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Good New Mexican food in Taos and Santa Fe areas.

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I'm looking for recommendations for good New Mexican food in the Santa Fe and Taos areas.

My traveling partner and I are on a budge, so we'd only eat at a high-end restaurant if they have a relatively inexpensive lunch or bar menu.

If there are current chowhound discussions on this topic, just slap me around and point me there.

Thanks for any pointers or recommendations.

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  1. There must be one, but with a quick look I couldn't find a thread that's especially about low to moderately priced places serving NM food in Santa Fe and Taos, so here are some suggestions:

    In Santa Fe:
    Tecolote
    La Choza
    Harry's Roadhouse
    Rancho de Chimayo (a bit outside Santa Fe)
    The Bite (formerly Bobcat Bite)
    Maria's New Mexican Kitchen (haven't been but have heard good things)

    In Taos:
    Dragonfly Cafe
    Graham's Grill (for lunch)
    Orlando's (Mexican)

    None of these are super cheap, but they're pretty reasonably priced. I think all of them have their menus online, so you can look and see what's a good fit. Hope you have a good visit, ninrn

    9 Replies
    1. re: ninrn

      ninm, thank you very much for the reply!

      My travel buddy and I will probably only be able to eat at 2-3 Santa Fe/Taos, but I'll take a look at their menus.

      Thanks again!

      1. re: ninrn

        I've started looking at these restaurants' menus, and FWIW it appears that Graham's Grill is closed.

        1. re: ninrn

          ninm, do you have opinions about The Shed or Coyote Cafe?

          1. re: SimSportPlyr

            I just found a comment that you made in another discussion where you recommended La Choza over The Shed.

            I can't find current opinions about Coyote Cafe, though.

            1. re: SimSportPlyr

              La Choza and The Shed have the same owners, the same chile, and similar menus. I just like La Choza better because it's not as crowded.

              I've haven't been to the main Coyote Cafe, just to Coyote Cantina, their cheaper rooftop restaurant, and didn't see what was so great about the food. It's very lively in the summer though (at times, so lively you can't hear the other people at your table talk). We all ordered fish tacos. Maybe other things on the menu are better, I don't know.

              1. re: ninrn

                ninm, thanks for the info about The Shed and Coyote Cafe.

                I appreciate it!

          2. re: ninrn

            Gil's blog is reporting DragonFly as being closed :(

            Their website is still up....

            Graham's Grill is listed as closed too.

            Anyone have insites on these 2?

            1. re: DebitNM

              Oh, I'm sad. Big losses for Taos casual dining. I especially liked Dragonfly. Someone in the kitchen seemed to have an inspired touch.

              So what's left there that's good and in the low to mid-priced range?

              I'd be very interested in knowing what SW CH's think of Casa de Valdez, Cafe Ricochet, Gutiz and Michael's Kitchen (is that still open?) -- Thanks.

              1. re: ninrn

                Michales kitchen is ok for breakfast, but nothing inspired. Just diner kind of food and often way too busy. Haven't had lunch or dinner there in long time. I don't know the others you mentioned.

          3. Another place to look at in Taos for dinner is Love Apple. Again, not inexpensive, but not over the top either. Entrees run between $14 and $26. It's a very small place, so it's a good idea to reserve.

            1. Graham's Grill is definitely closed; has been for 6+ months.

              Chef/owner Leslie Fay intends to reopen if she can find a site to suit her. Apparently the closed location needed serious repairs and upgrades that the landlord was not on the hook to do.

              I'm a cynic... Lambert's moved into the long vacant space that once was The Apple Tree. Lambert's can be a but fancier than Graham's Grill was but the closing of Graham's followed the Lambert's move by just a few months. They were each on opposite ends of the same very small shopping area off of the Taos Plaza.

              1. The owner of Dragonfly says she was told the property owner plans to "develop", and was not given any option to negotiate to stay. She does not know if she will open elsewhere.

                All these landlord-prompted closings in Taos and Albuquerque remind me of Anthony Bourdain's constant refrain during a special on old-time New York restaurants, -- that the only way to survive long-term is to own the building. You'd think the lower key real estate situation here would make NM more forgiving, but maybe not.