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Santa Fe + Taos Restaurants

315 Old Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe , New Mexico
Tel: 505 986 9190

Cozy and romantic—whether in the white linen tent or the Provençal-themed dining room—315 worships at the seasonal ingredients altar, perhaps more so than any other place in town. Chef Louis Moskow prepares his all-natural meats, wild fish, and fresh produce with unpretentious bistro flavors: Pork tenderloin with candied walnuts and cassis sauce is typical. Desserts are classic (profiteroles, crème brûlée), and the wine list is notable. There's also a (no reservation) wine bar with a 20-bottle Cruvinet—a great way to sample the wine list's depth

Open daily 5:30 to 9 pm. Lunch offered occasionally; call ahead for hours.

Anasazi Restaurant & Bar
113 Washington Avenue
Santa Fe , New Mexico
Tel: 505 988 3236

Chef Martin Rios has lived in New Mexico most of his life, but he eschews chiles and spices for his flavors and sauce reductions. The result is a menu that you'll find in other quality restaurants in the States, such as a yellow fin tuna dish with a cashew crust and red curry reduction, or the aged beef tenderloin with a coffee and molasses glaze. Seafood is no longer a poor choice in New Mexico, and Rios' lobster dumplings with veal sweetbreads and crunchy haricot verts prove it. The hotel dining room is a single elongated space with hardwood floors, Anaszi brick walls, and Native-American-rug patterned banquettes. Service is mostly invisible and highly conscientious.

Open daily 7 to 10:30 am, 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, and 5:30 to 10 pm.

Aqua Santa
451 W. Alameda Avenue
Santa Fe , New Mexico
Tel: 505 982 6297

This place follows the credo (one that came relatively late to these parts) of everything local and seasonal. Owner and chef Brian Knox changes the menu every few days to keep up with the supply—which he cooks in an open kitchen. A spicy, braised smoked shoulder of lamb with chard is one such dish; appetizers will include heirloom tomatoes every which way, when they're available. His ideas are as simple and pleasing as the decor in this spare, clean room. With only 12 interior tables (and an additional dozen on the patio), reservations are strongly advised.

Open Tuesdays and Saturdays 5:30 to 9 pm; Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays noon to 2 pm and 5:30 to 9 pm.

Café Pasqual's
121 Don Gaspar Avenue
Santa Fe , New Mexico
Tel: 800 722 7672 (toll-free)
Tel: 505 983 9340

This casual one-room restaurant has long been a local Santa Fe icon. Opened in 1979, it was working the organic-fresh angle long before the rest of the world caught on, and it continues to be busy from 7 a.m. till closing. At the center communal table, you'll find local hippies having a late-afternoon breakfast of red-chile huevos rancheros, as well as tourists trying the iconic salmon burrito with goat cheese and cucumber salsa. Chef Katharine Kagel, who calls herself the Luddite Chef, keeps the fusion factor low. But the casual vibe also makes it a hurry-up-and-eat kind of place: Tables are few, and the staff keeps them turning.

Open May to November, Sundays 8 am to 2 pm and 5:30 to 10 pm, Mondays through Thursday 7 am to 3 pm and 5:30 to 10 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 7 am to 3 pm and 5:30 to 10:30 pm; December to April, Sundays 8 am to 2 pm and 5:30 to 9:30 pm, Mondays through Thursday 7 am to 3 pm and 5:30 to 9:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 7 am to 3 pm and 5:30 to 10 pm.

Guadalupe Café
422 Old Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe , New Mexico
Tel: 505 982 9762

New Mexican food is often at its best when it's at its simplest, and Guadalupe Café keeps its dishes, such as egg burritos and enchiladas, as simple (and hugely portioned) as can be. A short amble from the Plaza, it has the best breakfast in town; eat it on the pleasant patio, which has large umbrellas to keep the intense sun off.

Open Tuesdays through Fridays 7 am to 2 pm and 5:30 to 9 pm, Saturdays 8 am to 2 pm and 5:30 to 9 pm, Sundays 8 am to 2 pm.

Joseph's Table
Hotel la Fonda de Taos
108A South Taos Plaza
Taos , New Mexico
Tel: 505 751 4512

As high-concept a restaurant as any in New Mexico (some locals call it pretentious, and they may have a point), Joseph's is located in a windowless space in the Hotel la Fonda de Taos. The decor is eclectic—Southeast Asia meets Morocco?—and has deep, curtained banquettes along the wall. Chef/owner Joseph Wrede changes the menu daily and mixes his culinary influences just as freely: You're likely to see the delicious signature appetizer of lobster with masa bread pudding and Mexican corn. Fresh fish is flown in from Hawaii weekly, and Wrede slips in Asian influences such as sashimi of marlin on a fried crisp of kale sprinkled with orange soy vinaigrette. All that invention means that dishes can be a bit hit or miss—in a trio of gazpacho soups, for instance, two are tangy and tasty, while the third seems like a cold muddle of flavors.

