This is part two of a post on Santa Fe’s casual dining patios. Read part one.
The weather is warm, the air is fresh and you want a table outside. Here are more of Santa Fe’s casual dining patios. The good news for dog owners: many outdoor dining spots are dog-friendly.
La Posada’s patio
The Patio, at La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa is the perfect spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city a short walk from the historic Plaza. Set in a quiet courtyard at this upscale hotel, it’s a great spot to enjoy a casual meal. The menu is casual with a southwestern/New Mexican flair. They serve breakfast lunch and dinner. Sometimes on summer evenings there’s live music. The hotel’s Staab House bar also offers an outdoor area to enjoy drinks and food.
Rooftop Pizzeria, as the name implies, offers rooftop dining overlooking quaint Water Street (the building’s main entrance is on San Francisco Street, directly across from the historic Santa Fe Plaza). If you’re a fan of unusual thin crusted pizzas, you’ll love this trendy spot. Not in the mood for a pie? They also offer a selection of salads and pastas. If you lean over the rail at the roof’s edge at the right moment, a great sunset awaits.
Santa Fe Bar and Grill
Santa Fe Bar and Grill, at the DeVargas Mall on Paseo de Peralta offers a southwest influenced pub menu at reasonable prices. The patio, at the front of the restaurant, is a great place for warm weather dining, snacking or drinking. It is also a great place to bring the kids. They only accept reservations for parties of six or more. The restaurant has full alcohol service.
Second Street Brewery
Second Street Brewery has two locations, both with patios. The original, as the name implies, is on 2nd Street. Their second location, opened in 2010, is in the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Building in the Railyard District. They make their own brew; the menu, offering burgers, soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees, reflects their casual pub philosophy. Both locations have live music. Call them to check the schedule.
The Shed, a Santa Fe landmark, serving Northern New Mexican cuisine since 1953, is a destination restaurant. It’s on the must-dine list of people visiting Santa Fe. It’s been written about in magazines, newspapers and guidebooks. Located at the west end of the historic Sena Plaza building, you have to spot their colorful, small sign under the building’s portal to find them. This popular spot is almost always busy. Be prepared to wait at lunch (reservations not accepted), sit in the bar or browse the many shops nearby. Luckily they take dinner reservations. Reserve early; in high season they fill up quickly. If you can’t get a reservation, try their sister restaurant, La Choza. The main difference besides ambiance is that La Choza serves traditional sopapillas with meals. The Shed offers garlic bread, a quirky tradition for a New Mexican-style restaurant. The Shed’s treed and umbrella-shaded patio is in an enclosed courtyard at the front of restaurant. If you want a table out here, be prepared to wait, they are in high demand. They have full alcohol service.
Tune-Up Café hit the Santa Fe dining scene running in 2008 and is going strong. Within months of opening it was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. The café is owned by husband and wife team, Jesus and Charlotte Rivera. Before opening his own eatery, Jesus, who hails from El Salvador, cooked at two Santa Fe landmarks: Harry’s Roadhouse and Café Pasqual’s. He brings the foods of his homeland to the cafe’s eclectic menu. The raised front patio is almost always packed. Tune-up serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. They only take reservations for parties of six or more.
Helpful hints for Santa Fe’s casual dining patios
- State your patio preference when making your reservation (if the restaurant takes them) .
- Dine early; it’s easier to get an outdoor table before the restaurant gets busy.
- Outside space is at a premium so prepared to wait.
- Even restaurants that take reservations generally won’t promise patio seating due to limited space – they cannot predict with accuracy how fast tables will turn over.
- Have a dog with you? Call the restaurant and see if they allow dog’s in their outdoor dining space
- If a table inside won’t do and you have to have that casual patio dining in Santa Fe experience and a table isn’t available right away, grab a seat at the bar and sip a margarita or other cool drink while waiting. Even order an appetizer to take the edge off your appetite.
Read about Santa Fe’s more upscale dining patios: Outdoor dining at Santa Fe restaurants: putting on the Ritz
Authors’ note: As former hotel concierges and owners of a travel-related business in Santa Fe, the writers may have been guests of one or more of Santa Fe’s casual dining patios mentioned in this post. This generous hospitality has not influenced this post in any way.