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May 5, 2009 01:38 PM

What are the "must not misses" in Santa Fe and Albuquerque?

My husband and I will be spending a 3 days in Albuquerque and 4 days in Santa Fe at the beginning of July. We will also drive to Taos for the day and will have time for lunch there. What are the our best bets for excellent and typically New Mexican food? We are foodies from S. Florida.

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  1. Monica's El Portal, 321 Rio Grande NW. This is the one place you must visit for excellent New Mexican food in ABQ. Their rellenos in particular are made-to-order - a rarity.
    El Pinto, 10500 4th St NW, is off the beaten path in ABQ's North Valley, but worth the drive. The food is probably second to the setting, but they have excellent salsa.
    Padilla's, 1510 Girard Blvd NE. Also very good but very tiny, and may be crowded at peak meal times.
    Dos Hermanos, with several locations around town, is locally famous for its massive burritos. Get a breakfast burrito with green chile and chorizo.
    Avoid Little Anita's, Los Cuates, and Gardunios! Their quality just doesn't compare. Sadie's is a local favorite, but I think they use too much cilantro in their food so won't recommend it.

    I don't frequent Santa Fe or Taos, but in Santa Fe, try La Plazuela inside La Fonda hotel, especially for breakfast. The Bean is a classic coffee shop in Taos - some people think it's too kitschy, but I recall they serve up some good huevos rancheros. Enjoy your trip!

    1 Reply
    1. For my favorites, see: for ABQ for Santa Fe

      For lunch in Taos, you can't go wrong at any of these:

      Graham's Grille,
      Orlando's {New Mexican
      } Michael's {quite eclectic}


      1 Reply
      1. In Albuquerque, Yanni's was really good overall but their pizza was only ok. Season’s Rotisserie & Grill & Seferino’s were only ok. Susan’s Fine Wine & Spirits has a great selection of wine & beer. Theobroma has exceptionally good chocolate.

        In Santa Fe, the sushi at Shohko was remarkably good. Blue Corn has decent Mexican food but their beers are undistinguished.

        Hope this helps. We've really enjoyed our travels in New Mexico.


        2 Replies
        1. re: FishTales

          Yanni's is really more Greek/Mediterranean than a place for pizza. There are better choices for pizza on Central [IL Vicinco].

          I agree that Seferino's is only just ok. I really like Seasons, it is very "california" like, with pretty simple but tasty items.

          Not a sushi person, but there is a place on Central, in Nob Hill that is always busy. I can't remember the name, but it is on the south side of Central between Carlisle and Wellsley.


          1. re: DebitNM

            Crazy Fish

            Crazy Fish Restaurant
            3015 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

        2. Well, for a July trip to Santa Fe I'd recommend a nice lunch at Santacafe on the patio under the cottonwoods. It's not New Mexican food, but "American with a Southwest flair". Lunch is reasonably priced compared to dinner. Try the Crispy Calamari. Also, excellent desserts.

          Some other Santa Fe spots that I like:

          Guadalupe Cafe for excellent breakfast burritos (carne papas burrito) [422 Old Santa Fe Trail, tourists and locals


          The Pantry for breakfast (breakfast burrito with chorizo and red chile, great potatoes) [1820 Cerrillos Road, mostly locals, great staff,


          Adelita's for breakfast/lunch. Mexican vs. New Mexican. Tripe, tongue tacos too if you're into that [3297 Cerrillos Road, mostly locals, clean and fast]

          I concur with DebitNM's Santa Fe recommendations (Shed, La Boca).

          Finally, you may want to stop at Embudo Station on your way to Taos. It's about to re-open, and I haven't been there in a while, but it's right on the Rio Grande (again under the beautiful cottonwoods). They used to have some decent beers and OK food (it's all about the location there) but who knows how it will be under the new ownership. Stop in for a beer and post here to let us know how it was!

 Restaurant reviews for Santa Fe and northern New Mexico

          1. We thoroughly enjoyed dinner at the Shed on our last trip.