italian. However, there is some great food.

        Orlando's. The best.
        Joseph's Table
        Lambert's. (Zeke sold out to a consortium that includes former employees and it's still dynamite.)
        Graham's Grille is great. Yes, I've eaten there numerous times.
        Dragonfly Cafe.
        Stakeout. Retro and great.
        Taos Pizza Out Back.

        Michael's? Touristy, overrated and mediocre.
        Sheva. Closed.
        Doc Martin's? Gimme a break. Bad news. But the patio at the Taos Inn is the place to sit outside, drink martinis and watch the show on the Paseo.

        You want culture and diversity and politcal correctness? Stay in L.A. You want great hiking, art, the outdoors and quirkiness? Go to Taos. If I were moving anywhere in New Mexico, however, it would probably be Silver City but it wouldn't be for the food.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chowmix

          hah, silver city, that's awesome...the only think i know about SC is it is the gateway to the gila, a place i've been dying to explore. i figured as much there's not much diversity, but you never know in this crazy world we live in today, and i feel your pain. i was living in maine for 6 months, and real tacos and tortas were unheard of. there was a thai place though, which i thought was odd. anyway, i think it'd be cool to live there, even if it were only temporary. im in the NYC burbs now and it's so bleh but that's just my $0.02. thanks for your input

        2. Best new restaurant in town is El Meze', on the highway north of town, between Cids grocery & Orlando's. Advertised as Moorish-inspired, it's really New Southwest, and (so far) very, very good. On our last visit, we started with an order of herbal french fries, served with homemade mayonnaise, in a HUGE basket for (ims) $4. Hard to eat them all and still have room for the meal.... I had a wonderful bowl of oyster stew/soup, full of plump, tasty oysters. Wife had the pasta special, which she liked a lot. Huh, now I can't remember what we had for dessert, except it was very good, and you had to order it early, or wait a bit. Chocoalte souffle'?

          Very good service, chef-owned, reasonable prices. After 5 or 6 meals, It's now in our top 3 in Taos -- Orlando's. El Meze, Trading Post.

          Happy eating, Pete Tillman

          1. I agreee with the earlier posts in that there are only a few chinese places in taos, and the one I went to was nothing special. I personally liked michaels kitchen, good sopaipillas, and a cheap price, but I dont know if they are serving dinner there right now, or if its just breakfast and lunch. I heard good things about la cocina but never went. The Guadillajara grill (north/or south) is nothing special but has consistintly good mexican at a low price. For a high end place I heard that josephs table is good as well, but a lack of funds prevented me from going. Its a really great area though, I was sad i had to leave