Yearning for Homestyle Food? Santa Fe Takes It to a New Level

What constitutes comfort (homestyle) food? It’s different for everyone. It can be your go-to food when you need emotional support or to warm up on a cold winter’s night. It’s ethnic, it’s regional, it’s cultural; it’s what your mom fed you when you were sick. It can be as simple as a peanut butter sandwich or mac and cheese, soup or stew. In Santa Fe comfort food takes many forms. There aren’t many eateries offering things like Southern fried chicken with collard greens, so ubiquitous in the south or pot roast and gravy found so often in the Northeast or the tuna noodle casserole often found on mid-western tables. For hundreds of years, comfort food in Northern New Mexico has meant dishes like carne adovada (slow cooked pork in red chile), posole (dried corn stew) or green chile chicken stew. The 20th century brought favorites from around the USA and even around the world, to the area. Today you can get a bowl of Vietnamese pho, African food some barbecue, or American classics like meatloaf and gravy or chicken fried steak. Local eateries such as the Zia Diner, The Plaza Café and The Pantry offer a combination of New Mexican and traditional mainstream American fare such as fried chicken, roast turkey dinner or grilled pork chops and mashed potatoes. And don’t forget a little pie a la mode for dessert. When you need a pick-up, head for one of Santa Fe’s 10 best comfort food eateries.

Zia Diner
Photo courtesy of Zia Diner

Zia Diner is one of the best place to get traditional American comfort food in Santa Fe. Opened on New Year's Eve 1986, the original owners believed the city offered a market for 'retro comfort food done well.' They were right; the eatery is...  Read More

Lan's Vietnamese Cuisine
Photo courtesy of Lan's Vietnamese Cuisine

Soup is one of the most basic of comfort foods. Vietnamese pho (pronounced pha), is a noodle soup primarily made from beef or chicken. At Lan's Vietnamese Cuisine, there's also a vegan version. Lan's is an example of attaining the American...  Read More

Greater Santa Fe
Harry's Roadhouse
Photo courtesy of Harry's Roadhouse

The parking lot at Harry's Roadhouse, a ten minute ride from the Santa Fe Plaza, is almost always packed. Locals love the funky eatery where each dining room has its own distinct character. The menu offers comfort food all day from breakfast...  Read More

Blue Corn Cafe & Brewery
Photo courtesy of Steve Collins

Like handcrafted brew with your comfort food? Head to the Southside's Blue Corn Café & Brewery. The packed menu offers traditional pub food and New Mexican or American comfort food favorites. A few dishes will always be on the...  Read More

Rancho de Chimayo Restaurante
Photo courtesy of Steve Collins

Comfort food in Santa Fe is synonymous with the local Northern New Mexican fare that's been comforting locals for hundreds of years. The area's filled with eateries offering the local Norteño cuisine. It's spicy and loaded with locally-grown...  Read More

Plaza Cafe Southside
Photo courtesy of Plaza Cafe Southside

Plaza Café Southside is owned by a branch of the Razatos Family, owners of the iconic Plaza Café, a downtown fixture since 1905. The 'upscale regional diner' opened is located across from Regal Cinema Stadium 14 off Zeferano Drive. Comfort...  Read More

Cerrillos Road
Jambo Cafe
Photo courtesy of Steve Collins

Want African comfort food? Head to Jambo Café. The bustling eatery, located in a Cerrillos Road strip-mall, has been popular from the day it opened. Chef/owner Ahmed Obo brings the foods of his native island of Lamu, off the coast of Kenya, to...  Read More

The Plaza Cafe
Photo courtesy of Steve Collins

The Razatos family has run the Plaza Café (opened in 1905) since 1947. Comfort food has been on the menu here since day-one. It's the 'bread and butter' for the diner-like eatery. They even offer a daily Blue Plate Special, a holdover from the...  Read More

The Ranch House Restaurant
Photo courtesy of The Ranch House Restaurant

You don't have to be from Texas, North Carolina or Kansas City to find comfort in barbecue. Chef Josh Baum and his wife Ann Gordon started Josh's BBQ in 2007. They outgrew the space and concept and closed the original at the end of 2011. They...  Read More

The Pantry Restaurant
Photo courtesy of The Pantry Restaurant

The Pantry, a Santa Fe institution, has been serving comfort food since they opened the doors in 1948. The Cerrillos Road eatery is a bustling local favorite. You can get comfort food three meals a day here. There's a good mix of New Mexican and...  Read More


Meet Billie Frank

Billie Frank is a freelance travel, food and feature writer based in Santa Fe New Mexico. Her blog, Santa Fe Travelers, is a treasure trove of information on the oldest capital city in the...  More About Billie

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