Restaurant Guide–New Mexico

Restaurant Guide Main Index


Albuquerque Metro

Las Cruces Metro


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)

Abiquiu

Bode’s General Store–21196 US 84 (American) Open until 7 pm (closed Sun).  Green chile cheeseburger is the specialty, but also has sandwiches (reuben, cuban, etc.) and burritos. (4-11-16)

Alamogordo

Brown Bag Deli–900 Washington Ave. (Sandwiches) Open Daily.  The Brown Bag Deli in El Paso was pretty good but probably nothing special.  However, the one in Alamogordo has an interesting twist–the green chile chicken club (which is apparently the thing to get). (10-21-17)

Margo’s–504 1st St. (Mexican) Open Daily.  After trying a number of Mexican restaurants in Alamogordo I settled on this one as my favorite (although some new ones have opened since then that I have not tried).  It is not strictly New Mexico style as would be found in Albuquerque or Las Cruces, but makes decent use of NM chiles and has good food. (2-3-17)

Rizo’s–1480 N. White Sands Blvd. (Mexican) Closed Sun dinner & Mon.  Authentic (Mexican style) food–street tacos and pork chile verde are good. (10-21-17)

Thai Cuisine–604 E. 1st St. (Thai) Closed Sun & Mon (and closed from 2 pm to 4 pm).  Reviews are good and based on photos the food looks authentic.  Most people like the curry and stir fried dishes, but pad thai does not get good reviews. (2-3-17)

Waffle & Pancake Shoppe–950 S. White Sands Blvd. (Breakfast) Open daily 6 am to 1 pm.  Huevos rancheros with green chile have especially good reviews. (2-3-17)

Note: Alamogordo is usually a good place to get pistachios grown locally.  These are sometimes available at local stores.  Pistachios are also available at roadside stands along US 54 north of town.  The local cherry cider used to be very good but now is a variant of kool aide (but I like it well enough and usually get some either here or in Tularosa).

See listings under La Luz, Tularosa, and Mescalero for other nearby restaurants

Angel Fire

Pub ‘n Grub–52 N. Angel Fire Rd. (American) Open daily (dinner only).  When I saw good reviews of the chicken pot pie (with photos that make the reviews look credible), I knew this restaurant should be on my list.  Roast chicken, rib eye, NY strip, root beer, and fish and chips (available on Fridays) are also highly rated. (4-11-16)

Artesia

Adobe Rose–1614 N. 13th St. (New American) Closed Sun evening & Tue.  Upscale dining with some Mexican and Southwest style dishes (but the Mexican food does not get very good ratings except for the huevos rancheros).  For dinner, though, get pork, chicken, elk, steaks, etc.  The NM Magazine reader’s poll suggests pot roast or a Dr. Pepper lamb shank. (4-11-16)

Aztec

The Bistro–112 N. Main Ave. (Sandwiches) Breakfast Mon-Sat; lunch Mon-Fri.  Upscale coffee and sandwich place.  Green chile stew is also recommended. (4-11-16)

Wonderful House–115 W. Aztec Blvd. (Chinese) Closed Mon.  This is standard American style Chinese food, but it has the good ratings that similar restaurants in Farmington seem to lack.  To get closer to “real” Chinese food, it seems that you should order the Hunan or Szechuan style dishes.  Also of note is that you can get food without MSG or other special dietary requirements. (2-14-16)

Belen

Pete’s Cafe–105 N. 1st St. (New Mexican) Closed Sun.  A good bet for those traveling on I-25.  Chile relleno, enchiladas, sopapillas are good. (12-11-15)

Carlsbad

Lucy’s Mexicali–701 S. Canal St. (New Mexican) Open daily 9 am to 9:30 pm.  Stuffed sopaipilla is very good. (2-29-16)

Trinity Hotel–201 S. Canal St. (American) Closed Sun.  The most popular rest. on the New Mexico Magazine reader survey (they say to order the Italian food).  Yelp says the steak, sandwiches, and New Mexican food are also good.  Upscale, but affordable.  Open for breakfast, but the NM Magazine poll likes Blue House Bakery better. (4-11-16)

YellowBrix–201 N. Canal St. (American) Open Daily.  One of 3 rests. in Carlsbad which get (mostly) good reviews (others are Stock Exchange & Trinity Hotel).  This one looks good for sandwiches (including green chile cheeseburger, cuban, and french dip). (2-29-16)

