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Recommended restaurants in New Mexico

66 Diner, 1405 Central Ave. NE
Named for the historic highway now known here as "Central Avenue," this cafe serves classic American road food in a retro-style 1950s diner.
The chicken-fried steak, shakes, and malts are frequent "best in town" winners. The juke box has all your faves. The waitresses' uniforms look a little like bowling shirts, and unlike at an original diner, you can have beer or wine with your burger.
Phone:  505.247.1421
Hours:  11AM to 11PM Monday
through Thursday;
11AM to midnight
Fridays; 8AM to
midnight Saturdays;
8AM to 10PM Sundays
Credit cards accepted:  AE, MC, V
Breakfast from:   2USD
Burgers from:  4USD

Artichoke Café, 424 Central Ave. SE
This stylish restauarant on Central Avenue in the Huning Highland District features rotating exhibits by local fine artists and French- and Italian influenced bistro cooking. With appetizers like Asian lettuce wraps and blue crab cakes, you may be tempted away from the signature steamed artichoke with three dipping sauces, but it's worth the trip. Entrees run from pastas like ravioli stuffed with Swiss chard, spinach, and ricotta to pan-seared duck breast or New Mexico rack of lamb. Inventive, imaginative cooking in attractive surroundings. Arguably the best place in Albuquerque.
Phone:  505.243.0200
Hours:  5:30PM to 10PM Tuesday through Saturday; 5:30PM to 9PM Mondays
Credit cards accepted:  AE, MC, V
Starters from:   6USD
Main courses from:  13USD

Bien Shur Restaurant, 7200 Montogmery Blvd NE # 144, 87109
Owned by the couple behind the successful Artichoke Cafe and Portobello, Bien Shur opened in the summer of 2001 in the new Sandia Casino. The lovely dining room has beautiful views of the Sandias. The wine list is one of the best in town. And the menu is innovative Southwestern. Start your dinner with marinated grilled quail with corn cakes or pistachio-encrusted goat cheese cakes with tomatoes and arugula pesto. Follow with persimmon-glazed salmon or Blue Mountain lobster enchiladas.
Phone:  505.796.7788 Reservations recommended
Fax:  505.796.7733
Hours:  11:30AM to 2:30PM and 5:30PM to 10PM daily; open weekends until 11PM
Credit cards accepted:  AE, MC, V
Starters from:   8USD
Main courses from:  18USD

Duran Central Pharmacy, 1815 Central Ave. NW
Locals head to the lunch counter of this drug store for some of the best New Mexican cooking in town. Blue corn enchiladas, green chile stew, and huevos ranchero are all good bets.
Phone:  505.247.4141
Hours:  9AM to 6:30PM Monday through Friday; 9AM to 2PM Saturdays
Credit cards accepted:  No
Main courses from:   4USD

La Crepe Michel, Patio del Norte, 400 San Felipe C2
Man cannot live by Southwestern food alone. So when you're in the mood for something French, this creperie next to San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church serves great crepes, French onion soup, pate, and quiche Lorraine. The decor is country bistro with checked table cloths and service is cordial.
Phone:  505.242.1251
Hours:  11:30AM to 2PM Tuesday through Sunday; 6PM to 9PM Thursday through Sunday
Credit cards accepted:  MC, V
Main courses from:   4USD

Quarters BBQ, 801 Yale Blvd. SE
This barbecue place near the University of New Mexico serves great barbecue in an Irish pub atmosphere. There's a good selection of beers on draught, and a full bar. But it's the slow cooked ribs, chicken, and beef that are the real draw here. The sauce is tangy, the baked beans and cole slaw are good, and the whole vibe is appealing.
Phone:  505.843.7505
Hours:  11AM to 9PM daily
Credit cards accepted:  AE, MC, V
Main courses from:   7USD

