Christmas in Santa Fe

Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 01:57 PM
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Christmas in Santa Fe

We are six adults who will be meeting in Santa Fe for Christmas week--two couples in our sixties, one in their thirties. Music, museums, skiiing and hiking will keep us busy the first part of the week.

We're looking forward to Christmas Eve festivities in the plaza and along Canyon Road, stopping in at the galleries and taking in the sights and sounds. What would you suggest we plan for dinner that evening? Will 'street food' like tamales, burritos be available? What time do things wind down and the galleries close? Would 9 pm be reasonable for dinner reservations? What has been your experience? Can you recommend any places on Canyon Road or within walking distance of the plaza--Mexican/Southwestern/Spanish (or Italian or French) cuisine, moderate prices (main courses $25 or less), and pleasant atmosphere?

(Some of us may want to head afterwards to the cathedral for midnight Mass.)

Another possibility might be a late afternoon meal before dusk. Tapas, perhaps? Any thoughts on La Boca or El Farol? Galisteo Bistro? (I'm surprised I cannot get to websites for these last two.)

I welcome your thoughts, too, on Christmas dinner. Are the hotel restaurants the best bet for dining on the holiday? Or perhaps you know of a specialty food store that might have a family holiday meal 'to go?' I'm not certain how much cooking we want to do in a rented condo!

Thanks for your help! I appreciate your advice.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 03:50 PM
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I don't think galleries will be open late on Christmas Eve. 9 pm may be late for dinner, it usually is for most nights in Santa Fe.

Here are some links from past holiday season in SF:

http://www.newmexico.org/newsletters...08_content.php

There are quite a few links off this:

http://gosw.about.com/od/santafenewm...afeholiday.htm

http://santafe.org/Media/Press_Room/...636/index.html


Restaurants for Christmas dinner:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/650525

Also, go to opentable.com and see what comes up for 12/25. That should help you get info.

Deb
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 12:06 AM
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Christmas Eve in Santa Fe is beautiful!!!

Sunset will be at 4:56. You should stroll over Canyon Road after 5. The whole street will be illuminated, with farolitos and bonfires. No electrical street lighting. The air is scented with pinon and apple cider. All the galleries are open, in festive illumination, and serving apple cider. People are gathering around the bonfires and are singing Christmas carols. It is magical.

After two hours or so you will be freezing and ready for dinner. Walk back into downtown and have dinner in a restaurant of your choice. A reservation at 7:00, 7:30 or 8:00 will be reasonable.

I have never seen any street food available in Santa Fe at Christmas Eve. (BTW, it will be too cold for street food.) And the mood is festive. It is an evening for a festive dinner.

After dinner, you may visit a Christmas mass in one of the churches.

We had Christmas eve dinner twice in Santa Fe. The first time it was in the Old House in a rather formal atmosphere with a set menu (expensive).

The last time, we had dinner at La Plazuela in the La Fonda - the atmosphere is nice and they prepare excellent guacamole tableside. Otherwise, the food is decent. This may fall into your price range.

But, please think twice. In Santa Fe, Christmas Eve is the most important evening in the year. Would not this special evening, when Christ was born, deserve a little splurge?

But there are zillions of threads on restaurants in Santa Fe.

Whatever your pick, make your reservation ASAP.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 05:12 AM
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Thanks, Deb and traveller1959, for your replies. In the past, we've always celebrated Christmas at home (various homes, at that--our parents', ours, and now, our daughters') and this is our first destination Christmas when we'll be staying in a rental property for the week. And it's the first Christmas when we're trying to balance restaurants meals and fare that we prepare in someone else's kitchen.

I appreciate the suggested timing for Christmas Eve, traveller1959. And I'll check with the others about their willingness to splurge on this meal. And yes, Deb, I'll continue to check chowhound.com and do some screening on Open Table. I regularly use both sites for locating restaurants here at home and when we travel.

Thinking about the rest of the week, I see there are several Whoile Foods locations in Santa Fe. WF should be a good source for meals we put together at the condo. Are there any other places you can recommend for good-quality take-out items?

>Any thoughts on La Boca or El Farol? Galisteo Bistro?
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 05:55 AM
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You've chosen a very special place for Christmas Eve! We just returned and are going back for NYE in Santa Fe and Taos again.

There were mixed reviews on La Boca this trip. Good reviews on Anasazi though. A new place people like are Restaurant Martin (in the old Oasis place) and A La Mesa by Sambusco Mall (where Cafe San Estephan was located).

Here is a thread that has restaurant info:

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...m#last-comment

Be sure to check with restaurants for Christmas Eve and days after as they may close early and may close for several days being a weekend.