Carrizozo

Four Winds–111 Central Ave. (New Mexican) Open daily 5 am to 9 pm.  I lovedd the red enchiladas here, and thought they were the best I have had in SE New Mexico. This is located at the intersection of US 54 and US 380 (on the SE corner). (10-21-17)

Rustic Antler–6634 US 380 (New Mexican).  This and several other restaurants in Carrizozo are listed on Yelp and have good reviews for their New Mexican food. All of them also serve as home town cafes and have other specialties besides Mexican food (in the case of Rustic Antler it is pie a la mode). At Rustic Antler, though, people especially like the stuffed sopapilla. Located at the eastern edge of Carrizozo. (10-21-17)

Chama

JV’s Place–851 Terrace Ave. (New Mexican).  Stuffed sopapillas are recommended. (4-11-16)

Chimayo

Rancho de Chimayo–297 Juan Medina Rd. (New Mexican) Open Daily (breakfast on Sat & Sun).  NM combination plate, blue corn enchiladas, sopapillas.  This is one of the best known and highly rated New Mexican restaurants in the state. (9-7-16)

Cimarron

St. James Hotel–617 S. Collison St. (American) Open daily for breakfast, lunch, & dinner.  Historic hotel that I understood had been purchased by a business leader from Oklahoma City who has a ranch in the area.  Good reviews on Yelp (mostly for the burgers), but they also have Mexican food and sandwiches. (4-11-16)

Cleveland

Kristy’s Korner Kafe–765 NM 518 (New Mexican) Breakfast & lunch (closes at 6:30 pm Mon-Sat and 3:00 pm Sun).  Red enchiladas and grilled tacos are recommended (and said to be among the best in NM). (4-13-16)

Teresa’s Tamales–NM 518 (New Mexican).  Tamales (red chile pork, green chile chicken, and vegetarian).  Gov. Martinez visited in Jan. 2016.  I’m not sure of the hours but apparently it is 8 am to 5 pm. (2-14-16)

Cloudcroft

Dusty Boots–1315 James Canyon Hwy. (American) Open daily 7 am to 9 pm.  This seems to be the most popular breakfast place in town, with Southwestern as well as American style breakfast (omelettes are popular). Note: serves authentic German food every Friday starting at 5 pm. (10-21-17)

Mi Cabanita–505 Burro Ave. (Mexican) Open Wed-Sat 11 am to 7 pm.  From reviewers’ descriptions I am not comparing this to the best restaurants in Santa Fe or ABQ, but most people are positive about it (I think it is New Mexican but not as spicy as other restaurants). (10-21-17)

Rebecca’s–601 Corona Pl. (American) Open daily (closed 10:30 to 11:30 am; closed 2:00 to 5:30 pm).  Located in the upscale setting of the Cloudcroft Lodge, this restaurant provides equally upscale food (although upscale in the context of a mountain resort area). For instance, burgers are said to be $8.95, and although not cheap it is not that expensive either. (10-21-17)

Clovis

Saeng’s Orient–19 Lasso Rd. (Thai) Closed Sun & Sat lunch.  Located just n. of the main gate to Cannon AFB.  Very authentic tasting Thai food (if you ask for it spicy, you may get more than you want).  My favorite item is the ginger stir fry. (12-11-15)

Servicio Azteca–109 S. Maple St. (Mexican) Breakfast and lunch only (closed Wed).  Authentic Mexican food with fresh flavors, good tacos, and house made tortillas.  Tacos and flautas are very good.  Enchiladas are very good.  Note: Some web sites list La Espiga de Oro at the same address with the same food (I think they are the same restaurant). (2-29-16)

Note: Clovis also has good steaks, including at Shogun Japanese Steakhouse.  There is a steakhouse on N. Prince St. at Lexington Rd. (n. of 21st St.) where I have eaten several times–it has changed names and management over the years but has remained a good place for steaks.

