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.