$15 as of July 2013. El Cafe is associated with the Inn at Santa Fe. It looked nice but the menu is limited to a couple types of quesadilla, tacos, fish and chips, fried chicken, steak and some pasta. Did not have what I ordered. My spaghetti was okay. Had to ask for salt and pepper, had to get up and approach the server for more tea, and they opened late. Not good service. Much better choices in town. Hours are 5 PM to 8 PM, with happy hour 5 to 7.
Favorite Dish: None really.
I was not happy with The Shed. Reading some of the reviews I expected more. I got less. My steak was overcooked, and the enchilada accompanying it was deflated. It had nothing inside. The menu reveals that they limit their choices to tacos or enchiladas. Do not look for chili rellenos, or tamales, the restaurant saves time and money by offering less.
So if you are wanting a REAL Mexican food offering with a large menu, look elsewhere.
Prices on the menu are high, they are taking advantage of the fact that they are just off the square, one block from the Governor's Palace.
I write a lot of restaurant reviews on VT, and most are favorable. I get upset when I see an over rated restaurant, reviewed so well by people who are not familiar with New Mexico cuisine.
I grew up in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, and feel I have a good point of view.
Favorite Dish: The shrimp offering looked okay.
I guess that back in the old days when tortillas were hand made they had shrimp?
I was hoping to taste a great tamale, but in The Shed, it was not to be.
The wine menu featured an Italian wine. I mentioned to the waiter that I now live in Italy and the Italian wine is a terrible choice, that is not chosen by Italians, and certainly not at that price. The waiter looked behind himself, and then said that he agreed with me and it certainly is a terrible wine.
They did make a good margarita, which I needed after dining there.
Fixed menu for appetizer, small entree and dessert is $20 for lunch-rip me off. Al a carte is $8-15 appetizer and entrees run $12-16. I am not that hungry.
Favorite Dish: The small sandwich and cup of soup was best I could get away with low end price-so that was it
It was good and presented very well. The servings were not too big, though. It is open 5:30-9PM except Monday. The Dragon bar is adjacent and can purchase items a bit cheaper there, but not cheap.
Favorite Dish: The fried shrimp/prawns were good, but it seemed like an appetizer size meal. Everything seems small in portions and high in price-and it is.
We decided to try this place out after hearing about it from some source that said it was one of the top eats in Santa Fe. This place is certainly busy! This was right before the lunch rush. This place offers "traditional" New Mexican food such as enchilada plates and more.
We had our meal. The food was good and the hominy (a type of corn used in Mexican and Native American cooking) was a nice touch. Our service was good so no issues there. However, I was still somewhat unsatisfied. We weren't offered any chips and salsa to start our meal, and that's usually a red flag for me right now. As a lot of places here in NM offer chips and salsa with your meal. The meal also came with...get this...garlic bread! I'm not sure what to make of this travesty, since garlic bread usually doesn't go with chile.
You don't want an authentic experience if you eat here as far as the food goes. The surroundings are nice. But this is definitely for the tourists who aren't familiar with Southwest cuisine. Overrated in my book.
Favorite Dish: I had the chicken enchilada plate with "Christmas" colors (red and green chile together).
Santa Fe is full of tourist trap Mexican restaurants, especially downtown, serving overpriced tasteless taco bell quality food. This IS Mexican unlike most restaurants in Santa Fe, portions are plentiful and the chile is spicy. From the outside, Los Potrillos (The Colts) doesn't look like much as the building was once an old Pizza Hut but once inside you will be greeted with a friendly atmosphere full of cowboy decor, wooden horse carved chairs and large Mexican Vaquero murals on the walls, giving an Old West/Mexican ambiance. My family and I have been coming here for years and this is one of my favorite restaurants in Santa Fe. The staff are always friendly and they show pride in their dishes. The menu items are named in Spanish but have English translations for the lingual-impaired.
Favorite Dish: I highly recommend the Gorditas, Quesadilla Sincronizada, Parillada Costillas, Chiles en Ahogada, Cabrito and the very popular Molcajete Al Pastor: Marinated pork and pineapple served in a molcajete with fresh tortillas and pineapple pico de gallo. Outstanding.
Pasquale's Cafe is a small cafe in old town Santa Fe. As far as cafe's go, this is a cafe on foodie steriods. Creatively presented local food. For more than four you have to wing it and see if they have room at their community table in the middle of the floor. A good selection of seafood, and local items such as grilled corn on the cob with ancho chili lime.
Favorite Dish: We enjoyed the Nopal cactus salad.