Cuba

El Bruno’s–6453 Main St. (New Mexican) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.  Carne adovada, enchiladas, huevos rancheros are good.  The salsa is so popular they sell it in bottles for take-home. (2-14-16)

Deming

Elisa’s–208 S. Silver Ave. (Southern) Open 8 am to 7 pm Tue-Sat; 9 am to 4 pm Sun.  A very good Southern cooking restaurant in Deming sounds improbable, but it seems to be true. Fried chicken or catfish along with Mexican style (jalapeno) cornbread is popular. BBQ is one of their specialties. Millionaire pie is a “must try.” Note: entrance is on the alley behind the main building. (4-4-17)

Forgheddaboudit–115 N. Silver Ave. (Pizza) Lunch Thu & Fri; dinner Tue-Sun.  Has award winning pizza that is recognized as one of the best in the US. Ingredients are shipped from the east coast and the sauce is made in house every day. People also recommend their other dishes, such as the green chile shrimp fettuccine (most dishes are NY style Italian but this is an exception that probably most people will enjoy). Will soon open a location in Las Cruces. (4-4-17)

Irma’s–123 S. Silver Ave. (New Mexican) Open 7 am to 8 pm daily.  Similar to Las Cruces style.  Stuffed sopapilla was recommended to me over the enchiladas by the waitress (and I thought this was a good choice). The chile is made fresh every day–the waitresses taste it every morning and make recommendations to customers about which to order based on the flavor and how hot they want it. (4-4-17)

Note: There are several other Mexican restaurants in town.  From the photos El Camino Real does not seem to be as authentic for NM food as Irma’s, but it has good reviews and I can’t confirm this one way or the other without trying it.  Si Senor is related to the rest. in Las Cruces with the same name, and is supposed to be authentic NM style, but I haven’t been to either place (so I can’t say whether it is better than Irma’s).

Eagle Nest

Cowboy’s Corner–50 N. Hwy. 38 (American).  Not many reviews, but reviews are good.  You can get green chile with just about anything on the menu.  Breakfast is the most popular meal here.  I would find just about any excuse to visit Eagle Nest, so coming here seems to be as good as any. (4-11-16)

El Rito

El Farolito–1212 Main St. (New Mexican).  This is a quite small restaurant in a quite small town that seems to have a pilgrimage of people coming here to get some of the best New Mexican food in New Mexico (it is logical, of course, that it would be in New Mexico).  There are several “El Ritos” in NM, but this is the one in Rio Arriba County on the highway between Ojo Caliente and Abiquiu (I’m sure that most people now know exactly where it is!).  There is some controversy, though about what to order here.  Gil (and many others) like the green chile cheeseburger, while many like the green chile enchiladas.  Gil says the green chile beans and frito pie are also not to be missed.  It is obvious, though, that everything is good, and that everything on the menu could be classified as “not to be missed.” (4-11-16)

Española

El Paragua–603 Santa Cruz Rd. (New Mexican) Open Daily.  My experience is that, along with Santa Fe, Española is the quintessential New Mexican cuisine experience.  Note: El Parasol is at the same address and has the same owner, but the menu is tacos, tamales, and tostadas, while El Paragua has enchiladas, steaks, and a more traditional dinner menu. The big restaurant is El Paragua, while El Parasol is in a small roadside stand (according to what I can tell from the web site). (9-7-16)

Eunice

Outlaw Grill–1007 E. Main St. (Steaks) Open Daily.  Good steakhouse in an area known for its good steaks. (12-11-15)

Farmington

Ashkii Navajo Grill–123 W. Broadway St. (Navajo) Open Mon-Fri 11 am to 4:30 pm.  Navajo taco, fry bread, mutton are mentioned in the reviews as favorites. (2-14-16)

Boon’s Family Thai–321 W. Main St. (Thai) Closed Sun.  Noodle dishes and curries are very good (especially massaman curry). (2-14-16)

Los Hermanitos–3501 E. Main St. (New Mexican) Open Mon-Sat 6 am to 9 pm.  Good place for New Mexican food.  Enchiladas and sopapillas are especially good.  You have to pay extra for chips and salsa, but this is actually a sign that it is a traditional New Mexican restaurant. (2-14-16)

Gallup

Avalon Restaurant–1104 E. Hwy 66 (Chinese).  Tinolang chicken (This is Filipino, which is the type of food the reviews recommend). (4-11-16)

Bombay Grill–3405 W. Hwy 66 (Indian) Open Daily.  Indian restaurant inside the NKS Royal Truck Stop.  The lunch buffet is popular (ends at 4 pm).  I am tired of Indian food that is not spicy, but I don’t think that’s a problem in Gallup (based on my experience at Jerry’s). (2-28-17)

Jerry’s Cafe–406 W. Coal Ave. (New Mexican) Closed Sun.  As good as the New Mexican restaurants in the Rio Grande Valley.  An added bonus is that you can sometimes buy Navajo jewelry on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant. (4-11-16)

Route 66 Railway Cafe–2150 E. Hwy 66 (American) Open daily except Sun evening.  Very good ratings, but what stands out in the reviews is the omelette with green chile (and breakfast in general). (4-11-16)

