Owl Bar

Hamburgers | New Mexican | Tavern
Worth driving from anywhere!

“Masterpiece! Masterpiece!” sings the waitress at the Owl Bar as she carries a green chile cheeseburger (here known as an Owl Burger) from the kitchen to my place at the bar. It is 8:30am, and while the menu does have a couple of egg-and-bacon breakfasts as well as a few steaks and sandwiches, the unique New Mexico hamburger is what has put this out-of-the-way watering hole on the good eats map. Since at least the early days of atomic bomb tests at nearby White Sands, when scientists used to come here for a nuclear-hot meal, The Owl Bar has built such an exalted a reputation that aficionados drive from Texas and Colorado to eat ’em two by two. It is so popular at lunch in the summertime, you may have to wait for a place to sit.

Crusty, gnarled patties of beef are covered with chopped hot green chilies and the chilies are in turn topped with a slice of cheese that melts into them and the crevices of the hamburger. The green chile itself is a flavor revelation; in concert with beef, it’s magic. Customary condiments include raw onion, chopped lettuce, sliced tomato, and pickle chips. This is a glorious package, on any reasonable short list of the state’s best GCCBs. Green chile cheese fries are also available on the side, and there is a small menu of other sandwiches.

When I ate my cheeseburger at breakfast time, the stools at the bar were occupied by a few regular customers having their own all-liquid breakfasts in the form of Coors Lite. Decor at the Owl is a delightful roadhouse hodgepodge of beer memorabilia, photos, and paper currency that customers tack to the walls. The proprietors, Adolph and Rowena Baca, regularly take down the donated cash and give it to local charities.

What to Eat
Owl Bar, Green Chile Cheeseburger
Green Chile Cheeseburger
This burger was eaten at 8:15AM. This is how you get the day started right!
Owl Bar, Green Chile Cheese Fries
Green Chile Cheese Fries
Green chile turns ordinary French fries into a memorable side dish.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Monday8am - 8pm
Tuesday8am - 8pm
Wednesday8am - 8pm
Thursday8am - 8pm
Friday8am - 8pm
Saturday8am - 8pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
11 stops | 306 MILES | 5 hr

A visit to New Mexico during the height of chile season takes us from Albuquerque, where the State Fair is underway, north to magical city of Santa Fe, then finally south to the chile-growing country of the Mesilla Valley, where we will be hosted by Dr. Paul Bosland, the world's foremost chile expert.

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
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

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    Messy, memorable green chile cheeseburgers make the Buckhorn Tavern an essential Roadfood stop in San Antonio, New Mexico.