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Rocky Mountain Food Tours

Our tour guides love to take food tours when they travel! Here’s a recap of Adam’s recent food tour experience in Santa Fe.

Santa Fe New Mexico
4687810 © Louise Roach | Dreamstime.com

While in Sante Fe, Adam took a food tour and discovered some tantalizing and spicy treats along with some amazing history!

One of our tour guides, Adam, recently visited Santa Fe, New Mexico, for Spring Break. While there, he enjoyed a beautiful afternoon with Food Tour New Mexico. Established in 2010 (the same year we were founded!), this locally-owned company offers walking tours in downtown Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

Here’s a little recap of Adam’s experience in his own words! 

 

Meeting Our Guide, Jose

Tour Guide Adam and Tour Guide Jose
Rocky Mountain Food Tour Guide, Adam, meeting Jose, a guide with Food Tour New Mexico

Our group of twelve met our tour guide, Jose, at the iconic Santa Fe Plaza. Standing across from the Palace of the Governors, we learned about Santa Fe’s long and rich history. Founded in 1610 as a Spanish kingdom, and later becoming a territory of Mexico, Santa Fe is the oldest state capital in the country. The city actually predates the establishment of both the United States and Mexico as modern day countries, meaning there isn’t really anything “new” about this part of New Mexico! 

Jose told us that although the city was once a thriving trade center, train routes bypassed the city in the late 1800s and stripped away much of its economy. The city then decided to focus on art, culture, and food (of course!) to entice back visitors. Today, Santa Fe is the third largest art market in the country, beaten only by New York and Los Angeles. As for the region’s famous food, Jose prepared for us for a day filled with lots of green chili and a cuisine heavily influenced by Spanish, Mexican, and Native American traditions.

 

 

First Stop: La Fogata Grill

La Fogata Santa Fe
Santa Fe Food Tour Tasting at La Fogata Grill | Mexican Street Taco and Margarita

Our first stop was at La Fogata Grill, a cheerful restaurant decorated with oversized flowers, brightly colored walls, and paper cut-outs streaming across the ceiling. We enjoyed a traditional Mexican street taco with pork, onions, cilantro, and lime, with a side of avocado and guajillo pepper salsa. The taco was spicy and smokey, but the heat wasn’t overwhelming. Our meal was also paired with a classic margarita that was tangy and not overly sweet.

 

 

Second Stop: Del Charro

Del Charro Santa Fe
Santa Fe Food Tour Tasting at Del Charro | Blue Corn Enchilada and Margarita

We next landed at Del Charro, a rugged, Wild West-themed watering hole voted one of the best bars in Santa Fe. Our lodging actually recommended Del Charro for dinner the night before, so we’re glad we went somewhere else and saved this for the food tour! We were provided a beautiful plate of classic New Mexican cuisine: a blue corn chicken enchilada smothered in green chili alongside refried beans and Spanish rice. Once again, we also had a margarita, this one more on the sweeter side. While here, Jose told us about the history of tequila and our group had a spirited debate about which margarita was better. The enchilada was the highlight of the whole tour, but most of us preferred the more acidic margarita from our first stop.

 

 

Pit Stop: San Miguel Chapel

San Miguel Santa Fe
Santa Fe Food Tour Stop at the oldest church in the United States, San Miguel

After Del Charro, we visited the oldest church in the United States, the meager yet beautiful San Miguel Chapel. We first headed around back, where Jose gave us a close look at the adobe bricks used to maintain the city’s famous architectural style. A little ahead of schedule, we were able to go inside the church, where we rang the chapel’s 780-pound copper bell. Legend has it that anyone who rings the bell is destined to return to Santa Fe!

 

 

Third Stop: Upper Crust Pizza

Uppercrust Santa Fe
Santa Fe Food Tour Tasting at Uppercrust Pizza | Pizza and Local Beer

Conveniently located beside San Miguel Chapel is Upper Crust Pizza, a simple, no-frills restaurant with two locations in Santa Fe. Here we had two different types of pizza: pepperoni with green chili, and a “New Mex” style cheese pizza with a secret spice blend. We preferred the pepperoni, which was the spicier slice of the two. The New Mex pizza was good but a bit strange, reminiscent of nacho cheese Doritos. Our pizza was also served with a hearty and refreshing locally-made beer.

 

 

Fourth Stop: Señor Murphy Candymaker

Senior Murphy Santa Fe Candy Maker
Santa Fe Food Tour Tasting at Senior Murphy Candy Maker | Four Types of Chocolates

Our final stop was Señor Murphy Candymaker, a local favorite that’s been making chocolates since 1971. The shop was filled with so many homemade sweet treats that it would take at least a dozen more trips to Santa Fe to try them all. We were given a sampler with four different candies. The first was a bolita, similar to a chocolate truffle rolled in ground almonds. The second was a piñon-uche, a light-colored fudge made from local pine nuts.The fudge was lighter and less sweet than most other fudge we’ve had—definitely the standout from Señor Murphy! Our last two samples included a layered mint chocolate and a dark chocolate pistachio bar with—you guessed it!—more chile. 

 

 

My Favorite Bites

Rancho de Chimayo
Dinner at James Beard Award-winning Rancho de Chimayó

Our favorites from the tour were the enchilada at Del Charro, the margarita at La Fogata, and the piñon fudge from Señor Murphy. After we said our goodbyes, Jose texted everyone a detailed list of his favorite restaurants and places to visit. A few days later, we took Jose’s suggestion to visit the small town of Chimayó, located about 30 miles north of Santa Fe, and enjoyed lunch at the James Beard Award-winning Rancho de Chimayó. The shrimp enchiladas and sopapillas were delicious—thanks for the recommendation, Jose!

Cheers! Adam

(So, what’s a food tour, anyway…?)

 

 

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