We found The Compound a fun and delicious place to celebrate our anniverary dinner with friends. The prices are top end, and the total price once pre dinner drinks, wine and side dishes are added in can easily top $100 per person. Chef mark Kiffin was named Best Chef of the Southwest by the Beard Foundation. The menu and presentation make it easy to see why. The Compound has a long history and was remodeled in 2000. Fortunately, suit and tie is no longer required, and the waiters no longer wear white gloves. I started with the pork belly wrapped in bacon...and the Alaskan halibut for my main course. Both were excellent. As a table we ordered the seasonable mushrooms (I believe chanterelle). Warning, the waiter insisted we needed three orders which was clearly one too many and at $25 per order, plus service and tax, it was unnecessary.
There is a difference between a Mexican food place in Santa Fe and a New Mexican food place. We almost didn't go into The Burrito Company as we were looking for something a little more upscale. Not fancy on the inside by any means, but the food was delicious and reasonably priced. Unfortunately no real beer or wine, so I satisfied myself with a rootbeer. Indoor and outdoor seating.
Favorite Dish: My chili relleno was slightly crunchy, smothered in a red Poblano sauce. The Santa Fe wrap was also tasty and seemed very healthy.
Babaluu's is a little off the beaten path but if you are going for a nice drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe and driving Hwy 14 (aka The Turquoise Trail) then you are in luck as this restaurant is located just before you get to Santa Fe.
This is a quaint restaurant with "world cuisine" with a Caribbean Flair.
The restaurant is cozy with nice white tablecloths and professional waiters. The owners may stop by your table to check on you and introduce themselves. They definitely are proud of the restaurant as they should be. The food is divine.
Favorite Dish: My husband and I sampled a number of dishes. The Salmon is great and the mussels in a sweet curry sauce were delicious. Also, Chef Amaury sometimes has his Cuban pickles for sale. I recommend buying some to take home. They are sweet and spicy and cut thick. To die for.
I'd like to suggest this as a lovely drive and lunch destination for any Balloon Fiesta . Please check their website as they are closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays for lunch.
Having wandered around Santa Fe for a while, it was time to give our tummies some nourishment to see us through the rest of the day. We'd heard good things about The Shed and, after a little searching, found it tucked away just through one of the alleys in one of the courtyards off the road.
Originally opened on Burro Alley in 1953, The Shed moved to its present location in 1960 and has been a family-run establishment from that time. These days Courtney and Linnea with their children Josh and Sarah take loving care of the establishment where the chile still come fresh from the farm and are ground on site to ensure freshness.
As this was my first full day in New Mexico, I wanted to immerse myself in some true New Mexico flavours and selected the taco plate from the menu.
Favorite Dish: The taco plate includes two soft blue corn tortillas which are filled with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions and a choice of lean ground beef marinated in red chile or baked chicken with red chile, green chile or salsa (I opted for the beef). These are served with pinto beans and posole (a pueblo stew of Nixtamal corn, pork, coarse red chile, garlic and oregano).
I really enjoyed this filling selection which wasn't overly hot for my unaccustomed palate.
In November 2011, my meal cost a little under US$17.
When we were exploring the small park next to the cathedral one morning some local women, who were working on a small archaeological excavation there, recommended breakfast at Tia Sophia’s, saying that it was where the locals would choose to go, so we decided to give it a try one morning.
We found a cheerful, bustling, traditional Mexican-style homely sort of a place, with a steady stream of diners eager to try its legendary breakfasts. We were lucky only to have a wait a couple of minutes, and to get a nice booth near the counter. The service was friendly, with the staff coping well with a full café and managing everything with good humour.
Favorite Dish: The menu has all the regular breakfast items, some with a New Mexican twist, and all the local favourites. We were both in the mood for omelette, and chose the one with cheese and guacamole. It proved to be a generous size, well-stuffed with its spicy filling. We both opted for a side of potatoes (we could have had the local stew, posole, beans or tomatoes instead) and drank juice (orange for Chris, cranberry for me) and coffee. The latter was the only disappointing part of the meal – after a couple of days when I’d been able to get good espresso, here I was back to the “brown water with a hint of coffee flavour” filter stuff that passes for coffee in too many US establishments. Despite that though I would certainly recommend Tia Sophia’s for an excellent local-style breakfast in one of the more casual and friendly places in downtown Santa Fe.
Note that the café is only open for breakfast and lunch (closing at 2.00 pm) and is also closed all day on Sunday. I’ve included a link to their Facebook page below as they don’t seem to have a website and that page helpfully has images of the menus.