Grants

El Cafecito–820 E. Santa Fe Ave. (New Mexican).  Some reviewers say it has the best sopapillas they’ve ever had, and most recommend the stuffed sopapillas.  You have to pay extra for chips and salsa (this is how many traditional New Mexican restaurants do it).  I don’t know the hours, but they are open for breakfast (but many say skip the breakfast and go there for lunch).  Chile relleno has cheese on top (which I do not prefer). (2-14-16)

Hatch

B & E Burritos–303 N. Franklin St. (New Mexican) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Sun).  One of several restaurants in town specializing in dishes made with the famous locally grown Hatch chile (I listed this one because I have tried it and can personally recommend it). (4-4-17)

Hillsboro

Hillsboro General Store–100 Main St. (American) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Wed & Thurs).  Mostly known for its burgers (including the green chile cheeseburger), but some say it has one of the best red enchiladas in NM.  (Anyone who has the chance should take Hwy 152 through Hillsboro even if you don’t eat here). (4-4-17)

Hobbs

El Caballero–210 W. Marland St. (Mexican).  A small hole-in-the-wall with good Mexican food (authentic Mexican style).  Get tacos or meat dishes. (12-11-15)

Saxony Inn–501 N. Marland Blvd. (Steaks) Dinner only.  Steak with good side dishes (such as spicy potato soup).  Restaurant in an old motel–you’re paying for the food and not the setting. (12-11-15)

Thai Kitchen–205 W. Sanger (Thai).  Good Thai food (according to reviewers who seem to know Thai food). (12-11-15)

Laguna

Laguna Burger–Hwy 66 (Hamburgers) Open daily 10:30 am to 10 pm.  Famous for its green chile cheeseburger. West of Albuquerque just off I-40. (2-28-17)

La Luz

Knuckleweed Place–526 La Borcita Canyon Rd. (American) Breakfast & lunch Sat & Sun; dinner Thu-Sun.  A destination restaurant in a small town north of Alamogordo (that I think is one of the most scenic places in NM).  Upscale food.  Steak, chicken fried steak, onion soup, Monte Cristo, French toast, omelette, cheesecake, and carrot cake are recommended.  Compared to Buckhorn Saloon in Pinos Altos this looks much better, although all they really have in common is that they serve steaks and they are in secluded locations.  I don’t know the price here but it is listed as $$$. (2-29-16)

Las Vegas

Charlie’s Spic & Span–713 Douglas Ave. (New Mexican) Open daily (breakfast & lunch only).  One of the long time well regarded New Mexican restaurants in town.  Stuffed sopapillas and carne adovada are good.  Tortillas, donuts, and cream puffs are popular to eat here or for take-out. (2-28-17)

El Rialto–141 Bridge St. (New Mexican) Open 10:30 am to 8:30 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Green chile has more New Mexico style heat than the red, but both have a good flavor.  Stuffed sopapilla is good. (2-14-16)

Kocina de Raphael–610 Legion Dr. (New Mexican).  One of the city’s long time standbys.  Here the things to get are the Navajo taco or the red enchiladas with sopapillas on the side. (2-14-16)

Little Saigon–2001 N. Grand Ave. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun lunch & Sat.  LV is known for its good New Mexican food, but this was the highest rated of all the restaurants on Urbanspoon.  Vermicelli bowls have better reviews than the pho, though. (2-14-16)

Lordsburg

El Charro–209 S. P. Blvd. (New Mexican).  Good flavor, but not as spicy as in Las Cruces. (12-11-15)

Kranberry’s Family Restaurant–1405 Main St. (American) Open 7 am to 9 pm (closed Sun).  Burger, hot open face turkey sandwich, pie and cobbler are recommended. (4-4-17)

Ramona’s Cafe–944 E. Motel Dr. (New Mexican).  Green chile and traditional New Mexican dishes (red enchiladas, etc.) are recommended (some do not like the chile relleno, though). (4-4-17)

Los Lunas

Teofilos–144 Main St. SW (New Mexican) Closed Mon & closes early (7 pm) on Sunday.  One of the state’s best New Mexican restaurants.  Chicken enchiladas, chiles rellenos, and sopapillas are recommended (Note: blue corn enchiladas are recommended). (4-11-16)

Mescalero

Old Road–692 Old Rd. (New Mexican) Open 9 am to 9 pm (closed Mon).  Stacked enchiladas are good (cash only and no alcohol is served). (10-21-17)

