Best Spots for Outdoor Drinking in New Mexico
The best spots for drinking include sitting outdoors under a New Mexico sky. In the warmer months, outdoor dining and drinking spots are a rite of passage. Taking advantage of the best outdoor drinking spots often affords stellar rooftop views (including epic New Mexico sunsets) and charming courtyard milues with babbling fountains and flowers and, in some cases, live music
100 E San Francisco St
Head up to the fifth floor of the bustling, popular La Fonda Hotel for stellar sunset views of city and distant mountains. Arrive early to beat the crowds and settle in. Relax with the signature margarita called the Bell Ringer, makes the experience all the more authentic.
4 Banana Ln
Just 12 miles north of Santa Fe, this picturesque spot is perfect for table-side, made-to-order guacamole and a cold margarita (or two) on a spacious, relaxed scenic patio full of flowers and stunning high-desert mountain views. You might not want to leave.
905 Alarid St, Santa Fe, NM 87505, USA
Located in the Railyard District, the friendly and efficient La Choza (Spanish for “the shed”) doles out traditional New Mexican fare. Start with the satisfying posole (a hominy). Try the stuffed sopapillas with an earthy red chile, and classic huevos rancheros. Don’t be afraid to sample the hearty, non-traditional green chili clam chowder. The series of dining rooms are peppered with local art, and while you wait for your order, don’t miss the ample tequila list.
300 Juan Medina Rd
In the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains north of Santa Fe, the village of Chimayó has become famous for its adobe church, “El Santuario,” whose side chapel’s dirt floor is reputed to have healing powers. Every Good Friday, tens of thousands of pilgrims make their way to this “Lourdes of the Southwest.” Others descend upon this valley for more temporal reasons. Just down the road from the Santuario is the century-old adobe home that houses the “Rancho de Chimayó,” a New Mexico institution. Owned by the Jaramillo family, this restaurant is known for its carne adovada--pork that has been stewed to tenderness in red chile. You may or may not believe in the power of the dirt in the Santuario’s floor, but the taste of this valley’s chile will have you convinced that the terroir--the taste of place--deserves its venerable reputation. Get the “combinación picante” so that you can sample a tamal, rolled cheese enchilada, beans and posole along with the carne adovada. And don’t use all of your sopaipilla (the steaming square of puffy frybread) to soak up the chile; save a corner so you can douse it with local honey as a dessert... Chimayó is an easy forty-minute-drive from Santa Fe, on “the high road to Taos.” Across the road from the restaurant is a B&B, run by the same family as well.
132 W Water St, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
The outdoor cantina upstairs at the famed Coyote Cafe makes a perfect spot to perch and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the bustle of the Santa Fe streets. Try the Lava Lamp cocktail, a more-delicious-than-it-sounds blend of draft beer and a frozen margarita. Other concoctions like the prickly pear margarita make excellent companions to the warm, thickly cut tortilla chips and fire-roasted salsa.
113 Washington Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
The warm, romantic wood and stone dining room at the Anasazi Restaurant & Bar is a perfect spot for Argentine chef Juan Juan Bochenski’s flavorful, rustic cuisine. The roasted free-range local lamb with jalapeño croquettes is an utter delight alongside the chili almond crusted salmon with blood orange butter sauce. Outside, the lively patio serves mouthwatering fluffy empanadas and light ahi tacos, which pair perfectly with a margarita or a cold cerveza.
211 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
Come summer, locals flock to the tranquil patio for al fresco dining. The new chef is the likable Marc Quiñones, whose kitchen churns out Southwestern food with molecular gastronomy. Commence your meal with the award-winning tortilla soup or green chili scottish salmon tartare. For dinner, the seasonally changing menu features dishes like organic chicken with goat cheese polenta, and strawberry brined duck breast.
198 State Road 592
The warm, handsome dining room at Terra is situated high enough for sweeping Santa Fe sunsets and glorious mountain silhouettes. Helmed by chef Andrew Cooper, the food is contemporary American and Southwestern, from tortilla soup to pan-seared scallops to a zesty green chili braised short rib. After your meal, visit the mod, circular outdoor fire pit and wind down with a nightcap. The cool inside bar has a great wall of old black-and-white photos, including one with visiting actor and cowboy Robert Redford.
653 Canyon Rd A, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
The elegant, grown-up Compound Restaurant on Santa Fe’s Canyon Road caters to devoted locals and tourists alike with a Southwestern-meets-Mediterranean focus. James Beard Award–winning chef Mark Kiffin scores with entrées like roasted rack of lamb, salmon with crispy pancetta, and wild mushrooms with organic stone-ground polenta. At lunch, the bar menu is less pricey and offers a chance to sample the famed Compound Burger, made with local Lone Mountain Ranch Wagyu beef, and wash it down with a cold beer. Even with the fantastic cuisine, the best parts of this white tablecloth and custom furniture institution remain the clean adobe arches and folk-art decor created by artist Alexander Girard.
231 Washington Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
Since 1983, Santacafé has been a culinary destination for the chic lunch set (Tom Ford is a fan). Opt, as they do, for eclectic “classics” like crispy calamari with four-chile lime dipping sauce, shrimp and spinach dumplings with tahini sauce, or the homemade pasta of the day. Come summer, the large patio is bustling, while in winter, guests are ushered into the minimalist-yet-cozy dining room, made warm with fireplaces and cool with taxidermy.
806 Central Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102, USA
It’s sunsets galore at the roof of Albuquerque’s newly renovated Hotel Parq Central. Soak in the stunning views as the city lights shine atop the Apothecary Lounge. There’s a hearty sampling of jazz-age and prohibition cocktails a la the Sazerac and Pink Lady and a wide array of bitters at your disposal,
319 S Guadalupe St
Check out the rocking, hip and popular Cowgirl, a melding of Texas BBQ and New Mexico flavors and Old West style. Early evening, there’s happy hour including cheap, tasty margaritas. At night, patrons kick up their heels to live music. There’s a big patio outside for plenty of sipping.