7 Best Restaurants in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

Red Chimney Pit Bar-B-Q

$ Fodor's choice

If you hanker for sweet-and-tangy pecan wood–smoked barbecue, this homey, log-cabin-style spot serves up consistently tasty fare at reasonable prices. Sauce from an old family recipe is slathered on chicken, pork, beef brisket, turkey, and ham. Fried catfish and other home-style dishes are also served. If wall-mounted animal heads make you squeamish, you might want to dine elsewhere.

817 N. Canal St., Carlsbad, NM, 88220, USA
Known For
  • sides of smoked mac-and-cheese and seasoned corn
  • charbroiled burgers
  • spicy jalapeño sausage
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon., Credit cards accepted, Reservations not accepted

Trinity Hotel

$$ Fodor's choice
The region's top pick for a romantic, elegant meal, this handsome dining room with vaulted ceilings, tall windows, and a long old-fashioned bar is set inside the beautifully restored 1892 Trinity Hotel. The kitchen turns out hearty and flavorful Italian fare, from traditional pastas to halibut with lemon-caper sauce, and a signature dish, chicken bolloco—essentially fettuccine Alfredo with fresh green chilies added. Unwind at the bar, which features excellent local wines, including some from the owner's own vineyards. Free tastings are offered daily from 4 to 7. There's an excellent Sunday brunch.
201 S. Canal St., Carlsbad, NM, 88220, USA
Known For
  • local goat cheese with blackberries and habañero sauce
  • an excellent selection of acclaimed New Mexico wines
  • biscuits and gravy at brunch
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Reservations essential

Blue House Bakery & Cafe

This breakfast nook housed in a charming historic bungalow is a favorite of locals and a treat for travelers weary of so many generic coffee shops. Freshly squeezed juices, inventive breakfast sandwiches, homemade pastries, and arguably the best coffee in town start the day off right. When busy the service can be slow, but in this homey setting you won't mind lingering.
609 N. Canyon St., Carlsbad, NM, 88220, USA
Known For
  • spacious, umbrella-shaded outdoor patio
  • gooey cinnamon rolls
  • breakfast croissants filled with sausage, potatoes, and green chile
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. No dinner

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Carlsbad Caverns Restaurant


This comfy, cafeteria-style restaurant in the visitor center serves basic food—hamburgers, sandwiches, some Mexican dishes—and is fine in a pinch. There are also packaged takeout items. Note that no alcohol is served.

727 Carlsbad Caverns Hwy., Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM, 88220, USA
Known For
  • close proximity to the main cavern
  • no alcohol
  • takeout options
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No dinner, Credit cards accepted, Reservations not accepted

Lucky Bull


Set inside the city's historic former city hall, this casual tavern serves tasty pub grub, including roasted green chile queso blanco, mammoth burgers with a range of interesting toppings, and hand-cut rib-eye steaks. An upstairs tap room carries a fine selection of craft beers, with an emphasis on New Mexico brewers.

220 W. Fox St., Carlsbad, NM, 88220, USA
Known For
  • Pecos Valley poutine (fries topped with green chile gravy and cheddar)
  • country-fried steak
  • impressive craft-beer selection
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun.

Underground Lunchroom


At 750 feet underground, near the elevator and entrance to the Big Room, you can grab a snack, soft drink, or club sandwich at this handy snack bar. Service is quick, even when there's a crowd, and although the food doesn't stand out, it's fun dining in this otherworldly setting.


This attractive restaurant set in a former 1920s home has several different dining rooms as well as a breezy courtyard patio where local acoustic musicians sometimes perform. The kitchen serves eclectic fare with sophisticated flourishes, including poached-pear salads, sashimi tuna with a spicy wasabi-soy sauce, pressed Cuban sandwiches, and an extensive selection of steaks. There's a very nice wine list.