Santa Fe dining on the cheap: food carts, trucks and stands

Dining out in Santa Fe can be a pricey. if you know where to go, you can dine well and not break the bank. There are a lot of ethnic restaurants where food is tasty and prices are reasonable. Some of the best dining bargains in town are found at food trucks, carts and stands. People love these and some have developed loyal followings. When dining on the street, bring cash; a few take local checks and some accept credit cards but,at food trucks and stands, cash is king. Here are a few popular ones:

Bang Bite on Old Santa Fe Trail at Paseo de Peralta, photo/Steve Collins

Bang Bite on Old Santa Fe Trail at Paseo de Peralta, photo/Steve Collins

Bang Bite

Bang Bite (502 Old Santa Fe Trail (505-469-2345), opened in Santa Fe in late October 2013, was a hit from the beginning. Chef/owner Enrique Guerrero has a following in Santa Fe, most recently as owner of Mangiamo Pronto, a small Italian café on Old Santa Fe Trail. He sold the café in 2011. The bright orange trailer doesn’t have a theme. It will be offering seasonal menus and daily specials and what Guerrero calls “great food.” The menu ranges from soups to burgers, to tacos to fresh pasta, to seafood. Basically, the truck will offer what the chef feels like cooking. It’s a good recipe to stay fresh and passionate about what you are doing.

Because Bang Bite is on wheels, Guerrero will bring it to you and cater your event. He wants to start offering take-out dinners and will be cooking up fried turkey to go this Thanksgiving. He’s also working on a Christmas Eve menu. There’s more information on his website. Read more about Bang Bite on Santa Fe Travelers.

 

Chicago Dog Express at Paseo de Peralta and Cerrillos Road, photo/Steve Collins

Chicago Dog Express

Chicago Dog Express: (600 Cerrillos Road) This hot dog stand’s been a fixture at this busy intersection since the late seventies.. They offer the American classic in a variety of ways. The big seller is the Chicago Dog, loaded with veggies. The Santa Fe Classic and the Coney Dogs are also big sellers. It’s the one I get, Steve orders the Chi Dog. Try the Frito Pie, a local favorite. They’re open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm (breakfast (burritos and Frito Pies served until 10:30) Saturdays they’re open 10:30 to 4:00. In 2010, they opened a stand at the northeast corner of the Plaza selling hot dogs and Frito Pies. They are there daily in spring and summer, weather permitting, from 11:30am to 2:30pm.

El Chile Toreado, photo/Steve Collins

El Chile Toreado

El Chile Toreado: (Cordova Road between St. Francis Drive and Cerrillos Road) This taco/burrito stand has been serving Mexican food for breakfast and lunch Monday to Friday for years. They are a block from Trader Joe’s and around the corner from the St. Francis Drive Whole Foods. There is often a line. Call ahead and order.

Roque’s Carnitas, on the Santa Fe Plaza, Photo/Steve Collins

Roque’s Carnitas

Roque’s Carnitas: (Santa Fe Plaza at Old Santa Fe Trail and San Francisco Street) Roque Garcia has been serving up beef carnitas (marinated grilled meat served in a tortilla) and other New Mexican treats at his cart on the Santa Fe Plaza since the mid-1980s. While Roque’s offers tamales and quesadillas, the thing to eat here is carnitas. Thin sliced beef and onions and green chile are grilled right before your eyes and placed in a flour tortilla that’s been heated on the grill. It’s then topped with a tomato, onion, and chopped jalapeño salsa, wrapped in foil, and handed to you with a bunch of napkins. You’ll need them. Hold the carnitas away from your body while you eat it; this heavenly wrap leaks a lot of juice. If you don’t eat beef,  Roque’s also makes a chicken version. Roque’s Carnitas is open seven days a week from mid-April through the end of October. Hours are from 10am to 3pm. Winters are spent in sunny Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. If you’re in Santa Fe, and want a quick, delicious, inexpensive lunch, stop by and order one and say, “Steve and Billie sent me.”

Santa Fe dining

Jarochos (at Jackalope) has great tacos, gorditas and more, photo Steve Collins

Jarochos Taqueria

Jarochos Taqueria: This colorful cart, owned by people from Veracruz, Mexico offers reasonably priced “comida Veracruzana” including tacos, burritos, gorditas and more. Meat choices include barbacoa (slow –cooked beef), vapor (slow-cooked pork) lengua, pollo and more. They also make a mean green chile cheeseburger with excellent fries. Enjoy traditional Mexican beverages such as horacha and rice water. Everything is made to order and service is a bit slow. If you’re in a hurry, call ahead and place your order (505) 204-5756. This little slice of Mexico is located on busy Cerrillos Road in front of Jackalope.

If you have a favorite food stand or truck you want to share with people looking for a great outdoor Santa Fe dining experience,  Let us know.


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12 Responses to “Santa Fe dining on the cheap: food carts, trucks and stands”

  1. Santa Fe Red
    May 23, 2019 at 7:54 am #

    Roque’s Carnitas! 25 years of refining El Sabor de Santa Fe!

  2. Kirsten
    July 29, 2019 at 10:52 am #

    Great list! Now 1) I’m hungry and, 2) I want to visit Santa Fe. That is, for longer than an hour. I’ve driven through but never stayed and I think that needs to change. Soon.

    • Billie Frank
      July 29, 2019 at 9:31 pm #

      Come for at least a couple of days. There’s so much to see, do and eat here!

  3. Ayngelina
    April 21, 2019 at 12:41 pm #

    I love fine dining but really my heart is with good street food and food trucks.
    Ayngelina recently posted..Food Friday: How to make burrataMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      April 21, 2019 at 2:45 pm #

      I love food trucks and street food, too. If you ever get out this way, let me know- we can grab some street-food together.

  4. Nancie
    August 5, 2019 at 4:42 pm #

    I always enjoy a good food truck. If I ever get to Santa Fe, I would give some of these a try. El Chile really caught my eye.
    Nancie recently posted..Capture the Color: Travel Photo ContestMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      August 6, 2019 at 7:35 am #

      It’s great to discover new ones. Santa Fe has more small stands and trailer-type stands than food trucks. Wish we’d get more of a scene. I just read Austin as over 1,500. I can’t even begin to imagine.

  5. Carol
    May 21, 2019 at 5:03 pm #

    Jarochos taqueria was great! Consistently yummy fresh food. We went back three times on our trip!

    • Billie Frank
      May 21, 2019 at 8:10 pm #

      How did you discover them? If you like authentic Mexican Tacos- check out Dona Clara next time you’re in town.

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