After being asked for Taos recommendations several times this month, I figured it was time to put them in one place! Spring break and summer getaway plans are underway, so the timing is perfect. I’m proud to say I’m from Taos, New Mexico, and I love to share our favorites: things to do/see, where to stay, and where to eat in Taos and Taos Ski Valley!
My family has lived in the area for several generations, deeply rooted in Taos tradition…
Ryan and I feel fortunate to have grown up in Taos together! It’s important to us to keep our kids connected to the family, culture, and nature that makes Taos special. We’ve called Dallas home for 16 years, but we return a few times a year to visit and enjoy our hometown.
Taos is a unique town, with a character all its own!
You’ll discover this when you visit, and I hope my suggestions help you find some of your favorites, too! When friends ask me for recs, it is difficult for me to narrow it down, because the amazing food and sights in Taos are plentiful! Whether you’re playing tourist or want to do as the locals do, I’ve got you covered…
Oh…and, if you live in Dallas or Austin, getting to Taos just got (much) faster! Taos Air offers fast and convenient non-stop service from both in a 30-passenger jet with flights on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and holiday Mondays this winter. Complimentary shuttle service from Taos Regional Airport to Taos Ski Valley will be available to guests staying on the mountain.
Below, I’m highlighting some of our all time favorites and will update this post as needed. If you have specific questions about planning your visit, always feel free to reach out to me!
Northern New Mexican Cuisine
(Many restaurants in Taos have traditional Northern NM food on the menu, but these are two of our all time favorites.)
Orlando’s New Mexican Café: I have to go here at least once during our visits! My favorite thing on the menu is enchiladas. I order either the Blue Corn Chicken smothered with Green Chile, or the Blue Corn Shrimp Enchiladas smothered with Red Chile. If you can’t decide on “red” or “green,” choose both and ask for “Christmas!” But whatever you do…if a dish is served “smothered” don’t ask for the chile on the side!” This small and cozy restaurant fills quickly. In the summer they also have great patio seating….
Ranchos Plaza Grill: Next to the historic San Francisco de Asis church. Go early, during golden hour for a beautiful photo op or just to take in the sights. We love the Carne Adovada, pork marinated for hours in red chile, perfectly spicy and delicious. The kids love the tacos, savory stuffed sopapillas, and nachos. Save room for the homemade sopapillas with honey, for dessert!
Michael’s Kitchen: A favorite for breakfast for chile smothered breakfast burritos, hash browns (called Health Food on the menu!), and variety of waffles, pancakes, and omelets. They also have a great bakery with amazing cream puffs and other treats. Expect a line on the weekend, but it’s worth the wait!
Farmhouse Cafe: In the Overland Compound, north of Taos Plaza. Delicious food in a scenic setting, farm to table, local, organic, non-GMO! My favorite things on the menu are the Zia Breakfast with eggs, grilled avocado, and roasted veggies and the Green Chile Avocado Burger over a salad (instead of a bun). Grass fed/finished beef from our our family’s ranch (Martinez Family Ranch) is featured in the restaurant and next door in their Farm Store. Be sure to check it out! They also carry wonderful specialty desserts and some vegan and gluten free options are available…spend some time exploring the grounds, sculptures, and gorgeous views of Taos Mountain.
Gutiz: French Latin Fusion. A favorite for breakfast or lunch! Among our favorites are the Scrambled Egg Tower, Pepito Steak Sandwich, Nicoise Salad, and Taoseño. Don’t miss their homemade hot sauces…try both! And they also offer fresh desserts such as flourless chocolate cake, pies, and more!
Bent Street Deli: Fun patio seating (covered and open air), right off the plaza! The perfect spot for people watching! Yummy deli favorites for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I love their Greek Salad! They also have New Mexican cuisine, and vegan/vegetarian options.
Manzanita Market: An all organic, community cafe serving seasonal delights! I haven’t eaten here yet, but their menu looks creative. I have tried their homemade ice cream and it is amazing…small batch, no artificial anything, interesting flavors and non dairy options available.
Five Star Burger: In the summer we’re regulars here for Green Chile Burger Salads and fried green beans and pickles! They feature all Natural, hormone and antibiotic free beef. Other types of salads and sandwiches are available, and an awesome happy hour menu.
Taos Ale House and Burger Stand: Live music, delicious burgers and beer! We love their green chile cheese burger and sweet potato fries. Don’t miss their unique dipping sauce bar with green chile mayo, flavored ketchups, and marshmallow sauce (omg, with the sweet potato fries!).
