Albuquerque and Santa Fe and Gallup food bleg

Where should we eat? In Albuquerque I am most interested in green and red chili. Any place between the cities would be a useful recommendation as well.

Green chili
Creative Commons License photo credit: Kimtaro

I thank you all in advance.

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.

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7 Responses to Albuquerque and Santa Fe and Gallup food bleg

  1. Carl says:

    I lived in Albuquerque in 1993-94, so it’s been a while. Our favorite New Mexican place was Los Cuates at Washington and San Mateo (apparently they have additional locations now). Ron’s Camino Real was also very good, and El Patio. Skip Garduño’s, it’s too chain-y.

    If you want local hole-in-the-wall food that would make Jane and Michael Stern weep with joy, go to the Frontier on Central across from UNM. Breakfast burrito, green chile stew, western hash browns, and/or the sweet roll. Man I miss that place. Grandma’s K&I diner was a fun place too–they serve something called “The Travis” that should be on Man vs. Food if it hasn’t already. A giant burrito plate with french fries served on a silver platter; if you finish it, you get your picture on the wall. (Normal/sane people can get a “quarter Travis.”

    Didn’t spend much time in Santa Fe, but had a good meal at Mark Miller’s Coyote Cafe.

    • Alejandra says:

      As a native Burquena, I second El Patio as my absolute favorite New Mexican place in Albuquerque. It’s in an old house right by the University of New Mexico. The green chile chicken enchiladas are my go-to there.

      Also recommend Ben Michael’s Cafe in Old Town. It is a really funky place where the owner/chef/architect is the brother of my high school biology teacher. Sofia’s Place is pretty small, but by far my favorite place for brunch/lunch/breakfast.

      I would say Frontier is Albuquerque’s equivalent to Ben’s in DC. They’re famous for their cinnamon rolls, breakfast burritos, and green chile cheese fries. Excellent people watching if you go there late at night.

      For Santa Fe I recommend The Shed.

    • Jason Walker says:

      When I lived in New Mexico, a favorite of my family’s was Garduno’s, a local chain based in Albuquerque. I don’t know how they are now – this was in the mid-90’s. I know they still exist, and have apparently revived much of the original menu and the original recipes that made them well known. You might ask around about them.

  2. kpdooty says:

    There’s no shortage of fancy restaurants in Santa Fe. Albuquerque is a bit of a foodie desert.

    For more “New Mexican” places: you should check out Rancho de Chimayo; it is a bit out of the way. You should definitely find a place for breakfast burritos — get green smothered (is Tia Sophia’s in Santa Fe still in business? One of her sisters had a great little place called Diego’s Cafe; alas it is no longer). If you are willing to drive to Espanola, do visit Angelina’s (Carne Adovada is good). Another interesting place is Tesuque Village Market.

    On your way to Rancho de Chimayo there’s a fancy looking restaurant off 84/285 called Gabriel’s. Avoid that at all cost.

    I do think Garduno’s is out of business…was big news just a few years ago.

  3. kpdooty says:

    BTW, sopapilla & honey is not a dessert — eat them with your meal.

  4. Andrew says:


    Former Santa Fe resident, now living in VA. Second The Frontier recommendation above (it’s not the best red or green but it is fun). Skip Gardunos, other good places for breakfast in ABQ are The Range and Flying Star (both have multiple locations but are very good). There are some good places on Knob Hill, here’s a good review link, since this area has changed some from when I was out there:

    In Santa Fe, tacos at El Parasol are a must (may be the best in the world, think New Mexico’s version of Dim Sum and go for the chicken guacamole/shredded beef though the Green Chile Stew is also good and the tamales are also excellent, here’s a link: The Pantry has excellent Red and is my favorite SF Diner, and the Horseman’s Haven ( has the best green in my opinion. Pink Adobe and La Choza / The Shed are all good picks for dinner. Harry’s Roadhouse is a fun place for dinner/drinks, and Bobcat Bites out on the old 66 ( is my favorite green chile cheeseburger in the entire world.

    If you can go outside of SF, El Rancho de Chimayo is fun drive out (about 45 min outside SF) and near the Santuario (if you need any miracle cures/divine intervention). Also, El Paragua which is the mother ship for the El Parasol empire is in Espanola, and is also a fun jaunt. Enjoy!

    Here in VA, we just tried a place called “Desi-Wok” ( Interesting — it is a Pakistan style Chinese place, and worth a go. I’ll need to go back to form a definite opinion, but it was something new and welcome. I think the restaurant will gel into a firm concept; the owner faces a challenge in developing understanding of a cuisine that fits between two established categories. Could be bolder in spice/tastes as well, but the owner may have been pulling his punches for the anglo walk-in.

  5. Becky says:

    Sante Fe has amazing food- Cafe Pasquale is my favorite for every meal of the day. I don’t think they take reservations, tho. There’s an awesome hole in the wall in Albuquerque near the university and they jar their own chile- but i can’t remember the name. Green is the best hands down, but definitely sample both.

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