There’s nothing like a Northern New Mexico breakfast burrito. They are my Santa Fe breakfast of choice- a symphony of eggs, potatoes, cheese and for meat eaters, the decision between bacon and chorizo. Then comes the really big choice; red, green or Christmas. If you’re not from these parts, that’s the chile you want in or on top of your burrito. A request for Christmas gets you a mix of red and green. But it wasn’t always what I ate. When I first arrived here, I was a traditional American breakfast lover. I didn’t like it hot. It took a while before I took the plunge and I’m so glad I did. Here’s the story of my search for the perfect Santa Fe breakfast burrito
My search for the perfect breakfast burrito
It all started when Steve had a small café in one of the State office buildings. State workers came for breakfast and many of them, on the run, wanted a hand-held breakfast burrito. The chile goes on top of all the fillings inside the tortilla and then it’s rolled and tucked. I decided to taste one and I was hooked. I wanted to see how his stacked up against the competition around town and the search for the perfect burrito was born.
El Chile Toreado
I started out with El Chile Toreado, the stand across the road from the café. Good, but I still likes Steve’s better. I made my way around town trying burritos at El Parasol, a popular local chain, Baja Tacos out on Cerrillos Road, the Santa Fe Baking Company, and a now defunct place called the Over Easy Café. We were still doing pretty well against all these. I kept noticing the smothered burrito plates people were eating in some of these spots and they looked pretty good, but that chile can be HOT. Was I really ready for one of these? One morning at Over Easy, I did it and never went back. My first choice, except when we’re eating on the run, is a breakfast burrito smothered in green. Here are some of my favorite places in town to grab a Santa Fe breakfast burrito. Be warned; these places are all popular- the word’s been out on them a long time. Be prepared to wait or go early.
Café Pasqual’s is a destination dining spot for both locals and visitors to Santa Fe. The café, in business over 30 years, is committed to sourcing healthy ingredients, using local when possible. Their huge breakfast burrito has a hefty price-tag, but it can be shared. They know they’re big and you can order a half-sized one. The menu offers one with chorizo, but substitute bacon or go meatless if you prefer. They serve breakfast daily.
Tecolote Café is a local favorite and I think they are a serious contender for the best breakfast potatoes in town. But, I may be partial. They remind me of the potatoes my father used to make. They don’t put their potatoes inside the burritos here, but will on request. I just have to have them incorporated. The chile is great and we love the bread baskets that come with your meal. They’re filled with house-made biscuits and muffins.
The Pantry has been serving breakfast in Santa Fe for over 60 years. The crowd is a local one with visitors mixed in. They also have great potatoes here and serve them on the side of the breakfast burrito. Just aks the server to put them inside and they will.
The Plaza Café on the west side of the historic plaza is one of the oldest restaurants in town. The restaurant, serving traditional New Mexican food since 1918, was purchased by the Razatos family in 1947. Along the way they incorporated some of the family’s traditional Greek dishes and some Anglo favorites. The restaurant, totally restored after a 2010 fire, reopened in 2012. They have kept the 50’s diner ambiance including the great retro photos on the wall.
Tia Sophia’s 210 West San Francisco Street (505) 983-9880, walking distance to the Santa Fe Plaza has been serving up breakfast burritos since 1975, by a branch of the Maryol family. Today, Nick Maryol, son of the original owners, is at the helm. This is one of the places for the Santa Fe version of a power breakfast.
If you’re not a breakfast burrito fan, all of these places offer a wide range of breakfast options, including standard American fare, traditional New Mexican dishes and some Mexican breakfast classics.
These five are a just a start. There are many more places that offer great Santa Fe breakfast burritos. From casual to upscale, from carts to stands, there are delicious breakfast burritos all around town. What’s your favorite place for a Santa Fe breakfast burrito?
More Santa Fe breakfast options for you.
Searching for the perfect Santa Fe breakfast burrito
Santa Fe Food Finds: Chris’ Cafe