“Well, Tomasita, I think I’ll just keep you.”
Tomasita’s is a bonafide Santa Fe tradition serving classic Northern New Mexican cuisine, now in its third generation of family ownership. Founder Georgia Maryol started the famous eatery at a small café on Hickox Street in 1974, working with Tomasita Leyba, who brought her local recipes to the restaurant. Georgia shares the nostalgia with her sweet hometown story here. After building a dedicated clientele and outgrowing that small space, Tomasita’s moved in 1979 to the red brick building in Santa Fe’s Railyard where it still is today. Now managed by Georgia’s son George Gundrey, Tomasita’s maintains its commitment to quality, family, and community established by Georgia and Tomasita in that tiny café 40 years ago.
Tomasita’s restaurant is a Santa Fe tradition serving classic northern New Mexican cuisine. Santa Fe locals consistently vote Tomasita’s as number one for red chile, green chile, margaritas and as a great gathering spot altogether. The restaurant’s recipes have been handed down for generations and still stand as witness to the melding of cultures that together once depended on the corn, chile, beans and fruit of the area. Many of their recipes are used as benchmarks for authentic and distinct New Mexican food.
Tomasita’s serves more than 80,000 pounds of chile every year, every ounce of that having been grown in New Mexico. Both red and green chile are beloved by locals and critics alike. It’s a chile for which warnings are posted for out-of-town guests in bold red proclamation: “The chile is hot! Please ask your waitperson for a sample or order it on the side. We are not responsible for too hot chile!” And, Tomasita’s makes some of the very best sopaipillas you will ever eat. Tender and flaky, they are served with a small cup of honeyed butter, which is simply delicious. If you’re not having dessert, order another basket of these beauties.
Everybody from movie stars to construction workers feel welcome in this red brick building that once served as the station for the “Chile Line,” which ran from Antonito, Colorado to Santa Fe. Walk around the place (and the lovely patio) and gaze at the murals.
Tomasita’s remains a favorite because it hasn’t lost the quality that made diners love it in the first place: authenticity. It’s a big, busy restaurant, but Tomasita’s doesn’t feel like a chain. It offers simple, humble but extraordinary, New Mexican food, served by fleet-footed servers who can tell you exactly what’s in every dish. Don’t be surprised if you have to wait for a table, but expect the wait to be worth it.
In the Railyard at 500 S Guadalupe Street, 505-983-5721, visit their website.