Chili Parlor | New Mexican | Small Town Café | Tavern
One of the best

Chope’s is in the Mesilla Valley, which is where some of New Mexico’s finest chilies are grown; and chile is the star of the menu. Not chili with an “I” at the end, which is the Texas meal of meat and peppers, but chile with an “e”, which is the way New Mexicans refer to their beloved crop. At Chope’s, one good way to taste them is as chilies rellenos: lightly breaded and fried pods served three to an order, or singly alongside any of the combination plates. Also terrific, and milder than the rellenos, are Chope’s red enchiladas. Green enchiladas are available, too; they tend to be hotter. We recommend a stack, with a fried egg on top.

Meaty tamales are available by threes or as part of combination plate that also includes an enchilada, a soft taco, rice, and beans. The menu is a typical one for this part of the country, featuring bowls of chili with or without beans or con queso (with cheese), as well as airweight sopaipillas. Nothing we have sampled is less than exemplary.

A word of warning: Although Chope’s is in the middle of nowhere, it gets crowded at lunch with chowhounds from Las Cruces, local chili planters chatting on their cell phones, and hot food pilgrims from throughout the state. By 11:45 in the morning, customers are lined up outside the house waiting for the dining room to open. The turnover is fast, but it is likely you will have to put your name on the waiting list if you arrive after noon.

What to Eat
Chope’s, Chile Rellenos
Chile Rellenos
Chile relleno, ready to be topped with red chile
Chope’s, Enchiladas
Enchilada to the left, chile relleno to the right.
Chope’s, Chile Con Queso
Chile Con Queso
Chile Con Queso is hot but not tongue-searing.
Chope’s, Stuffed Sopaipilla
Stuffed Sopaipilla
Massive sopaipilla stuffed with chile colorado. Brilliant!
Chope’s, Chips & Salsa
Chips & Salsa
Very hot salsa, thick chips
Directions and Hours
closed now
Tuesday5:30pm - 8:30pm
Wednesday5:30pm - 8:30pm
Thursday5:30pm - 8:30pm
Friday5:30pm - 8:30pm
Saturday11:30am - 8:30pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
7 stops | 786 MILES | 12 hr 24 min

Sopaipillas are are made from dough that is rolled out very thin, cut into small sections, then tossed into boiling oil, preferably lard. The lard makes the pieces of dough puff up into little pillows (the meaning of sopaipilla) and become slightly crisp at the edges but mostly soft and airy. Restaurants that serve baskets…

5 stops | 76 MILES | 1 hr 40 min

The Mesilla Valley in southern New Mexico is chile central, where the best are grown and where the hot pod is enjoyed at every meal. If you want to savor the state's official co-vegetable (with the pinto bean) at its finest, check out this all-chile itinerary. Have breakfast at Nellie's, where the motto is "A…

13 stops | 347 MILES | 5 hr 56 min

The Royal Road

One of the most delicious American Byways is El Camino Real ("The Royal Road") through New Mexico. In addition to spectacular natural beauty, travelers will encounter all kinds of opportunities to savor one of the nation's most distinctive regional cuisines, much of which is based around the state's two official co-vegetables: the…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Little Diner

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    Little Diner of Canutillo, Texas, just outside El Paso, offers the best true Tex-Mex food: superb chili con carne, flautas, gorditas, and made-here tortillas.

  • Nopalito

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    Excellent New Mexico food at family-run Nopalito of Las Cruces: crisp-edged chilies rellenos, stacked enchiladas with beans and cheese and a fried egg on top.

  • Sparky’s

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    In Hatch, New Mexico (chile capital of the world), Sparky’s serves fine green chile cheeseburgers as well as chile-powered steaks, milk shakes, and lemonade.

  • H&H Cafe & Car Wash

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    El Paso’s H&H Cafe is also a car wash, providing travelers the opportunity to savor excellent Tex-Mex food then get on the road in a sparkling clean car.

  • Nellie’s

    Las Cruces, New Mexico

    A sign on the wall in Nellie’s of Las Cruces says: “A day without chile is like a day without sunshine.” No problem on this fine chile-centric New Mexico menu!

  • La Posta de Mesilla

    Las Cruces, New Mexico

    A landmark restaurant serving true New Mexico fare, La Posta is a magical dinner destination in the Mesilla Valley.