Open daily 5:30 pm to 10 pm

La Boca
72 W. Marcy Street
Santa Fe , New Mexico
Tel: 505 982 3433

Local chef James Campbell Caruso opened this new restaurant downtown to introduce Santa Fe to tapas, and the place is buzzing. Rather than familiar dishes like manchego cheese and Spanish tortilla, he's focusing on local ingredients in dishes such as garbanzo beans with pungent Spanish-style blood sausage, or sautéed spinach coated with pinion seeds and sweet peppers. A small wine list features Spanish and Latin American bottles. Though white tablecloths cover the tables, it's a tiny, informal space—seating up to 20 diners—with six seats at the bar, and a sense of communal fun. Reservations recommended.

Open daily 11:30 am to 9 pm

Lamberts of Taos
309 Paseo del Pueblo Sur
Taos , New Mexico
Tel: 505 758 1009

The Lambert family wound its way here from San Francisco in the early 1990s, and the first-rate restaurant they own attracts a similar crowd of transplanted locals who've brought a bit of sophistication with them. It's in an old pueblo house on the main drag, but not too close to the Plaza, and has a low-key, almost spartan atmosphere, with patriarch Zeke likely to greet you at the door. Recommended dishes include the rib eye with chipotle demi-glace and red chile onion rings, and the pistachio-coated chicken breast filled with spinach and goat cheese. Consider bypassing the main dining area for the separate bar room in the back, which has its own menu of entrees pared down into small dishes (try the lamb taquitos with pico de gallo) and bartenders who seem to know more about Taos than anybody around—and are willing to share.

Open Mondays through Thursdays 5:30 to 9 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 5:30 to 9:30 pm.

La Plazuela and Bell Tower Bar
La Fonda on the Plaza
100 E. San Francisco Street
Santa Fe , New Mexico
Tel: 505 982 5511

The restaurant and bar at La Fonda hotel (not to be confused with the hotel of the same name in Taos) is a good place to recharge while gallery- and shop-hopping around the Santa Fe Plaza. The hotel itself needs a refurb—it has been at this prime location since the 1600s, and looks it—but La Plazuela serves a decent if somewhat innocuous New Mexican lunch in a bright glassed-in courtyard. Try the burger, smothered in—what else?—green chiles and cheese. At sundown, head to the Bell Tower Bar on the fifth floor, order a margarita and some chips and salsa, and watch the last rays of sunshine alight on the adobe buildings below.

La Plazuela open Mondays through Fridays 7 to 10:45 am, 11:30 am to 2 pm, and 5:30 to 10 pm; Saturdays and Sundays 7 to 10:45 am, 11:45 am to 3 pm, and 5:30 to 10 pm. Bell Tower Bar open May through October, Mondays through Fridays 4 pm to sunset, Saturdays and Sundays 2 pm to sunset.

231 Washington Avenue
Santa Fe , New Mexico
Tel: 505 984 1788

Opened in 1983, Santacafé became famous for infusing American dishes with Southwestern influences in an era when regional cuisine was still a new idea. Happily, it hasn't sold out and remains one of the best fine-dining options in Santa Fe, with consistently great food and service. Call it Santa Fe formal, with four white-tablecloth dining rooms in an 1860s landmark adobe building just off the Plaza. If the weather is right—and it usually is—ask for a table in the huge white-tented courtyard. Start with the crispy calamari with tangy four-chile dipping sauce, or the poblano-and-potato chowder; then move on to Southwestern-accented main courses such as a thick, succulent pork chop in chipotle sauce or the chile relleno stuffed with white cheeses and mushrooms. One bite of the green-chile mashed potatoes, and you'll know you are truly in New Mexico.

Open Mondays through Saturdays 11:30 am to 2 pm and 5:30 to 10 pm; Sundays 5:30 to 10 pm. Sunday brunch served 11:30 to 2 pm May through August.

Taos Diner
908 Paseo del Pueblo Norte
Taos , New Mexico
Tel: 505 758 2374

A dive—in a good way. It's filled with locals; nobody will bother you, and you'll get a better feel for Taos here than the tourists who opt to eat around Taos Plaza, 10 minutes away. Most important, Taos Diner serves up the tastiest—and hottest—red and green chiles in town. Breakfast is the best time to try them, in omelets, breakfast burritos, and huevos rancheros. In fact, we recommend ordering breakfast even if it's lunchtime.

Open daily 7 am to 2 pm.

500 South Guadalupe Street
Santa Fe , New Mexico
Tel: 505 983 5721

This bustling, undistinguished-looking place next to the station is another good option to get your red or green fix. Great chile, with an intensity to the red and a freshness to the green that locals swear by. Blue corn enchiladas are the classic order, but the carne adovada (a special on Fridays) and the fluffy sopapillas with butter and honey (which come with every order) also have their fan clubs. The margarita is a killer. So is the wait for a table. Go early.

Open Mondays through Saturdays, 11 am to 10 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.