Best Green Chile Cheeseburger in New Mexico (2016)


One of the most famous burgers in America is the New Mexico green chile cheeseburger. New Mexico didn't invent the burger, but they did improve it by adding whole or chopped green chiles to a traditional cheeseburger, putting this sandwich on the map. So popular is the sandwich that there is an official Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail which will lead you to many versions of this great burger across the state.

  • Blake's Lotaburger

    Blake's Lotaburger

    Blake's Lotaburger, a fast food chain exclusive to New Mexico, has a legion of local fans who stop in or drive through for their LOTA Burger topped with cheese and Hatch Valley green chile. And don't let the fast food label fool you – this green chile is spicy!
    Photo courtesy of Tadson Bussey / Flickr

  • Owl Cafe

    Owl Cafe
    Albuquerque & San Antonio

    You can't talk about green chile cheeseburgers without mention of the Owl Cafe. Frank Chavez, a native of San Antonio, New Mexico, began grilling burgers outside his bar. This now-famous OwlBurger hasn't changed much since 1948: a fresh, hand-formed beef patty, grilled and topped with green chile, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and mayo. A classic!
    Photo courtesy of New Mexico Tourism Department

  • Big Mike's Grill

    Big Mike's Grill

    Sometimes simple is better. That's the philosophy behind the green chile cheeseburger at Big Mike's Grill in Belen – this behemoth burger made with two quarter-pound patties is on special every Saturday (but you can get it any time).
    Photo courtesy of Big Mike's Grill

  • Sparky's


    What better place to get a Hatch green chile cheeseburger than in the town of Hatch, where the best New Mexico chiles are grown? Famous for its BBQ and decidedly funky exterior, Sparky's World Famous Green Chile Cheeseburger is made from scratch with local green chile, cheese and meat. Nothing else is needed, though adventurous eaters can also try The Oinker, which adds a helping of smoked pulled pork to the already tasty GCCB.
    Photo courtesy of New Mexico Tourism Department

  • Anaheim Jacks

    Anaheim Jacks

    Anaheim Jacks, a tiny eatery in Ruidoso, might not look like much from the outside. Head through the doors, however, and you'll find one of the state's greatest green chile cheeseburgers. You can add green chile to any of Jack's many burgers, but the Billy the Kid (pepperjack, bacon, guacamole) comes with it automatically.
    Photo courtesy of Anaheim Jacks / Facebook

  • Mine Shaft Tavern

    Mine Shaft Tavern

    Located in quirky Madrid (pronounced MAD-rid) on the Turquoise Trail, halfway between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, Mine Shaft Tavern specializes in what they call "New Mexican roadhouse cuisine." Burger lovers who order the signature Shaft Burger have their choice of Black Angus, Waygu or buffalo, topped with fire-roasted green chile, aged cheddar cheese and caramelized onions.
    Photo courtesy of New Mexico Tourism Department

  • Buckhorn Tavern

    Buckhorn Tavern
    San Antonio

    In 2009, Buckhorn Tavern's Bobby Olguin faced off with Bobby Flay on the Food Network hit Throwdown and came out on top. Buckhorn Tavern has been grilling up award-winning green chile cheeseburgers since 1944 – Bobby is the third generation owner. The now famous Buckhorn Burger comes with cheese, green chile, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions and mustard.
    Photo courtesy of New Mexico Tourism Department

  • Santa Fe Bite

    Santa Fe Bite
    Santa Fe

    John and Bonnie Eckre, formerly of Bobcat Bite, have brought their famous green chile cheeseburgers to a restaurant inside Garrett’s Desert Inn on the Old Santa Fe Trail. This popular version is made with fresh-ground boneless chuck and sirloin and served on a homemade bun. Gluten-free buns are also available.
    Photo courtesy of New Mexico Tourism Department

  • El Farolito

    El Farolito
    El Rito

    El Farolito, a charming hole-in-the-wall in an adobe building in tiny El Rito, easily has more fans than the town has residents. The menu of authentic New Mexican fare is highlighted by a very traditional green chile cheeseburger, served on a real hamburger bun with lettuce, tomato, onion and mustard.
    Photo courtesy of Larry Lamsa / Flickr

  • Rockin' BZ Burgers

    Rockin' BZ Burgers

    Rockin' BZ Burgers in Alamogordo has a build-your-own-burger menu, with green chile, American and Swiss cheese as topping options. They also have a no-hassle option, The Champ, which comes with a half-pound beef patty, grilled onions, American cheese, Hatch green chile, lettuce and tomato. The Half Champ is perfect for diners with smaller appetites.
    Photo courtesy of New Mexico Tourism Department


Here are the 10 best, according to 10Best, USA TODAY and Sandwich America readers:

  1. Blake's Lotaburger - Statewide
  2. Owl Cafe - Albuquerque & San Antonio
  3. Big Mike's Grill - Belen
  4. Sparky's - Hatch
  5. Anaheim Jacks - Ruidoso
  6. Mine Shaft Tavern - Madrid
  7. Buckhorn Tavern - San Antonio
  8. Santa Fe Bite - Santa Fe
  9. El Farolito - El Rito
  10. Rockin' BZ Burgers - Alamogordo

A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Billie Frank (Santa Fe Travelers) and Lydia Schrandt (10Best Editor) were chosen based on their extensive knowledge of New Mexico cuisine.

Other nominated burger joints included Bang Bite Filling Station in Santa Fe, Blades' Bistro in Placitas, Bode's General Store in Abique, Bob's Burgers in Albuquerque, Del Charro Saloon in Santa Fe, El Bruno's Restaurante in Albuquerque and Cuba, Monroe's in Albuquerque, Sadie's of New Mexico in Albuquerque, Shake Foundation in Santa Fe and Sugar's BBQ in Embudo,

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AlertThe Experts

Jennifer Daskevich

Jennifer Daskevich

Jennifer Daskevich

Billie Frank

Billie Frank

Billie Frank

Lydia Schrandt

Lydia Schrandt

Lydia Schrandt