Mimbres

Three Questions Coffee House–2 El Otro Lado Rd. (American) Open 7 am to noon Tue-Sat.  A very small place that specializes in a breakfast buffet of fresh, healthy, home cooked food (some items have green chile). I was alerted to this restaurant by the New Mexico Magazine article showing the results of the readers’ poll (they said it was “Worth a Drive” to this place). The breakfast buffet is $6.50. Located north of Mile Marker 2 on Hwy 35. (4-4-17)

Personal Note: Mimbres is a beautiful place to see fall foliage of the cottonwoods around early November after the higher elevations have already had their fall season.

Peñasco

Sugar Nymphs Bistro–15046 SH 75 (Organic) Lunch Wed-Sun; dinner Fri & Sat.  Some items are New Mexican cuisine. Gil recommends salads, chipotle pork loin, vegetable lasagna (and several other items). (4-4-17)

Pinos Altos

Buckhorn Saloon–32 Main St. (Steaks) Dinner starts at 5 pm.  $$$ (but it’s one of Gil’s recommended restaurants–he says order the steak and the sasparilla). Some reviewers did not like the rib eye (Gil says get the porterhouse or the New York steak). Note: most people say the building and the setting is really a bigger draw than the food, but they like the food also. Also added to the picture is the fact that it has a new owner, and some of these reviews may now be dated. (4-4-17)

Portales

El Rancho–101 S. Chicago Ave. (New Mexican) Open daily except Sun evening.  I thought the food was somewhat “dumbed down” New Mexican cuisine (which is confirmed by Yelp reviews), but it was still worthwhile if you can’t make it to Albuquerque or Santa Fe (also confirmed by Yelp reviews). (2-29-16)

Hong Kong–113 N. Chicago Ave. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Buffet restaurant, but customers can ask for authentic Chinese dishes (nothing fancy, but they have good noodle soup and bean curd soup).  Sometimes the Chinese students at the university order these dishes.  The buffet is pretty good too–nothing spectacular but very good for a small town. (9-7-16)

Sunland Peanut–42593 US 70 (Food Store).  Located just east of Portales, this is a peanut factory that sells various products manufactured on site (as well as the peanuts themselves).  In season you can also take tours of the factory. (2-29-16)

Ramah

Ancient Way Cafe–4018 Ice Caves Rd. (American) Breakfast & lunch daily; dinner Fri & Sat.  Upscale, organic food (with a large number of vegetarian options).  Many say the dinners on weekends are a special treat.  Note: even though it’s upscale, I don’t think it’s all that expensive. (2-28-17)

Ranchos de Taos

Ranchos Plaza Grill–8 Ranchos Plaza (New Mexican) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  Good New Mexican food in a hacienda setting, but it has other menu items as well. I always like to know whether most people prefer the enchiladas or the stuffed sopapilla, and here it seems to be the enchiladas. (2-28-17)

Raton

La Cosina–745 S. 3rd St. (New Mexican).  Spicy New Mexican cuisine. People say the best thing here is the sopapilla. (2-28-17)

Ribera

La Risa–State Rd. 3 Mile Marker 73 (New Mexican).  An outstanding New Mexican restaurant in a small town.  Somewhat Santa Fe style, with some upscale dishes available (Gil liked the carnitas diablo and chicken guacamole blue corn enchiladas).  Some reviewers on Yelp say to get whatever the daily special is.  Take Exit 323 from Interstate 25 (between Santa Fe and Las Vegas). (4-11-16)

Roswell

Hunan–1000 W. Hobbs St. (Chinese) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  Really good, authentic Chinese food available. (2-28-17)

Pasta Cafe–1208 N. Main St. (Italian) Open Daily.  The now closed Pasta Cafe in Ruidoso had very good food and an even better wine selection, so I assume the Roswell restaurant will be good as well.  Chicken cacciatore (in Ruidoso) was very good, but I did not care for the marsala. Yelp reviewers like the manicotti. (2-28-17)

Taste of Thai–1303 W. 2nd St. (Thai)  Open Daily.  Has good ratings (from people who seem to know how Thai food is supposed to be prepared). (2-28-17)

Ruidoso

Cornerstone Bakery Cafe–1712 Sudderth Dr. (Bakery) Open for breakfast & lunch.  Very good baked goods. (2-28-17)

