The capital of New Mexico, Santa Fe, founded as a Spanish colony in 1610, sits in the Sangre de Cristo foothills. Known for its traditional Pueblo architecture and vibrant artistic community, the city is also highly-regarded for its authentic Mexican cuisine. Once the home of the indigenous Tanoan peoples, downtown Santa Fe was settled around the year 900. Nowadays, the city still retains many of its early influences. Designated as a UNESCO Creative City in Design, Crafts and Folk Art, Santa Fe attracts many visitors and collectors to Canyon Road, which has the highest concentration of art galleries in the city, featuring an array of contemporary, Southwestern, indigenous American, and experimental art, as well as Russian, Taos Masters, and Native American pieces. There are also numerous outdoor sculptures, including statues of Francis of Assisi, and other holy figures, like Kateri Tekakwitha.
Casa Chimayo: Learn from the Masters
Using the original recipes of his ancestors, the owner of Casa Chimayo, Don Timoteo, seeks to promote Northern Mexican culture through the culinary traditions he inherited from his grandmother. The rustic adobe and stucco design of the restaurant lends an authentic feel to the dining experience. Featuring a unique blend of Spanish and Native American ingredients, Casa Chimayo is famous for its enchiladas, which can also be ordered as a side dish. Favorites include the Plantain Mole Enchilada, a blue corn tortilla with mole, plantains and queso fresco, which can be ordered as a starter, and the DDD Blue Corn Enchiladas, which are remarkably soft and tender, with blue corn tortillas, cheddar jack cheese and a choice of filling, such as chicken or beef.
La Plazuela: Stylish Dining Experience
La Plazuela, housed in a converted patio at La Fonda Hotel, was built in the 1920s. A bit more upscale, the restaurant is encircled by hand-painted windows and features lush greenery, a wrought-iron chandelier, and a fountain. The food is a bit more expensive, but certainly worth it. The Filet y Enchiladas includes a char-grilled 6oz filet mignon, two fresh white corn Mexican cheese enchiladas, and red, green and Christmas chile, served with your choice of pinto or black beans, pork posole, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, shredded lettuce, and sopaipillas. Another favorite is the Enchiladas del Norte, which comes with two fresh white corn tortillas, shredded beef or chicken, Mexican cheeses, and red, green and Christmas chile. Enchiladas at La Plazuela can be paired with a wine selection that has earned the restaurant the Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence.
Other standouts for enchiladas in Santa Fe include La Choza, set in a warm and colorful atmosphere, which offers a vegetarian selection of enchiladas, featuring summer squash, zucchini, mushrooms, petite broccoli florets and cheese in rolled blue corn tortillas that can be topped with chile sauce for a delicious kick. The margaritas are also a must at La Choza. Also, Mucho Gusto specializes in Suiza Enchiladas, which come with chicken in rolled corn tortillas topped with a tomatillo sauce, feta cheese, and green chile sauce for a sharp and spicy contrast, and the grilled shrimp enchilada in flat blue corn tortillas with onions and mushrooms.