Doing Lunch in Santa Fe: From Fast and Easy to Elegant

When you’re traveling and sightseeing during the day, you often want to make lunch short and sweet. Perhaps you’re on a day-trip and want to take a picnic lunch with you. For some, taking time to eat a great lunch is part of the adventure. Santa Fe offers midday meal options for all in price ranges to fit any budget, from carts to white linen. Try the local New Mexican cuisine or the infamous Frito pie at the iconic Five & Dime. If you’re in the mood for a burger, think green chile cheeseburger, they’re iconic here. You’ll find them all over including at Del Charro and Santa Fe Bite. Want a bit of barbecue? Head for The Ranch House at the city’s Southside. There are loads of spots for that American favorite pizza including Back Road Pizza. Want some world cuisine? Epazote on the Hillside, Café Pasqual’s or Lan’s are all good bets. Ever tried African? You can at Jambo Café. Want lunch on the run or to go? The Beestro, Roque’s Carnitas and Bang Bite are all good options. For a fancier sit-down lunch complete with white linen and cocktails, More great lunch places can be found on the 10 Best Santa Fe Brunch lists. There’s no shortage of good lunch spots in Santa Fe; it’s a food-lovers paradise!


South Capitol
Back Street Bistro
Photo courtesy of Back Street Bistro


Love soup? Head on over to the Backstreet Bistro, a local favorite, where they've been serving up house-made soup since 1994. Their aim: to serve fresh seasonal soups made from scratch. No base used here, just good stock simmered for hours....  Read More

M.A.M.A.'s World Take-out
Photo courtesy of Steve Collins


M.A.M.A.S World Take-Out is in an industrial building so far off the beaten path you won't stumble upon it on your own. The funky, strictly take-out eatery (you can dine on the front loading dock in warm weather) offers a plethora of different...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Vinaigrette


Some places catch on from day one. Vinaigrette is one of these. As the name implies, this is a salad place. The list of salads on offer is long and inventive. Ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible including from owner Erin Wade's...  Read More

TerraCotta Wine Bistro
Photo courtesy of Terra Cotta Wine Bistro


Terra Cotta Wine Bistro, opened in 2011, is tucked away on historic Johnson Street, home to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. The short byway (only a few blocks long), once home to Union Army barracks, is now a culinary treasure offering three...  Read More

Il Piatto
Photo courtesy of Il Piatto


Chef Matt Yohalem opened his upscale casual Italian eatery, Il Piatto, in 1996. The rustic Italian country farmhouse décor sets the mood here. He sums the menu up as "regional Italian food with respect to the old country, using local...  Read More

Del Charro
Photo courtesy of Del Charro


Del Charro Saloon, just a few short blocks from the historic Santa Fe Plaza, is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. The combination of location and reasonably priced, well prepared food is a winner. Their signature burger and fries...  Read More

The Compound Restaurant
Photo courtesy of The Compound


Lunch at The Compound is an occasion. There's white linen on the tables and the service is first-class. Longing for a leisurely lunch with a martini or fine wine? This is the perfect place. The seasonally changing menu has a few signature dishes...  Read More

South Capitol
Bang Bite
Photo courtesy of Steve Collins


Bang Bite Filling Station is right out of Jon Favreau's hit film Chef. Chef/owner Enrique Guerrero, a man with an impressive culinary CV, traded his chef's coat for a tee-shirt. He's cooking up some really good grub in his bright orange movable...  Read More

The Beestro


The Beestro specializes in lunch to-go. This tiny spot started life as a lunch delivery service in October 2011. Enterprising chef Greg Menke and his partner Devon Gilchrist saw a need. A year later they opened a charming hole-in-the-wall on...  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