Great Wall of China–2913 Sudderth Dr. (Chinese) Closed Mon.  Talk to the owner, Ryan, for special orders and/or authentic Chinese food.  Otherwise it is typical Americanized food (with good flavor, though).  Sushi is also available. (2-28-17)

Grill Caliente–2800 Sudderth Dr. (Southwest) Closed Sun & Mon (and closed from 2 to 5 pm).  Reviews indicate that the food rises to a higher level than is found at the typical Southwestern style restaurant. (2-28-17)

Lincoln County Grill–2717 Sudderth Dr. (Southwest) Open daily 7 am to 9 pm.  Green chile cheeseburger, green chile chicken fried steak. (2-28-17)

San Antonio

Owl Bar & Cafe–77 US Hwy 380 (Hamburgers) Closed Sun.  Known for its green chile cheeseburger.  Manny’s Buckhorn Tavern across the street may be just as good or even better. (2-29-16)

San Antonio Crane–17 Pino St. (New Mexican) Tue-Fri 8:30 am to 7 pm; Sat & Sun (breakfast & lunch only).  Authentic and good tasting New Mexican cuisine.  John Shipman (who writes a food blog for Socorro) says this is the best NM cuisine in Socorro County.  He recommends the carne adovada (Yelp readers like the stuffed sopapilla).  Note: this is not to be confused with the Crane Cafe at the Lemitar exit on I-25 (a truck stop), although this restaurant also gets good reviews on Yelp. (2-29-16)

San Jon

Taste of India–1800 Cemetery Rd. (Indian) Located in a truck stop on the n. side of I-40 at the San Jon exit.  Buffet available. (12-11-15)

Santa Fe

Geronimo–724 Canyon Rd. (Fine Dining) Dinner only (Open daily).  Expensive, and perhaps does not meet the criteria for this list, but Gil and others point to it as possibly the best fine dining in Santa Fe and worth the money.  Elk tenderloin, crab cakes, and apple & pecan crostade are recommended. (10-20-15)

Jambo Cafe–2010 Cerrillos Rd. (Jamaican) Closed Sun.  African & Caribbean cuisine.  Gil gives this a higher rating than many restaurants which are much more expensive.  Good choices are jerk chicken or combination plate, and just about all the desserts they serve. (11-9-15)

Izanami–3.5 mi. up Hyde Park Rd. (Japanese) Open Daily except Tue. lunch.  Izakaya style Japanese rest.  One of the best Japanese rests. in the S.W. (10-20-15)

La Boca–72 W. Marcy St. (Spanish) Open Daily.  Expensive, but looks like extremely good food that is worth the price.  Specializes in tapas. (11-9-15)

La Choza–905 Alarid St. (New Mexican) Closed Sun.  Gil recommends this as the place to get a stuffed sopaipilla.  Some say their red chile is the best in NM. (11-9-15)

Los Potrillos–1947 Cerrillos Rd. (Mexican).  Gil’s favorite upscale Mexican rest. other than the Rick Bayless restaurants.  Reviewers like enchiladas with various sauces (including suizas), moles, chiles en ahogada.  Gil likes cabrito in peanut and almond sauce, quesadilla sincronizada, molcajete al pastor, costillas Pancho Villa, chiles rellenos en nogada. (11-9-15)

Pho Kim–919 W. Alameda St. (Vietnamese) Closed Mon.  Recommended by people from the west coast.  Good pho, and the vermicelli dishes are apparently even better.  (11-9-15)

The Shed–113 E. Palace Ave. (New Mexican) Open Daily.  Same owners as La Choza, but many think the food is better here (actually, both are better at certain things).  Gil recommends this as the place to get blue corn enchiladas.  The Shed is in a historic building for a better ambiance (but parking can be a problem).  Closed from 2:30 to 5:00 PM every day (La Choza is open at these times as an alternative). (11-9-15)

Note: I have several comments about Santa Fe: (1) This is one of the best food cities in the U.S., (2) It is very common to provide a fusion between New Mexican food and other cuisines (at least to the point of having both on the menu), (3) Some of the restaurants listed here are $$$ or more, but unique to Santa Fe (thus I want to include them on the list), (4) rather than list all the good restaurants here, I have purposely tried to narrow the list for those who just want to try the most recommended restaurants, (5) La Choza, The Shed, and Maria’s were voted the best New Mexican style restaurants in the New Mexico Magazine poll of 2016.