Ragin Shrimp, 3619 Copper NE
At Ragin Shrimp, you can choose a sauce (Cajun, Jamaican, Curry, or Peanut), a level of spiciness, a meat (Gulf shrimp, chicken, pork, beef tenderloin) and a starch (angel hair pasta or white rice) to create a made just-for-you taste sensation. Or order Cajun dishes like jambalaya, gumbo, or red beans and rice. You can dine inside where rotating exhibits by local artists are displayed or on their patio.
Phone:  505.254.1544
Hours:  11AM to 9PM Monday through Thursday; 11AM to 10PM Fridays; 11:30AM to 10PM Saturdays; 11:30AM to 9PM Sundays
Credit cards accepted:  AE, MC, V
Starters from:   2.95USD
Main courses from:  9.95USD

Scalo, 3500 Central Ave. SE
This popular Nob Hill bistro is usually packed and the open kitchen contributes to the buzz. Don't come for a quiet dinner, but do come for good pasta, great freshly baked breads, and the better-than-usual wine list. Specials, which make use of fresh local ingredients, are usually a good bet. The fried baby calamari is a good starter and desserts are good. The upstairs dining room is a little quieter.
Phone:  505.255.8782
Hours:  11:30AM to 2:30PM and 5PM to 11PM Monday through Saturday; 5PM to 9PM Sundays
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   12USD

Seasons Rotisserie & Grill, 2031 Mountain Road NW
As the name suggests, Seasons specializes in succulent meats that have been spit-roasted over oak or pan roasted. In addition to American classics like center-cut sirloin with garlic mashed potatoes, you'll find a grilled portobello mushroom with risotto cake, and peppardelle and braised duck. Desserts can be paired with dessert wines or liqueurs. Save room for tiramisu. The balcony overlooking Old Town is an added bonus
Phone:  505.766.5100
Hours:  11:30AM to 2:30PM Monday through Friday; dinner from 5PM daily
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Starters from:   7USD
Main courses from:  15USD

Arroyo Seco (Taos)
Momentitos de la Vida, 474 State Road 150
One of the most expensive restaurants in the area, Momentitos de la Vita is a AAA Four Diamond winner and it has been favorably reviewed by Bon Appetit and Gourmet magazine. There are several lovely dining rooms in the old adobe, each with its own fireplace and the decor is attractive and romantic. Or in nice weather, you can dine on the terrace. The owners describe the cuisine as "New American with multiple influences, which means you'll find dishes from all over the world. Appetizers include smoked trout eclair, grilled habanero prawns, and Louisiana blue crab cakes. Pastachio-encrusted rack of lamb, blackened filet mignon, and plum-glazed duckling are popular entrees. There are usually several selections that will appeal to vegetarians
Phone:  505.776.3333 Reservations recommended
Hours:   5:30PM to 10PM Tuesday through Sunday
Credit cards accepted:  AE, MC, V
Starters from:   8.50
Main courses from:  17

Rancho De Chimayo Restaurant, County Road 98
Located in the old Jaramillo family homestead, Rancho de Chimayo Restaurant is one of the most popular restaurants in New Mexico. Dine inside or on the gorgeous patios on well-prepared and presented New Mexican dishes. Their cookbook makes a nice gift or keepsake. Be sure to have a Chimayo cocktail.
Phone:  505.351.4455
Fax:  505.351.4745
Hours:  11:30AM to 9PM daily; open Saturdays and Sundays for breakfast at 8:30AM; closed Mondays off season
Credit cards accepted:  AE, MC, V
Lunch from:   8
Main courses from:  11

Madrid, NM (Turquoise Trail)
The Mine Shaft Tavern, 2846 State Highway 14, 87010
If it's lunch time when you're in Madrid, and a burger and a cold beer sound appealing, this is the spot.
Credit cards accepted:  

Ranchos de Taos (Taos)
Trading Post Cafe, 4179 Paseo del Pueblo Sur., Hwy 68
Far and away the most popular spot in Ranchos de Taos, the Trading Post Cafe occupies the old Ranchos trading post, four miles south of Town. It has attracted celebrities including Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper and local movers and shakers, drawn by its impeccably prepared and beautifully presented Italian classics. The menu is simple with a nice selection of pastas, a fresh catch of the day, and pork, lamb, and beef. The dining room is distinguished by fine art from the Lumina Gallery and the exhibition kitchen ensure a bustling atmosphere. Desserts are worth saving room for.
Phone:  505.758.5089
Hours:  11:30AM to 9:30PM Monday through Saturday
Credit cards accepted:  DC, MC, V
Starters from:   6
Main courses from:  9

