For the Love of Patios: Your Guide to Outdoor Dining in New Mexico

New Mexico, from May to October, is an absolute treasure trove of magic. One of the most fulfilling ways to embrace this enchantment is by indulging in a leisurely evening on a patio with good food, good wine, and even better company. I could spend hours compiling an exhaustive list of places where you can savor the wonders of the great outdoors while treating your taste buds, but instead I’ll share just a handful of must-visit spots to add to your itinerary.

Remember, this is not a race. It’s about the spirit of mañana — the art of taking our sweet time to appreciate what life has to offer. May your evenings be filled with laughter, exceptional food, and the joy of experiencing the essence of New Mexico, one patio at a time.

For the Love of Santa Fe Patios

La Casa Sena, Santa Fe, NM
Casa Sena, nestled near the Santa Fe Plaza, boasts a beautiful patio that captures the  the city’s vibrant spirit. Adorned with trees, blossoming flowers, and weathered wooden touches, the patio invites you to partake in a leisurely lunch or a romantic dinner. The menu at Casa Sena, which leans towards Mediterranean flavor profiles, ranges from pan-seared ruby trout to elk tenderloin and even Morrocan lamb tagine. The entire menu is complimented by a thoughtful wine selection and craft cocktails.

SantaCafe, Santa Fe, NM
This classic Santa Fe patio beckons with bright flowers and vibrant greenery during the sun-drenched days of summer. Whether you seek a romantic evening or a special gathering with friends, SantaCafe delivers with ease. This is more than just the place to be seen. SantaCafe is a place for serious gastronomes seeking playful dishes inspired by Southwestern and global flavors. Complement the journey with a refreshing cocktail or a selection from their extensive wine list. Enjoy the warm embrace of Santa Fe’s radiant sunshine.

Esquina Pizza, Santa Fe
The patio at Esquina Pizza is a haven of beauty and charm, befitting the magnificent pizzas that grace its tables. Nestled alongside its sibling, Paloma Restaurant, this corner of Guadalupe St. becomes a culinary sanctuary under the watchful eye of Chef Nathan Mayes. Esquina rises above transient fads in hand-crafted pizzas with pies that are nothing short of divine. Though each one is meticulously crafted with passion, it is not just the pizza that captivates our hearts at Esquina. Its enchanting patio, meticulously adorned by skillful ocal artists, creates an ambiance that exudes sophistication and style.

Savoring Albuquerque

Campo at Los Poblanos, Los Ranchos De Albuquerque
Campo at Los Poblanos offers an idyllic patio dining experience. Set amidst the beautiful grounds of the Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm, the patio places among lavender fields and verdant gardens, it casts a powerful spell. Campo showcases a menu that celebrates the farm-to-table ethos amid this tranquil oasis. Expect seasonal and imaginative dishes that artfully capture the vibrant flavors of New Mexico.

Level 5 Rooftop Restaurant at Chaco Hotel, Albuquerque
The rooftop view from Level 5, in the heart of Albuquerque’s Sawmill District, is breathtaking. With its panoramic vistas, the sleek, contemporary space is an ideal hangout for summer dining and gatherings of all stripes. Under the vision of Chef Marc Quiñones, the menu at Level 5 reflects a fusion of influences, drawing inspiration from global flavors and local ingredients alike. From shareable plates and imaginative appetizers to tantalizing entrees and masterfully crafted cocktails, a diverse selection caters to every discerning palate.

Make Your Way to Madrid

The Mineshaft Tavern & Cantina
In the heart of Madrid, New Mexico, where the spirit of rebellion still lingers, lies the infamous Mineshaft Tavern. This unassuming watering hole is the beating heart of a place where day drinking is not just a pastime but a form of genuine connection. It is here that the locals will regale you with a saying that rings true: “It’s impossible to be the town drunk in Madrid because we all take turns.”
While the tavern’s outdoor patio brings in waves of visitors eager for bands butchering “Mustang Sally,” it does little to diminish the edginess that simmers just beneath the surface. As you settle onto a weathered barstool, your senses come alive to a vibrant tapestry of life’s peculiar characters. The leather-clad biker (who’s actually a tax attorney from a gated community) throws back a Budweiser, yearning to seem raw and untamed. Meanwhile, a mischievious cougar in yoga pants sways to the rhythm of an invisible beat. The Mineshaft embraces all who seek refuge within its weathered walls, offering respite from the constraints of everyday life.
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