Santa Rosa

Comet II Drive In–217 Will Rogers Dr. (New Mexican).  Has hamburgers and other American food items, but the New Mexican cuisine is its specialty.  Blue corn enchiladas and chiles rellenos are recommended. (4-13-16)

Note: Joseph’s is the restaurant for nostalgia in Santa Rosa, and I even ate there when I was a kid (and still remember it).  Today, though, it has mixed reviews, and Comet seems to be better (but if you go to Joseph’s the carne adovada and green chile cheeseburger are recommended). (4-13-16)

Silver City

Adobe Springs Cafe–1617 Silver Heights Blvd. (New American).  Diner that serves American food, with some Mexican.  Specials are recommended (such as Belgian waffles on Wed.and the Czech potato salad).  Reviewers say avoid the standard sandwiches and diner food, and instead get some of their specials, upscale dishes, or Mexican food. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but I don’t know which days (open past 8 pm, when most other restaurants are closed). (4-4-17)

Jalisco Cafe–103 S. Bullard St. (New Mexican) Open daily except Sun evening.  Good reviews–commenters say you can tell this restaurant is not too far from Hatch (the chile capital of the US). Chile relleno is especially popular (and there is no sauce on top, as it should be!). (4-4-17)

Silver Cafe–514 N. Bullard St. (New Mexican) Closed Sun.  Has regular cafe style food as well as legit New Mexican cuisine. Recommended by readers in the NM Magazine poll for the New Mexican style breakfast (although they like Jalisco Cafe better for dinner–perhaps because Jalisco is open later). Chiles rellenos are recommended here. (4-4-17)

Tapas Tree Grill–601 N. Bullard St. (Tapas) Lunch only (closed Sun).  Has quite a varied menu of different cuisines, but some of the most popular are the Thai noodle bowl, Vietnemese pork crepe, burger, and lamb kefta. (4-4-17)

Note: see listing under Pinos Altos for another nearby restaurant

Socorro

El Camino–707 N. California St. (New Mexican) Open 24 hours.  Good New Mexican food in a coffee shop style restaurant that has been around for decades.  Not the highest rated NM food in Socorro, but it’s good (and open any time of the day or night). (2-29-16)

La Pasadita–230 Garfield St. (New Mexican) Open 10 am to 5 pm (closed Sun).  Blue corn enchiladas are recommended (NM Magazine readers say to get the empanadas). (4-11-16)

Socorro Springs–1012 N. California St. (Brewpub) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  Shipman’s blog says the food is “great” (not just good), so this is a good source.  Wood fired pizza is popular here. (2-29-16)

Note: see listings under San Antonio for other nearby restaurants

Springer

Elida’s Cafe–801 Railroad Ave. (New Mexican).  Most reviews are positive, some say the green chile is not as flavorful as the red, some say several items are too salty.  I’m listing it as probably a good place to get New Mexican cuisine.  (Based on reviews I’m uncertain about whether I should put the Brown Hotel on this list). (4-13-16)

Sunland Park

Ardovino’s Desert Crossing–1 Ardovino Dr. (Italian) Dinner Tue-Sun; brunch Sat & Sun.  I don’t think it’s terribly expensive (like a fine dining restaurant), but reviewers say it does take some time to eat here (and most of them order wine while they are waiting). Go south from the intersection of SH 273 (McNutt) and SH 498 (Racetrack Dr.). (4-4-17)

Billy Crews–1200 Country Club Dr. (American) Open daily (closed 3 pm to 5:30 pm).  Steakhouse with other entrees available (chicken, fish, etc.). This is one of the better steakhouses I have found because of the food, the variety on the menu, and the value you get for your money. (4-4-17)

Taos

Dara Thai–210 Paseo del Pueblo Sur (Thai) Closed Sun.  Authentic & very good–has new management & is better than before. Stir fried dishes are good. Some reviewers say they use MSG. (4-11-16)

Great Noodles–120 Bent St. (Thai) Open daily 11 am to 7 pm.  Not a wide selection of items, but flavorful, filling, and natural ingredients in the noodle bowls. Thai style red curry noodles are good. This is a food stand (not a restaurant). (2-28-17)

La Cueva–135 Paseo del Pueblo Sur (New Mexican) Open Daily.  Upscale Mexican & New Mexican–organic & local ingredients. Not traditional New Mexican, but has a lot of New Mexican elements. Tortilla soup may be better than the ones that are traditional style. (4-11-16)

