Travel + Leisure readers declared Santa Fe a top destination for great food. “If you thought the Big Apple had absolutely nothing in common with the modest New Mexican city of Santa Fe, think again. Travel + Leisure readers voted both as two of the top 10 cities for food in the United States.”
Building upon Spanish and Native American influences, Santa Fe’s culinary scene is garnering national attention. “Santa Fe is a destination city as much for its food as for its art and excellent weather. If you need proof, consider how many of this relatively small town’s restaurants have been listed as nominees, semifinalists, or winners of the James Beard Awards over the years,” writes Tantri Wiji, food critic for the Santa Fe New Mexican.
New Mexicans take their status as the “Chili Capital of the World” seriously. The chili pepper, in both red and green varieties, still holds center court, but the cultural mash-up now includes West African, Vietnamese and French influences. The rise of local artisanal producers, who contribute everything from small-batch, hand-crafted spirits to fine fermented pickles, have also upped Santa Fe’s food game.
New Mexico boast a number of culinary trails, from the Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail to the New Mexico Ale Trail. New Mexico Food Tours offer guided “progressive pairing” walking tours through the historic downtown with stops along the way at acclaimed restaurants Georgia’s, Luminaria, Taberna and more. Santa Fe School of Cooking features an intensive three-day boot camp led bytop chefs, who instruct participants in the intricacies of Southwestern cooking.
Travel+Leisure’s World’s Best Cities for Food.
Return to Santa Fe: Awards & Accolades.