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Shipman's favorite New Mexico restaurants
- Santa Fe
- The Palace, since its reopening in 2012, is now simply
the best restaurant in NM, among those that I've actually tried.
Start on the Plaza, facing north: you see the Palace of
the Governors, which is several hundred years old. Palace Street runs
in front of it. Go about three blocks west and look on the south
side of the street. Chef Joseph Wrede has been making culinary
waves from Taos for many years, so when I heard he was reopening
this famous location after a two-year hiatus, I couldn't wait to
try it. Amazing food, with influences from world cuisine, Santa
Fe style, and continental technique, but more creative than any
four other fine dining places in town.
- Española/Chimayó area
Canyon Smokehouse at 925 South Main
St., near the south end of town, phone 505-861-1400.
Opened in November 2009. Good meats, wide selection,
nice big bright clean room, nice people.
Fat Sat's is a fairly new (2009) bar and grill, and
I've been quite happy with the three meals I've had there.
It's on the I-25 bypass road, between the North Belen exit
(milepost 195) and Wal-Mart. This is kind of a Guy Place:
a dozen big TV screens, a real bar, and saucy, underdressed
(but attentive) waitresses. Forget that: the food is
great, and there are healthy options (unless of course you
really need most of a pound of fries). Their sandwiches
are huge, with good-quality meats and cheeses. Prime rib
is a specialty, along with a full range of cow products.
The chef salad was surprisingly good: a high grade of mixed
salad greens, tender chicken with a good sear and nice
- Truth or Consequences
- Tia Lupe's, 1200 N.
White Sands Boulevard #109, (575) 437-0820, directly
across the street from the zoo and the Chamber of Commerce.
Lupe Acosta is the daughter of Maria Acosta, who for many
years made (in my opinion) the best Mexican food in Socorro
County, in the virtual shadow of the legendary Owl in San
Antonio, NM. Big menu, great flavor, nice people, and
- For Chinese food, try Hunan,
on the north-south main drag just
behind the Peter Piper Pizza, well north of NMMI.
Consistent quality, big menu, nice folks.
- I normally avoid chains if there are better choices, but in
this town I like the Red Lobster.
- Piccolino's, one block north of the main intersection. Southern
Italian, huge menu, lots of standards and some dishes you don't
often see. A lot better than what you'd expect in a small town
- I have not personally tried the Chaos Cafe, on the east side
of the north-south main drag and south of the east-west main
drag, but multiple informants tell me it's wholesome and tasty.
Breakfast and lunch only.
The Red Chimney Pit Barbecue is one of the two
best barbecue outlets in the
state of New Mexico, for my taste (the other being The
Cube in Albuquerque). Scrumptious,
slow-smoked meats, an excellent middle-of-the-road sauce,
and a good value. The locals know about this place, so get
there early—since it takes a day to smoke the meats,
once they run out of something, it's gone until the next
day. Lunch and dinner, Monday-Friday only
(unfortunately). On the main drag (Canal Street) a mile or
so north of downtown. Since 1952.
- For quite traditional Mexican food at a reasonable price,
try Leo's on Bronson just around the corner from the
- As with Roswell, I'm not aware of any good local places
here, but the Red Lobster does good work.
Gone but not forgotten
Next: Shipman's favorite California restaurants
See also: Shipman's favorite restaurants
Previous: Shipman's favorite Albuquerque restaurants
John W. Shipman,
Last updated: 2012/04/22 19:55:33