I try and do minimal research before traveling anywhere because I, too, like to be surprised. One thing I rarely research is food because 1. I am not picky 2. I have no food allergies and 3. I am usually open to trying everything at least once, twice if I like it! That being said – I absolutely loved the food in Santa Fe, but I wish I had done some research as a lot of the food is spicy, which I cannot eat. However, I always found something light on spice or with no spice and guess what? The food was still amazing!
There are a plethora of dining options in Santa Fe and I did not get to try them all – but some stood out as a must visit! These are my favorite places to eat in Santa Fe!
One simply does not visit Santa Fe and NOT get a breakfast burrito from Tia Sophia’s! It would merely be a disservice to yourself not to eat here. They pride themselves on affordable prices and offering a kid friendly atmosphere.
I went with a handheld burrito because I wasn’t feeling the smothered option – however, the mothered burrito is a favorite. I won’t lie to you though – my burrito was fantastic and kept me going until lunch.
Chef Fernando Olea, from Mexico City, has bee enticing diners in Santa Fe with his spin on cooking for 27 years. While his menu is small, it promises everything you’ve been looking for. Personally I believe small menus by great chefs mean they do those dishes exceptionally well, and in this case, I am 100% right. Each dish was exploding with flavor and the pairings were spot on with each plate.
During my visit to Sazon Restaurant I did a Degustación tasting menu with pairings. What I loved about this menu was that I was able to try 7 dishes with pairings AND it started with dessert!
My favorite dishes were:
Santa Fe School of Cooking
Joining the Santa Fe School of Cooking is a different kind of dining experience. I was able to watch all the food being made by both chefs during the dining experience and learn a few tricks of the trade in the process. The experience not only comes with great food but a side of comedy.
During my Traditional New Mexican IV class, the chefs prepared:
- Green chile chicken and chicos
- Santa Fe style beef carnitas
- Green cabbage salad
- Roasted corn on the cob with cilantro lime butter
Kakawa House of Chocolate
Kakawa Chocolate House was such a fun experience for me. I have a pretty sweet set of teeth in my mouth and gravitate towards sweet over salty, so stopping here was a highlight. What I loved about Kakawa was not only the owners who were super sweet and passionate about their shop, but their use of flavor. For example – I had a truffle that had goat cheese and herbs in it and it was amazing! Those flavors I would have never thought to make into a truffle.
Kakawa makes a series of chocolate elixirs in mini cups and I tried a couple of them. Sort of like hot chocolate but not at all really. This drink was more than hot chocolate, it was special in a way that make you love chocolate more.
My absolute favorite truffle was made with passion fruit. I am a sucker for all things passion fruit – so this was easy for me. <3
La Posada de Santa Fe
Eating outside on the patio at La Posada de Santa Fe was one of the highlights of my visit to Santa Fe. The food here is SOOO good. I don’t know how the chef does it, but every single tapas that hit our table was incredible.
Museum Hill Cafe
I loved the outdoor patio lunch at Museum Hill Cafe. Positioned right between the Museum of International Folk Art & the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, this was the perfect place to spend an afternoon. I was able to explore both museums and have a delicious lunch with amazing views.
There is a plethora of items on the menu to satisfy any food desire. I opted for a light lunch since I was going to be exploring the museums afterward. The fresh salmon salad with pineapple mango salsa was SO good. It was the right amount of food and all the flavors complemented each other nicely.
Four Season’s Rancho Encantado’s Terra Restaurant
This dining set up experience at the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado’s Terra Restaurant was special for our group in attendance BUT Executive Chef Kai Autenrieth and his team are sensational in all their cooking and you can get the same items we had on the menu.
Some of our starters included: gazpacho verde and seared scallops – which were mind blowing.
For my main dish I went with the Blue Corn Tamale! And let me just say – you must get tamale when in Santa Fe and I feel like this one was perfect.
For dessert chef prepared a Santa Fe inspired chocolate vessel – aka a large chocolate cup with more chocolate in it!
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Disclaimer: I was hosted by the Santa Fe Tourism Board, but as always, opinions are entirely my own.