How do you even pick favorites in a town like Santa Fe? Sure, people are visiting and moving here for the arts, no question, but as anyone who’s ever tried to snag a table someplace on a weekend or any day during the summer will tell you—we’re all about that food life, too. Which makes this hard. In planning meetings, we’d hit well over 100 restaurants to consider before our morning coffee had a chance to cool, and narrowing those down to the following 15 was both challenging and heartbreaking. But we think these will appeal to a wide variety of diners. These choices represent an -exciting combination of old favorites, new hotspots and reliable in-betweens that prove when it comes to eating out in Santa Fe, we’re as spoiled as it gets.
The salad section can sometimes be the saddest section of the menu, but some of us just really like big bowls of vegetables. Thankfully there’s a restaurant just for us, and Vinaigrette’s menu features not two, not five, but 18 handcrafted salads in categories like “Bright and Zingy,” “Savory” and (my favorite) “A Little Sweet.”
Shout-out the Eat Your Peas ($12), which is chock-full of peas studded with sauteed mushrooms, bacon shards and Asiago cheese, and you can throw various prepared meats ($6-$8) on top of your salad if that’s what you’re into. With some slight substitutions or omissions, several of the salads can even be prepared vegan, like The Omega ($12.25), full of vegetables such as corn, avocado, tomato and onion and dressed with a blue cheese vinaigrette. Sub a different dressing, throw on some griddled tofu ($6) and veg-heads are good to go.
Vinaigrette has also taken steps to make its carry-out options more sustainable. Take your salad to-go in a stainless steel box for a $20 deposit and swap the empty box for clean one full of salad next time. Try out the new delivery service too; after all, we know how chef/owner Erin Wade really feels about those third-party apps. (CR)