NM Mag Readers Choice_On The Road Hero

On the Road

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New Mexico is one of the biggest states in the country, so when you’re crossing the Land of Enchantment you’ll need various stops to refuel yourself and your car. Some of our readers’ favorite restaurants are destinations all on their own. Others are strategically, magically located at the hungriest part of your drive.

The Owl Café in San Antonio is the oldie-but-goodie we love for the high-backed booths, the skinny burgers on soft buns, and the “Hiya, hon!” service. The Buckhorn Tavern across the street is flashier (it won a Throwdown with Bobby Flay), but still has old-school charm and great burgers.

Ancient Way Café and Outpost in Ramah is where you should plan to have a low-key-but-gourmet lunch before visiting the Bandera Volcano and Ice Caves.

Sparky’s in Hatch will make you glad you got off the highway to eat a spectacular green chile cheeseburger and pose for pictures with the wacky fast-food artifacts. 

The Gatherin’ Place in Pie Town is our readers’ favorite place for a fruity, creamy, or chocolaty slice in the town that’s named for its favorite food.

Halona Plaza Deli in Zuni drives people wild with its fried chicken and burgers.

The Buckhorn in Pinos Altos, a former saloon and opera house, is a dinnertime must-do between Silver City and the Gila Cliff Dwellings.

One of the highlights of taking the High Road from Santa Fe to Taos: Sugar Nymphs in Peñasco.

El Parasol in Española makes it impossible to drive through town without stopping to fill a paper sack with tacos.

Café Abiquiú at the Abiquiu Inn is yummy and picture perfect, with a covered patio that leads to a shady lawn.

The Adobe Deli in Deming is a wild roadhouse full of taxidermy and memorabilia that will lure you off I-10 for dinner.

Laguna Burger is technically within Albuquerque city limits, but it’s 20 miles from the center of town—far enough to convince yourself you need to stop for a bite.

El Bruno in Cuba is a favorite pit stop between Albuquerque and Farmington—and a destination on the state’s official Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail.

Chopes in La Mesa makes you want to stop and “stuff it” between Las Cruces and El Paso.

Favorite New Restaurants

Big-Night-Out Restaurants