Gentedimontagna Favorites : Santa Fe

1. Café Pasqual's

For a last-day breakfast you'll want huevos rancheros. If you can't choose between red or green chile sauce, order yours Christmas-style for a taste of both. Another great breakfast spot by a former Cafe Pasqual chef is farther West at Tune-Up Cafe.

121 Don Gaspar Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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2. Coyote Cafe & Rooftop Cantina

In summer months, head to the rooftop for miles of thick, freshly cut corn chips with creamy avocado with tomatillo, lime, pico de gallo, and something called fire-roasted cantina. The outdoor seating is the perfect place to rest and sip a Lava Lamp, an effervescent mix of frozen margarita and beer.

132 W. Water St.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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3. Santacafe

The courtyard is a busy stage of waiters pacing quickly as glasses clink and forks clank on plates of their famous calamari. It's always bustling and makes for excellent people-watching.

231 Washington Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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4. Compound

Elegant and sophisticated fare by James Beard Award-winning chef Mark Kiffin served in a laidback, Southwestern setting surrounded by folk art.

653 Canyon Rd.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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5. Geronimo

Hefty portions of elk, scallops, lobster, and tuna served in a traditional 1756 adobe home. Sadly, executive chef and co-owner Eric DiStefano passed away earlier this year, but Sllin Cruz (previously the restaurant's chef de cuisine) has been tapped to continue the legacy at one of the city's chicest spots.

724 Canyon Rd.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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6. La Boca

The five-time James Beard Award nominee chef/owner James Campbell Caruso has been serving scrumptious and authentic tapas and drinks at La Boca for almost a decade now. A glass of rose and shrimp tacos makes for a nice lunch by the Plaza.

72 W. Marcy St.
Santa Fe, 87501
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7. Gabriel's

Sit on the patio and eat handmade tortillas and guacamole prepared tableside as you watch a stunning New Mexico sunset. It's a fifteen-minute drive from downtown (exit at 176 on Highway 285/84).

4 Banana Ln.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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8. Radish & Rye

Chef David Gaspar de Alba draws inspiration from his birthplace in El Paso, Texas, and summers on his family's Arizona farm to create fresh, seasonal Southwestern dishes. The menu is accompanied by a great cocktail program from local restaurateur and sommelier Quinn Stephenson.

548 Agua Fria St.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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9. Clafoutis French Bakery

402 N. Guadalupe St.
Santa Fe, NM 87501

10. La Casa Sena

In the expansive backyard patio and outdoor bar, feast on an excellent wild mushroom tamale with a crisp sauvignon blanc. The wait staff serenade guests in La Cantina Wednesday through Sunday evenings.

125 E. Palace Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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11. Tia Sofia

Arrive early in the morning for a seat at the 30-year-old diner counter and a hearty breakfast of blue corn huevos rancheros.

210 W. San Francisco St.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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12. Paper Dosa

An under-the-radar favorite that got its start with private parties and weekly pop-up dinners. Owners (and couple) Paulraj Karuppasamy and Nellie Tischler dish up light and spicy South Indian plates in a concise menu that includes a collection of the savory thin crepes that the restaurant is named for, as well as fresh salads and hearty curries. 

551 W. Cordova Rd.
Santa Fe, NM 87505
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13. Shake Foundation

When you've had your fill of huevos rancheros and enchiladas, head to the walk-up burger joint for a quick picnic table lunch. Though inspired by restaurateur Brian Knox's love of the Santa Fe's iconic green chile cheeseburger, Shake Foundation also offers a classic burger and hand-cut shoestring fries. The namesake shakes are made with Taos Cow Ice Cream and come in a rotating assortment of flavors.

631 Cerrillos Rd.
Santa Fe, NM 87505

14. Eloisa

Chef and Santa Fe-native John Sedlar returned from LA to open a deeply personal restaurant inspired by his first teacher in the kitchen, his grandmother Eloisa. The open kitchen and wood-burning fireplace create a warm and inviting environment for showcasing Sedlar’s Northern New Mexican cuisine. Dishes like the maize budino (white and green corn, black quinoa, red amaranth) and pastrami tacos are artfully plated on cow skull-designed platters by local artist Larry Swan.

