For a tiny town, Santa Fe has tons of excellent restaurants. There’s a reason locals and tourists queue for their share of organic New Mexican food at Cafe Pasqual’s (+1 505 983 9340; pasquals.com), a four-minute walk from the hotel to Don Gaspar. The 50-seat restaurant makes superlative, well-spiced salsa-doused dishes. The breakfasts are most popular, but the chilli-topped BLT, quesadillas and enchiladas are well worth a visit for lunch at dinner. Less than a mile from the Inn on Canyon Road, Geronimo (+1 505 982 1500; www.geronimorestaurant.com) in a converted 18th-century house, is one of the best restaurants in the region, serving lamb in chilli-mint sauce and mesquite-grilled lobster. Like most of Santa Fe, The Shed values its chillis. The restaurant sources its supply from Hatch – New Mexico's chilli capital – which it turns into stew, salsa and burrito fillings (+1 505 982 9030; www.sfshed.com). It also sells many of its ingredients, so you can continue the feast when you return home.
Sip local beer at Blue Corn Café & Brewery off the Plaza, which serves spicy bar snacks – excellent with the coriander-laced 40k Honey Wheat Ale and the End of the Trail Brown Ale (+1 505 984 1800; www.bluecorncafe.com). Snag a seat along the railing of Coyote Café’s Cantina (+1 505 983 1615; www.coyotecafe.com) for a frozen prickly pear margarita and menu of tacos and burgers.
Santa Fe’s signature dish is the green chilli cheeseburger, and the best one is likely found at Bobcat Bite, a no-frills roadhouse (+1 505 983 5319; bobcatbite.com). The restaurant is a bit of a drive out of town, but its pepper-topped patties are worth the schlep. Ask for a seat on the patio of La Choza, the Shed’s more casual sibling. Hidden by the railroad tracks, the restaurant serves some of the city’s best New Mexican food. Try a combination platter with an enchilada and soft taco and, herbal iced tea for those hot desert days (+1 505 982 0909; www.sfshed.com/lachoza.htm). Laid-back New Mexican restaurant Maria’s specialises in blue-corn enchiladas, which are served with your choice of red chilli sauce, green chilli sauce or Christmas sauce, which is a mix of the two (+1 505 983 7929; www.marias-santafe.com). Bring a designated driver: Maria’s margaritas are potent and irresistible.