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:
Callie’s Cajun: (Old Las Vegas Hwy, If you are a fan of NOLA-style food, this old retro-fitted van serves Cajun favorites from Po Boys to Étouffée. You can feats on some of Louisiana’s iconic foods here. The menu features classics like catfish and oyster Po Boys, shrimp Étouffée, jambalaya, red beans and rice, BBQ pork sandwiches and more. Callie’s serves late lunch and dinner from around 3pm to around 8pm Monday to Friday) Callie’s days and hours can vary; call before you go; (505) 438-7012.
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: (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: (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 for over 25 years. Roque, a Santa Fe native and his wife and business partner, Mona Cavilli (a former New Yorker and long-time Santa Fe resident) winter in Puerto Vallarta and set up in Santa Fe from around Easter to October sometimes even later. They’re open from about 10am to 3pm, every day but Tuesday.
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