As Deb mentioned, Santa Fe is not a late-night town and many may close early on 12/24. Also, you mentioned there are several Whole Foods but the only one I am aware of is on Cerrillos by Hotel Santa Fe and Sage Inn where you can find whatever you need to keep at the house. Also, there is an Albertson's near the plaza as well on Paseo de Peralta just west of the plaza by the cemetery.

Don't wait too long to make Christmas Eve reservations. That is a very popular time in Santa Fe.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 06:07 AM
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There is also a Trader Joes. 530 W Cordova Rd [off St Francis.]

I much prefer Sunflower Market to Whole Foods, way less expensive and great food. 199 Paseo De Peralta [also off St Francis]

http://www.sfmarkets.com/santafe.html

Deb
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 06:12 AM
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Here is info on Canyon Road on Christmas Eve; I still don't think the galleries are open "late". Since it gets dark so early at that time of year, this starts by 5 pm.

http://www.santafesageinn.com/hotel/...tmas-eve-walk/

Deb
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 07:29 AM
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We have spent time in Santa Fe at Christmas for years. There is a Baroque Christmas Concert each evening at the Loretto Chapel that is always very special. There should be links there for that concert. We have always enjoyed the Pink Adobe for dinner afterwards, food is excellent, intimate, good service, our favorite! The Ore House on the Plaza is also a good choice. Enjoy our wonderful state!
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 07:42 AM
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The Lensic Theater is having another Christmas concert on Christmas Eve at 5pm. And, on NYE, too.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 10:09 AM
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Thanks, all, for sharing your thoughts and your advice.

I'll have to survey my group to be certain of a price point for our holiday dining. If Christmas/Christmas Eve dinner is going to be our big night out, I agree, traveller1959, what better time for a splurge! We'll see. BG, I think my husband and I would definitely like Restaurant Martin.

Deb, good to know about Trader Joe's--we'll head there for SIL's Hansen's soda and other must-haves. Maybe a wreath or centerpiece for a touch of holiday decor. And we'll certainly check out Sunflower Market; I just took a look at their on-line ad. Looks like a good alternative to Whole Foods. Thanks.

jarmnm, the concert of baroque music at the Loretto Chapel and Carols and Lullabies at the Cathedral are on the schedule as is the performance of the Chinese acrobats at the Lensic Theater. BeachGirl1247, we'll skip the Christmas Eve concert there in favor of the farolitos stroll.

Other thoughts?
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 12:10 PM
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My suggestion would be eating out on Christmas Eve, because you should spend the time from 5 to 7 on Canyon Road and then warm up in a restaurant.

On Christmas Day, you will have enough time to cook for yourself in your condo. I know Trader Joe's in Santa Fe, but I must say, Albertson's has a much better selection of foods. You will be able to prepare a wonderful Christmas dinner!

BTW, on Christmas Day, almost everything will be closed. What about a trip to Taos Pueblo, where the Natives will perform dances?
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 01:19 PM
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Yes, Taos Pueblo on Christmas Day would be very special. We went for New Year's Day and it was a beautiful experience.

We're planning our trip, too, so this is quite fun!
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 03:24 PM
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In addition to Trader Joe's and Sunflower Market, there is also the La Montanita co-op if you'd prefer to shop locally.

Lee Ann
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 04:05 PM
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Lee Ann is correct, but we warned, the co-op is more expensive than even Whole Foods. Great food and local, but $$$.
Deb
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 05:24 PM
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RE: Galisteo Bistro and Plazuela at La Fonda...went there in late Sept. when on vacation in SF...both excellent, good service and relatively reasonable prices.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 09:00 PM
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>>What are your other thoughts?
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 01:05 AM
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Bookmarking.
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 07:09 AM
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I appreciate all the suggestions. Thanks! Additional comments on your recent dining experiences (not previously posted here or on chowhound) are welcome as well as any other advice on Santa Fe that you offer. I have been doing my research but look forward to advice from Fodorites who generously share their experiences.

The dancing at Taos Pueblo on Christmas Day is something I had not considered and it's now on the list.

This is going to be an amazing week!
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 08:27 AM
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Here is the restaurant thread that I listed lots of restaurant choices:

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...m#last-comment

Give us an idea of what you are looking for (fancy, casual, New Mexican) so we can help you.

Glad you are considering Taos Pueblo. It is a magical experience.

Happy planning!
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 12:34 PM
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I will also be in Santa Fe on Christmas Eve and was wondering if restaurants open a little earlier. Most of the ones I have looked at normally open at 5.00 or 5.30pm.
I would like to have dinner first, then go to Canyon Road for the Christmas Eve celebrations.
I am looking for something casual New Mexican or Mexican within walking distance from/to Canyon Road and 4 Kachinas Inn on Webber St.
Thanks for all your info - everyone has been most helpful.
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