Santa Fe Recommendations

Santa Fe Sky on April 15 2017 (Source: Geo Davis)

Santa Fe, New Mexico—aka “the City Different”—boasts an enchanting local culture distilled from ancient Pueblo civilizations, almost four centuries of Spanish and Mexican rule, a vast artistic and culinary heritage, and an unparalleled dedication to healthy living and outdoor recreation. We create, collect, and continually curate Santa Fe recommendations based upon personal experience and traveler requests. Our tastes and preferences are sometimes funky, occasionally decadent, and always eclectic. In other words, you’re mileage may vary!

You may jump to a specific category from the list below or browse through everything.

(Please note that our recommendations appear in no particular order.)
Our Santa Fe Restaurant Recommendations

Dining (Source: Michael Browning)

Santa Fe Restaurant Recommendations

This is an ever-evolving list of restaurants in (and near) Santa Fe that we think you might enjoy. Our favorites change, and restaurants come and go, so don’t be surprised if this list is different than the last time you looked. Note that some restaurants include a personal review to help you make you dining decision.

Anasazi Restaurant, Bar & Tequila Table

This restaurant has a sophisticated, subtly urban twist on traditional Southwestern cuisine and design. Excellent service and impressive tequila collection. Located just off the plaza at Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi.

  • Address: 113 Washington Ave., Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
  • Telephone:  (505) 988-3030


This is one of our newer favorites in town (just across from the Georgia O’Keeffe museum and named for that famous artist).  It has a bistro, more casual menu bar area and a more formal dining room and menu (also great for lunch, especially if you are visiting the museum).

Radish & Rye

Farm inspired cuisine, innovative food and drinks sourced locally. Try to make a reservation for the patio.

  • Address: 548 Agua Fria, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Telephone:  (505) 930-5325

Restaurant Martin

Recently renovated and enlarged to accommodate loyal patrons (like us!), this contemporary foodie hotspot is comfortably, chic, and delicious. The chef/owner is a local who grew up working in Santa Fe restaurants, was trained at the Culinary Institute of America, and today is setting the standard for modern, innovative cuisine.

  • Address: 526 Galisteo Street , Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 820-0919

Secreto Lounge

Opulent, award-winning cocktail lounge specializing in award-winning “garden-to-glass” and vintage elixirs. Patio seating and Southwestern small plates. Located near the plaza in Hotel Saint Francis.

  • Address:  Hotel St. Francis, 210 Don Gaspar Avenue, Suite A, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
  • Phone: (505) 983-5700

Il Piatto

Since 1996, Chef Matt Yohalem has delighted his customers by bringing a seasonally changing menu of delicious, authentic Italian cuisine to the heart of Santa Fe. Located one block north of the historic Santa Fe Plaza.

  • Address: 95 West Marcy Street, Santa Fe, N.M 87501
  • Phone: (505) 984-1091


The food here, next to the world famous Ten Thousand Waves spa (on a hilltop 10 minutes from downtown), is amazing.  It is very creative Japanese food like you’ve never had it.  If you go to the spa then this is a lovely way to finish the day.  Don’t expect sushi there, however.  The chef will only serve fish if he finds it exceptionally fresh (and it is the desert after all).


This is a high-end Santa Fe restaurant with innovative food, great space, exceptional service, and a Canyon Road location. It’s been around for years, but it is still there for a reason. Known for its contemporary American cuisine with an Asian flare.

Coyote Café

Coyote Café was originally opened by Mark Miller, the first high profile celeb chef in New Mexico, and is now run and partially owned by Eric Distefano, the executive chef/owner from Geromino. Sometimes dismissed as a little dated and overpriced, the Coyote’s new manager is bringing new energy to the mix. The rooftop cantina, when open is a less expensive, fun place to eat with typical New Mexican fare and great cocktails (also good for lunch on a lovely day).

  • Address: 132 West Water Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 983-1615

Upper Crust

Oven baked pizza.

Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza

Another great pizza place.

Santa Fe Bite

Known for their green chile cheeseburgers.

  • Address: 311 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87505
  • Phone: (505) 982-0544

La Choza

Casual atmosphere serving New Mexican food.

  • Address: 905 Alarid St., Santa Fe, NM 87505
  • Phone: (505) 982-0909

The Plaza Café

Located on the historic Santa Fe Plaza this restaurant offers a great view of downtown Santa Fe. It serves traditional American Cuisine alongside New Mexican favorites. It’s the oldest restaurant in Santa Fe!

Jambo Café

Jambo Café is an award winning ethnic restaurant with recipes originating from generations of home-cooking. Serves African-Caribbean fusion cuisine.

