New Mexicans clearly have a soft spot for diamonds in the rough. Since we got such an enthusiastic response to our article about
incredible restaurants that you shouldn’t judge by their exterior, we decided to do a follow-up piece. Just remember, if your favorite dive didn’t make this list, maybe it’s because we thought it was too cute! Check out 12 more of New Mexico’s best hole in the wall restaurants (not ranked in any particular order).
1. El Farolito Restaurant, 1212 Main Street, El Rito
The odds of finding El Farolito by chance are slim - it's located in El Rito (population 808), between Ojo Caliente and Abiquiú. This teeny, cash-only restaurant is small in size but big on flavor.The chile relleno and the sopaipillas are standouts on this menu.
2. Hi-D-Ho Drive In, 414 S White Sands Boulevard,
Drive-ins aren't known for being scenic but don't let the lack of ambience steer you away from this restaurant. The folk at Hi-D-Ho dish up succulent burgers and, while you can add standard New Mexico toppings such as green or red chile, more unusual additions like pineapple are also available. The lemonade and limeade are fresh squeezed - perfect on a hot summer day.
3. Billy Ray’s Restaurant & Lounge, 118 E 3rd Street, Roswell
Despite its industrial appearance, Billy Ray's serves a great ribeye, accompanied by hand cut fries. Bonus: it offers karaoke.
4. Duran Central Pharmacy, 1815 Central Avenue Northwest, Albuquerque
The exterior of this establishment looks fine - for a pharmacy. In fact, it's been in business since 1942. The surprise comes when you go Inside and discover that the old soda fountain has evolved into a restaurant specializing in New Mexican cuisine. This includes some scrumptious red chile and excellent carne adovada (available on Thursdays).
5. Genaro’s Cafe, 600 W Hill Avenue, Gallup
What Genaro's lacks in flair, it more than makes up for with its sublime stuffed sopaipillas, and salsa.
6. Range Café, 925 Camino Del Pueblo, Bernalillo
doesn't just buy local, it also attracts a loyal following of locals who flock here for breakfast. Whether you're craving a breakfast burrito or biscuits and gravy, the Range Cafe delivers.
7. The Buckhorn Saloon and Opera House, 32 Main Street, Pinos Altos
Given that the Buckhorn Saloon appears abandoned, the warm Western feel of the interior comes as a shock. So too does the quality of the steaks served here and the fact that reservations are recommended for this out-of-the-way restaurant.
8. Chopes Bar & Café, 16145 S Highway 28,
Green chile cheeseburgers, enchiladas, and chile rellenos are all delicious options at this La Mesa restaurant.
9. Maryann’s Famous Burrito Kitchen, 528 Grand Avenue, Las Vegas
Maryann's isn't much to look at but this nondescript, Las Vegas joint serves unforgettable burritos with fillings like chicharron and carne adovada. If in doubt, opt for the chunky red or green burrito.
10. Jambo Cafe, 2010 Cerrillos Road,
You'd never guess that Jambo Cafe, which is located in a strip mall, offers innovative, African-Caribbean fusion food. Starters include addictive, cinnamon-coated plantains and also coconut shrimp with a mango dipping sauce. Jerk chicken, goat stew, and Kenyan-style beef kabobs are some of the more memorable entrees. Reservations recommended.
11. Montano’s Restaurant, 417 S Main Street,
From the outside, Montano's is an unassuming little place. However, its exterior belies the quality of the food found within - try the huevos rancheros, which are available all day long.
12. Burger Nook, 1204 E Madrid Avenue,
Burger Nook has been around since 1983 and it has something of a cult following. While some claim that the burgers are the best in Las Cruces, almost everyone agrees that the homemade fries are to die for. To avoid a wait, call in your order ahead of time.
Have you eaten at any of these New Mexico restaurants? What did you think? Did we miss any ugly ducklings that are dishing up scrumptious food?