Taos Mesa Brewery: Handcrafted beer, great menu, live music, great place to hang! We love their trivia night. See their calendar for upcoming events at the Mothership…
Guadalajara Grill: Fresh, authentic Mexican cuisine in a casual setting. Love their Campechana and Ceviche!
Common Fire: Delicious food, great wine selection, variety! Open everyday noon-9. No reservation required. The OG Chicken Dinner is my favorite thing on the menu and the Budino or ginger lemon ice cream for dessert…menu varies by season.
The Love Apple: (dinner only, res recommended) This cozy, intimate restaurant emphasizes local, organic home cooking. It is housed in what was once a Chapel, and was built around the 1800s. During the summer months, their patio is one of the best spots in Taos for a meal out! It is their priority to work with and feature local growers and artisan producers in their menus. The food here is simple and delicious! A couple of my favorite things on their menu are the bacon wrapped figs to start, and the grilled ruby rainbow trout wrapped in corn husks. Their wine selection is great, too!
Lambert’s of Taos: (dinner only, res recommended) I have a special connection to Lambert’s because I worked in this historic building (when it was The Apple Tree) during my high school and college years. So many fun memories! Delicious food, wine, and cocktails are on the menu. Favorites include, Filet Mignon, Zucchini “Pasta” with shrimp, and their Coffee Toffee Ice Cream Sundae! The Tree House Bar upstairs is also great for after dinner drinks and light bites…
Aceq: Full disclosure…I have not dined here yet but I want to! It’s on my list to try and I’ve heard great things. Family owned, farm to table, in a cozy setting. Menu is seasonal and changes daily.
Sabroso: (dinner only, res recommended) Beautiful setting in Arroyo Seco in a 150 year old adobe house, a great spot for steaks, fish, lamb, and more! In the summer, their patio is one of my favorites.
Pizaños: New York style pizza with a Taos twist, it is a must! The “Taoseño” (pepperoni or sausage, green chile, mushrooms) and “Fire Twirler” (pepperoni, pineapple, jalapeño, and green chile) are favorites. Also love the “Let It Grow” pizza, which is loaded with veggies and the Spinach Salad with sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, walnuts, and goat cheese with a spicy vinaigrette. During the summer months, their fenced in patio is the perfect place have a drink, let the kids play, and watch an unforgettable Taos sunset! Rounding out the menu are pastas, salads, and “tunnel” sandwiches.
Desserts / Coffee
Taos Cow: (Sadly this has closed, but they sometimes have a food truck in the parking lot. If you find them open consider it your lucky day!) Located in Arroyo Seco, between Taos and Taos Ski Valley. This spot is worth the short drive for delicious, all natural, rBGH free, super-premium ice cream! They make the best southwestern inspired flavors, plus traditional favorites. My favorites are Cherry Ristra (cherry ice cream with pinon nuts and dark chocolate chunks), Lavender (flavored with organic culinary lavender), Piñon Caramel (vanilla ice cream with pinon nuts and vanilla caramel swirl), Mexican Chocolate (chocolate ice cream with cinnamon and dark chocolate chunks), and Café Ole (coffee ice cream with cinnamon and dark chocolate chunks). Their Vanilla is also top notch!
World Cup: Right off Taos Plaza, perfect espresso drinks every time! Their Americanos are the best in town, imo. But bring cash, because they don’t take credit cards. A great place to sit and people watch for a few minutes before heading off to your next adventure.
Chokola Bean to Bar: Organic coffee, single origin chocolates, ice cream, mousses, drinking chocolates. This spot is such a treat! If you go, make sure you have time to sit and savor whatever you decide to try…a delight for the senses!
Taos Java: The only coffeehouse in town with a drive through window! We love their piñon coffee, hot or iced.
Cici’s Coffee: A new addition to the John Dunn Shops! Cozy spot to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea…I love the New Mexicano, an americano dusted with with red chile and cinnamon! Marisa loves their iced lattes…
Coffee Apothecary: Roastery and coffee shop featuring small batch, sustainable, and ethically sourced coffee. Fresh, high-quality milk and teas, and non-dairy alternatives. Homemade syrups from simple ingredients.
Cocktails , Mocktails…
Rolling Still Distillery + Lounge: Green and Red Chile Infused Vodka, need I say more?! The past few trips, RS has been our go-to for unique, refreshing cocktails and mocktails. Rolling Still has it all really…relaxed Taos vibe, great location right off the plaza, and tasty bar menu + chocolates. Last visit, I ordered the Macho Mule (moscow mule made with your choice of chile infused vodka and a Red Chile truffle and I was in chile bliss…other favorite drinks: Ruby Ristra, Violet Fog, La Brewja, Spicy Lemonade (spirit free).
