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 Day Without Chile is Like a Day Without Sunshine,” lunch at Chope’s, where chile growers come for flavor-bursting chiles rellenos, and a grand dinner of tostadas compuestas at La Posta de Mesilla. If you take this trip during autumn’s chile harvest, look for between-meal snacks at roadside chile roasters, where freshly roasted pods are served in simple sandwiches. And if you are coming up the Rio Grande from Texas, do stop in El Paso at H&H Cafe & Car Wash for four-alarm breakfast, or at the Little Diner for the best classic Tex-Mex fare, including a fiery “bowl of red.”
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.