New Mexico January 04, 2017
The 12 Places You Should Eat In New Mexico In 2017
Throughout 2016, we’ve highlighted New Mexico restaurants that stand out from the crowd. In addition to serving exquisite food, each establishment has an “it factor” that makes dining there a unique experience. If you haven’t already frequented these 12 New Mexico eateries, add them to your dining bucket list for the 2017.
If you’d like to learn more about a particular restaurant from this list, just click on the name next to each number and the original article will open in a new tab.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
Rancho de Chimayo, Chimayo
The James Beard Award is one of the most prestigious accolades that a restaurant can receive and, in 2016, Rancho de Chimayó received the foundation’s “American Classics Award.” You owe it to your taste buds to see why this restaurant has been in business since 1965, creating traditional, Northern New Mexican food. It’s known for carne adovada and for having the most divine honey-drizzled sopaipillas. Rancho de Chimayó is located at 300 Juan Medina Road in Chimayo.
Karma Café, Albuquerque
If one of your resolutions is to pay it forward then add a trip to Karma Café to your bucket list. Instead of a traditional pricing structure, this non-profit encourages you to pay as you feel. So you decide what to give in exchange for your meal and generosity from patrons helps the café to provide meals to those who can only afford to pay a little. This breakfast and lunch joint offers dishes that showcase organic and locally grown ingredients. Karma Café can be found at 1617 San Pedro Drive NE in Albuquerque.
Ella’s Café, Reserve
Who says you can’t find a delicious meal in a tiny town? Probably only people who’ve never been to Ella’s Café. This restaurant is located at 96 Main Street in Reserve, a town of 289 people. Reserve is hidden deep in the Gila National Forest, well off the beaten path for most tourists. Ella’s Café provides generous portions of American and Mexican comfort food – save room for pie.
La Cantina at Casa Sena, Santa Fe
La Cantina gives a whole new meaning to the idea of dinner and a show. Throughout your meal, the waitstaff stop to break into song, performing Broadway tunes, jazz, classic rock, and standards. The restaurant is located at 125 E Palace Avenue in Santa Fe.
Chope’s, La Mesa
Chope’s Town Café and Bar is famous for its chile rellenos and enchiladas. Since it’s located in the middle of nowhere (at 16145 S. Highway 28 in La Mesa), you’re unlikely to stumble upon the restaurant by accident. However, it’s well worth a detour to dine at a historic establishment that first opened over a century ago!
Root’s Farm Café, Tijeras
Take farm-to-table cuisine literally by eating at Roots Farm Café in 2017. This restaurant is on a horse-powered farm (at 11784 State Highway 337 in Tijeras). The dishes here feature sustainable and locally-produced ingredients, so menus change with the seasons.
Bode’s General Store, Abiquiu
A general store might not be your first choice for a great meal, but Bode’s will blow away any preconceived ideas. The oldest general store in the state has always served multiple purposes (including acting as a jail) and it’s currently a shop, restaurant, and gas station that is popular with fans of green chile cheeseburgers. Bode’s can be found at 21196 US-84 in Abiquiu.
El Pinto, Albuquerque
When you dine at El Pinto, you eat in an unforgettable setting that includes rustic charm and water features inside and a patio dripping with greenery and surrounded by cottonwood trees outside. The tequila bar here is the stuff of legends – there are 160 different types on offer and a margarita pairs perfectly with the restaurant's excellent nachos. El Pinto is located at 10500 4th Street in Albuquerque.
Station 3 one 6, Taos
Once a Sinclair gas station, this restaurant remains true to its origins with car-inspired décor. Since Station 3 one 6 is the sister restaurant to the ever-popular Orlando’s New Mexican Café, you’ll enjoy the same high quality Mexican dishes here, along with stellar burgers and a vibrant atmosphere. Head to 316 Paseo Del Pueblo Sur in Taos if this spot whets your appetite.
Luna Mansion, Los Lunas
Going to Luna Mansion makes you feel as if you've stepped into an elegant version of the past. Those who make the journey to this destination restaurant are greeted by the sight of an elegant Victorian Southern Colonial home that contains a steakhouse… and a ghost. Josefita Otero, a past mistress of the house, didn’t consider death a good reason to leave the premises. Instead, her ghost lingers, which is why the bar (where the bartenders make a mean cocktail) is named the Spirit Lounge. The restaurant is located at 110 W. Main Street in Los Lunas. (Reservations recommended.)
It’s safe to say that Saggios is a one of a kind restaurant and not just because of the stellar pizza and calzones available. With the colorful – and downright kooky décor – meals are never boring here. Saggios is at 107 Cornell Drive SE in Albuquerque.
El Farol, Santa Fe
El Farol is the oldest restaurant in New Mexico and it’s been open since 1835. Seriously. The restaurant serves beautifully plated tapas like a pork tenderloin topped with melted idiazabal cheese, sitting in a port fig sauce that is so good that my taste buds are watering just remembering it. At El Farol, there are live musical acts every day of the week and even flamenco shows. The restaurant is located at 808 Canyon Road in Santa Fe.
Have you eaten at any of these places? What other establishments are on your culinary bucket list for 2017?