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Best Restaurants in Santa Fe NM

Naming the best restaurants in Santa Fe, NM is an impossible task, as Santa Fe is a foodies’ paradise. In fact, choosing the best restaurant would be like asking a mother to name her favorite child… simply impossible! However, we are excited to share with you some of our favorites (and our guests’ favorites). Plus, many of these hot dining spots are just a short drive away from our Inn of the Turquoise Bear bed and breakfast. A few others are well worth the drive – we promise. We’ve listed these in order of proximity to our inn.

Rio Chama Steakhouse

Distance from The Bear: 2-minute drive

This is my mom’s favorite restaurant in Santa Fe! Rio Chama Steakhouse offers traditional steakhouse fare including dry and wet aged steaks, wild game, and fresh seafood. An award-winning wine list, comfortably unpretentious dining rooms, patio dining, and a cigar lounge all provide a diversity of dining experiences uncommon in Santa Fe. We love the poached pear salad, New York strip steak, and duck confit. Their chocolate pot dessert with crème anglaise tops off a perfect meal. They also house one of our favorite bustling bars… but that’s another blog!

Location: 414 Old Santa Fe Tr, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Tel: (505) 955-0765

Restaurant Martin

Distance from The Bear: 3-minute drive

For “progressive American cuisine,” try Restaurant Martin. Chef Martin Rios is an accomplished chef and restaurateur garnering five nominations for a James Beard Award and special features on the cable food channels as well as and Bon Appétit. Restaurant Martin is an innovative fine dining establishment using the freshest seasonal ingredients (some coming from the chef’s patio garden). Wonderful innovative food, exceptional service, extensive wine list, and chic territorial adobe surrounds make this top pick for foodies visiting Santa Fe.

Location: 526 Galisteo St, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Tel: (505) 820-0919


Distance from The Bear: 4-minute drive

Near the Santa Fe Railyard, you’ll find the favorite restaurant of Alex, our Assistant Innkeeper. Andiamo! (which means, “Let’s go!”) is a local neighborhood trattoria (simple Italian restaurant). Their menu is inspired by classic Italian cuisine, but as food is born of the region, they nurture strong connections between the Santa Fe Farmers Market and their kitchen — melding indigenous foods with Italian imports. We love their now famous crispy polenta appetizer placed on a creamy Gorgonzola sauce that’s flavored with fresh rosemary! So good! Alex’s favorite dish is the seafood linguine with clams, mussels, tilapia, shrimp, tomato, basil, white wine, and saffron aioli. The space inside is bright and fairly quiet, even when it’s full of patrons, and tables are set close together but not so close that you feel crowded.

Location: 322 Garfield St, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Tel: (505) 995-9595

Cafe Pasqual’s

Distance from The Bear: 4-minute drive

For 36 years, Cafe Pasqual’s has been serving cuisine inspired by the culinary traditions of New Mexico, Old Mexico, the Mediterranean, and Asia. Cafe Pasqual’s is named for the folk saint of Mexican and New Mexican kitchens and cooks, San Pasqual. Their colorful, historic, pueblo-style adobe is located one block southwest of Santa Fe’s Downtown Plaza. Their festive dining room is lined with hand-painted Mexican tiles and murals created by the renowned Mexican painter Leovigildo Martinez, depicting the moon reveling at her fiesta. Pasqual’s is a small café with typically long lines of diners waiting to enter – a testament to its reputation. Consider dining during off hours to reduce the wait. We LOVE their Cochinita Pibil, slow-cooked shredded pork served in a banana leaf, one of Pasqual’s trademark dishes. At lunch, try their creative BLT sandwich, which several of our guests have called the best thing they’ve ever eaten!

Location: 121 Don Gaspar, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Tel: (505) 983-9340

Paper Dosa

Distance from The Bear: 4-minute drive

One of the hottest new restaurants in Santa Fe and one of our favorites is Paper Dosa! Starting as a pop-up restaurant, Chef Paulraj Karuppasamy and his wife and partner Nellie Tischler, had been serving delicious south Indian food using family recipes. The menu’s stars are dosas, uttapams, and curries. If you aren’t familiar, dosas are thin, crispy crepes and a staple in southern India. There are various recipes and techniques for making dosas; the ones at Paper Dosa start with a batter that contains fermented rice, lentils, and ghee. We can’t resist their Chile Onion Pakora for starters, and usually follow it up with a curry and a dosa of course. Don’t forget to try their homemade lemon pickles and one of several imported Indian beers. Paper Dosa is across from Trader Joe’s at

Location: 551 West Cordova Rd
Tel: 505-930-5521

La Boca / Taberna

Distance from The Bear: 5-minute drive

A lively, intimate tapas restaurant and wine bar, La Boca and its sister space Taberna are a Santa Fe treasure! Eight-time James Beard award nominee, Owner-chef James Campbell Caruso dishes up both traditional and innovative flavors using authentic Spanish ingredients. We love the New Mexico-raised flat iron steak and the Gambas al Ajillo – garlic shrimp with roasted bell peppers! Delish! Weekly live music and Mediterranean and South American wines are awaiting guests looking for an authentic European experience in the Southwest. Try their 3 tapas of the moment paired with Sherry! This ain’t your grandma’s sherry! Awesome!

