Santa Fe Restaurants (Short List?)

Jun 5th, 2008, 03:54 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Santa Fe Restaurants (Short List?)

Hey everyone, I've done a lot of researching on Santa Fe restaurants and know there's are lots of great choices. But here's the sad thing: I'm only in Santa Fe for less than 2 days (arrive Thursday afternoon on June 19 and leave Saturday morning). So basically I have 2 dinners, 1 lunch and 2 breakfasts (at most!). I'm staying at the Inn on the Alameda, which serves free breakfast, so that adds to the dilemma. So far, I've decided on Boca for 1 dinner. I'm thinking of Pascual's or SantaCafe for the other dinner. Any thoughts on that? Should I do breakfast at Pascual's instead? I'd hate to waste time by standing in line forever, though. Also, any good suggestions for should-not-miss breakfast or lunch spots? I'd love to fit in at least 2 great New Mexican meals. OK, I promise this trip is not ALL about food. I'm thinking of browsing in the Plaza, checking out Museum Hill and that's about it, since I don't have much time. But let me know if there are some spots I really shouldn't miss. Thanks!
minjunglee is offline  
Jun 5th, 2008, 04:47 PM
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One of the most enjoyable things about the Inn on the Alameda (we think) is their breakfast. Sure, it's billed as "continental," more or less. But it's more than that, and you ought to give it a try.

I need to go back and verify the name of one restaurant in particular that is in easy walking distance from where you're staying. I'll repost that info.

P.S. Don't be shy to admit it, we love New Mexican food!
sludick is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 04:36 AM
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La Boca is fabulous--be sure to get the bruschetta with the egg, mushrooms and truffle sauce. I would choose SantaCafe over Pasquals or how about Trattoria Nostrani We loved the food there.

If you have a car Maria's New Mexican Kitchen is good for lunch.
martym is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 05:51 AM
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Thanks! We do have a car, so Maria's would work. sludick, you are right, I should take advantage of the breakfasts at the Inn. Maybe just 1 breakfast outside the Inn to get the famed Santa Fe breakfast experience? Too many choices! Ok, so I'm thinking SantaCafe and Boca for the dinners. Maybe Maria's for lunch. Any other suggestions for lunch? Also, should I be fitting Pascual's into my itinerary? I've just read such great things about them that I feel stupid for not dropping by (ah, but those lines!).
minjunglee is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 06:19 AM
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I always find time to work in a breakfast at Tesuque Market. It's outside of town (about 10-15 minutes) and really works best if you're heading to Taos or Bandelier. Lunch there is good as well. Low key.
I've been disappointed the last few times with Pascual's for breakfast.
If you have money to burn, try the Compound for dinner, or Geronimos.
Have fun.
JackOneill is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 06:56 AM
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I envy you. Santa Fe is one of my all time favorite cities to visit. We've enjoyed the food at Tia Sophia's on San Francisco Street just off the Plaza, Geronimo's (expensive), and Santacafe (excellent with outdoor dining if you like). If you enjoy al fresco dining, go to La Posada Hotel (just north of where you're staying) and check out their restaurant Fuego in the lovely courtyard. Bliss!
schoolmarm is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 08:30 AM
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We had a really lovely lunch at a cafe called "Cafe Dominic's" -- its near the Railyard district, about 5 blocks from the plaza. Very moderate prices and interesting, well-presented food.
Jun 6th, 2008, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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It's all about the food!

Dinner: La Boca, Geronimo, Coyote Cafe (new chef), Bistro 315

Lunch: The Shed. Period. Tesuque Village Market, Tomasita's, Bobcat Bites (green chile burger)

Breakfast: Tia Sophia's (very authentic NM cooking. Line moves very fast), Tesuque Village Market, Pasquals (put your name and and wander around for a few. It is very good.)

I would skip Maria's unless you want to try one of their 200 margaritas. The food is marginal.

If you go to Tesuque Village Market for breakfast or lunch you can visit Shidoni Foundry right around the corner or head out to Tesuque Flea Market - great trinket shopping.

La Boca is fantastic. So is Trattoria Nostrani (very expensive). Geronimo is our first choice, then we move on down the list. Priorities you know!

The Shed on the plaza is a landmark and a must-do for shed red and green chile. Silver coin is a great accompaniment to any meal, too. Splurge on calories with the ice cream sundae. Yes, then you'll need a nap.

Santacafe is hit or miss. So we don't risk it when our trip is short.

So, my choices: La Boca and Geronimo -- Dinner
The Shed -- Lunch
Pasqual's -- breakfast (since you've never been there. Otherwise, Tia Sophia's )

It's not a bad thing to be all about the food. We're planning our next meal as we're eating the first one!

BeachGirl247 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 01:47 PM
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Wow, this is AWESOME! Beachgirl, I've read your other posts, but it is great to have someone just tell you where to eat. I'm convinced to skip SantaCafe this time. I think I was just trying to fit in as much regional fare as possible. Living in New York, we get such great Italian and French food, but our Mexican/New Mexican is really sub-par. I'm so excited (mostly about food, ok I admit it!) for the trip. Thanks for all the advice!
minjunglee is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 02:29 PM
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For New Mexican, try La Choza. Same owners as the Shed, but without all the tourists (it's not on the plaza). Tomasitas is good also. Maria's is only good for the Margaritas.

I agree that SantaCafe is hit and miss. We loved La Boca. I haven't been to Coyote Cafe since they changed chefs, but I've heard great things. IMO, Geronimo is overpriced. The chef from Geromino moved to the Compound, so not sure what the latest scoop is on either of these places right now.

Pascuals is my choice for breakfast.

