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7 Must-Visit Spots in Santa Fe to Eat Green Chile

A tour of New Mexico’s signature dish

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New Mexican green chile peppers are special, with a strong vegetal taste that approaches artichoke territory: the combination of this unique quality and their heat makes green chile dishes deep, complex, and captivating.

In 2014, Eater’s Aaron Kagan and photographer Brandon Soder toasted the arrival of green chile season with a definitive guide to Santa Fe green chile — encompassing the chile’s many forms (“green chile” can refer to a sauce, stew, condiment, and of course, the peppers themselves as a raw ingredient). In honor of Road Trip Week, here’s where to find them on everything from breakfast burritos to wood-fired pizza, “smothered” to hand-held, in handy map form:

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

The Shed

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At the Shed, a local institution, green chile stars in quesadillas, blue corn soft tacos and enchiladas, chowder and, most importantly, stew. The Shed's green chile stew, available in cup or bowl form, is among the best in Santa Fe.

Cafe Pasqual's

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Instead of being doused in green chile sauce, the handheld breakfast burrito contains minimalist strips of uncut, roasted green chile peppers. For those seeking a purer commune with the New Mexican green chile, this is a good way to go. 

Santa Fe Bite

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The green chile burger is the dish to get at Santa Fe Bite. It’s the massive hunk of beautifully seared meat that really makes this dish, but the green chiles add a welcome bit of mild heat and help moderate the richness of the beef.

Bill Addison/Eater

Tomasita’s

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Most enchiladas are rolled, but Tomasita’s serves its enchiladas flat. Chicken, cheese, beef, shrimp, or vegetables are sandwiched between moist but sturdy layers of yellow corn tortillas, which are smothered with green chile sauce and cheese. 

Enchiladas Smothered With Green Chile
Brandon Soder/Eater

Dr. Field Goods

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Dr. Field Goods serves a wood-fired cheese pizza to which moderately hot, chopped green chiles can be added as a topping. The chopped herbs in the “New Mexico gremolata” set the green chile free from its usual beat, extending the peppers’ range in a surprisingly effective combination.

Posa's El Merendero Tamale Factory & Restaurant

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In Posa’s green chile chicken tamales, lofty, moist, white masa surrounds a filling of pulled chicken, and the unwrapped tamales are smothered with a standard green chile sauce. The sauce would be considered spicy almost anywhere else in the country, but here. it’s on the moderate end of the heat scale. If it’s too hot for your tastes, there’s extremely sweet, seasonal agua sandia (watermelon drink) and scratch horchata to wash it down.

Horseman’s Haven

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The regular green chile sauce at Horseman’s Haven Cafe is hotter than nearly any other in town. The spicier “level two” green chile sauce will have you crying, shaking, and wondering who on earth could consume any more than just a few drops of this poisonously hot yet equally delicious condiment. If you’re not in the mood to sweat, Horseman’s also serves omelets, quesadillas, and handheld burritos.

The Shed

At the Shed, a local institution, green chile stars in quesadillas, blue corn soft tacos and enchiladas, chowder and, most importantly, stew. The Shed's green chile stew, available in cup or bowl form, is among the best in Santa Fe.

Cafe Pasqual's

Instead of being doused in green chile sauce, the handheld breakfast burrito contains minimalist strips of uncut, roasted green chile peppers. For those seeking a purer commune with the New Mexican green chile, this is a good way to go. 

Santa Fe Bite

Bill Addison/Eater

The green chile burger is the dish to get at Santa Fe Bite. It’s the massive hunk of beautifully seared meat that really makes this dish, but the green chiles add a welcome bit of mild heat and help moderate the richness of the beef.

Bill Addison/Eater

Tomasita’s

Enchiladas Smothered With Green Chile
Brandon Soder/Eater

Most enchiladas are rolled, but Tomasita’s serves its enchiladas flat. Chicken, cheese, beef, shrimp, or vegetables are sandwiched between moist but sturdy layers of yellow corn tortillas, which are smothered with green chile sauce and cheese. 

Enchiladas Smothered With Green Chile
Brandon Soder/Eater

Dr. Field Goods

Dr. Field Goods serves a wood-fired cheese pizza to which moderately hot, chopped green chiles can be added as a topping. The chopped herbs in the “New Mexico gremolata” set the green chile free from its usual beat, extending the peppers’ range in a surprisingly effective combination.

Posa's El Merendero Tamale Factory & Restaurant

In Posa’s green chile chicken tamales, lofty, moist, white masa surrounds a filling of pulled chicken, and the unwrapped tamales are smothered with a standard green chile sauce. The sauce would be considered spicy almost anywhere else in the country, but here. it’s on the moderate end of the heat scale. If it’s too hot for your tastes, there’s extremely sweet, seasonal agua sandia (watermelon drink) and scratch horchata to wash it down.

Horseman’s Haven

The regular green chile sauce at Horseman’s Haven Cafe is hotter than nearly any other in town. The spicier “level two” green chile sauce will have you crying, shaking, and wondering who on earth could consume any more than just a few drops of this poisonously hot yet equally delicious condiment. If you’re not in the mood to sweat, Horseman’s also serves omelets, quesadillas, and handheld burritos.

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