Sanborn’s–Ciudad Juarez, Chih.

Paseo Triunfo de la Republica #3809
Ciudad Juarez, Chih.

Sanborn’s is a northern outpost of a restaurant chain located mostly in cities surrounding Mexico City. I always thought of it mostly as a coffee house– sort of a Mexican version of the Village Inn chain in the United States. The food of these two chains is not terribly similar except for the fact that breakfast is probably the most popular meal and maybe the best one served. Otherwise, though, the food at Sanborn’s has a large Mexican influence while Village Inn is mostly American. In a strange twist, though, I think the Mexican food at the Village Inn on Airway in El Paso is actually better than at Sanborn’s in Ciudad Juarez. At least I like the food better at this particular Village Inn.

My favorite dish at Sanborn’s, though, was not a breakfast item, but Enchiladas Suizas on the lunch and dinner menu. These are chicken enchiladas with green tomatillo and crema sauce. This is honestly one of the best Mexican dishes I have had anywhere, and is really the only thing I’ve had at Sanborn’s that stood out. I kept trying to order the same dish in El Paso but the great majority of restaurants did not know what I was talking about, and those who attempted it did not have a result that matched Sanborn’s. I discovered later that Sanborn’s actually invented the dish, and has a special way of making it (just about any Mexican restaurant can make green enchiladas with sour cream, but they do not necessarily come out as enchiladas suizas). The recipe for Sanborn’s version is on line: Enchiladas Suizas Recipe

Breakfast is certainly decent, although I don’t remember any dishes which stood out. I remember that the lunch menu started at about 11:00 A.M. I think breakfast is served all day, though.

The largest part of Sanborn’s is not the restaurant, but a gift shop type of store that actually carries a number of useful items. I found this to be my number one source of road maps for traveling in Mexico, but mostly it is a matter of looking around to see what they have.

The store carries a large variety of very good food items (mostly sweets) that were always a higher quality than items I could find in the supermarkets or from street vendors.

Sanborn’s has a pay parking lot with a guard gate. If you buy items at the store or eat at the restaurant they will waive the parking fee (I don’t remember the exact amount but it was well under the price of a meal).

From reading reviews I believe Sanborn’s is largely the same as when I ate there, but my experiences were a number of years ago.


Cuisine: Mexican
Cost: $$

Most Recent Visit: Oct. 18, 1994
Number of Visits: 10+
Best Item: Enchiladas Suizas

Special Ratings
star 5 Enchiladas Suizas