  • Address: 2010 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, NM 87505
  • Phone: (505) 473-1269

Santa Café

Another longstanding Santa Fe institution serving American cuisine with a Santa Fe flair. It seems to also be enjoying a breath of creative energy and enthusiasm.

  • Address: 231 Washington Ave., Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 984-1788


Enjoy traditional New Mexican cuisine highlighted by the wonderful sopapillas. Old style family dining.

Tune-Up Café

Family-friendly cafe serving hearty, inventive breakfasts, along with regional lunch & dinner items.

  • Address: 1115 Hickox St, Santa Fe, NM 87505
  • Phone: (505) 983-7060

Bang Bite

Stop by for good burgers and sandwiches.

  • Address: 502 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87505
  • Phone: (505) 469-2345

Harry’s Roadhouse

Always full of local energy; expect a wait (at least 15 minutes for seating). Vast array of menu options, full bar, and patio dining makes the wait worth it.

The French Pastry Shop

Just a block from the Plaza, this family-owned café, bakery, and creperie offers a delicious selection of treats.

Counter Culture Café

Counter Culture features the finest ingredients, everything made from scratch, fantastic baked goods, daily specials, to-die-for soups and salads and the culinary genius of Chef Jason Aufrichtig. Open breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Compound

The Compound is another Santa Fe institution, this one under the able leadership of much lauded chef, Mark Kiffin. Serves bold contemporary American cuisine. Interesting location with excellent food and service.

El Farol

Less spendy and worth a visit are two totally different dining destinations nearly adjacent to one another. El Faro is a Spanish restaurant that’s drawn loyal diners, music lovers, dance lovers, and locals for decades. Best for drinks/tapas and entertainment (flamenco, latin jazz, etc.).

  • Address: 808 Canyon Rd Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 983-9912

The Teahouse

The Teahouse is a great spot for breakfast or lunch, especially if the day is warm enough to sit outside.

  • Address: 821 Canyon Rd Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 992-0972

Downtown Subscription

Nearer to Adobe Oasis in the historic eastside, you may also want to swing by Downtown Subscription for morning coffee and the paper.

Says Travel and Leisure: “Tucked between the art galleries of Canyon Road and the historic neighborhood of Acequia Madre, the Downtown Subscription coffee shop is frequented by locals. The large, high-ceilinged dining room and the garden patio have ample seating and bright light, and it carries more than 2,500 titles of magazines and newspapers, from the New York Times to German Vogue. Standard coffee drinks, finished with an artful swirl of cream, are available, as are more unusual beverages such as hot Mexican mocha with ground Ibarra chocolate. Croissants and sour cream coffee cake, among other pastries, are also offered.”

  • Address: 376 Garcia St, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 983-3085


Maria’s is an ever-popular (tasty New Mexican food, margaritas, etc.) destination for locals and visitors.

  • Address: 555 West Cordova Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
  • Phone: (505) 983-7929


Joseph’s offers inspiring and delicious food near Vanessie’s (piano bar) and has good service. Specializes in New American Cuisine.

La Boca

Enjoy outstanding tapas food right downtown (also nice for lunch).  Sister restaurant, Taberna is also good but we find La Boca more relaxing (they are around the corner from each other).  Taberna is more of a night scene.

  • Address: 72 W Marcy St, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 982-3433

The Shed

Casual New Mexican food in a restaurant located right off the Plaza. Great margaritas and red and green chili.

  • Address: 113 East Palace Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 982-9030


A favorite lunch spot, though it’s not downtown (more of a driving destination from downtown though only a few minutes by car). It’s a popular restaurant with amazing healthy soups, salads and sandwiches.


This is an intimate French restaurant away of the center of town but near a great piano bar (Vanessie’s).  The food is very good and fresh and creative.

  • Address: 451 W Alameda St, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 982-6297


Another venerable institution in Santa Fe, this restaurant, in the center of downtown, has great New Mexican food and has been popular for years (good for lunch or dinner but come early).

  • Address: 121 Don Gaspar Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 983-9340

315 Restaurant & Wine Bar

Since 1995 Chef Louis Moskow has offered a truly French experience in the city. It’s an elegant, intimate restaurant reving classically prepared French cuisine complimented by a seasonally driven wine list.

  • Address: 315 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 986-9190


This small French restaurant has reliably great food and service.  It’s lovely for lunch or dinner, is downtown and has a nice outdoor area.  It’s also open Sunday night when most restaurants in town are closed.

  • Address: 229 Galisteo St, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 989-1919


In the Inn and Spa at Loretto is a nice restaurant and outdoor patio (good for lunch or dinner).  The southwest inspired creative cuisine is quite good (unexpected combinations of foods that somehow work).  The décor is also nicely done.


