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Headed up there for Memorial Day. Recs on food / outdoors / etc. appreciated. 

Eat some good grub. Spend some time outdoors.

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Both Bandelier and Kasha-Katuwe National Monuments are worth checking out.   Too ambitious to do them both in the same day although you could combine Bandelier with a side trip to Los Alamos and check out the stuff there related to making the atomic bomb back in the 40's.   We didn't do the science museum in town but it's  supposed to be worth it.

Skip The Shed in town unless you manage to walk by and there's no line.   Try Restaurant Martin, La Boca and and El Meson.   We enjoyed all over our trips there.

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I was going to be a smartass and say, "Dude, there are a million Santa Fe threads here" and then I remembered this is Surly, and not The Shag.  

The Tent Rocks hike is close to town and pretty neat, as is the hike up the mountain right by town.  Its name escapes me at the moment.  

The breakfast burrito at Horseman's Haven is fucking delicious, as is the green chile cheeseburger at The Santa Fe Bite.  (both of these were Shag recommendations when I asked the same question you did...)

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And some short serious answers:

Bandelier is a great short outdoors trip.  Bring sunscreen and water.  And if you're feeling ambitious, park on the canyon rim and hike down.  The hike back up is switchbacks, and will get your attention, but it's not a killer.

Grub:

I've loved Cafe on the Plaza for over 40 years.  There's another location on the south side of town as well.  It's classic American cafe grub, with various NM twists.  It's not fancy, or trendy, but it's just damned good.

When you're heading out to hike, you can get tacos and burritos for cheap at El Parasol -- a couple of locations on different edges of town - there's one in Pojoaque right before the turnoff to Bandelier.  Pack em up and take em with you, then eat on your hiking lunch break.  If you want a higher-end version, El Paragua is the parent restaurant with sit-down service in Espanola.  A bit of a drive, but a great place.

Maria's remains a classic, and has one of my favorite dishes, carne adovada.

La Choza is the sister restaurant to The Shed.  I agree that both are "overrated" (as in, not worth the wait), but they're still really good.  And if you can go at an off time, it's good grub.

Casa Chimayo in town is another damned fine place.  Of course, I'll remember it as the place we were eating when my wife's phone rang from our house sitter, to tell us that a plumbing line blew and flooded our house.  Fun times.

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If breakfast is your thing, Cafe Pasqual's is a great high-end choice.  Cafe Tecolote is more of a local kind of place to get your fix of chiles on your eggs.  Always be sure to order "Christmas" (red and green sauce together) on everything.  Happy hour at Inn of the Anasazi, especially if you can snag a patio, seat is always fun.

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The elk tenderloin at Geronimo is about the best thing I have ever put in my mouth. The Rooftop Pizzeria is fun. I don't know how you are getting there, but we always enjoy Madrid. If you go north, stop at La Chiripada Winery in Dixon; there is a great grocery there to buy lunch to go with your wine purchases. We like the Folk Art Museum.

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Some of the great places JW, Brisket, and others posted on the old site:

El Farol:  great tapas
Maria's New Mexican kitchen:  Great Christmas anything, huge margarita list
Geronimo:  Fancy joint.  The elk tenderloin is indeed fantastic.  Take your special lady friend.
Kakawa Chocolate House:  Schmancy chocolaitier. Cool chocolate drinks.  Definitely take your special lady friend.
Ten Thousand Waves:  I don't generally dig spas,  but absolutely and unquestionably take your special lady friend.

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Don't forget to get a Frito Pie in the bag from the Five & Dime place on/near the square.

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Tia Sophia was pretty, pretty good. We also dug Madrid, which is along the Turquoise Trail -- one way to get to Santa Fe from Albuquerque. Just remember that most stuff in Madrid closes around sundown (at least during the week). We went to La Casa Sena one night and it was neat sitting out on the patio area. IIRC, there's a piano bar off to the side.

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Also, shit closes early in Santa Fe.  We missed out on the museums, shopping, etc. because we usually hiked until dark.  Which we were ok with, but it seems like you have to pick one or the other- outdoor stuff or cultural stuff.

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A couple of “seconds:”

  1) 10,000 Waves is great.  Get a private hot tub, enjoy the outdoors, then go in for a massage

  2). Passqual’s is very good, especially for breakfast

Other dining recommendations:

   1). Rooftop Cantina at Coyote Cafe is fun, good place to people watch, and has good casual food

    2) The Shed — if you haven’t been to SF before, this is a must-go place.

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On 5/14/2018 at 10:51 PM, rage-a-holic said:

If you're in the square, stop at Draft Station for great tap beer and badass pizza

Second this.  I think the pizza was just ok, but the beer list and the setting (out on the balcony overlooking the square) are hard to beat.  

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14 minutes ago, Ghost of LL said:

Second this.  I think the pizza was just ok, but the beer list and the setting (out on the balcony overlooking the square) are hard to beat.  

It's not the square, pinche gringo -- it's the plaza.

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On 5/15/2018 at 7:15 AM, Kennythetiger said:

Yes it is.

is chaco canyon better than bandolier?  i will be through there soon but wont have time to stop at both.