Location: 72 West Marcy St, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
Tel: (505) 982-3433

La Choza Restaurant

Distance from The Bear: 5-minute drive

Sister restaurant to the ever popular Shed Restaurant, our pick for traditional New Mexican cuisine is La Choza! Locals and visitors alike enjoy their dog-friendly summer patio dining, full bar with extensive tequila & margarita offerings and award-winning chili! Reservations are necessary especially during high season. Try the Carne Adovada or a cup of Posole with red chili….Yum! Located near the Rail Yard, La Choza is a local favorite for delicious traditional food of the Southwest since 1987.

Location: 905 Alarid St, Santa Fe, NM 87505
Tel: (505) 982-0909


Distance from The Bear: 5-minute drive

Self-described as a Southwestern Bistro and Santa Fe landmark, Santacafé inspires guests with fine dining and excellent service. Nestled in a 19th Century historic abode, the restaurant has four candlelit dining rooms complete with viga fireplaces and beautiful courtyard dining for some of the best people-watching in Santa Fe. Many of their offerings, such as their tasty Shiitake Mushroom & Cactus Spring Rolls with Southwestern Ponzu, meld Asian and Southwestern cuisine beautifully. For a real treat, try their coffee bean ice cream with piñon crisp and Cajeta caramel! Regularly voted as one of Santa Fe’s best fine dining restaurants, Santacafé offers free parking accessible from Washington Avenue… a rarity in Santa Fe.

Tel: (505) 984-1788

TerraCotta Wine Bistro

Distance from The Bear: 6-minute drive

For smart, creative, casual food and wine, check into TerraCotta Wine Bistro located just blocks from the Plaza and steps from the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Housed in a charming 19th Century adobe, TerraCotta features globally-inspired food, wine, and beer, utilizing both local and regional foods. The ambiance is inviting, informal, up-beat, and fun, great for intimate gatherings and romantic celebrations. TerraCotta is the inspiration of Catherine O’Brien and Glenda Griswold, the owners of one of Santa Fe’s premier catering companies since 1996. According to O’Brien, the menu at TerraCotta is “Southern overtones with multicultural influences,” with hints of Asian, New Mexican, and French cuisine. Their menu features nice options for sharing plates, salads, paninis, entrees, and of course yummy desserts. In addition, they offer a $30 3-course Prix Fixe menu that changes with Chef’s Catherine inspiration. Best of all, they are moderately priced with Happy Hour continuing all day long and a large selection of wines by the glass for $6 until 6:00pm. Try their bruschetta sampler where you choose four types of creative bruschetta from 12 options. Yummy!

Location: 304 Johnson St, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Tel: (505) 989-1166

Harry’s Roadhouse

Distance from The Bear: 8-minute drive

Harry’s Roadhouse is many things to many locals. As the name would suggest, it’s a roadhouse, but it’s also a diner, a bar, and during the summer months, a garden café, where you can eat lunch or dinner amid hollyhocks! On almost any night, go early or be prepared to wait among the hungry locals. Their extensive menu features typical American comfort food like burgers, pizza, pasta, and salads, as well as innovative dinner entrée specials. Save room for dessert as you’ll find an array of classic, tasty offerings like pies, cakes, cobblers, and crumbles. This funky, colorful, rambling restaurant is located southeast of town.

Location: 96 Old Las Vegas Hwy
Tel: 505-989-4629

The Pantry Restaurant

Distance from The Bear: 8-minute drive

We first dined at The Pantry during our very first visit to Santa Fe back in 2006, and we’ve been dining there regularly ever since. A bustling local favorite, The Pantry has been serving up traditional New Mexican favorites since 1948. The same menu is served for lunch and dinner, and you can order breakfast all day. Their Pantry Fries, large diced fried potatoes with a touch of red chile, are not to be missed! We love their huge breakfast burrito with carne adovada, which is slow-roasted and marinated pork cooked in red chile –  perfect for when you need a chile fix! They also serve American comfort foods, such as meatloaf, chicken-fried steak, grilled pork chop, and a variety of sandwiches. For dessert, try the tres leches cake. If you visit during prime lunch or dinner times, expect a wait… but it’s totally worth it to eat like a local.

