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 (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
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
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.