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Road trip in New Mexico - Where must we eat?


Later this summer, my boyfriend and I will be doing a road trip from Houston, TX, to Boulder, CO. We are going to spend about 2 weeks doing it and are planning on going at a very relaxed pace just stopping off on the way and making detours toward whatever looks fun! Two stops on our trip will be Albuquerque and Santa Fe and we are really flexible on the route or other places we may get recommendations to visit.

We are looking for recommendations for delicious places to eat along the way! We are really open to any ethnicity cuisine. We are both grad students so don't have too much extra spending money but we are willing to spend more for the occasional nicer meal. Anything with a sustainable or local spin would be great too. We love barbecue and mexican (and any texan/southwestern spin on it) especially. Recommendations for food trucks or carts are welcome too!

I will also be posting in the Texas and Mountain States boards, but if you know of somewhere that you MUST let me know about, go for it!

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  1. We had a great meal at Season's Rotisserie & Grill in Albuquerque a few years ago. As the name implies, it features seasonal and local items. When we were there, it was artichokes and the specials (artichoke ravioli anyone) were delicious. There is also a Mexican restaurant in Old Town that is historical, but I can't remember the name of it. You can take the Sandia Peak Tramway up the mountain and dine 2-1/2 miles up. The food is nothing to write home about, but the trip is!

    Sandia Peak Tramway
    38 Tramway Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87122

    1. If I could have only one meal in NM it would be at Orlando's New Mexican Cafe in Taos. Best New Mex in my experience. Moderate pricing. Nice tapas at La Boca in SF but pricey. La Choza in SF is also very good for New Mex. The Coffee House in Los Alamos has excellent coffee. Ruby K's has very good sandwiches. Excellent bakery in Durango: Bread.

      La Boca
      72 West Marcy Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501

      La Choza Restaurant
      905 Alarid St, Santa Fe, NM 87505

      1. May seem odd to recommend a French restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico but P'tit Louis is consistently fantastic (mussels are the best), great price, and a charmingly small bistro. For a wild experience of Mexico, check out the Pro Ranch Market in Albuquerque. Walmart-sized market and prepared foods and aguas that you can sit and enjoy with a streaming soccer match on the overhead t.v.'s. Again on a budget, the Frontier on Central (in front of UNM) is where we take out of town friends. Quick, inexpensive, and a great place for people watching. Go for any of the New Mexican specialties, especially their smothered burritos or anything with green chile. Tortilla roll hot and fresh off the machine, which you can view as you wait for your food. If you are in Santa Fe, splurge and go to Santacafe (see if you can't make reservations for the patio) Every meal has been one to dream about and the service is polished but not obnoxious. Buen provecho!

        1. There are many restaurant recommendations for NM on various threads here, but, as I just posted on another thread, please consider visiting some of our grower's markets while you're here in the summer. They have lots of prepared foods and gorgeous salad greens, and it's possible to cobble together a very good meal at them. The one at the Railyard in Santa Fe is huge and a bit overwhelming, but the food choices are great. I love the whole grain bread pocket stuffed with sauteed market greens from Intergalactic Baking Co., and the Ginger Peach jam at Crumpackers. The Downtown Grower's Market in Albuquerque is smaller but still has excellent stuff and it's cheaper. -- Amazing croissants and other baked goods from a French master baker from Bordeaux, local goat cheese, pies, burritos, tamales, etc.

          In Boulder, there's Sunflower Restaurant, which may be one of my favorite restaurants in the world. (Haven't been in five years. Hope it's still open).

          1. Thank you guys so much for the suggestions. We appreciate it tons! The tip for the grower's markets is AWESOME. We love stuff like that and will absolutely be planning this into our trip. As we get more concrete planning done, I will update with the propose plan.

            Keep the suggestions coming! We are open to any kind of dining, including order at the counter, take away places.

            Also, we have deciding to most likely go to White Sands, so if you guys have any suggestions in the south, we'd love to hear them!

            2 Replies
            1. re: mleighn

              The Buckhorn Tavern in San Antonio does a renowned green chile cheeseburger if you want to grab a bite on your way N to ABQ from White Sands.

              Buckhorn Tavern
              68 US Highway 380, San Antonio, NM 87832

              1. re: mleighn

                You have to eat mexican food in Las Cruces. Try La posta (anything), Dicks cafe (green chile cheeseburger), Si Senor (Combo plate) My brothers place (combo plate) Los compos (real Gorditas). A 100% must. Hatch is only 25 minutes away and is considered the green chile capitol of the world. On labor day weekend is the hatch chile festival more enexpensive wonderful food than you can handle. sadies in albuquerque and los quates are great as well.

              2. http://www.nmgastronome.com/index.htm
                This is a must website.
                Gil covers Albuquerque restaurants like no one else. He also includes restaurants throughout the state. I can highly recommend Sophia's Place or Mary & Titos for authentic Mexican or Ezra's Place (in a bowling alley of all places) for unusual and unusually good food (think Duck Quesadillas). Prices can't be beat for what you get. Buckhorn Tavern and the Owl Bar in San Antonio , NM compete for having the best Green Chile Cheeseburger but IMHO the Owl has better Green Chile Fries. In Santa Fe Bobcat Bites for Green Chile CB and, my personal favorite, Harry's Roadhouse for an outstanding eclectic menu. (www.harrysroadhousesantafe.com/). Both Bobcat and Harry's are on Old Las Vegas Highway southeast of town. If you are between El Paso and Las Cruces at lunch time it is worth the extra effort to drive over to Rt. 28 at La Mesa for lunch at Chope's. Get the Chile Relleno or Enchiladas - Christmas style, with both red and green chile (http://www.eskimo.com/~sockeye/nm/lam...). Sparky's in Hatch, the "Chile Capital of the World". This is not food but if you want a hot spring experience drive directly to Riverbend Hot Springs in T or C, NM (http://www.riverbendhotsprings.com/). T or C has a couple of nice restaurants and one GREAT chocolate shop (http://cocoareal.tripod.com/). Hope this is not TMI.

                Bobcat Bite Restaurant
                420 Old Las Vegas Hwy, Santa Fe, NM 87505

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

                Sophia's Place
                6313 4th St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87107

                Buckhorn Tavern
                68 US Highway 380, San Antonio, NM 87832

                1. If you're spending a day or two in Albuquerque, and interested in New Mexican food, Padilla's and Barelas are two fantastic mom & pop places (highly recommend the carne adovada with red chile at both places, and Padilla's has yummy sopapillas). I've had 4 meals at Cafe Pasqual's in Santa Fe and enjoyed them all. Having lived in Houston for 4 years and now being a Tucson resident, I would encourage you to try the New Mexican version of Mexican cuisine - it always makes me wish I lived there. Happy eating!

                  Cafe Pasqual's
                  121 Don Gaspar Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501

                  1. In ABQ you can't beat the Frontier for cheap and good. It's on Central, right across the street from UNM. Their posole, green chile stew, and carne adovada are all pretty good as are their fresh made tortillas and cinnamon rolls. Try the huevos rancheros with green chile stew.

                    If you like hot dogs, try the Dog House, also on Central. Their chili dogs are great and very unusual for the area.

                    Oh, and the correct answer to "red or green?" is green (except at the Dog House).

                    1. Road Trip in New Mexico - Where must we eat ?

                      Sonnys Restaurant in Chama,New Mexico is such an enticingingly delicious place to relax,enjoy the scenery and enjoy some great New Mexican and American food.

                      It will be worth the drive !