Historic Taos Inn: A tried and true Taos favorite! Lively bar scene with great drinks (love the margaritas here), food, and live entertainment (local music, and sometimes flamenco dancing).
For the Kids/Family Friendly
Twirl Playspace & Toy Store: An essential stop if you have children! During the summer months you can play in their spacious courtyard with plenty of play equipment for climbing, building, and more, just steps away from Taos Plaza. Inside you will find a toy store with unique toys and gifts for kids of all ages, as well as an indoor play space. Its such a cool playspace and meeting spot! When we’re in Taos, we visit Twirl almost daily. Themed summer day camps are also available. When you’re finished, walk over to the John Dunn Shops and stop at Cici’s for a coffee, iced tea, or Italian soda and sit and listen to live music. Or take a walk around the plaza and browse the shops!
Gutters Bowling Alley: Family friendly fun! Great prices, theme nights, and yummy food….Gutters is a 12 lane bowling facility as well as a full-service restaurant with beer and wine. Restaurant features a real brick oven for authentic fire-roasted pizzas. Gluten-free crust is an option. Also, features vegan dishes, salads, and pasta dishes.
During the summer months, the Saturday Morning Farmers Market and Thursday Night Live Music both on Taos Plaza are weekly stops…
Taos Ski Valley is a must if you love to ski or snowboard! Don’t be intimidated by the expert run you see at the base. There’s plenty of beginner and intermediate terrain, too, and they have an awesome ski school. It’s where I learned to ski!
Taos has world-class skiing in a gorgeous setting. You can stay in the ski valley, or in town just a short drive away. The Blake, Hotel St. Bernard, Inn at Snakedance, and Edelweiss Lodge are all fabulous choices that put you at the base of the mountain, ready for your day on the slopes. In the summer we love to go hiking in the area (Williams Lake and Wheeler Peak, the highest point in NM, are favorites!) and have lunch at 192 at The Blake, Tim’s, or The Bavarian…
Dining in Taos Ski Valley: 192 at The Blake, Tim’s Stray Dog Cantina (get the Local Moco or a Green Chile Cheeseburger!), The Bavarian, Black Diamond Espresso, and Inn at Snakedance are favorites…
Grocery/Food to Go
Cid’s Food Market: Cid’s has the largest selection of natural, organic, gourmet, and local products in Taos County! Stop by this natural grocery store to stock up on groceries, snacks and essentials during your stay/before heading to the ski valley. Or have lunch there, at their fully stocked salad and soup bar. They also have lots of pre-packaged meals to go. And, don’t miss The Cellar, next door for craft beers, wine, and spirits. They carry several local and NM varieties…
I could go on and on, because there are so many treasures in Taos!
During your stay, be sure to take a break from all the delicious culinary offerings to see the landmarks and historic areas…among our favorites are:
- Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
- Taos Pueblo
- Ranchos Church
- Millicent Rogers Museum
- Martinez Hacienda
- Bent Street and John Dunn Shops
- Taos Plaza
- Ledoux Street Shop, Galleries, Museums
- Earthship Biotecture Community
- (about 40 minutes outside Taos, worth it for an unforgettable getaway) Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa
There’s so much to do outdoors but you feel the need to get your workout on (indoors), head over to:
Craving more details? Check out my previous Taos posts featuring:
A few more trusted resources to bookmark for comprehensive, insider Taos coverage:
- taos.org Official travel site of Taos, NM
- taosstyle.net Your guide to all things Taos, by Lynne Robinson
- taosskivalley.com Official site of Taos Ski Valley. NM
- taosnews.com Weekly local newspaper
I hope you discover all that Taos has to offer and fall in love with the beautiful, magical place it is! Click here for more of my Taos and Taos Ski Valley posts…
If you want personal guidance during your visit, get in touch with Heritage Inspirations! They offer in depth tours of the Taos area year-round and have wonderful off the beaten path concepts/experiences to explore…their glamping tours are on my list to try! See my post about the mom/daughter paddleboard/hiking tour Marisa and I did a few years ago…
It took forever for me to write this post…I didn’t want to leave anything out, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten something! It’s impossible to fit the wonder that is Taos into one blog post. This is just skimming the surface. The photos are my snapshots during visits to Taos…
Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful day! xo- Andrea