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On 5/14/2018 at 2:33 PM, Brisketexan said:

  If you want a higher-end version, El Paragua is the parent restaurant with sit-down service in Espanola.  A bit of a drive, but a great place.

 

This ^^^^^^

We stopped here on our way back to our rental in SF one night. Maybe the best food we  had in our week in Santa Fe.

Drove back for dinner the next night.

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8 hours ago, thrillhammer said:

is chaco canyon better than bandolier?  i will be through there soon but wont have time to stop at both.

Yes Chaco is better...but it's a hell of a lot more difficult to access. Long (13, 20, or 33 miles, depends which way you go) bumpy rough dirt road. No walk in the park.

It's really nice to be able to spend the night there.

Edited by otisdog
more accurate mileage

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21 minutes ago, otisdog said:

Yes Chaco is better...but it's a hell of a lot more difficult to access. Long (25 or 60 miles, depends which way you go) bumpy rough dirt road. No walk in the park.

 

14 minutes ago, thrillhammer said:

I remember that road.  That's why I was leaning towards Bandolier.

Chaco is awesome, amazing, and ultra cool.  But it's a haul, out in the middle of nowhere (seriously, plan where you gas up), and at the end of a lot of bad road.  We did it as we traveled from Santa Fe to Durango (stayed there, then did Mesa Verde) one year.  It's a full-day trip.

Bandelier, on the other hand, you can get up, do it up right, and be back in Santa Fe before dinner time.  Or, if you do like we did back in the day, head right to 10,000 waves, clean up, get massage, private hot tub and some wine, THEN dinner.  You'll be relaxed as hell.

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I also recommend Izanami, it's the Japanese restaurant that's basically connected to 10,000 waves. Get a few small plates and have a pot of tea after 10,000 waves. 

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Yes Chaco is better...but it's a hell of a lot more difficult to access. Long (25 or 60 miles, depends which way you go) bumpy rough dirt road. No walk in the park.


Was a nice ice covered dirt road that practically shook the car apart when I was there. Easily worth the hassle of it.

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Subscribed. Will be there at end of June for a few days with a 14 and 11 year old. We are going to do Bandolier and Meowwolf. Any other places good for kids?  10000 waves kid friendly?

Edited by CrownKing

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11 hours ago, CrownKing said:

Subscribed. Will be there at end of June for a few days with a 14 and 11 year old. We are going to do Bandolier and Meowwolf. Any other places good for kids?  10000 waves kid friendly?

10,000 waves ain't kid friendly, FYI.

Kids will love the Plaza area, the native market, and shops around there -- there's some cool rock shops, mexican market type places, etc. -- just wander and enjoy.

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I haven’t seen anyone comment on a Santa Fe classic favorite.  If you want a cool Santa Fe experience, spend an evening at Vanessie’s (right off Plaza) and the piano bar with Doug Montgomery.  Food, drinks, great experience and fun.  Call to make sure Doug will be there as he performs only four  nights a week.

Edited by ruitxn

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18 hours ago, CrownKing said:

Subscribed. Will be there at end of June for a few days with a 14 and 11 year old. We are going to do Bandolier and Meowwolf. Any other places good for kids?  10000 waves kid friendly?

Meowwolf was weird as shit but there were a TON of teenage kids there.  The ones that were really into it seemed like there were stories that they had read first?  Hell, I don't know.  But it might be worth looking into to see if your kids can research it a little bit before going.

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And you gotta go see the church where jesus built the staircase while blindfolded during a rainstorm without using any nails. 

The staircase is cool no matter how it was built. Loretto Chapel or something like that.

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19 hours ago, Hank Scorpio said:

And you gotta go see the church where jesus built the staircase while blindfolded during a rainstorm without using any nails. 

And then the Church sold it to the highest bidder.  Took the miracle part of it out for me when they told us that.

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On 5/14/2018 at 10:06 PM, Woland said:

The elk tenderloin at Geronimo is about the best thing I have ever put in my mouth.

tenor.gif

 

Seriously, drop the coin on that sombitch. So so good.

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I agree Geronimo is great and all but my favorite food in Santa Fe is at El Chile Toreado, a small, outdoor taco stand on Cordova Road near Trader Joe's. I would drive extra miles to get here if I were passing by town. The various tacos, burritos and hot dogs are phenomenal and dirt cheap. The cook/owner was trained at Le Cordon Bleu. Breakfast or lunch only.

There's a brand new brewery in town, Tumbleroot. They have a really nice beer garden with an adjacent, popular burger/sandwich food trailer, Bang Bite. Tumbleroot is out near Meow Wolf.

The best burger in town that I ordered was the alien burger at Second Street Brewery. The location at the railyard is pretty good.

There's live music pretty much every night at Cowgirl BBQ, or during the day on the weekends.

A less pretentious alternative to 10000 Waves is Ojo Caliente, about an hour outside of Santa Fe. Spectacular natural hot springs.

