Eating out is a major pastime in Santa Fe and it's well worth coming here with a mind to join in on the fun. Restaurants with high-profile chefs stand beside low-key joints, many offering unique and intriguing variations on regional and international cuisine. You'll find restaurants full of locals and tourists alike all over the Downtown and surrounding areas. Although Santa Fe does have some high-end restaurants where dinner for two can exceed $200, the city also has plenty of reasonably priced dining options.
Waits for tables are very common during the busy summer season, so it's a good idea to call ahead even when reservations aren't accepted, if only to get a sense of the waiting time. Reservations for dinner at the better restaurants are a must in summer and on weekends the rest of the year.
So-called Santa Fe–style cuisine has so many influences that the term has become virtually meaningless, especially with many of the city’s top eateries embracing a more international approach to cuisine, albeit all the while sourcing more and more from local farms and ranches. At many top spots in town, you’ll detect Latin American, Mediterranean, and East Asian influences. Yet plenty of traditional, old-style Santa Fe restaurants still serve authentic New Mexican fare, which combines both Native American and Hispanic traditions and is quite different from Americanized as well as regional Mexican cooking.
Santa Fe's culinary reputation continues to grow not just in terms of restaurants but also in businesses that produce or sell specialty foods and beverages, from fine chocolates and local honeys and jams to increasingly acclaimed New Mexico wines, beers, and spirits. Don't miss Saturday morning's Santa Fe Farmers' Market, one of the best in the Southwest.