Santa Fe
Anasazi Restaurant, 113 Washington Ave.
Specializing in the cuisines of Native America, New Mexico, and the American West, this beautiful restaurant in the Inn of the Anasazi is one of the best in town. Start your dinner with tortilla soup or diablo shrimp. Game is especially good and imaginatively prepared. Signature dishes include habanero-Merlot glazed tuna mignon with fresh corn puree and seared spinach and cinnamon-chile rubbed beef medallions with chipotle-white cheddar mashed potaoes and mango salsa. What's not to like about that? Service is informed and professional without being stuffy. Presentation is dazzling. The kitchen uses fresh, organic ingredients wherever possible. And the dining room features hand-carved furnishings and fine art. Just the place for a memorable, special meal.
Phone:  Phone 505.988.3236 Reservations recommended
Hours:  7AM to 10:30AM, 11:30AM to 2:30PM and 5:30PM to 10PM daily
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   18

Andiamo!, 322 Garfield Street, 87501
This affordable Italian restaurant is just about everyone's favorite. From a simple pizza Margherita or Spaghetti with meatballs to veal scallopine with garlic mashed potatoes, capers and sauteed greens, the food is terrific. Start your meal with Parma proscuitto with steamed asparagus and Asiago cheese. The ambience at this neighborhood trattoria is attractive and the service is friendly. Desserts are worth the extra calories. Very enjoyable and good value for money.
Phone:  505.995.9595
Hours:  5:30PM to 9PM daily; open until 9:30PM on Fridays and Saturdays
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Starters from:   5
Main courses from:  9

Bistro 315, 315 Old Santa Fe Trail
When you've had enough Southwestern food, head to Bistro 315 for outstanding French fare made with the freshest organic ingredients and an intimate, romantic setting. You'll find brasserie standards like steak frites (order it au poivre or with Bernaise) and French onion soup and daily specials. The potato gratin is divine. If duck's on the menu, order it. You won't be disappointed. The location off the Plaza is great and when the weather's fine, you can dine on the patio. Start your meal with an endive salad with candied pistachios, pears, and goat cheese, and end it with a warm tarte tatin, bread pudding, or creme brulee.
Phone:  505.986.9190 Reservations recommended
Hours:  11:30AM to 2PM and 5:30PM to 9:30PM daily; closes half-an-hour earlier in winter
Credit cards accepted:  AE, MC, V
Main courses from:   18

Cafe Pasqual's, 121 Don Gaspar Ave.
A recent winner of the James Beard America's Regional Cooking Classics award, Cafe Pasqual's has been going strong in a city of great restaurants for 20 years. In the oldest freestanding adobe in Santa Fe a block from the plaza, Cafe Pasqual's is decorated with Mexican tiles and murals. It's a lively, colorful place with an enjoyable buzz. Breakfast is served all day and features dishes like char-grilled trout and corned-beef hash. For lunch, try autumn-roasted beet salad with Stilton and chile pecans or a grilled squash and red onion enchilada. At dinner, some Asian influences are introduced and you'll find dishes like Vietnamese squid salad and Thai green curry sharing the bill with pan-seared, chile-rubbed salmon with avocado-tomato salsa. To try several things at once, order one of the Plato Supremo combinations. There's likely to be a line any time of day, so be sure to make reservations for dinner. With appetizers topping out at $14 and entrees at $33, dinner may not be inexpensive, but it will be enjoyable.
Phone:  505.983.9340 or 800.722.7672
Hours:  7AM to 3PM and 6PM to 10PM dail; open until 10:30PM on weekends and in summer
Credit cards accepted:  AE, MC, V
Breakfast from:   6
Main courses from:  16