You'll want to make reservations at Geronimo. Restaurants at a similar price point you may want to consider are Sazon (interior mex) or Radish & Rye (american farm to table with a southern flair).

For a french bakery, you gotta check out Clafoutis. Also Sage Bakery is amazing too - breads, muffins, cookies, croissants. The almond croissant is great. 

There is so much good food in Santa Fe, I'm sure I'm leaving off a few places worth mentioning...Tune-up Cafe comes to mind. Also the southern indian restaurant, Paper Dosa. 

 

Edited by Chopper

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There's a new brewery/distillery in town - Tumbleroot. I haven't been, but I hear tell it's good. 2nd Street Brewery is a place we've been going to regularly lately. The pulled pork sangwich with onion rings is pretty freakin good.

Some of the best food I've ever eaten: http://www.sazonsantafe.com/

Be prepared to spend a shit ton of money there. Some of the best mole on the planet.

The Boxcar is fun.

Drive up to the ski area - it's a really pretty route.

Tesuque Village Market if you want to drive about 20 min north.

Chaco is good if you're around for a week, but not for a weekend. It's unbelievable, but takes a good 3 hours one way, if I remember correctly.

Bring me some Real Ale...

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How'd your trip go?

Here's a 8:00 am to 3:30 ish day trip in the area:

Drive north to Pojoaque, get a burrito at El Parasol.

Take it to go and go another ~ 1/2 mile or so north to the right turn to Nambe/Chimayo. This is the High Road to Taos. When you get to the left turn to go to Chimayo, continue straight. You'll go through a little town named Cundiyo and meet back up to the road to Taos a little ways up. Go to Truchas, and head straight through that little town, all the way to the end of the paved road. Continue up into the forest if you want, or turn around and take the right hand turn towards Penasco. Go through Vadito to Cloudcroft and get a drink there. Tell them that the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University sent you.

Turn around and go back through Penasco to Dixon. Eat lunch at Zuly's, good food, cold beer. On the way down to Dixon, note the shiny schist in the Picuris metamorphic belt in the road cuts. Pretty amazing.

Continue on that road down to State Rd 68, turn right, and an immediate right to Vivac Winery. Get some wine.

Turn south on 68, go back through Espanola and Pojoaque back to Santa Fe.

If you like gambling, there are numerous casinos on the way back, which would make you're return later than 3:30.

 

 

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The trip was great.  We hit a bunch of these spots plus a few that weren't on here. Summary:

Breakfast:

- Tia Sophias -- legit chile on their huevos rancheros 

- Pasqual - smoked trout hash was badass

- Downtown Subscription - great coffee shop near our VRBO

Lunch: 

- Santa Fe Bite -- renowned green chile burger lived up to the hype 

- Shake Foundation -- another great burger stand 

- The Shed -- good, not great and crowded as fuck

- Casa Sena -- great courtyard and drinks, but the food was mediocre

- El Paragua --  hit this on the way back from Ojo Caliente.  Great vibe, and the food was incredible

Dinner: 

- Geronimo -- my favorite meal of the trip. Elk tenderloin was a show stopper 

- Izanami at 10000 waves - great Japanese food with a huge sake selection. Sit outside if you can, the setting up there is really cool

- Compound -- fancy place, great food. We sat at the bar, and the bartender filled us in on a bunch of great places to eat and stuff to do

- Restaurant Martin -- recommended by the Compound bartender. Very good wine list and the food was great

- Sazon - another recommendation by the bartender at Compound. It was very, very good interior Mexican but expensive as shit.

Excursions:

- Ghost Ranch -- about an hour and a half from Santa Fe. Georgia O'Keefe lived there and painted a lot of landscapes and flowers that looked like vaginas.  It is worth the trip. If you can think of a western with cool scenery in it, chances are it was shot there. I did a cool hike there while my wife dicked around in the museums. 

- Ojo Caliente -- very cool spa with a bunch of natural mineral pools. Go early in the day on a weekday to avoid the crowds.

-  10000 Waves -- we got a private tub and a massage and both were awesome. Definitely get a private tub if you're with your lady - it's a panty dropper. 

- Hikes --  Atalaya mountain -- close to town and you get a great view from the top; Aspen Vista Trial -- takes you to the top of the ski mountain. Great vistas of aspens and other pretty nature shit. I also went for a few runs up Canyon Road and back through some Eastside neighborhoods. There are some awesome houses back there, which are fun to look at while you're almost blacking out from the altitude. 

Thanks again for the recommendations. Can't wait to go back and try some of the stuff we missed on this trip. 

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The Barbacoa con Huevos dish at Cafe Pasqual’s might be the best thing I have ever eaten. It’s a small place, so the wait could be long. It’s worth it though. 

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During the summer there are free concerts and outdoor movies at the Railyard area once or twice a week. For ex Ozomatli is playing in a couple days, Bright Light Social Hour in a couple weeks, and Bob Schneider in August. http://www.ampconcerts.org/tag/Railyard

The morning crowd at Pasqual's isn't too bad during the week, esp earlier in the week. 

 

Edited by Chopper

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