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 the Rockies, where you’ll find some lesser-known but worthwhile culinary destinations. A first stop on the way out of town would be Los Ojos Restaurant and Saloon for buffalo burgers and vintage saloon ambience or El Brunos for stacked blue corn enchiladas. Stop and Eat Drive In is worth a visit less for its classic New-Mex fare (green chile cheeseburgers, tacos, and tamales) than for drive-in ambience that seems not to have changed in decades. Up in Embudo along the northern reaches of the Rio Grande, Sugar’s serves up memorably yummy barbecue burritos; and beyond that in the tiny town of El Rito, El Farolito has become famous for its Frito pie and green chile stew.
In the tiny New Mexico town of El Rito, El Farolito offers chiles rellenos, enchiladas, green chile and green chile cheeseburgers, plus fine Frito pie.