228 E. Palace Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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15. Harry's Roadhouse

A charming old-school stop for great diner-style breakfast foods like hearty chilaquiles and robust cups of joe.

96 Old Las Vegas Hwy.
Santa Fe, NM 87505
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16. Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

The ranch is a 20-minute drive from the Plaza, nestled in the Sangre de Cristo foothills. Sit around the fire pit with a hot toddy and soak up the magic of the distant Jemez Mountains and the warm, soothing scent of pinion wood. If you're there during opera season, have the hotel set up a Champagne tailgate and sit under the stars.

198 State Rd. 592
Santa Fe, NM 87506
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17. Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi

A warm, cozy spot nestled in the heart of Santa Fe, with Navajo rugs, hand-carved doors, beamed ceilings, and sandstone walls. A pinion wood fire burns in the lobby, making for an intoxicating scent of the Southwest. The lighting is low; the mood is relaxed. You will feel exceptionally cozy. Book a superior room with a balcony for the enticing kiva fireplace.

113 Washington Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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18. Casas de Santa Fe

For longer stays or bigger groups, consider a vacation rental from Casas de Santa Fe, where high-end hotel touches, like Frette linens and Molton Brown products, are at all the properties. Casa de Maria on Canyon Road is extra special with the scent of apple shrubs, pear trees, and wild lavender dotting the property.


Santa Fe, NM
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19. Hotel St. Francis

A comfortable and affordable home base in downtown Santa Fe. The city's oldest hotel is beautiful and simple, very much like its patron saint. The best thing about staying at the hotel is having access to Inger Boudouris; the hotel concierge (since 1987) knows just about everything there is to know about Santa Fe.

Read more on Gentedimontagna: Live Like a Saint at This Historic (and Historically Affordable) Santa Fe Hotel

210 Don Gaspar Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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20. Todos Santos

NOLA-transplant Hayward Simoneaux brings a touch of Mardi Gras to Santa Fe in his funky little chocolate shop filled with disco balls, Mardi Gras beads, and traditional folk art. Splurge on a piece of his (edible) 23-karat gold or silver leaf-covered chocolates.

125 E. Palace Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87501

21. Garcia Street Books

A stellar local book selection (with a bargain bin to boot) just off the historic Canyon Road.

376 Garcia St.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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22. Indian Market

For one weekend every August, Native American artists congregate to the historic downtown plaza to showcase their pottery, jewelry, art, and wares.


Santa Fe, NM
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23. Santa Fe Farmers' Market

The colors and textures and sheer selection are almost overwhelming: peppers for miles, sugar snap peas, buckets of bright red chilis (local Chimayo, Velarde, and Socorro varietals), tomatoes, pretty purple Caliope eggplant. The brilliant aroma of roasting Hatch chiles (named for an area in New Mexico) fills the air. (They pair perfectly with a hamburger.) For souvenirs, pick up less expensive finds like fresh ground chili powders and lotion bars from Love + Leche.

1607 Paseo de Peralta (at S. Guadalupe St.)
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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24. Books of Interest

Great collection of regional Southwest books. Pick up 109 East Palace, about J. Robert Oppenheimer and the scientists at Los Alamos, and, for more insight into O'Keeffe, a copy of Laurie Lisle's biography, Portrait of an Artist. If you're in a culinary mood, España is the great cookbook by James Campbell Caruso, the award-winning chef at local favorite La Boca restaurant.

311 Aztec St.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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25. Shiprock Santa Fe

Authentic and unique souvenirs — the buyers have excellent taste, but it will cost you for beautiful antique turquoise jewelry and vintage Navajo rugs (there's a whole room of them to choose from).

53 Old Santa Fe Trail, 2nd Fl.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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26. Cheesemongers of Santa Fe

More than 150 varieties of individually wrapped domestic and imported cheeses fill the U-shaped service counter and refrigerated display cases. The specialty food market also sells a selection of charcuterie, Don Diego Breads, artisanal crackers, and French chocolates — basically everything you need for a dreamy post-hike picnic in the Sangre de Cristo mountains.

130 East Marcy St.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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