Searching for the top restaurants in Santa Fe? You’ve arrived to the correct location!
Santa Fe not only creates and serves amazing southern cuisine, but they also have their own cuisine that represents New Mexico’s distinct history and culture. Chefs in this country of magic have devised or refined so many dishes that it’s almost impossible to enjoy anything less than a fantastic supper here.
Everyone who has spent any time in Santa Fe will tell you that one of the reasons they enjoy it so much is the amazing cuisine.
Restaurants in town vary from established fine-dining dress-up establishments to casual eateries where you may dine after a nice trek in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. You’ll depart with a full stomach and a huge grin no matter where you go. Santa Fe, like any great gastronomic city, provides travelers with a variety of selections ranging from local favorites to internationally-inspired meals.
After our exploration of the Santa Fe gastronomy scene, here are a few must-try suggestions.
Visiting other places in New Mexico? Check out our other tasty guides:
- 15 Must-Try Albuquerque Restaurants
- 10 Must-Try Las Cruces Restaurants
- 12 Must-Try Restaurants In New Mexico
- 12 Best Things to Do in Santa Fe, New Mexico
The Top 10 Restaurants in Santa Fe
Kitchen Is Open
Don Gasper (202) 285-9840227
Visitors visiting Santa Fe may look forward to a memorable dining experience if they arrange ahead of time. This eating facility, led by chef-owner Hue-Chan Karels, was created to bring people together via interactive meal experiences. Hue Chans cuisine embraces the wealth of local farmers. Her cuisine is internationally influenced, locally sourced, and created to provide customers with a memorable gourmet experience.
Reservations are welcomed for special events or parties of six or more. If you chance to be in Santa Fe for a conference or with friends and family, this is a definite must-see. Hue Chan served a multi-course Southwest Native American meal coupled with New Mexico’s Gruet wine during our recent visit.
Hors d’oeuvres included ancient grains croquettes with pumpkin seed mole and a fresh corn tostada with wild boar bacon, onion jam, and red chile honey drizzle. The first entrée honored the Three Sisters of Native American tradition with maize, fermented black beans, and pickled squash. The second dish was an organic Tamaya blue corn tamale topped with ancho-chile braised bison meat and hominy. The main entrée included corn-husk grilled fish, wild rice, and roasted root vegetables.
We concluded with Xocolatl Pots de Crème, a delicious sweet dessert custard to cap off an incredible evening.
Cerrillos Road (505) 820-7243535 Cerrillos Road
This gourmet bread bakery, pastry store, coffee shop, and caf in colonial Santa Fe is a standout. The tiny boutique cafe, which is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., is constantly crowded, and with good reason.
The aroma of freshly made bread drifting through the air attracts hungry consumers. The menu has intriguing meals that may be examined in the gorgeous display case before diners make their selections. The wheat is sourced from local organic farms and stone processed to create high-quality handmade flour. This is especially noticeable in their delectable breads and meals.
I enjoyed my savory kale and gruyere tart, and you can’t leave without eating a delicious, flaky croissant with a warm, creamy cup of caf latte.
Sweetwater Harvest Restaurant
512 Pacheco Street, Building B (505) 795-73831
In this appealing Santa Fe restaurant, the portions are generous. Yet, on the other hand, their cuisine is healthy!
Sweetwater Kitchen is all about honest cuisine, which is apparent in their use of fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Throw in a healthy dose of culinary inventiveness, and you have a formula for a not-to-be-missed breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner spot, particularly if you appreciate a distinctively foreign inspiration.
Menus change depending on seasonal product availability, but my Spinach Salad with cooked egg, mushroom, red onion, and walnuts topped with a balsamic vinaigrette was delicious. Another New Mexican triumph was Morning Tacos with three blue corn tortillas filled with scrambled eggs, avocado, jack cheese, sliced watermelon radish, and pico de gallo.
This is absolutely a spot I’d return to on my future vacation to Santa Fe, owing to the overall nutritious gastronomic experience here.
Galisteo Street (505) 820-0919526 Galisteo Street
This restaurant puts the ohhhhh in eating out. Chef Martin Rios and his wife Jennifer have developed an extraordinary venue for wine, dining, and celebrating life and wonderful cuisine.
Visitors may pick between lovely interior dining and a magnificent outside illuminated terrace. I definitely suggest this dinner-only restaurant for a romantic evening out with your special someone since it has the ideal blend of superb food, first-rate service, and beautiful settings.
The cuisine, although not large, is carefully thought out. With mint-yogurt mousse, crunchy carrots, seed cracker apple, orange supremes, and toasted coconut, the chilled English pea soup is a great appetizer. I’d never had anything like that before, and I’m still dreaming about it.
Seafood, steak, lamb, chicken breast, duck, and a vegetarian sample plate are among the main courses. My Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast with Calamansi-ginger glaze, duck confit-fried rice, Tokyo turnips, buckwheat pancake, and a Koji-carrot puree with huckleberry-duck sauce was just exquisite.
If you’re searching for exquisite dining in Santa Fe, this is a great option. And we can’t wait to hear that Chef Martin has been nominated for a James Beard Award in 2022. Reservations are strongly advised.
Downtown Plaza Caf
505-982-166454 Lincoln Avenue
It is Santa Fe’s oldest restaurant, celebrating 75 years of offering traditional New Mexican food to residents and guests alike in its historic diner on the main downtown square.
Guests may choose between indoor and outdoor eating for breakfast, lunch, and supper. We like the views of the square, but the diner’s interior is loaded with eye-catching vintage antiques.