Location: 1820 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87505
Tel: 505-986-0022

Jambo Café

Distance from The Bear: 9-minute drive

We love Jambo Café! This innovative restaurant specializes in African-Caribbean fusion cuisine. Jambo is the winner of numerous awards, including “Best Soup” at the Santa Fe Souper Bowl for four years in a row, and the Santa Fe Reporter’s “Best International Cuisine” for six years running! Jambo Café has also been featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. We love the lively, colorful, and warm interior setting. David loves their Moroccan lamb stew or jerk chicken, and I can’t resist their tasty house salad and amazing vegetarian sandwich. Their house-made Chai tea is great too, hot or cold. You’ll find Jambo Café at College Plaza Shopping Center.

Photo courtesy of Kitty Leaken.

Location: 2010 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87505
Tel: 505-473-1269


Distance from The Bear: 12-minute drive

At Izanami, located at Ten Thousand Waves Spa, don’t expect the usual Japanese fare… There is no sushi or hot sake that has given sake such a bad rap. Izanami is an izakaya-style restaurant (Japanese tapas) serving upscale Japanese bar food, small plates meant for sharing, creatively-prepared, locally-sourced meat and produce with an emphasis on seasonality, all accompanied by unique libations. Izanami’s newly constructed restaurant is a tranquil, spacious bento box of Japanese style using New Mexican woodwork combined with older uprights and beams salvaged from Japan. A beautiful, clean-lined, organic sense of serenity awaits you.  Izanami opened in November 2014 and was almost immediately named a semifinalist for “Best New Restaurant” by the James Beard Foundation in 2015. They have the best selection of artisanal microbrew cold sake found anywhere between the coasts, green teas from shizuoka, and Japanese craft beers. Sit at the counter to experience the pyrotechnics of their charcoal grill, or choose a custom-made private booth, a cozy table for two, floor seating in the tatami room, or a chair at the communal table. You’ll love the pine-tree views across the valley that makes their veranda one of the best patios in Santa Fe!

Location: 21 Ten Thousand Waves Way, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Tel: 505-428-6390

El Nido

Distance from The Bear: 15-minute drive

Executive Chef Cristian Pontiggia uses best-of-season vegetables, wood-fired meats, and homemade pastas as the basis of El Nido’s menu. The menu features four sections: In the Beginning for starters, Today’s Harvest for soups and salads, Flour + Water for their pizza and pasta, and Embers + Ashes for their rotisserie and grilled offerings. We’ve always chosen to dine in the cozy barroom, which offers booths along the wall. We love the colorful, Santa Fe-style hand-painted window that has been there for decades. On a cold winter’s evening, a wood fire merrily burns in the fireplace at the back of the main dining room. When we think of El Nido, we think: elegant, rustic, refined, and delicious food in a fine-dining atmosphere without pretense. El Nido is located in Tesuque.

Location: 1577 Bishops Lodge Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87506
Tel: 505-954-1272

Plaza Café Southside

Distance from The Bear: 19-minute drive

The Plaza Café Southside is the offspring of the legendary Plaza Café, a Santa Fe institution since 1947 and owned by the Razatos family. Southside owners Leonard Razatos and Belinda Marshall have a simple mission: tasty food to make you feel right at home. And they succeed every time! The fun diner-like interior features colorful murals and a great collection of Zozobra art. Their menu offers an innovative and delicious twist on diner food standards, authentic New Mexican cuisine, and decadent desserts. We are in love with their fried calamari with jalapeños starter, and their crispy avocado or Baja style fish tacos. Their turkey melt with onion marmalade and avocado is Dan & Alex’s favorite sandwich in Santa Fe! Definitely worth the 20-minute drive!

Location: 3466 Zafarano Dr, Santa Fe, NM 87507
Tel: 505-424-0755

Inn of the Turquoise Bear

Of course, when you stay with us at The Bear, you’ll also be starting every day on a delicious note. You will enjoy a complimentary gourmet breakfast every morning, when we introduce you to an array of local ingredients and Southwestern style. So book your favorite guest room today, and get ready to savor the flavors of Santa Fe! Check availability.

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Special Features

Separate Sitting Area
Private Entry
Shower Only
Tub/Shower Combo
Pet Friendly
Mini Fridge
In-Room Desk
ADA Room
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all rooms include: private bathrooms, fireplace, air-conditioning

Witter Bynner
26’ x 17’

D.H. Lawrence
15’ x 12’

26’ x 15’

Georgia O’Keeffe
29’ x 13’

O. Henry
17’ x 11’

Ansel Adams Suite
12’ x 11’

Edna St. Vincent Millay
15’ x 15’

Igor Stravinsky
15’ x 15’

Willa Cather -
16’ x 13’

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