The expression “New Mexican cuisine” has been used in reference to the regional culinary styling of the history of cooking within New Mexico. New Mexican food consists of both common ingredients and dishes. Common ingredients in New Mexican food includes New Mexico chile, beans, corn (yellow, white, and blue corn), flour, and piñon. These ingredients are prepared in dishes in the style of the Santa Fe de Nuevo México culture; which was inspired by the culinary styles of the Native American Pueblo modern culture, Spanish modern culture, Mediterranean modern culture, Mexican modern culture, Cowboy/Vaquero modern culture, and American modern culture. In similar fashion to the cuisine of the Southern United States, the cuisine of New Mexico is a defining feature within the state.
New Mexico is renowned for its cuisine, with world-class chefs in Silver City and world-famous restaurants in Albuquerque and Santa Fe; such as Sadie’s, Frontier Restaurant, Garcia’s, El Modelo, Little Anita’s, and Los Cuates in Albuquerque; of course Joseph’s, The Shed, The Plaza Cafe, Tomasita’s Restaurant, Horseman’s Haven Cafe, Pink Adobe, Rancho de Chimayó, and Blue Corn Café in Sant Fe. Some examples of the key ingredients are New Mexico chile, fry bread/sopapillas, piñon, anise, beans, corn, and papitas. Several dishes are ubiquitous throughout the state, such as bizcochitos, chiles rellenos, Indian taco, blue corn tortillas, and piñon (pine nuts). Even the “state question” makes reference to it, “red or green?” The question refers to the New Mexico chile pepper.
Much like the cuisine of New Mexico being ubiquitous, the restaurant scenes in New Mexico are just as culturally significant. Particularly, the capitol Santa Fe and the major metropolitan area of Albuquerque. The cuisine of Silver City, Las Cruces, Farmington, and others, is fairly robust as well; even towns such as Shiprock have restaurants, like Chei Yazhi, that are well-established local eateries. The casinos, located throughout the State, are also very ardent in the culinary arts. And, not to be underestimated, New Mexican Fast Food’s success with Blake’s Lotaburger and Twister’s seeing expansion into neighboring states.
Several national fast-food restaurant chains have additions to their menus within the State. McDonald’s has diced green New Mexico chile from Bueno Foods, in particular the menu addition of the Green Chile Double Cheeseburger and it’s combo. Bueno Foods also supplies locally grown New Mexico chile to other fast food chains within New Mexico, including Jack In The Box.
Outside of what is considered traditional New Mexican cuisine, there are several successful restaurant chains including Dion’s and Teriyaki Chicken Bowl.