Frito Pie is a traditional Santa Fe meal that is highly recommended. So I thought it was time to do exactly that, and all I can say is, what was I thinking? Plazas’ signature dish is composed with Fritos, beef, chicken, or calabacitas (zucchini). I went for the chicken with beans, chili, cheese, onions, lettuce, and tomato. I did ask for a side of sour cream which softened the sharpness of the red peppers. Guests may select between the fiery red or green chiles, a frequent option at Santa Fe New Mexican restaurants.
My pals raved about the New Mexico Chili and Blue Corn Enchiladas. Nevertheless, save room for dessert since the handcrafted pies here, such as the Coconut Cream, are wonderful. Theres plenty to share. If you really have to.
This is an excellent pick for a laid-back, enjoyable, and relaxed Santa Fe gastronomic experience in the middle of the downtown square.
Museum Hill Café at Weldons
Camino Lejo (505) 984-8900710
Dining on the grounds of a Santa Fe museum is an intriguing experience. It is the choice available to visitors at the Museum Hill Caf, which is located on the grounds of the famous Museum of Indian Arts & Culture.
The Caf, which is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, features a well-presented and prepared selection of savory options. My Shrimp Stuffed Poblano, which included grilled shrimp, cheese, pico de gallo, rice, and greens, was one of the greatest poblano meals I’ve ever eaten. Delicious grilled salmon and crab cakes were also popular among my companions.
If you prefer to drink wine with your lunch, the Caf provides a large selection of whites, roses, and reds.
The Railyard’s Second Street Brewery
Paseo De Peralta (595) 989-32781607 Paseo De Peralta
This Santa Fe brewery started making beer in 1996 and established a facility in the Railyard District near to the Santa Fe Farmers Market in 2010.
Second Street is a bustling, exciting establishment that serves lunch and supper. The brewery is well-known for its rotating draft beer variety, which includes German pilsners, English bitters, American ales, stouts, sours, and IPAs. Not sure which to pick? Make a flight reservation.
Despite the menu offers pub fare, the entrees are big enough to share. Burgers are a clear winner here, but vegetable fans will like the Power to the Pita! Entrees are accompanied with cilantro hummus, local sprouts, cucumber, lettuce, tomato, carrots, and avocado.
La Fonda’s La Plazuela
100 E San Francisco St (505) 995-2334
La Plazuela in the historic La Fonda on the Plaza hotel has a wonderful atmosphere surrounded by history. This restaurant, with its towering, dramatic ambiance and relaxing fountain, is constructed on the site of a 1920s patio.
The informal cafe is available for breakfast, lunch, and supper, and the menu selection is extensive. If you come here for breakfast, I suggest the Brioche French Toast, which is topped with fresh seasonal berries and served with whipped butter and maple syrup on the side. If you want a lighter breakfast, the Local Granola Parfait is a great option.
We like the ambience, service, and location of this lovely light-filled facility, which is framed by amazing hand-painted windows. It’s very magical!
The Pastry Bakery in France
E. San Francisco Street (505) 983-6697
This French pastry business and creperie established by French residents in La Fonda on the Plaza has been a neighborhood favorite for 45 years. Expect it to be crowded. Your mouth will wet when you see the display case with its exquisite breads, eclairs, cream puffs, tarts, and other dessert treats. Then, after dining here, you’ll realize why it’s so popular.
I was craving a crepe after visiting Paris a few months ago, so I knew exactly what I would order. My Sweet Crepe was packed and topped with fresh berries, and no crepe would be complete without a hefty scoop of whipped cream on top. My buddy Quiche Lorraine was another excellent pick. I tried a few nibbles and it also won my heart. Its flaky flawless crust loaded with nutty Gruyere cheese and other typical French components simply couldn’t be beat.
If you want some delicious French favorites but don’t want to go to Paris, the Pastry Shop is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
West Palace Avenue (595) 919-9935142 West Palace Avenue
This gourmet dining establishment is great for people seeking an elite dining experience. Whilst this is a location where you should dress up a little, it is not snobbish or stuffy in the least.
We like the restaurant’s charming midcentury décor, which includes velvet seats, drum-shade lamp fixtures, bright colors, and Southwestern art on the walls. When the restaurant opened in 2020, the proprietors paid attention to the 120-year-old heritage of the building by retaining the previous saloon’s characteristic patterned wallpaper and antique gold-framed mirrors.
While the restaurant is on the pricier side, the quality and creativity of the meals make it a terrific bargain. Despite Palace Prime is billed as a modern steakhouse, it also serves a variety of other contemporary cuisines with European influences.
I began with Escargot in garlic-parsley butter. To soak up the goodness, you’ll need the accompanying house-baked bread. I was back in Paris if I closed my eyes. Then, to my surprise, my server was really from Paris!
The Burrata and Prosciutto and Crispy Wild Caught Calamari with fresh peppers and a Thai chile aioli were shared by our table of four (both outstanding choices). I desired a lighter main course, and my waitress recommended the Lobster-Ricotta Ravioli.
Save some space for dessert, even if it’s only a few pieces of the Bread Pudding with cinnamon crme anglaise bourbon caramel, topped with pion or the Crme Brle with blackberry-grand Marnier syrup and Chantilly cream. Both were divine.
One cannot think well, love well, or sleep well if one has not eaten properly, according to English novelist Virginia Woolf. During your next trip to Santa Fe, you can be sure to eat well. And selecting one or more of these must-try places will ensure a very rewarding encounter.
Which of these Santa Fe eateries are you going to try first? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below!