This is a still new-ish restaurant in Santa Fe opened by a former native who became a big shot chef in LA for years (they are mourning his departure but SF is pleased that he has opened a restaurant inspired by his Hispanic grandmother).  The food is creative and quite good.  It is right downtown in the newly opened, hip (yes, really) Drury hotel.  The popcorn ice cream is out of this world. Here is our review.

  • Address: 228 E Palace Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 982-0883

Shohko Café

This is our favorite sushi restaurant in Santa Fe; though beware that they will send you away if you are wearing any scents (another reason why I love this place).  This is usually our first stop for food coming from the airport.

Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen

Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen’s refreshing foodie oasis is tucked into the Pacheco Park Design District in a handsome design forward building that feels like a best friend’s Tesuque (or Glorieta?) home/studio. Full of light and earth warmth and some of the happiest diners in Santa Fe.

Pink Adobe

Long standing restaurant with typical New Mexican cuisine.

  • Address: 406 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 983-7712

La Fonda

Perfect for sundowners! Lovely views, famous drinks (and light food) from this rooftop venue but is open only in good weather so check before going. (Bell Tower rooftop bar)


A Victorian house that’s now part of the upscale La Posada resort.  Former owner, Julia is said to be still presiding there in spirit. Great for cocktails and outside dining. (Restaurant and bar at La Posada)


Low-key, French country-style spot for house made baked goods & light breakfast/brunch/lunch fare.

Rio Chama Steakhouse

Refined ranch space known for prime rib & filet mignon along with a popular bar & happy hour.

Rancho de Chimayo

An out-of-town dining experience to consider, perhaps tied in with a visit to Ojo Caliente, is Rancho de Chimayo. Delicious old school meals in a converted rural home in the same town as the famous sanctuary. Try it for brunch.

State Capital Kitchen

Farm fresh dining. The food at State Capital Kitchen is connected to local farmers, ranchers and foragers and crafted with love. Dinner service consists of progressive courses, using carts for our guests to choose from and will be accompanied by a classic menu.


Chef Olea creates sophisticated flavors using Old Mexico’s indigenous and culinary traditions alongside ingredients from around the world. His menu is deliberately small, featuring fresh and locally sourced produce and meats when possible. (Mexican/New Mexican Cuisine)

  • Address: 221 Shelby St, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 983-8604
    Our Santa Fe Art Recommendations

Santa Fe Art: Pottery

Santa Fe Art Recommendations

What about art? Santa Fe is probably the second biggest and best (and certainly the most esoteric) art market in the United States.

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

A couple of doors away from Georgia (mentioned above) you should visit its namesake, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.  It’s a must see, displaying a visual masterpiece of her work inspired by her life here in New Mexico.

Canyon Road

A wander up Canyon Road is always enjoyable as there are over 100 galleries on the mile-length stretch of road.

Railyard District

Some of the most exciting contemporary work is in the still-new Railyard District galleries.

Evoke Contemporary

I had to be dragged out of Evoke Contemporary recently because they were closing. Almost a dozen very different artists currently represented, most of whom create incredibly textural experiences, some by actually adding material to the surface of the artwork, others by virtue of painting/sgraffito/etc. techniques. Don’t miss the upstairs!

And just about every other place in Santa Fe is a gallery, a studio, or an artist’s home. So keep your eyes open!
Our Santa Fe Spa and Fitness Center Recommendations


Santa Fe Spa and Fitness Center Recommendations

Relax, rejuvenate, and exercise…

Ten Thousand Waves

When you tire of walking around Santa Fe, visit Ten Thousand Waves, an amazing Japanese/Southwest fusion spa. If you decide to go, consider a soak as well as a massage. My favorites are the private outdoor tubs such as the “waterfall room” which has an organic hot tub, a sauna and a cold plunge in the wooded desert for you to soak in and rejuvenate. Truly blissful way to prepare for a massage!

Ojo Caliente

And speaking of soaking and massages, my personal favorite is Ojo Caliente. It’s been a desert hot spring destination for over a thousand years! Natural thermal waters, funky desert setting, food, massage, big blue sky. You will never experience anything like it. The restaurant is simple but delicious, and the drive from Santa Fe (out past the opera and the nominally toward Taos) is interesting in and of itself.

  • Website:
  • Address: 50 Los Banos Drive, Ojo Caliente, NM 87549
  • Phone: (505) 583-2233


This is one of my favorite places to attend a yoga class, get a massage, load up on healthy (and often gluten-free) food, and to buy organic clothes.

