El Farolito

New Mexican | Small Town Café
One of the best

El Farolito is a small place, hardly bigger than a house trailer, but for native New Mexican food, you’d be hard pressed to find a better place at a better price. Chilies rellenos, tacos, enchiladas, and green chile cheeseburgers are featured on the menu (which also offers ordinary hamburgers and hot dogs for chilephobes). The green chili is especially excellent: a luxurious stew of bite-size pieces of pork, tomato, and slivers of ultrahot green chile. Red chile is more a sauce, nothing but pureed chilies and spice; and it is used on burritos and enchiladas. But if you’d like a “bowl of red” as a meal, the Trujillos will add beef and/or beans to create a thick, powerhouse stew.

We cannot resist El Farolito’s Frito pie. Dominic Trujillo, son of founders Carmen and Dennis, told us that some customers who get their pies to go have the corn chips packed separately so they don’t get too soft by the time dinner is ready to eat. The way it normally comes from the kitchen, there is a thick layer of relatively mild-mannered red chili spread atop a foundation of corn chips, the chili garnished with melting shredded cheese, lettuce and tomato. It’s the whole food pyramid in a single bowl!

Thanks to Michelle Sullivan for tipping us off to this great find.

What to Eat
El Farolito, Chilies Rellenos
Chilies Rellenos
A chile relleno covered in the thin, hot red chile
El Farolito, Sopaipillas
The traditional breadstuff with New Mexican meals: sopaipillas. They are fresh-fried and served warm with honey.
El Farolito, Green Chile Cheeseburger
Green Chile Cheeseburger
An exemplary Green Chile Cheeseburger
El Farolito, Green Chile
Green Chile
In New Mexico, chile is always spelled with an E at the end. It's a way of honoring the official state vegetable. This is a bowl of green chile stew.
El Farolito, Mexican Hot Chocolate
Mexican Hot Chocolate
The Mexican hot chocolate provides strong chocolate flavor without being overly sweet.
El Farolito, Stuffed Sopaipilla Green
Stuffed Sopaipilla Green
I like the stuffed sopaipilla itself just fine, but the green chile here is so good, it would make any dish magical.
El Farolito, Frito Pie
Frito Pie
The northern New Mexico classic: Fritos pie. The chips are bedded down below the chile.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday12 pm - 8 pm
Tuesday5 pm - 8 pm
Wednesday5 pm - 8 pm
Thursday5 pm - 8 pm
Friday5 pm - 8 pm
Saturday12 pm - 8 pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
7 stops | 439 MILES | 7 hr 19 min

Fritos were created in San Antonio in 1932, but it took some thirty years before the Frito pie was born. Teresa Hernandez, working behind the Woolworth's lunch counter in Santa Fe, had the idea to slice off the top of a single-serving bag of Fritos and ladle in chili, then cheese, onions, lettuce, and tomato.…

5 stops | 206 MILES | 4 hr 3 min

North and Northwest

With famously good restaurants serving local and exotic meals, Santa Fe is such a powerful magnet for the appetite that it can be hard to leave. But we highly recommend a drive north and northwest of the city into the breathtaking beauty of Jemez Mountains and the Sangre de Cristo foothills of…

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

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Harry’s Roadhouse

    Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Harry’s Roadhouse is a colorful Santa Fe, New Mexico, restaurant with a three-meal-a-day repertoire from lemon ricotta hotcakes to cool margaritas.

  • Shake Foundation

    Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Shake Foundation serves up a spicy green chile cheeseburger, swoon-worthy French fries, and a legendary cinnamon milkshake.

  • Pasqual’s

    Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Pasqual’s is Santa Fe’s favorite corner eatery, serving bright, modern versions of New Mexico classics. Corned beef hash is some of the best in the West.

  • Rancho de Chimayo

    Chimayo, New Mexico

    The ultimate New Mexico dining experience, Rancho de Chimayo is a landmark for authentic regional flavors & dreamy village setting in mountain foothills.

  • Santa Fe Bite

    Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Santa Fe Bite serves what many consider to be the best green chile cheeseburger in New Mexico. It might be the best hamburger of any kind, anywhere!

  • Tecolote

    Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Tecolote, Santa Fe’s premier breakfast restaurant, is a southwest treasure offering creative New Mexican fare and a grand bakery basket. ** CLOSED **