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Santa Fe offers exquisite sensory experiences, from rich art and history to unique dining. To gain an appreciation for the authentic local culture, visitors must visit some of the numerous kid friendly restaurants in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The entire family will want to experience the flavors of the native chiles, beans, savory tortillas and chocolate that make up traditional New Mexican cuisine. Children may even depart Santa Fe with a new found love of tacos.
From the sights of enchanting vistas to the smells and tastes of the chilis and chocolates of New Mexican cuisine, a visit to Santa Fe delights all of the senses. Savoring the unique flavors of family-friendly restaurants in Santa Fe was one of the highlights of the visit. While we stayed in a guest house with a kitchen we still dined out every meal so that we could experience as many flavors of Santa Fe as possible. Of our many meals, our kids agreed that Kakawa Chocolate House was their favorite. What could be better than enjoying ice cream, truffles, and brownies at tables sized just for them?!
While we stayed in a guest house with a kitchen we still dined out every meal so that we could experience as many flavors of Santa Fe as possible. Of our many meals, our kids agreed that Kakawa Chocolate House was their favorite. What could be better than enjoying ice cream, truffles, and brownies at tables sized just for them?!
Kid Friendly Restaurants in Santa Fe for Breakfast or Lunch
Our first morning in Santa Fe we enjoyed breakfast at Tia Sophia’s. This restaurant was founded in 1975 and is now run by the family’s second generation. Nicholas Maryol continues his parents’ vision of serving Northern New Mexican native cuisine.
Though eggs and bacon wrapped in a tortilla have long been a local staple, Nick Maryol’s father is credited with having coined the term breakfast burrito back in the 1970s. We thoroughly enjoyed our breakfast burrito with the eggs on top as well as huevos rancheros Christmas style. Can’t choose between red or green chile? Go with Christmas style, both red & green chile.
A bookshelf of children’s classic books helps to keep the kids entertained. Don’t expect a latte here, just good food and conversation.
The highlight for us was getting to meet Nick and learn more about the real Santa Fe from him. It set the tone for the experiences we had the remainder of our visit. He convinced us to visit Meow Wolf with his description — cultural significance in bringing art to the masses and redefining commercially successful art.
Cafe Pasqual’s is my mother’s favorite restaurant. She actually managed to eat here twice during our short visit. Cafe Pasqual’s serves authentic New Mexican wholesome food with excellent vegetarian options. It is located on the plaza in historic Santa Fe, does not take reservations and has a line out the door.
Interestingly, on Google Maps it is also listed as an art gallery. Most Santa Fe restaurants do boast an amazing art collection, of which many pieces are for sale. Thus the décor at Cafe Pasqual’s was almost as interesting as the food.
Santa Fe Farmers Market
The Santa Fe Farmer’s Market at the Railyard was a bustling place with tantalizing aromas. We had eaten breakfast before we arrived so didn’t try much of the food. But I really wanted to taste the kimchi pancakes. Meanwhile, other stands temped us with delicious-looking breads and pastries.
We departed the market laden with fresh cherries, lavender lotion, local honey and balloon animals. Visiting the Santa Fe Farmers Market is also one of the fun things to do in Santa Fe with kids.
Family Friendly Restaurants in Santa Fe for Lunch or Dinner
The Shed has been a local lunch favorite since 1953. We have eaten at the Shed every visit to Santa Fe. It is located downtown on the plaza, very near the cathedral with a charming outdoor patio area. Every year the Shed is voted as having best red chile, which is probably also the spiciest. Its location is ideal for pre- or post-explorations of the plaza. The outdoor seating and casual atmosphere
The outdoor seating and casual atmosphere are excellent for kiddos and they have a nice kid’s menu. Don’t worry. The kid’s menu has plenty of non-spicy options. The margaritas also looked refreshing on a warm day. However, I held out for chocolate at Kakawa instead. Can’t make it to Santa Fe in person? The Shed sells their red chile and a Posole kit online!
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Can’t make it to Santa Fe in person? The Shed sells their red chile and a Posole kit online!
Meow Wolf Food Trucks
When in Santa Fe with kids Meow Wolf is a must-do activity. Be sure to get there early so by the time you are tuckered out from exploring you will be ready for lunch. Fortunately, a couple of great food trucks hang out in the Meow Wolf parking lot.
Taqueria Gracias Madre offers authentic recipes from Zacatecas, Mexico. We enjoyed their tacos and quesadillas. In the mood for something different? Trinity Kitchen is a food truck run by Meow Wolf offering cajun cuisine. Our family refueled by eating lunch from both trucks in the Meow Wolf lobby.
Second Street Brewery at the Railyard
The Second Street Brewery located in the Railyard is a casual family-friendly restaurant. It has a nice patio and excellent children’s menu. Bring your appetite should you chose to order the Alien Burger, topped with an organic blue corn dusted relleno, chile-jack cheese, smoked bacon, stout queso, Hatch green chile, crispy fried onions, guacamole and chipotle mayo.
We visited on Friday evening and our daughter really appreciated the live music. A band from Nashville played their own original music. Watching the commuter trains go by enthralled our preschool-aged son.
Kid Friendly Restaurants in Santa Fe for Dessert
Kakawa Chocolate House
Just a short drive from downtown, Kakawa Chocolate House warmly welcomed us with its New Mexican decor. Kakawa, a specialty chocolate company, boasts authentic and historic drinking chocolate elixirs. Their drinking chocolate elixirs are representative of traditional Mayan and Aztec drinking chocolates from 1000 BC to the mid-1900s AD. Visitors can sample elixirs before deciding on one. All have complex flavors, with many including local chile flavors.
I found that their salted caramel brownies were even better than the Elixirs. The thing our kids enjoyed most of all was savoring their homemade ice cream in the child-sized dining area.
Why Visit Family Friendly Restaurants in Santa Fe?
Santa Fe is one of those places that boasts smells, tastes, sounds and experiences that you really can’t find elsewhere. A part of the reason our family travels is to break our kids out of the bubble we live in. We want to expose them to new and interesting ideas, cultures and experiences. We were happy that Santa Fe, nicknamed the City Different, accomplished this goal for us.
Our daughter wants to become a doctor. But, as we departed Santa Fe, she said she’s considering becoming a chef or artist too! The food and the art of Santa Fe influenced her goals for the future. That is significant.