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Santa Fe Unveils ‘Margarita Trail’ — Here’s Where to Stop and Sip

The Santa Fe Margarita Trail includes drink stops at 31 local restaurants. Challenge accepted.

By Claire Hannum on October 8, 2020

Santa Fe Margarita Trail
Image courtesy La Posada

The gorgeous city of Santa Fe, NM has always been home to fantastic margaritas, but the foodie hotspot recently took its love of the classic cocktail to the next level by launching the Santa Fe Margarita Trail — and that’s reason to celebrate. The self-guided tour de tequila includes 31 local restaurants, each with margaritas as unique as the food they serve. They’ve all got something special to offer, but you can’t go wrong if you get started with our eight favorites below. Stop by any Santa Fe Visitor Center to grab your margarita passport (yep, that’s a real thing, and it includes discounts on special margaritas) and start sipping!

1. Coyote Rooftop Cantina

The Coyote Cafe’s chic rooftop bar is all about mastering the art of mixology. Coyote’s handcrafted cocktails are as aesthetically pleasing and cleverly named as they are tasty — try the “Desert Flower” or the “Salty Seniorita.” The roof is open year-round, so you can get your drink on anytime you please. Head there at sunset to pair your marg with some seriously gorgeous views.

2. The Shed

Established in 1953, The Shed is a third-generation, family-run restaurant and a Santa Fe favorite (hence the long wait times, but trust us, it’s worth it). With patio seating and colorful decorations, this isn’t just a restaurant, it’s an experience. The Shed’s extensive margarita and tequila menu feature enough options to keep your thirst quenched for days. (And their red chile plate is a treasure all its own!)

3. Cowgirl BBQ

If you’re a fan of comfort food with Northern New Mexico flair, Cowgirl is the place to be. The vibrant restaurant, which celebrates — you guessed it — the lore of the American cowgirl is also home to a billiard parlor and a popular outdoor patio. Of course, Cowgirl’s founders also have their cocktail priorities straight: a full page of the menu is dedicated to margaritas and other tequila options.

4. La Plazuela at La Fonda

La Fonda on the Plaza is one of the most treasured hotels in downtown Santa Fe, and eating at its flagship restaurant, La Plazuela, is an experience in and of itself. The beautiful design and high ceilings are stunning, and the hotel is home to so much art that it offers regular docent-lead tours. Let’s be real, though: you’ll be here for the margaritas, and La Fonda’s are absolutely delicious. If you want to get multiple stamps in your margarita passport in one fell swoop, you can drop by The Bell Tower and La Fiesta Lounge, La Fonda’s other two establishments, which are also stops on the Margarita Trail. Pro tip: pace yourself.

5. The Staab House at La Posada

The Staab House and its sister eatery, Julia, are beloved fixtures of La Posada Resort & Spa. Named after wealthy 18th-century merchant Abraham Staab and his wife Julia, the establishment is home to an adventurous menu that matches their namesakes’ legendary spirits. The Staab House’s famous Juliarita margarita is made with apricots that grow from a tree Julia planted in the 1880s.

7. Mine Shaft Tavern

Madrid, a small town outside of Santa Fe, has a population of under 200(!), but that doesn’t stop locals from whipping up great cocktails on the regular at the Mine Shaft Tavern, a beloved watering hole. This stop on the Trail is an adventure to reach, but it’s worth every mile. Madrid began as an active mining community, and the Mine Shaft Tavern has served hardworking residents since 1895. Today, visitors flock from all over to enjoy the Tavern’s green chile cheeseburgers and tasty margaritas.

8. Tomasita’s

A staple for locals and tourists alike for more than 40 years, Tomasita’s is regularly lauded as one of the top restaurants in Santa Fe. If you’re looking to get to know Northern New Mexico cuisine on a whole new level, Tomasita’s is the place to be. When it comes time to order a drink, try the eatery’s famous swirl, a delectable frozen margarita and sangria blend. Is your mouth watering yet?

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