Cafe San Estevan, 428 Agua Fria Street
A favorite spot for celebrities who live in the Santa Fe area, Cafe San Estevan is run by former Fransican monk Estevan Garcia. The red and green chile sauces are excellent and the fresh chicken enchiladas are the best in town. The mango salsa could brighten any dish, and the tres leche desserts are fabulous. The old hacienda ambience is casual but inviting and service is friendly. When the weather's fine, there's sidewalk dining. And prices are reasonable. A good bet for authentic northern New Mexico cooking.
Phone:  505.995.1996 Reservations recommended
Hours:  11AM to 2PM and 5:30PM to 9:30PM daily; breakfast is served Saturdays and Sundays from 9AM to 2PM.
Credit cards accepted:  AE, MC, V
Main courses from:   10

Cowgirl Hall of Fame, 319 S. Guadalupe Street
This big, casual place is just as camp as the name suggests. It's definitely not the place for a romantic, intimate dinner, but it's fun, the food is generally good, and you won't spend a fortune. You can get Texas-style barbecued ribs, chicken, or brisket cooked over mesquite, "jerked" chicken or pork, or Southwestern standards like chile rellenos and salmon soft tacos. In summer, you can dine outside on the patio. Inside, the decor is distinguished by photos of Cowgirl Hall of Fame nominees. There are a dozen beers on draught, and good margaritas. Plus, live entertainment almost every night.
Phone:  505.982.2565
Hours:  11AM to midnight Monday through Friday; 8AM to midnight Saturdays and 8AM to 11PM Sundays
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   6

Coyote Cafe, 132 Water Street
One of the best known restaurants in Santa Fe -- and a key contributor in the popularity of Southwestern cuisine -- Coyote Cafe has been packing them in since it opened over a decade ago. It's a James Beard, Wine Spectator, and Zagat's award winner and a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike. The decor features colorful weavings, cowhide seats, and hand-carved wooden animals. But the real appeal is what comes out of Mark Miller's kitchen. Enjoy a mango margarita or Brazilian daiquiri while you peruse the menu, which changes seasonally. Classics here include the "Cowboy cut" New Mexican rib chop, red chile onion rings, and buttermilk corn cakes with chipotle shrimp. In season, you'll usually find salmon and halibut, a vegetarian selection like goat cheese gnocchi, and fabulous desserts. Those who'd like to spend less can visit the Rooftop Cantina which serves sandwiches, tacos, and enchiladas at lunch and a limited dinner menu.
Phone:  505.983.1615 Reservations recommended
Hours:  5:30PM to 11PM dail; Rooftop Cantina is open from 11:30AM to 9PM daily
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Three-course dinner from:   45
Cantina main courses from:  6

El Farol, 808 Canyon Road
Located in an atmospheric 1835 adobe on Canyon Road, El Farol is a great stop after a full day of gallery hopping. The specialty here is tapas -- those delectable little morsels that help Spaniards wait until 10PM for dinner. There are dozens of choices, from the traditional Tortilla Espanola to more exotic items like snails and rabbit. You can easily make a meal from tapas alone, but El Farol also serves Spanish classics like paella and lamb stew. There's live entertainment nightly and you can dine indoors in one of several small rooms or out on the patio
Phone:  505.983.9912
Hours:  6PM to 10PM daily
Credit cards accepted:  DC, MC, V
Tapas from:   5
Main courses from:  18

Geronimo, 724 Canyon Road
Geronimo is the Zagat's "Most Popular Restaurant" in Santa Fe winner and first runner-up for "food and decor." Located in a restored adobe dating from 1756, Geronimo's is made cozy by beamed ceilings, wood floors, stucco walls, and a warming fireplace. When the weather's nice, if you can get a spot out on the porch, so much the better. Chef Erid DiStefano is one of Southwestern cuisine's shining stars and the food here is innovative and exciting. Signature dihes include char-grilled lobster tail on angel hair pasta and elk tenderloin with applewood smoked bacon. If you'd like to sample the cooking here, but don't want an expensive meal, come for lunch.
Phone:  505.982.1500 Reservations recommended
Hours:  11:30AM to 2:30PM and 6PM to 9:30PM daily; closed for lunch Mondays; Sunday brunch from 11:30AM to 2:30PM
Credit cards accepted:  AE, MC, V
Starters from:   10
Main courses from:  24

