Whether you’re needing a spot to refuel and relax after a hard day playing on the mountain or just looking for a cozy winter bar with excellent cocktails and food, Santa Fe has plenty of choices. The following recommendations are mostly local favorites that are open at 4pm – right after the last run of the day.
The bar at Rio Chama offers a large, comfortable space where you can stretch out in a booth or belly up to the bar. If you’re lucky you can score the comfortable couch by the fireplace and warm up those fingers and toes. The restaurant is known as a steakhouse, but the fondue is the perfect apre-ski dish – an enticing blend of melted cheeses, amber ale and white wine served with bread cubes, broccoli, cauliflower and apples. The nacho plate is also amazing as is their famous Texas-style chili. They also have a great selection of spirits and wines.
The Dragon Room at Pink Adobe is the oldest bar in town and another local favorite. They serve up arguably the best green chile stew in town and reasonably priced drinks. They even give out complimentary popcorn from their old school popper machine.
At Del Charro, inside the Inn of the Governors, you could take a seat at the bar but they also have a heated patio and tables in front of the fire. They serve excellent margaritas and delicious chile con queso. You also can’t go wrong with the beer-battered polano served with black bean corn relish and cheese, topped with a creamy chipotle chile sauce.
For something a little more upscale, The Staab House bar at La Posada can’t be beat: In addition to the main bar area, there are several smaller comfortable rooms with beautiful art, couches and fireplaces. The drinks are on the pricier side but they are worth it!
Another perhaps overlooked gem is the bar at Sazon restaurant that opens at 4. (The restaurant opens at 5 and is often fully booked but this is a way you can still walk in and indulge without a reservation).You won’t find a better selection of tequilas and mezcals. The cocktail and wine selection is top notch. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to sample the 3 cheese stuffed squash blossoms drizzled with a ginger-habanero aioli served on a bed of mixed greens with a chocolate vinaigrette. The famous Sopa de Amor, the Chef’s signature soup, is an absolute must try.
Of course, if you’re driving down from the mountain and just can’t wait to get all the way back to town, stop at 10 Thousand Waves for a soak in a wooden outdoor hot tub and dine at Izanami afterwards for eclectic Japanese food and sake you won’t find anywhere else.
There are endless choices for dining in Santa Fe, but these are some of the true winter gems. Salud!