Studio J Fitness

Great venue for challenging spinning, barre and abdominal strength training classes every day but Sunday.

  • Website:
  • Address: 1600 Lena St, Santa Fe, NM 87505
  • Phone: (505) 660-8793
    Our Santa Fe Live Entertainment Recommendations

Santa Fe Entertainment

Santa Fe Live Entertainment Recommendations

Here are a few of our favorite places to watch some live entertainment.

Casa Sena

If you enjoy cabaret and show tunes, you should definitely have dinner at the Casa Sena cantina where all of the waiters perform live while you eat. Fun location just off the plaza and lots to sing about later.

  • Website:
  • Address: 125 E Palace Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 988-9232


Another personal favorite for live entertainment literally any night of the week is Vanessie’s where you can dine or swing by for after dinner cocktails to enjoy the piano bar. You might even catch Doug Montgomery (usually weekends) performing.

Learn more about Montgomery here and watch him performing in the video: AND

Lensic Theater

This theater presents more than 200 eclectic performances year-round, at affordable prices, delivering outstanding local, national and international talent.  Events range from: dance, music, film, theater, opera, lectures and more.

  • Website:
  • Address: 211 W San Francisco St, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 988-7050
    Our Santa Fe Museum & History Recommendations
    Santa Fe History

Santa Fe Museum & History Recommendations

Consider exploring the Museum Hill, and Santa Fe visitors tend to enjoy meeting the Native American jewelry artists/vendors spread out under the portal at Palace of the Governors.

Palace of the Governors

Receive an education on Santa Fe political history inside this government building turned museum.

The New Mexico History Museum

Visiting this museum is a great way to learn the complex and fascinating history of New Mexico and the entry fee also includes the Palace of the Governors building museum which is also quite interesting.

New Mexico Art Museum

The New Mexico Museum of Art, the oldest art museum in the state of New Mexico, is one of four state-run museums in Santa Fe.

  • Website:
  • Address: 107 West Palace Avenue, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Phone: (505) 476-5041

Wheelright Museum

The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian is a museum devoted to Native American arts. It has a wonderful Southwestern jewelry exhibit.

  • Website:
  • Address: 704 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, NM 87505
  • Phone: (505) 982-4636

Loretto Chapel

Enjoy seeing the “miracle” staircase at the Loretto Chapel and its Gothic architecture. The chapel is now a museum and wedding venue.

  • Website:
  • Address: 207 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 982-0092

Cathedral Basilica

It’s the oldest church in Santa Fe (1610).

  • Address: 131 Cathedral Pl, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 982-5619
    Our Santa Fe Hiking Recommendations

Santa Fe Hiking

Santa Fe Hiking Recommendations

For hikes, consider some of the short, accessible hikes in Santa Fe. You¹ll find a pink book at Adobe Oasis with some of the closest, shortest hikes dog-eared and so many others to consider.

Atalaya Trail

A quick, and relatively doable hike that¹s just up the road is the Atalaya Trail. It offers magnificent views of Santa Fe.

Santa Fe Ski Basin

Or perhaps a beautiful drive up the Hyde Park Road (16 miles up to the Santa Fe Ski Basin) to see the landscape from a higher perspective? And there are many good hiking trails (also snowshoe and cross country ski trails during snowier months) that you can access all along the way.

Tent Rocks (Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument)

Another neat hike near Cochiti that reminds me a bit of Cappadocia, Turkey is Tent Rocks. It’s on the Cochiti Pueblo Reservation. See the cone-shaped “tent rock” formations and travel through some slot canyons.

Day Trips from Santa Fe

Santa Fe Day Trip Recommendations

There are many places not far from Santa Fe that are worth a visit. Here are a few:

Madrid, NM

A quirky folk art destination that remains one of my favorite ways to spend a day is Madrid, NM, just a short (but beautiful) wander down the Turquoise Trail.

Bandelier National Monument

An enjoyable day trip is the Bandelier National Monument, a 33,677-acre United States National Monument in New Mexico preserving the homes and territory of the Ancestral Puebloans. Most of the pueblo structures date to two eras, in total from 1150 to 1600 CE.

Taos Pueblo

Another is Taos Pueblo, an ancient pueblo belonging to a Tiwa-speaking Native American tribe of Puebloan people. It lies about 1 mile north of the modern city of Taos, New Mexico.

  • Website:
  • Address: 120 Veterans Hwy, Taos, NM 87571
  • Phone: (575) 758-1028

El Santuario de Chimayo

And perhaps while you’re passing through that area you should swing by the Sanctuary? This shrine, a National Historic Landmark, is famous for the story of its founding and as a contemporary pilgrimage site.

