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Oct 14, 2010 10:04 AM

Solo dining in Santa Fe & Taos

Any recommendations for solo dining in Santa Fe & Taos? Good bar seating or communal tables? Veg-friendly, decent wine lists & cocktails. (Also - I'm assuming Maria's in SF has bar seating?) Thank you!

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  1. For Santa Fe:

    High end - Ristorante Nostrani and Shohko Cafe both have food-friendly bars (Shohko is Japanese, so sushi bar); they're probably my two favorite restaurants in town, excellent quality even judging by international standards . Nostrani has a stellar wine list, Shohko's sake list is really impressive.

    Lower end - Harry's Roadhouse, Plaza Cafe, Counter Culture, Tuneup Cafe. No great wine lists out of this bunch, but Harry's makes very good margaritas.

    I wouldn't recommend Maria's, the bar is only a few stools, and not sure they serve food there. I also think the margaritas are overrated, perhaps a little stronger than they are delicious.

    Harry's Roadhouse
    96B Old Las Vegas Hwy, Santa Fe, NM 87505

    Counter Culture
    930 Baca St, Santa Fe, NM 87505

    Shohko Cafe
    321 Johnson St, Santa Fe, NM 87501

    5 Replies
    1. re: finlero

      Thanks for all the recommendations, very much appreciated! Shohko's menu has vegetarian "sushi" rolls, which will be fantastic, along with their sake list. Harry's scores points for lemon ricotta pancakes. Thank you!

      1. re: coastalgypsy

        The lemon ricotta pancakes are probably my favorite thing on the menu, actually. Aside from the pizza and ribs, everything I've tried has been good, but Harry's totally nails breakfast.

        1. re: finlero

          In Taos I often eat alone at the Taos Inn. It's a locals hangout as well as a place for visitors with lots of options for seating, bar, lobby & outside. Great people watching and decent food.

          1. re: jjdot

            I'll add it to my itinerary, sounds perfect. Thanks!

            1. re: coastalgypsy

              Check out Ricky's in Taos. Good authentic N M food, friendly staff, good prices. We ate there twice in a row while in Taos last week. Lots of locals eat there...usually a good sign.

    2. I wanted to bump this back into existence since my original post was from two years ago. I'm headed back to the area and have the same request... any new recommendations? Thanks!

      13 Replies
      1. re: coastalgypsy

        Welcome back in advance! Out of curiosity, what worked and didn't work from your last trip? Might get us thinking in the right direction for you...

        1. re: coastalgypsy

          If you visited Trattoria Nostrani and liked it, AND you like Japanese, go to the next door sister restaurant, Shibumi Ramenya. Perfect for solos and delicious.

          1. re: tenacity

            Just a "heads up" re Shibumi Ramenya... it's cash only for some reason.

          2. re: coastalgypsy

            BODY is a yoga studio slash cafe in Santa Fe and they have a great veggie, vegan and raw food menu. There is a casual cafe and a more upscale back room, both have lots of solo diners when I've gone.

            1. re: jjdot

              I LOVED BODY... had a delicious raw thai coconut soup that I still think about... that's a definite revisit on my upcoming trip.

              Thanks for the Japanese recommendations, I wasn't in the mood for Japanese on my last trip but perhaps this next one...

              I did go to Harry's but I didn't notice if they have bar seating? Loved the meal I had there though.

              Thanks for all the recommendations!

              1. re: coastalgypsy

                Good suggestions all around. One other I'd add is the bar at Ristra. I think the dining room menu isn't really worth the money, but the bar menu and cocktails are quite good and significantly more reasonably priced.

                1. re: finlero

                  Thanks for that suggestion - checked out their website and it looks wonderful. Added to the list, thanks :)

                  1. re: finlero

                    Also, finally got to La Boca a few weeks ago, a tiny, truly good tapas restaurant downtown with a small, but pleasant bar at the back of the room that would be great for solo dining.

                    Santa Fe has several tapas joints, including El Farol and El Meson, both of which are great spots for live music. El Meson's food is significantly better than El Farol, but in terms of pure chow, neither holds a candle to La Boca, which has some of the better Spanish food I've had anywhere, including in Spain. La Boca is also really into its sherry, so it could be fun to grab a few unusual glasses of jerez while you're in there.

              2. re: coastalgypsy

                A couple more very veg-friendly suggestions:
                Taos: Raw to Go - very small, earnest, one-person operation with good raw food
                Santa Fe: Treehouse Bakery & Cafe - fresh food, lots of vegetarian selections, light & airy space, blackboard lists what farms provided what foodstuffs every day.

                1. re: ninrn

                  You guys are a lot of help! Raw To Go will be helpful for my lunch in Taos (after the farmer's market), as well as Taos Inn for dinner. I had lunch at Hotel La Fonda last time and it was just OK. I was the only person in the place so it was a tad awkward (although the chef came out to talk to me... perhaps out of pity!)

                  Looked up Treehouse and that looks delicious....don't know how I missed that on my last trip.

                  La Boca looks fantastic too, so glad they have bar seating...

                  1. re: coastalgypsy

                    Another possibility for dinner in Taos might be Love Apple - I've never been there, but have been reading about it off and on since it opened and it looks great. They are super veg-friendly and organic, and I think they may have a community table. Menu changes daily. Don't think they're cheap but I expect they're not insanely expensive either. Downside, they don't take credit cards - cash/check only.

                    1. re: ninrn

                      I've seen a lot about Love Apple; but it looks like a tiny place and I wasn't sure if they'd poison me if made a reservation for one and had to take up a 2- or 4-top table....... if they have a community table, that might work.

                      1. re: coastalgypsy

                        I would hope a restaurant that touts its community relationships as much as this one would be used to and gracious toward solo diners. After all, a single diner at a two-top isn't really any different from three diners at a four-top, and no one bats an eye at that. But I totally see what you mean. Hope you have a great time and superb meals wherever you end up.

              3. I've spent the past few months in Santa Fe on business and I'm a solo diner most of the time and have found that most restaurants are accommodating, as well as vegetarian friendly, though below are some or my favorites for eating alone

                Recommend: La Boca (my favorite restaurant in SF), Pasquals (community table), Outdoor patios are great - La Posada Hotel, Inn at Anasazi (patio or bar), Jambon (great food African / Caribean (bar and 2 community tables), Vinaigrette (salads), Shibumi (as someone already suggested (I sit at the equivalent of a sushi bar and watch the chefs cook. they are always nice to me when I dine there), The Tea House on Canyon Road

                Good Luck and have fun dinning

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