Restaurants in New Mexico

New Mexico eaters make the point that the state’s cuisine is NOT Mexican, Tex-Mex, or California-Mex. It may have glimmers of them all, but it has a personality all its own. Chile – spelled with an “E” to honor the official state co-vegetable (along with the pinto bean) – rules in the Land of Enchantment, but it is rare to find chili, spelled with an “i,”as a meal. Chilies define the great state version of a hamburger, the green chile cheeseburger, and restaurants everywhere serve chilies rellenos (cheese-stuffed pods), and carne adovada (chile-marinated roast pork). Chilies infuse bread loaves and pizza crusts, ignite huevos rancheros, and are used to add snap and sunshiny flavor to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Beyond the ubiquitous pod, nearly every New Mexico table has a basket of sopaipillas – airy little warm pillows of quick-fried dough, brought to perfection by a drizzle of honey. Frito pies are another state signature dish. In fact, Santa Fe is one of two places that claim to have invented it (the other place being Dallas, Texas). It is today a southwestern-accented dish found in diners and cafes far beyond state borders.

New Mexico’s Most Famous Dishes

Cross section of a buned rare burger topped with chopped green chilies and cheese

Green Chile Cheeseburger

Basket of puffy, pillow-like sopaipillas


Burger on a tender bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo ... car hop service

Grilled Hamburger

Blue corn enchilada, Christmas style -- with both red and green chile


New Mexico’s Best Restaurants

Mr. Powdrell’s Barbeque - Portrait
Mr. Powdrell’s Barbeque


Santa Fe Tortilla Company - Tortillas
Santa Fe Tortilla Company


Five and Dime General Store - Frito Pie
Five and Dime General Store


San Marcos Cafe - Cinnamon Bun
San Marcos Cafe


El Bruno’s


Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen


Casa de Benavidez


Los Ojos Restaurant and Saloon


Sadie’s of New Mexico


La Michoacana De Paquime


Mesilla Valley BBQ




Chunks of slow-roasted pork deeply saturated in a hot-chile marinade
La Posta de Mesilla






Plaza Café


El Farolito


Roque’s Carnitas


Buckhorn Tavern






New Mexico Articles & Guides

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Smashed crispyburger, fully dressed

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66 Diner - Sign

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Double bacon cheeseburger, fully dressed

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Chope’s - Combo Plate with Chile Relleno

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Paper-thin crepes, dusted with powdered sugar, envelop bananas, walnuts, maple syrup and brown sugar


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The Varsity - Exterior Night

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Bowl of chili with onions, cheese & chips ... chili nation

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Five and Dime General Store - Frito Pie

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Granola is loaded with nuts, berries, raisins, coconut, etc., etc.

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A plat of sopaipillas at Nellie's restaurant in Las Cruces, NM

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Taco Temple Combo Plate

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Great New Mexico Recipes

Santa Fe Carnitas

Caramelized Onion Quesadilla


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