The restaurant scene in Santa Fe, New Mexico remains as robust and diversified as ever. Yes, some restaurants closed during the Covid-19 pandemic but it seems quite a few of them have either reopened or will reopen in early July. (Our State is fully reopening as of July 1, 2021). Some new restaurants began operating during the pandemic and other new restaurants have announced they are coming to Santa Fe and opening ‘soon’.
Since we moved here in May 2017 I have read articles that there are about 400+ restaurants in Santa Fe ranging from inexpensive restaurants to high-end very expensive restaurants. I have set up a few groupings – Outstanding (4), Fine Dining (6), Fine Comfort (18), Every Day Casual (57, including our great New Mexican restaurants), Bakeries (we have 9+ artisan bakeries – the + is because some bake savory, some bake sweet, and some bake both), Lounges and Wine Bars (8), Pubs & Bars (6 and severely undercounted because we don’t go to Pubs & Bars), Pizza Restaurants (6 – and if you visit Santa Fe and don’t try the Backroad Pizza restaurant, you will be missing a great pizza), Coffee Shops (8, and while that includes all the Starbucks locations as one entry, the others are local), and National / Regional Casual (29 – probably also undercounted).
My groupings are obvious ‘mine’ and also a taxonomy. Taxonomies are brittle creatures – sort of like trying to determine ‘how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.’ There is absolutely nothing sacred about my groupings. We have eaten at several of the restaurants and talked to other people about the restaurants. You might ask: “what’s the difference between fine dining and fine comfort?” For me, I know it when I experience it. And we have eaten at all the Outstanding (except for Sazon), Fine Dining, and most of the Fine Comfort restaurants … I have moved some restaurants between the Fine Dining and Fine Comfort groupings.
I have attached two visuals below: one visual that encompasses the Outstanding and Fine Dining restaurants and the second visual that encompasses the Fine Comfort restaurants. I may be semi-retired but there is no way that I am going to visualize the other restaurants in my other groupings. I fully expect – and recommend – that if you visit Santa Fe, that you will check Yelp, talk to your hotel concierge, and/or family and friends that have already visited Santa Fe.
I realize that there are many cities that have significantly more restaurants in each category. My wife and I truly love Santa Fe, for one reason, because very few of the above restaurants (including the ones I didn’t name) are close (e.g. within 10 – 15 minutes driving and under 10 minutes walking) to where we live and to our hotels that tourists stay.
Pre-pandemic, Santa Fe attracted around 2 million tourists. I see no reason that the number of tourists won’t bounce back once we open the State. (Actually, last weekend – Juneteenth / Father’s Day – when we were running errands, it was obvious that the tourists had come back ….)