Settled in 1610 and resting at an elevation of 7100 feet, Santa Fe, New Mexico is one of the most unique and striking urban environments in America. With its trademark adobe buildings, creative culture, and rich heritage, it is also known as “The City Different” due to its blend of Puebloan, Spanish, and Territorial Revival style architecture.
Santa Fe’s eclectic multiculturalism has translated into a wealth of delicious cuisines. While you’re looking at Santa Fe real estate, make sure you get a taste of the local culture by visiting these six restaurants. Not only will you want to come back for more, but you might meet some of your future neighbors.
1. Arroyo Vino
About a 15-minute drive from Santa Fe Plaza to the western mesa, you’ll find Arroyo Vino—a locally beloved, sublime bistro and wine shop. With nearly 1000 hand-selected wines, beers, and spirits, oenophiles are welcome to purchase their favorite rare vintage wine at the shop and enjoy it with their dinner for a nominal corkage fee.
Game-changing Executive Chef Allison Jenkins’ innovative and ever-changing menu has created a loyal following amongst locals and drawn the attention of critics. Her creations focus on seasonal, local ingredients to create extraordinary dishes such as rabbit confit with crispy polenta, spring vegetable ragout with mustard jus, seared wagyu petite tender steak with smashed fava beans, local radish and arugula, and aged balsamic and pecorino. Book a special dinner here to celebrate your first night in your new Santa Fe home.
2. La Boca
If there’s one thing Santa Fe restaurants do really well, it’s modern Spanish cuisine. La Boca is a shining example of this. Located in downtown Santa Fe, La Boca was opened in 2006 by eight-time James Beard Award Nominee, Chef James Campbell Caruso.
Chef Caruso blends fresh, locally sourced ingredients with Spanish cuisine to produce exuberant tapas dishes such as halibut cheeks sauteed in garlic and chorizo butter, toasted angel hair pasta and chicken thigh with lemon and capers, as well as fried pork belly with cumin, sea salt, lemon, and harissa. La Boca also has an impressive beverage menu featuring Spanish sherries, vermouth, port, beer, cider, and varied Spanish wines. You’ll see why Pasatiempo magazine has called it “the most influential restaurant in Santa Fe.”
Sazon and Executive Chef Fernando Olea blend Old Mexico’s culinary traditions with ingredients gathered all around the world for a new, inviting twist. Selected by Best Chefs America—the ultimate chef’s guide—and recently chosen for consideration for the prestigious James Beard Award, Chef Olea is originally from Mexico City. The large mural in the main Frida Kahlo dining room was gifted to him by Federico Leon De La Vega, a well-known Mexico City artist.
Come here to celebrate getting your new Santa Fe house with delicious dishes such as salmon wrapped in filo dough with corn truffle and jasmine rice, and shrimp enchiladas with creamy zucchini blossom sauce and asadero cheese. You could also go with the Chef’s Degustacion menu, with limited seating and two services—one at 5 pm and one at 7:30 pm. This nine-course menu showcases the rich flavors of Mexico and comes with the option of pairing with memorably curated tequila, mezcal, and wine. Reservation-only tequila tastings are also held Wednesdays and Fridays at 4 pm, where you’ll receive a flight of five tequilas, Sangrita and Mole.
4. Jambo Café
In addition to winning numerous awards, Jambo Café, led by Executive Chef Ahmed Obo, has been recognized by the Santa Fe Reporter for Best International Cuisine for 12 years and running, and was featured in Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Chef Obo—originally from Lamu Island off the Kenyan coast—was also recently selected for consideration for the James Beard Award. An expert fusion of African food and Caribbean cuisine, the menu at Jambo is full of delights such as fried cornmeal plantain crab cakes, banana leaf-wrapped island-spiced mahi-mahi, and harissa spiced lamb stew with shaved red onions, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber-yogurt sauce.
5. Radish & Rye
Farm-to-table, Southern-inspired dishes and extensive bourbon and whiskey lists are part of the creative expression and community-oriented warmth at Radish & Rye.
Executive Chef Dru Ruebush seasonally rotating menus serve up refined offerings such as saltine-crusted gulf shrimp, quail and gluten-free buttermilk waffles served with pickled corn relish and rye syrup, as well as Kentucky chantilly butter cake with salted bourbon caramel and berries. With a curated list of wines, specialty cocktails, and over 100 American whiskeys and bourbons, you’ll be sure to find a new favorite pairing.
Located in an 18th-century adobe house with stately wood beams and kiva fireplaces, Geronimo is another perfect place to celebrate your first night in your new Santa Fe house. Executive Chef Sllin Cruz’s menu changes seasonally and has won awards including AAA Four Diamond, Mobile/Forbes Four-Star Awards, and was voted one of TripAdvisor’s “Top 10 Restaurants in the US.”
In addition to unique offerings such as Tellicherry rubbed elk tenderloin and green miso sea bass, Geronimo also offers a prix fixe, four-course vegetarian tasting menu with an option to include sommelier wine pairings. End your dining experience with banana chocolate, fresh Meyer lemon crepe, and other unforgettable desserts.
If you are hungry for more and are looking to buy your dream Santa Fe house, contact experienced luxury Santa Fe real estate agents Ricky Allen and Cathy Griffith today.