Ghost Ranch

The drive to the ranch from Santa Fe allows you to see some of the most unique mountain ranges in the country, not to mention the views that inspired Georgia O’Keefe. At the ranch choose between hikes, horse rides, visiting the two museums on site, tours, and more activities.

  • Website:
  • Address: 1709 US-84, Abiquiu, NM
  • Phone: (505) 685-1000
    Our Santa Fe Hot Springs Recommendations

Santa Fe Hot Springs

Santa Fe Hot Springs Recommendations

We also have a book or two at Adobe Oasis showcasing New Mexico’s natural hot springs which I love. A bit of driving needed, but one of my favorites is near Los Alamos partway up a wooded, extinct volcano.
Our Santa Fe Biking Recommendations

Santa Fe Biking

Santa Fe Biking Recommendations

When we’re not skiing, skiing, skiing (, I’m usually pedaling. There’s great mountain biking and road cycling in and around Santa Fe. We regularly use these two bicycle shops for gear, rentals, and advice:

Mellow Velo:  (rentals)

  • Address: 132 East Marcy Street, Santa Fe NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 995-8356

The Broken Spoke:  (everything else)

  • Address: 1426 Cerrillos Rd., Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
  • Phone: (505) 992-3102
    Our Santa Fe Shopping Recommendations

Santa Fe Shopping

Santa Fe Shopping Recommendations

The Plaza has shops ranging from Southwestern furnishing and fashions to Native American Silversmiths selling the creations on the portal of the Palace of the Governors.

Golightly Cashmere (Chocolate and Cashmere)

My Favorite new store that sells chocolate and cashmere in every color of the rainbow (the prices are good for the quality).  If you have been hunting for a hat/scarf/sweater/gloves/shawl, etc. in an impossible color, you’ll likely find it here, right downtown.

Kakawa Chocolate House

If you are walking from downtown to our home, you will bump into this place, which is divine. It offers all things chocolate – house made liquid and solid treats (and amazing ice cream with other flavors like salted caramel if you can’t have chocolate like me).


No visit is complete without a visit to Jackalope, a veritable “souq” for New Mexican and Mexican gifts, décor, houseware, etc. Even if you’re not shopping, it’s a memorable experience.

  • Website:
  • Address: 2820 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87507
  • Phone: (505) 471-8539

Santa Fe Flea Market

And for a REAL southwestern flea market, check out the Santa Fe Flea Market on Saturday and Sunday out by the opera. All sorts of fascinating collectibles, artisanry, and esoteric vendors can be found at the market.

Santa Fe Farmer’s Market

Another mostly open air market not to miss is the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market located in the renovated railyard. It takes place on Tuesday and Saturday morning and offers fresh local fair and memorable stories:

Tesuque Village Market

And speaking of markets, the Tesuque Village Market (more of a locals restaurant than a true market) is a fun weekend hangout for breakfast or lunch. Perhaps after visiting the flea market?

Santa Fe Dry Goods

Wonderfully (though pricey) creative men’s and women’s clothes on the Plaza.

  • Website:
  • Address: 53 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 983-8142

Santa Fe Hat Company

If you want a hat, this is your place to go downtown.  Fun store.

  • Address: 118 Galisteo St, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone:(505) 983-3909

Shalako Indian Store

Great selection of jewelry in a small mall off of the Plaza (on San Francisco St.)

Cowboys and Indians Santa Fe

Fun venue for all things leather and suede (hats, jackets, boots and the like) and all sorts of western gear. Also on the Plaza on San Francisco Street.

  • Website:
  • Address: 72 East San Francisco Street, Santa Fe New Mexico, 87501
  • Phone: (505) 982-8280

Boots and Boogie

Hand made custom footwear.


Contemporary Furniture. Wooden furniture. Furniture Santa fe. Slab furniture. Big root furniture.

  • Website:
  • Address: 201 Galisteo St, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Phone: (505) 982-7000

Casa Nova Gallery

Situated in the heart of Santa Fe, New Mexico offering extraordinary tribal and ethnic art, craft and contemporary design pieces, home décor, etc.

  • Website:
  • Address: 530 South Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe, NM 87505
  • Phone: (505) 983-8558
    Our Santa Fe Event Recommendations

Santa Fe Chiles

Santa Fe Event Recommendations

If you want a list of events going on in town you can go to and check the calendar.

Or you can pick up the Santa Fean magazine.

Other helpful websites for activities, events, and places to visit:

Canyon Road Arts:

Santa Fe Selection:

Casa de Santa Fe: