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onetoughcookie

Christmas in Santa Fe

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Anyone have any great suggestions for 5 nites in Santa Fe, including Christmas dinner?

I already know that I need to get reservations at Trattoria Nostrani and Aqua Santa...

but what about great local joints for breakfast, lunch or an informal, non-touristy

dinner?

Don't you just love it when a tourist asks where the non-touristy places are?

:laugh:

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Uhhh, the whole town is a tourist trap - developed that way since the 1920's. But, you can get a traditional Christmas dinner at The Old House in the El Dorado Hotel.

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Uhhh, the whole town is a tourist trap - developed that way since the 1920's. But, you can get a traditional Christmas dinner at The Old House in the El Dorado Hotel.

:wub:

Okay, okay....you got me on the tourist thing. BUT, when I take trips, I always plan

everything around food....good food.

Got anything else up your sleeve, BigboyDan?

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Anyone have any great suggestions for 5 nites in Santa Fe, including Christmas dinner?

I already know that I need to get reservations at Trattoria Nostrani and Aqua Santa...

but what about great local joints for breakfast, lunch or an informal, non-touristy

dinner? 

Don't you just love it when a tourist asks where the non-touristy places are? 

  :laugh:

Well, I'm jealous. Christmas in Santa Fe. I was born there, right around that time of year.

Anyway, I digress....

Try Cafe Pasqual's, especially for breakfast. The Shed for lunch. If you like hamburgers, try Bobcat Bite, rated one of best burger places in the country. There are choices along Canyon Road. There's a Native American restaurant. Tia Sophias. Tomasinas. Enjoy the blue corn tortillas, the spicy red chile sauce, fresh posole, and the decadent desserts.

There are gems hidden among the tourist traps. Great museums and art galleries. And, in some of the 'tourist trap' places, there are collections of art and historical photography tucked away in back rooms. And the Santa Fe Opera, although probably not in December.

Judy

wandasue22.blogspot.com

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Try Cafe Pasqual's, especially for breakfast.  The Shed for lunch.  If you like hamburgers, try Bobcat Bite, rated one of best burger places in the country.  There are choices along Canyon Road.  There's a Native American restaurant.  Tia Sophias.  Tomasinas.  Enjoy the blue corn tortillas, the spicy red chile sauce, fresh posole, and the decadent desserts.

Judy

wandasue22.blogspot.com

With the exception of Bobcat Bite, I'd definitely classify the restaurants listed above as being among the most touristy in town. Not that that's a bad thing in and of itself, but as a local I avoid them because a) I despise the waits, and b) in the case of Tomasita's and Tia Sophia's I don't think they offer anything distinct or special that you can't get elsewhere in town. Personally, I am a big fan of Maria's for Northern New Mexican food, and though they do take reservations I don't mind waiting for a table there, probably because it's usually other locals that are doing the same and it's not a cramped space to wait around in. Insanely good margaritas that will ruin you for others.

That said, Cafe Pasquals is a great breakfast place to hit if you can get there early, before the lines form. When I go, I go at 7am. I wouldn't bother with dinner there. The spirit of the place is what makes it special, and it transforms after dark into something serene and much less vibrant.

Great breakfast and lunch options outside of the downtown area include The Chocolate Maven on Second Street (they run a humongous bakery wholesale business but I don't like their baked goods at all- too sweet, and they use oil in lieu of butter in many of their products- their cafe, however, is outstanding; fabulous breakfast (chilaquiles!), lunch, brunch). I also adore the baked goods at Counter Culture on Baca Street; their cinnamon rolls are absolutely life-affirming, and they bake them on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday mornings. For a Northern New Mexican breakfast I am a diehard Pantry devotee. Love the Buenos Dias, Christmas (both red and green chile). A lot of folks prefer Tecolote but I don't get the hype.

The Guadalupe District has its own thing going on on as well... people seem to love the Cowgirl. Though it's not my cup of tea (loud as heck) it is always packed and they have a varied, barbecue-centric menu, waitresses strutting around in cowboy hats. It cracks me up because while it's always swimming with locals it looks so darned touristy at first glance. I mean, it's called the Cowgirl Hall of Fame for goshdarn sake.

Oh, and by the way, Santa Fe is an EARLY town for food, but Pranzo in the Sanbusco Center on Montezuma (just off Guadalupe) serves a late-night menu and cocktails until 11:30 p.m. And they make a peerless Caesar salad.

For drinks alone, my favorite bar, hands down, is the Rio Chama. It's a great, great bar, and very Santa Fe. Construction workers and legislators breaking bread over Roundhouse gossip... and the Humidor off the courtyard at Rio Chama, in case you're interested, is the only bar in town where smoking is allowed.