Old Mexico Grill, 2434 Cerrillos Rd.
For really good Mexican -- not New Mexican -- food, try the Old Mexico Grill. Although you'll find all the usual Mexican dishes on the menu, opt for something more adventurous, like a chicken breast stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and cheese and topped with a chipotle-mushroom cream sauce or a complex and satisfying mole. The ceviche is fresh and the arracheras (fajitas) are packed with flavor. The ambience is colorful and festive. And the flan is a great way to finish your meal.
Phone:  505.473.0338
Hours:  11:30AM to 2:30PM Monday through Friday and 5:30PM to 9PM nightly; open Friday and Saturday nights until 9:30PM
Credit cards accepted:  MC, V
Lunch from:   6
Main courses from:  9

Ristra, 548 Agua Fria Street
This sophisticated restaurant five minute's walk from the plaza combines French and Southwestern culinary traditions to good effect. The Victorian house setting is lovely, particularly on the patio. And the dining room is quieter than most. Black Mediterranean mussels in a chipotle and mint broth is one of the most successful appetizers in town. Everyone loves this dish. Other standouts include the rack of lamb, mesquite-grilled filet mignon and crispy salmon. Service is very professional and the wine list has something for everyone. Ristra has been favorably reviewed by Gourmet magazine, The New York Times, Zagat, and others.
Phone:  505.982.8608 Reservations recommended
Hours:  5:30PM to 10PM daily in summer; 6PM to 9PM Sunday through Thursday and 5:30PM to 9:30PM Fridays and Saturdays off season.
Credit cards accepted:  AE, MC, V
Starters from:   6
Main courses from:  18

Santacafe, 231 Washington Avenue
Located in the restored Padre Gallegos house dating from 1862, Santacafe is one of Santa Fe's top restaurants. It's a block and a half from the plaza and you can dine on the patio during the summer. The interior is as minimal as it gets -- several small white rooms with fireplaces and bleached antlers -- so there's nothing to distract from the food, except perhaps the noise level. The innovative cuisine here combines Southwestern and Asian influences and it's sensational. Appetizers include crispy calamari, shitake and cactus spring rolls, and shrimp and spinach dumplings. Main courses like barbecued pork with mango mojo are well-prepared and beautifully presented. Save room for dessert.
Phone:  505.984.1788 Reservations recommended
Hours:  11:30AM to 2PM Monday through Saturday and 6PM to 10PM daily; open for Sunday brunch from April through September
Credit cards accepted:  AE, MC, V
Starters from:   5.50
Main courses from:  19

Apple Tree Restaurant, 123 Bent Street
Named for the old apple tree that shades the charming courtyard, this five-room restaurant is located in an old adobe a block north of the plaza. The menu is eclectic with New Mexican, American, and occasional Asian dishes and fresh local ingredients are used whenever possible. It's a good choice for vegetarians and there's usually a fresh seafood special. Popular dishes here include mango chicken enchiladas and grilled lamb. Apple Tree is a Wine Spectator award winner and the wine list has many affordable selections.
Phone:  505.758.1900 Reservations recommended
Hours:  11:30AM to 3PM Monday through Saturday and from 5PM nightly; Sunday brunch from 10AM to 3PM
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Lunch from:   5.50
Main courses from:  10.95

Bent Street Deli & Cafe, 120 Bent Street
A good choice for breakfast or lunch if you're exploring the galleries and museums of Taos. You can dine on deli sandwiches, omelets, or salads inside or on the patio. Or get your order to go and picnic in Kit Carson park.
Phone:  505.758.5787
Hours:  8AM to 9PM Monday through Saturday
Credit cards accepted:  MC, V
Lunch from:   3.50
Main courses from:  10