Michael’s Kitchen–304 Paseo del Pueblo Norte (New Mexican) Breakfast & lunch daily; dinner Fri-Sun.  A Taos staple for NM food. Stuffed sopapilla is good. The NM Magazine reader’s poll voted it the best place in town for breakfast. (4-11-16)

Orlando’s–1114 Don Juan Valdez Ln. (New Mexican) Open Daily (closed from 3 to 5 pm).  Los colores enchiladas (3 enchiladas, each with a different sauce) is popular, and is the specialty of the restaurant. Chile relleno is good. Reviews say the red chile is especially good. This was the most recommended NM style restaurant on Urbanspoon (also the most popular on the NM Magazine reader’s poll in 2016).  (4-11-16)

Taos Ski Valley

Bavarian Lodge–100 Kachina Rd. (German).  Authentic, but expensive and service is slow.  Reviewers say reservations are a must. Some of the reviews indicate the food is hit or miss. The best bet seems to be the sausages and goulasch. Schnitzel is disappointing to many. (4-11-16)

Tinnie

Tinnie’s Silver Dollar–28842 US 70 (Steaks) Dinner Thu-Sat; Lunch Sun.  This restaurant has been around for years, but only recently reopened. Steaks are the specialty, although it has other items. People also say good things about the bar. Some have gone on Thursday to find it closed (or else it closed early). Apparently it’s best to go Fri-Sun.  Tinnie is located west of Roswell on US 70. (9-7-16)

Truth or Consequences

Cafe Bella Luca–303 Jones St. (Italian) Dinner only (closed Tue).  Readers have told me this is an unexpectedly good restaurant. (2-28-17)

Latitude 33–304 S. Pershing (Asian fusion) Closed Sun Mon and closed from 2 to 5 pm weekdays. Asian rest. in T or C with very high ratings. (2-28-17)

Tucumcari

El Herradero–112 E. Main St. (Mexican) Open daily 8 am to 7:30 pm (closes early on Sun).  Enchiladas are New Mexico style but other items are authentic Mexican (get the red enchiladas if you want them spicy).  Has higher ratings than La Cita (reviewers like the food better here but mostly it is not New Mexican style). (4-13-16)

La Cita–812 S. 1st St. (New Mexican) Open daily except Sun evening.  Stuffed sopapillas are recommended. (4-13-16)

Note: La Cita is the best place in Tucumcari that I have tried personally.  Del’s is very popular and has high ratings, but it had a number of problems for me.  El Herradero has the best ratings in town, but this is south of the border Mexican (not New Mexican).  I would not bother with the New Mexican food in Tucumcari if I were headed to Albuquerque where it is a lot better, but if I were going the other direction I might stop here for my “last chance” to eat New Mexican cuisine.

Tularosa

Casa de Sueños–35 St. Francis Dr. (New Mexican) Open Daily.  Very good New Mexican style restaurant (somewhat of a rarity in SE New Mexico).  The red enchiladas here probably “stack up” with anyone’s (pun intended, since these are stacked enchiladas). (2-3-17)

Tulie Freeze–419 St. Francis Dr. (Ice Cream).  I have passed by this place so many times I decided to look it up on Yelp. This is a New Mexico version of Dairy Queen–ice cream is the specialty. Root beer floats are very good. Chicken tacos are recommended, but the other food does not sound especially worthwhile from the reviews. (2-3-17)

Yum-Yum’s–460 Central Ave. (Mexican) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Sun).  For Mexican food in Tularosa I feel that there is no need to go anywhere other than Casa de Suenos. However, Yum-Yum’s is open for breakfast (which Casa de Suenos is not) and the breakfast burritos get good reviews.  Indian tacos are also recommended. I have also read that the stacked enchiladas are very good. If you can get their donuts fresh out of the oven this would be very worthwhile. Note: for traditional Mexican pan dulce (sweet bread) you can go to Laredo Bakery. (2-3-17)

Note: I find it convenient to stop at Chevron at 910 St. Francis Dr. for locally grown pistachios and locally produced cherry cider. There are a number of farms and roadside stands along US 54 south of town that sell pistachios directly to customers.

 

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

 

Sources:

Chowhound (New Mexico)

EGullet (Southwest)

Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog

New Mexico Magazine “2016 Readers’ Poll Winners” (Mar. 2016)

New Mexico Magazine “Hidden NM” and “Tasting NM” (Jul. 2016)

New Mexico Magazine “Readers’ Choice Dining Awards 2017” (Mar. 2017)

John Shipman (Socorro)

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (New Mexico)

Zomato (Santa Fe)

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