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Mar 17, 2001 10:30 PM

great cheap eats in SantaFe & Albuquerque

  • p

I will spending my spring break in the Santa Fe area in a few weeks. Any recommendations on great cheap local eating places would be so appreciated. Thanks so much!

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  1. p
    patsy darling

    I would love some food recommendations for the Santa Fe area. I will be spending spring break there in two weeks. help me out, chowhounds! :)

    9 Replies
    1. re: patsy darling

      The cafe at the Georgia O'keefe museum is very nice and not expensive. The one place that I wish I'd had a chance to try but didn't is Cafe Pasqual - my friends love it, value-priced, and the menu looked great.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        I've eaten at Pasquals' in Santa Fe and have really enjoyed it a lot. I'm not sure I would classify it as "cheap eats" although, given the usual Santa Fe prices, it is reasonable enough. My daughter, Andrea, lives in Albuq and used to live in Santa Fe. Perhaps she can help you (although she'll be out of town for the next few days-I'm not sure of your time frame. Anyway: If she can,she'll help.

        1. re: roberta

          Agreed, reasonable compared to Santa Fe price levels.

          I wish I could remember name of the place I enjoyed in ABQ. It was recommended to us by both the hotel and our cab driver. Traditional SW and atmosphere/service of a special occasion restaurant, and practically free by San Francisco standards.

          1. re: Melanie Wong
            Irwin Hoffman

            In Albuquerque, excellent local cuisine at Padilla's on Girard (always a line at meal times) and Ramon's on North 4th Street. Also recommend Garcia's 2 locations on North 4th Street.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Try Taco Sal's at 9621 Menaul NE Very good food at great prices. Chiles Relleno exceptiional.

          2. re: Melanie Wong

            It's hard to find a time that there isn't a long line at Cafe Pasqual's but the food is very good and it's a fun atmosphere - worth waiting for.

          3. re: patsy darling

            The Zia Diner on Guadaloupe, re-opened after a fire last summer, has really fresh not-just-diner food, and is a great place to go after a movie at the Jean Cocteau theatre. We loved the Diner on the Park, also really cheap - they have fresh watermelon juice that is so cool going down. Portions are large and the turnover is, too. You see lots of locals in that one.
            For interesting Mexican food, try the Old Mexico Grill on Cerillos. It's in a shopping mall, which might be a turn-off, but the food is authentic and the service low-key. Try the Friday night chicken special. If you're driving around the Turquoise Trail, check out Cafe San Marcos on the road to Cerillos. It's a feed store/truck stop/ diner with chickens, peacocks and puppies running around outside. Yet they serve lovely and large burritos and daily specials. A number of locals told us about that place and it didn't disappoint. My folks love Harry's Roadhouse, another locals place. And if you just want simple but yummy takeout, there's a Whole Foods with an enormous takeaway section, on Cerrilos near Guadaloupe.
            Have a great trip!

            1. re: Liza

              Cafe San Marcos is a real find. We happened across it on the drive back to Albuquerque a few years ago. Stopped for brunch and loved it. They have very good desserts and a nice homey atmosphere.

            2. re: patsy darling

              Cheap eats in Santa Fe:
              India Palace: Lunch Buffet
              Daves Not Here: Greenchiliburgers
              Horsemans Haven: Hot Chili local hangout
              Harry's Roadhouse: Ecclectic Menu,Patio, Great Desserts
              Mu Du Noodles: Dinner only Noodle Bowls
              Cheap eats in Albuquerque:
              Frontier ( open 24/7) College hangout Great Carne Adovado burritos
              ABC Chinese: order from menu w/ hand written translation in English
              Range Cafe: American Comfort foods
              El Patio: HOT Chile NM Homestyle

            3. Albuquerque:
              ****-Los Cuates-excellent food but very hot!
              ****-M & J Sanitary Tortilla Factory-ignore the name and go for the great food.
              ***-Sadie's-another hot one with good food.

              Santa Fe:
              ***1/2-La Choza-pretty much does everything well.
              ***-Maria's New Mexican Kitchen-dependable
              ***-Tomasita's-ignore the sign at the entry that says beware of the hot chile. None of the three Santa Fe spots are anywhere near as hot as Los Cuates or Sadie's.

              1. j
                Josh Greenhaw

                Noticed the post about Pasqual's. Excellent food, especially lunch, but not really cheap. For cheap, excellent lunch fare, drive up to Espanola (approx. 25-30 min. drive). There is a restaurant there called Paragua (umbrella). Next to it is a trailer called Parasol. Parasol is frequently open and staffed by several New Mexican women who know something that other people don't about cooking burritos, tacos and especially posole. Try a burrito with chicken, cheese, and green chile. This taste is one of the cleanest, most unique tastes in the world. Also, the posole with green chile is excellent. This is not for the faint of heart. The green chiles are hot, but if you keep eating, you will attain an endorphin rush that somewhat resembles a runner's high.

                If you are in Albq. go to The Frontier. Try the hash browns western style. Excellent.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Josh Greenhaw

                  Oh yes--Frontier Restaurant hash browns are wonderful. My sister & I got them topped with just shredded cheddar cheese when we were kids. The perfect combination of crispy and cheesy. The pancakes are delicious as well. They have a faint onion taste from the grill that makes you crave them in particular.