Filed under: Family Camping, Family Day Trips, Kid-Friendly Trips, Menu Planning & Cooking
Good Eats in Taos, New Mexico
One of the biggest draws for us in the community of Taos, New Mexico is the wide variety of terrific restaurants in this town of just over 5000 people. While most of our RV trips involve most of our meals being cooked at the camper, the one exception tend to be when we visit Taos. More than 50 restaurants are located in this small community. While a great number of these specialize in New Mexican cuisine, others feature more typical American or gourmet fare. Whatever your preference, there is something for everyone to love in the dining opportunities of Taos.
One of our early favorites is Taos Pizza Outback. With a very casual, laidback atmosphere, the restaurant is located in back of another business establishment which is located on one of the main streets of the town. Featuring gourmet and made to order pizzas of all kinds. While it has a small dining area inside the restaurant, most patrons choose to dine outside in the graffiti-decorated courtyard at one of the numerous picnic tables scattered there. Rumor has it that the restaurant, initially opened sometime in the 1970’s, got its name because people would often stop at the business establishment in front of the pizza shop and ask, “So where’s the pizza?” The response became the name of the restaurant. It has received the “Best of Taos” award for its pizza each year since 1999 and is a necessary stop for us on every trip.
Another favorite is the Guadalajara Grill. While there a locations on both the south and north sides of town, we favor the south side location. Again, there is seating inside but we much prefer sitting outside on the veranda because while we dine, we can stare at a tremendous view of Taos Mountain. The prices at the Grill are extremely reasonable, the service is friendly and fast and the food, exceptional. We visit at least once during every trip to Taos.
Doc Martin’s at the Adobe Inn is another place not to be missed. While Doc’s features a gourmet menu and has an exceptional menu, also located in the Inn is the Adobe Bar, which features sandwiches and snack foods for those preferring a more casual atmosphere (like we generally do) and in the mood for a quick bite. Another benefit of eating at the Adobe Bar, informally called the “living room of Taos” is that it features live entertainment every night of the week in a large open area furnished with as many couches and easy chairs as dining tables. Entertainment varies from folk music, to jazz to poetry to country to bluegrass and it is not uncommon to find yourself in a conversation with a former stranger who happens to be seated next to you on the sofa. A very pleasant place to unwind.
The Taos Inn also has a bit of mystery attached to it. It was initially owned by a man named Arthur Manby, who was considered to be a devious fellow by some. He eventually sold the Inn to Doc Martin, the first doctor in Taos, but continued to live next door. In 1926, Manby was found beheaded in the room adjacent to the kitchen and it is said by some that Manby still wanders the hall of his old house and the inn.
The last favorite I will discuss in this post is the Alley Cantina. While inside dining is available, the restaurant is located, as the name implies, in an alley which is fenced off to provide outdoor seating in an area decorated with a mural and colorful flowers in milder weather. Of course the Northern New Mexican cuisine is exceptional here as well, but an added draw is that the Alley is the oldest building in Taos, dating back several hundred years. Initially inhabited as a trading post and as office space by Governor Bent, the building is said to be haunted by the governor’s lovely daughter, Teresina, who perished in the building. She is said to appear to waitstaff after hours when the place is largely vacant and to wreak havoc with the electronic equipment. Our family pays a regular visit to the Alley on each trip, for the delicious burritos, but also to pay our respects to Teresina. The Alley also has live entertainment for the later crowd, but being an “early to bed” bunch ourselves, we have never stuck around late enough in the evening to take in the music. For more information about things to see and do in Northern New Mexico, check out my next entry and also browse Woodall’s listings of New Mexico camping.