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“Best of Santa Fe” Dining Guide

Santa Fe is rates as one of the top 10 places to eat in the United States. With over 200 restaurants, it can be arduous to make a decision of which places to try during your visit. Here are some of the best dishes I ate in Santa Fe, New Mexico and a list of where you can find them.

Maria’s – Established by a lady named Maria in 1950 as a food stand, now it is a popular local restaurant with the largest selection of Tequilas you could ever find. There is a 15 page long list of margaritas (priced $6-42 per glass), made with a special recipe of lemons rather than lime. No matter which one you choose, I guarantee this will be the Best Margarita you will ever have. Mari’s also gets my vote for the Best Guacamole and Best Flan in Santa Fe.

Blue Corn Café – It is one of the oldest restaurants in town with a causal friendly atmosphere. Blue Corn is perhaps the only brewery in town and quite famous for its beer. Here you will find the Best Stuffed Sopapilla, two large light and fluffy fried breads stuffed with spicy shredded chicken, refried beans and Spanish rice. You can choose your choice of chili – red for a stronger pungent flavor or green for mild and sweet.

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Casa Chimayo – Recently opened near the Railyard, Casa Chimayo boasts authentic cuisine of Santa Fe as known by Roberto, the owner’s 95 year old mother who is from the town of Chimayo. You can feel the elapse of time as you walk past the black and white photographs into the restaurant’s refreshing outdoor patio. The food is excellent with perhaps one of the most amazing moles and enchiladas, but the one dish Casa Chimayo takes my vote for is the Best Tres Leches. Fresh, moist and creamy, this tres leches cake is like nothing else I have had before.

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La Choza – One of the best places in town to sample New Mexican cuisine. La Choza offers fresh, real food at affordable prices, in a casual Mexican style atmosphere. The enchiladas are the best here. You can customize the filling (chicken, beef or vegetarian) and the chili (red, green or Christmas), but make sure you ask for the fried egg on top. That’s what adds the special touch to these open faced monsters making them home to the Best Enchiladas.

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Secreto Bar – Located at the Hotel St, Francis, one of the old withstanding historic hotels in downtown designed after a St Franciscan monastery, the Secreto Bar is the perfect place to enjoy the evening with a cocktail and appetizer. Award winner mixologist, Chris Milligan will shake up any drink you can possibly imagine within seconds of knowing you. His signature lime juice, fresh cucumbers and cane sugar drinks pair well with the spicy red Chile topped Best Tamale you can find anywhere.

Flying Star Café – located in the Railyard and next to the farmer’s market (held every Tuesday and Saturday), the Flying Star Café is a good place to stop by for breakfast, lunch or snack. All ingredients are locally sourced and are hormone free. I highly recommend the bakery as their cakes and pastries are made fresh daily and are not overwhelmingly sweet or rich. At this Best Coffee and Cake stop, you will see people having a power lunch, reading a good novel, or simply surfing on their laptops.

BODY – If you want to be good yet indulge in culinary delights, visit the café at BODY. It is a refuge for those looking for gluten free, sugar free, vegetarian and raw options. You can get raw shakes, soups, salads, burritos and even desserts, but won’t know the difference in flavor. The chef spends days researching and creating components in every recipe that give the texture, color and flavor to mimic dishes you are already familiar with. While you can’t go wrong with any of the desserts at BODY, the raw carrot cake is to die for! BODY is my pick for the Best Raw Food in town.

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Sucheta Rawal

Sucheta is an award winning food and travel writer, who has traveled to over 90 countries across 7 continents. She is also the founder and editor of 'Go Eat Give' and author of 'Beato Goes To' series of children's books on travel.

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