On our first evening in Santa Fe we went to the Blue Corn Café as it got a good write-up in our Moon Handbook and had also been recommended by the owner of the Casitas when we checked in that afternoon. The Moon book did comment on its slightly chain-like appearance (in fact there is just one other branch, on the south side of town) but in my view that’s a little unfair. OK, it is above a small shopping mall, but we were to discover that this is true of quite a few restaurants in the town, and although the space is large it has been well laid-out, with wooden tables and chairs comfortably spaced and some very good local photos displayed on the walls. We enjoyed our meal here, and the friendly service, and found it good value for money in what can be a pricey town.
Favorite Dish: Although I didn’t have the Chimichanga I have to recommend it as Chris did choose it (with chicken) and pronounced it the best meal of the trip so far! I was nearly as pleased with my red chilli pork Tamales, and the accompanying beans and Spanish rice, in generous portions, made it a substantial meal – especially as we hadn’t been able to resist starting with a shared portion of the trade-mark blue and white corn chips with Guacamole! I had the house margarita and Chris a pint of one of their own micro-brews, the Atomic Blonde Lager. We were too stuffed for dessert! Our bill was $42 with tax but before service – not bad at all for the quality and portion size.
We had opted not to take breakfast at the B&B owned by the same people as our Casita, and we also didn’t want to self-cater, despite having a very serviceable kitchen. Instead we preferred to sample a variety of breakfast places in the vicinity of our little home. The first we tried was one that came highly recommended in our Moon Handbook. Café Pasquale is very popular, so we were lucky to be able to get a good table without a wait – we observed that others who weren’t so lucky were quite happy to wait some time, such is the reputation of the place. It seemed to be popular not only with tourists but also locals – girl-friends meeting for breakfast, and a couple of local businessmen. I loved the colourful décor, with bright murals and Mexican tiles, and our table on a raised area at one end of the small room gave us a great view of this and of all the activity.
Favorite Dish: The breakfast menu is quite extensive, as befits somewhere famous for its breakfasts. I decided to try something different, the “Three House-made Blintzes, Golden from the Skillet, Topped with Strawberry Jam and Sour Cream”. These were good but very filling, with a bit too much cream for that time of day (regular cream, which I left to one side, as well as the sour cream promised by the menu). Chris chose what he expected to be a healthy option, the “housemade” nutty granola, with yoghurt and berries, but the portion was so huge that it probably wasn’t that healthy after all! He also had a cappuccino and I had a double espresso, really appreciating the availability of strong coffee to kick-start my day.
All this didn’t come cheap however. The cappuccino alone was $5 which is more than we pay in pricey London, and our total bill (with two grapefruit juices as well) was $50 – more than we had paid for the previous night’s dinner! So although we liked the breakfast, and loved the atmosphere, we went elsewhere on the subsequent mornings.
The Coyote Café is one of the more upmarket places to eat in Santa Fe, and looked rather more formal than we usually opt for when on holiday – the sort of place you’d celebrate a birthday or anniversary maybe, but not for casual “any night of the week” dining. But adjacent to it, and under the same management, is a rooftop bar and more informal eatery, the Rooftop Cantina (not to be confused with another Cantina in Santa Fe that gets rather mixed reviews on Trip Advisor).
Favorite Dish: We didn’t have a reservation but it wasn’t too busy so we decided to start by having just a drink while seated at the area put aside for drinking only, the table around the edge of the terrace. Perched here you have a great view of the street below, and, if you time it right (we did), of the sun setting at the end of the road. But my attention was regularly diverted away from the sun’s orange glow by the possibly lovelier glow emanating from my excellent margarita, which proved to be possibly the best of the entire trip – the “Norteño Margarita”, which they make with a green chilli infused tequila. If you like a bit of heat, give this one a try – you won’t regret it!
We then moved to one of the lower tables more suited for dining. I decided to have a change from tortilla-based dishes so chose the salmon served with polenta and hot chilli sauce: “Fire Grilled Atlantic Salmon with Crunchy Fried Polenta, Bird Chile Sambal Sauce, Organic Lettuces & Pepinos”. Chris had the Kobe burger: “American Snake River Kobe Beef Burger with Manchego Cheese, Crispy Fried Vidalia Onion, Greens, House made Beer Pickles, Tomato & Cilantro Mayonnaise, Sweet Habanero Tomato Ketchup & Boardwalk Fries”. Both dishes went down very well indeed, although mine was a little on the small side – I compensated by pinching a few of the French fries that came with Chris’s burger ;-) We shared a dessert – the “trio of sorbets”, and with drinks (three beers and that wonderful margarita) paid $65 including tax and service. Although this was more than we paid elsewhere, it did include our pre-dinner drinks too, and we felt the quality justified the slightly higher prices. With more time in Santa Fe we would definitely have come back here again.
Note that the Rooftop Cantina is only open April to October, for obvious reasons!