Doc Martin's, 125 Paseo del Pueblo Norte
Located in the Historic Taos Inn, Doc Martin's is consistently rated one of the top restaurants in town. The atmospheric dining room was once the home and office of an early Taos physician. A Wine Spectator's "Best" award winner (there are only 200 world-wide), Doc Martin's favorites include Southwestern lacquered duck and smoked lamb sirloin on goat cheese souffle. Desserts like coconut creme brulee and Aztec chocolate mousse are memorable. A good spot for breakfast too.
Phone:  505.758.1977
Hours:  7:30AM to 11AM, 11:30AM to 2:30PM and 5:30PM to 9PM daily; Sunday brunch from 11AM to 3PM
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Starters from:   5
Main courses from:  13.50

Joseph's Table, 4167 S. Sante Fe Rd., Highway 68
Describing itself as "an intimate cafe specializing in quality food, simplicity, and ambience," Joseph's Table was proclaimed "best restaurant in the state" by the Santa Fe Reporter. It's ten minutes from the plaza, but most will feel the food and romantic atmosphere are well worth the drive. Chef Joseph Wrede was named one of the ten "Best New Chefs" in the country by Food & Wine magazine and with one taste of his beautifully presented dishes you'll know why. The menu changes daily, based on what's fresh. If you're lucky it will contain appetizers like Tuscan shrimp, mixed greens with sun-dried cherries, goat cheese and a bacon vinaigrette, and grilled yellowfin tuna with grapefruit, pinenuts, and proscuitto or apricot-rosemary glazed salmon.
Phone:  505.751.4512 Reservations recommended
Hours:  6PM to 11PM daily
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   18

Lambert's of Taos, 309 Paseo del Pueblo Sur
Located a few blocks from the plaza in the historic Randall House, Lamberts was opened by the former chef at Doc Martin's. The menu is all over the map with Asian dishes like lobster wontons, lamb satay, and crispy Chinese roasted duck, Southwestern specialties like onion rings with red chile dust and roast pork with chipotle cream sauce, and good old American classics. Favorites here include the pepper-crusted lamb loin, potato-crusted sea bass, and crab cakes. Good service and an extensive wine list.
Phone:  505.758.1009
Hours:  From 5PM daily
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Starters from:   4
Main courses from:  13

Ogelvie's Bar & Grill, 103 East Plaza, Suite I
Location, location, location. Think of Ogilvie's as a sidewalk cafe on the Plaza Major in Madrid or the Piazza Navona in Rome. The location right on the plaza is so sensational that no one cares much about the food. The second-story balcony is a great spot for a drink, a bite, and the best people watching in town.
Phone:  505.758.8866
Hours:  11AM until late
Credit cards accepted:  AE, MC, V
Lunch from:   6
Main courses from:  9

Stakeout Grill & Bar, 101 Stakeout Dr.
With its sweeping views of the entire Taos Valley and the Jemez Range, the Stakeout's Outlaw Hill location is as big a draw as its kitchen. In winter, you can cozy up to the fireplace inside the cozy western-style hacienda. In summer, enjoy the sunset from their expansive deck. The menu, which revolves around steaks and seafood, gets a little pricey -- a porterhouse will run you $34. But you can dine in the lively bar on appetizers for a lot less.
Phone:  505.758.2042 Reservations recommended
Hours:  5PM to 9:30PM daily
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Starters from:   7
Main courses from:  15

Villa Fontana, #71 Highway 522
When you're in the mood for Northern Italian, Villa Fontana is your best bet in the Taos area. Italian Carlo Gislimberti and his English wife run this charming place, which was ranked one of the top 10 Italian restaurants in America by an Italian guidebook. The restaurant grows its own herbs and exotic mushrooms, so everything offered is impeccably fresh. You'll likely find wild mushrooms in soup, risotto, and ravioli. The menu is compact with Italian classics like proscuitto and melon and carpaccio as appetizers and entrees including veal scallopine and grilled lamb chops.
Phone:  505.758.5800 Reservations recommended
Hours:  5:30PM to 9:30PM Tuesday through Saturday
Credit cards accepted:  AE, MC, V
Starters from:   10
Main courses from:  18.50