There are many reasons why we love Santa Fe and wanted to live here. The striking, natural beauty of a city carved out of the mountains and 300 sunny days each year are foremost on the list, while running a tight second on some days and tying for first place on others is the food.
With one of the nation’s top farmers markets, the local food scene is abuzz with the culinary arts playing a pivotal role in why tourists also love The City Different. And this local food economy isn’t a new thing. The Santa Fe Farmers Market is celebrating 50 years of promoting locally grown foods, which means the roots of buying from the nearby farmers and ranchers run deep–for both the consumers and the restaurants. That alone warms my heart.
Though I am a die-hard home cook and make my weekly (or twice a week) pilgrimage to get the best of what’s in season, we also cherish the luxury and reconnaissance work of dining out. Lucky for us, this city of 75,000 people is brimming with more than 200 mostly independent restaurants. The amalgamation of the various indigenous cultures including Native American, Spanish and Mexican are lightly threaded through every plate.
And while the chile is a predominant ingredient, it’s not always all about the chile. Yes, there are a ton of restaurants offering the typical New Mexican cuisine of pork adovada, burritos, green chile pork stew, enchiladas, posole and sopaipillas, but there is also a vast diversity of restaurateurs serving up evocative ethnic cuisine–from African to Japanese, and South Indian to Tibetan cuisine–availing distinctive and different flavors, styles and cultures to constantly explore.
Obviously, when we used to visit Santa Fe as tourists, our tastes and demands were different because we had only a limited number of meals while we were here. So that means we have lots of discovering to do and we are thoroughly enjoying the task of exploring the city’s broad culinary dining experiences. Along the way, we are finding some hidden gems that those passing through for a short stay may likely never know.
Once a week, we go somewhere new and, once a week, we visit one of our favorites. I look forward to sharing our fabulous foodie finds with you, as well as those we return to time and again for the alchemy of genuine hospitality + phenomenal bites we never want to forget.
The Best Eats page avails you to our most beloved Santa Fe culinary traditions and our newest favorites. Because vacation calls for a special dinner out, you’ll definitely want to catch up on where to go when you want a night On the Town.
You will also discover the places we venture to when we want Healthier Bites (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and Paleo), where we go for Algo Dluce (Something Sweet), our top picks for Just Java and Tea and the distinctly “different” places you will find Only in Santa Fe.
If you have a rental car or if you drove here, promise you’ll take advantage of scenic day trips where the views will give you pause, make you appreciate the majesty of this state, the inherent beauty in both the high desert as well as in life.
Worth the Drive identifies a few quick or longer drives you can make and where to eat once you get there. Whether you are headed to Abiquiu, Madrid, Albuquerque, Taos or anywhere in between, I will guide you to a culinary experience and uncommon atmosphere you won’t soon forget.
And please check back frequently, as we are always seeking the best eats in and around Santa Fe. Or if you have a recommendation, please send me details to firstname.lastname@example.org.