As far as fine dining, well, in my opinion, Aqua Santa and Trattoria Nostrani are both places I am lukewarm about. What I mean is, they're good, solid restaurants that make for a nice change of pace for us locals here in Santa Fe, but if you live in NYC then I would be surprised if you find either restaurant particularly memorable. I was devastated when Kasasoba closed in August of this year as it was, to my mind, a totally singular and exciting restaurant that I think would make an incredible addition to any dining community. That said, my personal favorites for fine dining in Santa Fe are Ristra, Tulips and Geronimo. I find them to be the most consistently wonderful and I can invariably count on a memorable and surprising evening when I dine at any of them. Come to think of it, all three restaurants are also distinguished by a measured application of Southwest style to what is just generally very good food ( but not Southwest kitsch as in Mark Miller and mango mojitos :smile: ). I love the fact that while a restaurant like Aqua Santa could be found in any big city, Ristra, Tulips and Geronimo are distinctly Santa Fe in the most classic, lovely way.

Just my two cents. :smile:

Feel free to PM me for specifics or additional questions.


Edited by Verjuice (log)

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That said, Cafe Pasquals is a great breakfast place to hit if you can get there early, before the lines form. When I go, I go at 7am. I wouldn't bother with dinner there. The spirit of the place is what makes it special, and it transforms after dark into something serene and much less vibrant.

For a Northern New Mexican breakfast I am a diehard Pantry devotee. Love the Buenos Dias, Christmas (both red and green chile). A lot of folks prefer Tecolote but I don't get the hype.

I'll second Cafe Pasquals for breakfast but I also like it for lunch. The grilled chicken sandwich with manchego cheese, carmelized onions and jalapenos on chile corn bread is fantastic! Their green chili cheese burger is even better than Bobcat Bite, but it's also pricier. The dinner menu and atmosphere just isn't as interesting for me.

We just had breakfast at the Panty for the first time this week and it was great. Tecolote is okay. I like the egg dishes better than the french toast that every one had raved about.

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Has anyone been to the newish La Boca? i've heard some good buzz but haven't tried it yet. click

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That said, Cafe Pasquals is a great breakfast place to hit if you can get there early, before the lines form. When I go, I go at 7am. I wouldn't bother with dinner there. The spirit of the place is what makes it special, and it transforms after dark into something serene and much less vibrant.

For a Northern New Mexican breakfast I am a diehard Pantry devotee. Love the Buenos Dias, Christmas (both red and green chile). A lot of folks prefer Tecolote but I don't get the hype.

I'll second Cafe Pasquals for breakfast but I also like it for lunch. The grilled chicken sandwich with manchego cheese, carmelized onions and jalapenos on chile corn bread is fantastic! Their green chili cheese burger is even better than Bobcat Bite, but it's also pricier. The dinner menu and atmosphere just isn't as interesting for me.

We just had breakfast at the Panty for the first time this week and it was great. Tecolote is okay. I like the egg dishes better than the french toast that every one had raved about.

I agree with you; God the BLT at lunch there is incredible (candied bacon, green chile cornbread, homemade mayo... just wow) but if I had only 5 days to spend in Santa Fe I still think it's a better bet for breakfast. They do serve breakfast right through lunch until 3 pm, but it's usually dang crowded.

I have been to La Boca for dinner a handful of times. Like a lot of places here it is very good but a bit inconsistent. I do think it outshines all the other tapas joints in town and I love the space, though they don't feature a lot of the staples (croquettas, gazpacho, boquerones) that I crave when I go out for tapas. And the service is terrific.

Totally agreed about Tecolote vs. the Pantry. What gives? The Pantry is so much better.

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Has anyone been to the newish La Boca?  i've  heard some good buzz but haven't tried it yet.  click

We loved the food at La Boca but really didn't groove on the atmosphere (which is unusual, 'cause for the most part we could care less about atmosphere). Deafening sound level (not a soft surface in the entire place), tables jammed close together - felt like we had never left New York. Although the cooking was far superior to El Farol, I am more likely to end up there for the local character and atmosphere.

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Okay, I just read my long post above and realized I forgot to mention one crucial thing about the bar at Rio Chama: the nachos! I had never been a fan, never craved them, never gotten excited about them before a friend of mine ordered some for us to share.

Godfrey Jaysus!

I always order the starter of habanero guacamole and two salsas alongside the nachos for extra dipping and scooping magic, and I get the nachos with green chile -no chicken- and a side of their wonderful red Chama Chile. Under these circumstances a normal person might be able to eat eight or nine nachos, but I always manage to eat these until they start inducing visions. I am talking about a mountain of freshly fried corn tortilla chips crowned with the good stuff.

They are just...... beyond..... :wub: . Ah.

Oh, and they make lobster nachos too.

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Has anyone been to the newish La Boca?  i've  heard some good buzz but haven't tried it yet.  click

We loved the food at La Boca but really didn't groove on the atmosphere (which is unusual, 'cause for the most part we could care less about atmosphere). Deafening sound level (not a soft surface in the entire place), tables jammed close together - felt like we had never left New York. Although the cooking was far superior to El Farol, I am more likely to end up there for the local character and atmosphere.

I can see that. Every time I have been to La Boca it's been late, and half empty.

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I just found out that Inn of the Anasazi is doing Christmas Dinner. I haven't eaten there since Chef Martin Rios left The Old House and took over, but in my opinion he is the best chef in this town, all things considered.

Here's the menu:

Christmas Dinner

I may go. It's very tempting.

You're going to do the Canyon Road Walk on Christmas Eve, right? Farolitos... hot apple cider... the crisp New Mexican air... :wub:

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