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Santa Fe Restaurants: in warm weather the hot seats are at sidewalk tables

This is part of a series on outside options for Santa Fe dining. Read about off-street courtyards and patios.

When the weather is warm, people flock to Santa Fe’s outdoor dining spots. While there are some hidden gems tucked behind buildings and in courtyard, sidewalk dining spots are everywhere. Many sidewalk patios allow dogs these days thanks to a 2011 ordinance, so if your pooch is with you, call and check on the restaurant’s policy. Here are seven places to dine out and people-watch:

Santa Fe dining: 315 Restaurant and Wine Bar photo/courtesy 315

The patio at 315 Restaurant and Wine Bar, photo/courtesy 315

The inviting patio at 315 Restaurant and Wine Bar on historic Old Santa Fe Trail is separated from the street by plantings and shaded by big green umbrellas. The newly expanded restaurant started out as a French bistro and some of that influence remains. Now, the seasonally changing menu is more eclectic. Two summer menu favorites: Squash Blossom Beignets and soft-shell crabs. Dinner is served nightly. Despite the name, 315 now has full bar service and a bar menu. Reservations are accepted, but the patio is a request, not a guarantee unless you go for the first seating.

Santa Fe dining: Anasazi Restaurant photo courtesy Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi

The patio at the Anasazi Restaurant photo/courtesy Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi

The patio at the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi offers casual dining with a casual menu. The inn’s restaurant, offering American fusion cuisine with New Mexican accents is more formal. For a casual meal, sit on their Washington Avenue patio and watch Santa Fe walk by. Sometimes you may even see a face you recognize. All sorts of celebs have stayed at the Anasazi over the years. It’s a great place for a drink; they mix a mean margarita. While the Anasazi welcomes reservations for their restaurant, patio seating is based on availability.

Santa Fe dining: Patio a t Cafe Cafe photo/ Steve Collins

Cafe Cafe's patio on Sandoval Street, photo/Steve Collins

Café Café is a little gem between downtown and the Guadalupe Street/Railyard District. The menu’s Italian and you can tell chef/owners Kristin Griffin and Donnalee Goodbrod love what they do. Pizzas are available on both the lunch and dinner menus. Lunch also offers sandwiches, salads, soups and pasta. Dinner has a range of main courses from fish, to meat to pasta. The walled patio on a somewhat busy corner on Sandoval Street can be a little loud, but it is a great place to dine despite the traffic sounds. For reservations call (505) 466-1391.

Santa Fe dining: Cowgirl photo courtesy Cowgirl Cafe

Front patio at Cowgirl, photo/courtesy Cowgirl Cafe

Cowgirl has a popular front patio. Some tables offer a street view; some more secluded. You can bet it’s a busy spot once the weather warms up. The large, eclectic menu runs from BBQ (smoked on-site) to Tex-Mex with lots of options in between. If you are with younger children, head for the Kiddie Corral in the back forty. Kids (up to age 7 or 8) love this small, enclosed space with picnic tables and neat things to play on. When our grandsons visited when they were  younger, their first words when they got off the plane were “Kiddie corral, kiddie corral”. Their parents liked it too; they could sit and relax over margaritas and food while the kids enjoyed themselves. Cowgirl has live music in the bar most nights and sometimes there’s live music out on the patio. Reservations are recommended, especially for the kiddie corral; call (505) 982-2565.

Santa Fe dining: Geronimo

Watch Canyon Road go by from Geronimo's protal photo/coutesy Geronimo

The casually elegant, four-star, four-diamond Geronimo on Canyon Road offers outdoor dining on their portal, a New Mexico way of saying “covered porch”. It’s located at the front of the historic building and is a great place to people watch. Friday nights are especially fun when. Canyon Road, the primary gallery area in Santa Fe is hopping with people going to art openings and strolling the narrow street. Dinner is served nightly; reservations are strongly recommended.

Santa Fe dining: Mangiamo Pronto photo Steve Collins

Watch the traffic go by on one of the oldest roads in the country at Mangiamo Pronto, photo/Steve Collins

Mangiamo Pronto offers what owners call “a little slice of Tuscany in Santa Fe.” The sidewalk café on Old Santa Fe Trail is a great place to people watch especially on summer weekends when it seems that much of the town is passing by this buys corner. The Italian-style espresso and wine bar serves breakfast, lunch, light dinner, espresso drinks, wine and gelato.

Santa Fe dining: Tune Up Cafe at night photo/courtesy Tune-up Cafe

Tune Up Cafe all lit up, photo/courtesy Tune-up Cafe

Tune-up Café hit the Santa Fe dining scene running in 2008 ago and is going strong. Within months of opening, the café, owned by husband and wife team Jesus and Charlotte Rivera, was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Jesus cooked at the famous and fabulous Café Pasqual’s, a Santa Fe Legend, and learned his craft well. A native of El Salvador, he brings the foods of his homeland to his eclectic menu. Charlotte does the baking. lThe front patio, facing Hickox Street, is almost always packed. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. They only take reservations for parties of six or more.

No matter what restaurant or cafe you choose for your sidewalk dining experience, there will be an interesting slice of Santa Fe life going by.]]

What’s your favorite Santa Fe Restaurants offering sidewalk dining? Santa Fe is dog friendly. Thanks to a 2011 ordinance, dogs are permitted to be at sidewalk cafes. It’s up to each restaurant to decide if they accept dogs, check with them in advance.

If you’re visiting Santa Fe and want us to recommend the dining spots that will best work for you, visit The Santa Fe Traveler.

As former hotel concierges and owners of a travel concierge and trip-planning business in Santa Fe, the writers may have been guests of restaurants mentioned here. This generous hospitality has not influenced this post in any way.



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6 Responses to “Santa Fe Restaurants: in warm weather the hot seats are at sidewalk tables”

  1. Maia Duerr / The Liberated Life Project
    May 16, 2019 at 8:20 pm #

    You missed the best new spot in town! The Palace Restaurant and Saloon has a great patio out back… and fantastic food. Tried them a couple of weeks ago on a gorgeous spring day… lovely.

    • Billie Frank
      May 17, 2019 at 8:37 am #

      We actually did one on courtyards and patios, but they’re not in that either. I will add them. We need to get a photo from them. We are slowly getting places in. Thanks for the suggestion.

      • Maia Duerr / The Liberated Life Project
        May 19, 2019 at 2:41 pm #

        Ooops, hadn’t noticed this one was specifically on sidewalk cafes! (Which is a great category!) But yes, The Palace is definitely worth including in a post on patio/al fresco dining.

        Hope you do one on restaurants and bars with fireplaces for the winter… or maybe you already have!

        • Billie Frank
          May 21, 2019 at 2:54 pm #

          Fireplaces is a great idea. We’ll put it on the very long to-write list. It never occurred to me. Any ideas to include.

          • Maia Duerr / The Liberated Life Project
            June 9, 2019 at 1:12 pm #

            Well, I don’t know of many… the only two that come to mind right now are the Dragon Room bar (at the Pink Adobe) and the restaurant at the Hotel St Francis (La Tabla?). I’ll look forward to that post!
            Maia Duerr / The Liberated Life Project recently posted..Let’s Make Some Beautiful Music TogetherMy Profile

  2. Charles Higgins
    May 17, 2019 at 10:02 pm #

    Makes me hungry..for Santa Fe sidewalk eateries…thanks..


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