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The best restaurants in Santa Fe to try right now

In between visits to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and the spa, Santa Fe's best restaurants should be on your to-do list

By Virginia Miller

An artist haven made famous by Georgia O’Keeffe, Santa Fe is also known for its traditional New Mexican food, a unique mash-up of hearty ranchero fare, Mexican cuisine and Native American dishes (make sure to add green chili to everything, a must thing to do while in Santa Fe). The dining scene may be small, but locally sourced ingredients and local farmers make the best restaurants in Santa Fe truly delicious. 

Restaurants in Santa Fe

Photograph: Yelp/Joey S.

1. Sazón

Chef Fernando Olea is known for his creative Mexican dishes and inspired degustación tasting menus at Sazon. Utilizing locally sourced produce and meats, you'll find regional delicacies like chapulines (grasshoppers) infused with olive oil and citrus and chiles on top of taquitos or a rotating selection of moles. Pair with tequila or mezcal from their generous selection.

Photograph: Courtesy Geronimo

2. Geronimo

Geronimo’s adobe-walled dining room, marked by stately antler chandeliers, is Santa Fe’s fine dining go-to. Housed in the historic Borrego House (built in 1756), chef Sllin Cruz pulls from global influences in vibrant dishes like a wasabi Caesar salad, potato Parmigiano gnocchi and the tellicherry-rubbed elk tenderloin. Post-meal, linger in the lounge bar for a nightcap.

Jambo Cafe
Photograph: Yelp/Alison Y.

3. Jambo Café

Jambo Café chef-owner Ahmed Obo, who hails from the island of Lamu off the coast of Kenya, opened this African-Caribbean gem in 2009. House favorites include slow-cooked goat curry stew, banana-leaf–wrapped mahi mahi, jerk chicken, Lamu coconut pili pili shrimp and East African coconut lentil stew. Check their online calendar for Jambo Hapa food truck events serving specials like the tongue sandwich.

Cafe Pasqual's
Photograph: Yelp/Seabrook M.

4. Cafe Pasqual's

Cafe Pasqual’s bright dining room lined with Mexican murals, papel picado and colorful tiles feels like a festive party starring the Mexican and New Mexican dishes on the menu.They're known for their breakfast offerings—the smoked trout hash and huevos motulenos (eggs, sautéed banana, feta, peas, green or red chile, black beans) are both popular.

Kakawa Chocolate House
Photograph: Yelp/Nicholas N.

5. Kakawa Chocolate House

Kakawa Chocolate House is renowned for its organic farming practices, devotion to chocolate history and its delectable chocolates and drinking elixirs (of course). Drinking chocolates include rich European-style chocolate or spiced Mesoamerican chocolate. Try their signature truffles and caramels, including seasonal flavors like prickly pear, mezcal, horchata and cherry chili.

Pizzeria Da Lino
Photograph: Yelp/Connie C.

6. Chili Line Brewing and Pizzeria Da Lino

A deliciously dynamic duo, Chili Line Brewery and Pizzeria da Lino are housed in the same building – and for good reason. Start at Pizzeria Da Lino where you can munch on toasty bottomed, cheesy pizza straight from the brick oven and then make your way over to Chili Line Brewing for a little liquid dessert (and trust us, it's satiating). Chili Line’s rare rauchbiers (smoked beers) pair well with wood-fired pizzas from da Lino, but if you don't fancy moving venues then no worries. Chili Line also has a pretty impressive menu, so don't think you'll go hungry.

Radish & Rye
Photograph: Yelp/Tony S.

7. Radish & Rye

Farm-to-table cooking and lots of bourbon are a match made in heaven at Radish & Rye, where Buffalo Trace bourbon is served in all of their whiskey cocktails. As for food, entrees include dishes like the lamb T-bones or pan-fried trout with baked green chile corn. A trace of Southern influence can be found in dishes like fried green tomato with pimento cheese, Saltine-crusted Gulf shrimp and the black-eyed pea paté. 

Pantry Restaurant
Photograph: Yelp/Loreta D.

8. The Pantry

Don’t miss the huevos rancheros at The Pantry, Santa Fe's go-to breakfast spot and diner. If you're not in the mood for brunch, the Reuben, black bean burger, carne adovada (pork slow-roasted in red chile) and chicken fried steak are all equally delicious.   

Dr. Field Goods Butcher Shop and Bakery
Photograph: Shelby S.

9. Dr. Field Goods

Dr. Field Goods is a butcher shop, bakery and also runs a farm-to-table gastropub a few doors away. Take home locally sourced meats, fresh-baked bread or massive cinnamon rolls from the shop, or stay a while and enjoy a frothy beer with a hearty Reuben or Cubano sandwich. We also like the carne adovada breakfast burritos, kimchi patatas bravas and the “Bad Ass BLT.”

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New Mexico’s capital city is known for its stunning, ancient architecture, delicious restaurants and vibrant art scene. Whether you peruse the masters at the Georgia O'Keefe Museum, eat Christmas-style posole at a local restaurant, or visit an ancient momument, use our guide to check off all the best things to do in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


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