Have fun and come back so you can try all the rest of the places!
abqdeb is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 02:31 PM
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Forgot to mention.... with the little amount of time you have, I would take a walk up Canyon Rd instead of museum hill (unless you really love museums). As much as I love the Folk Art museum, you are from NY and have all the greatest museums there. Canyon Rd is something you cannot experience anywhere else.
abqdeb is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 02:44 PM
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I live here...and I agree w/suggestions about Coyote Cafe.

It's very expensive, though. A great alternative is the rooftop cafe--the menu is a bit more casual...and the prices are about half. Plus--you get a great view.

The Shed can be crowded. Here's a secret. About a mile away (near the railyard--on Alarid St.--is "La Choza." La CHoza means "the Shed" in Spanish, and--you got it--it's owned by the same family. But while The Shed caters to tourists (it's right on the plaza and can be crowded), La CHoza caters to locals.

Another favorite of mine: El Charro--a bar on the corner of W. Alameda & Don Gaspar. It's a bar with THE BEST BURGER IN TOWN (hand-ground...$4. Try it w/the green chile, slice of red onion, and cheddar. YUM!)

And I TRIPLE the notion about Tesuque Market. this is the place we take out-of-towners to.

But wherever you go, you MUST ABSOLUTELY order Sopapillas & honey.

And be warned: Our green chile is NOT the lame, one-step-above-bellpepper tomatillo stuff you get in California & Texas. NM's green chiles are bases on the Hatch Green Chile--and it's almost as hot as a Jalapeno. But it's addictive.

Hope you enjoy SFE.

PS--many of our friends insist on going to Cafe Pasquals because Rachel Ray went there on one of her $40-a-day shows. Same thing with the Cowgirl BBQ.
LuccaBrazzi is offline  
Jun 6th, 2008, 03:38 PM
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We just got back from Santa Fe a couple weeks ago and had such wonderful meals!

Glad you picked La Boca and you have given me my excuse to post what we ate and loved, in case you enjoy specific recommendations: the grilled artichokes with orange/mint flavor and goat cheese; the crimini mushroom and egg with truffle oil bruschetta; moroccan shrimp with almond sauce; my husband enjoyed the chorizos (not my thing); and just when you'd think we may have stopped we share a flourless chocolate cake with pistachio ice cream and apricot sauce. I feel like I've left something out...oh, we had some kind of salad at the beginning too but I don't remember it right now. There, have I whetted your appetite?

Our favorite breakfast was at Tecolete, just a short ride out of the center of town, we wished we had time to go back. I also loved my breakfast at Pasquale's.

And for lunch we very much enjoyed The Shed, and when we were there there seemed to be plenty of locals as well as tourists. The mocha cake which a couple people on this board had recommended, was heaven, and not what I would normally have thought to order.

If you want very casual and classic New Mexican for your second dinner rather than more gourmet and expensive, and don't mind a little longer (but not too long) car ride, we found the sopapillas at Castro's to be by far the biggest and best we had all week, and really enjoyed the rest of our food too. The night we were there we were the only ones not speaking Spanish, which we enjoyed, and I got to practice my non-fluent language skills (not needed, I just wanted to).

Have a great gastric time and let us know where you ended up going and how it was!
go_laura is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 03:38 PM
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abqdeb, actually the chef from Geronimo, Eric DiStefano went to Coyote Cafe and is part owner. I don't remember the name of the guy in the kitchen now but Geronimo hasn't skipped a beat in quality on service.
BeachGirl247 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 06:04 PM
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I was surprised Coyote cafe wasn't mentioned early on and wondered if it had closed. It was THE hot spot so long ago. Glad to hear it's still good. I love food in Santa Fe. It's all about the food and architecture and the light in the skies there, gorgeous.
ncounty is offline  
Jun 8th, 2008, 01:31 PM
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ncounty, Coyote Cafe really slipped in quality over the years. The upstairs patio was ok for drinks and chips but that was it for us. Service wasn't great either. Glad to see it come back to life.

minjunglee, if you can, go to La Fonda Hotel for a sunset cocktail up at the bell tower. You will have a birds-eye view of the plaza and a stunning sunset for your entertainment.
BeachGirl247 is offline  
Jun 8th, 2008, 02:24 PM
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We love Santa Fe and were just there..well, it seems like only yesterday, but it was last fall. Even though you are only there for 2 days, try to have drinks or an appetizer at the LaFonda Hotel on the Plaza. It is awesome, gorgeous, historic...small but fun shops inside, too!
nolimitonfunDOTcom is offline  
Jun 9th, 2008, 06:11 AM
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These are all such great suggestions, I may do the rooftop Coyote Cafe for dinner the first night, after drinks at LaFonda hotel. I think the first breakfast I'll just have at the hotel and have lunch at the Shed, with maybe an afternoon trip to Chocolate Maven for hot chocolate before dinner at La Boca. Our final morning there we'll grab breakfast at Pascual's. I am sooooo excited. As for actually enjoying the beauty and culture of Santa Fe, I will check out the Plaza, Canyon Road, Gaudalupe (maybe) and maybe a quick drive to the tent rocks? I love flea markets and really really want to check out Tesuque but unfortunately I have two others on the trip with me, and I don't think that't their bag. Thanks everyone for your suggestions!
minjunglee is offline  
Jun 9th, 2008, 07:50 AM
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I was thinking about the bell tower and I'm not sure if they are allowing non-guests to go upstairs with a cocktail.

Since you are a chocolate fan you should get Pasqual's mocha latte. She uses mexican chocolate and it is pure heaven.
BeachGirl247 is offline  
Jun 19th, 2008, 03:02 AM
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Bookmarking for my September trip!
Diz01 is offline  

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