Restaurant Wrap Up: Zia Diner’s 25th Birthday and Other Fine Local Fare

- December 19, 2011

"Some hot spots to check out this holiday season."

The Zia Diner's 25th Birthday Bash

The Zia Diner is celebrating its 25th anniversary this New Year's Eve with a dinner and live music until 9 p.m., when the restaurant will close for a party of and current and former staff members.

The Zia officially opened for business on December 31, 1986, and has been serving down home comfort food to Santa Feans and visitors ever since. From green chile piñon meatloaf to turkey pot pie, Southern fried chicken and Yankee pot roast, the Zia has become a Santa Fe classic. But upscale dishes are on the menu, too, including tequila lime chicken fajitas, teriyaki glazed salmon, pescado Veracruz. And the Zia's got traditional diner food, too, serving burgers, BLTs, mac 'n' cheese, onion rings, fries and other old-fashioned American food.

The Zia's desserts are legendary -- sticky toffee pudding, flourless chocolate torte with raspberry sauce, black midnight cake, éclairs, homemade pies, ice cream sundaes, banana splits.

The Zia is currently offering a Happy Hour daily from 3-6 p.m. daily, featuring special drinks and $3 appetizers, including coconut shrimp, spicy chicken wings and artichoke heart parmesan with tortilla chips. This restaurant is so popular in Santa Fe, it has its own motto – "See ya at The Zia!" Visit for additional information.

“Back on New Year's Eve, in 1986, I never thought it was a possibility that 25 years would ever pass,” reminisced owner Beth Koch. “The upcoming celebration is an opportunity to share this big milestone with the community.”

As for what's in store in the future for this tasty Santa Fe institution: “25 more years -- just being part of the community and serving good food, good drinks and having fun,” said Koch. “I just want to thank everyone in town for supporting us and keeping us here, and we hope to see everyone at the party."

The celebration also includes an evening of musical entertainment by Terry Diers (2-5 p.m.), The Bootleg Prophets (5-8 p.m.) and Jono Manson and Friends (9 to close).

Koch recommends calling (505) 988-7008 ahead of time for reservations and additional event details.  

The Ranch House

Fans of Josh's Barbecue brisket, pulled pork, smoked carne adovado and more may be surprised to find that the restaurant in the San Isidro Plaza Shopping Center is closed. But don't despair! Josh's has simply moved, expanding with a full bar, two dining rooms, a tap room and two covered patios. The menu includes grilled steaks and salmons, salads and new appetizers. Josh's has changed its name to The Ranch House, and the new address is 2571 Cristos Rd., across from the Auto Park near Kohl's. The grand opening is scheduled for Dec. 15-20. For more info, go to


The Teahouse's Baked Goods

The Teahouse has started serving gluten-free and conventional baked goods. Their delicious selection includes artisan breads, which are used in some of the restaurant's sandwiches, French toast and other dishes, as well as chocolate flourless cake, Mexican wedding cookies, biscotti, English toffee and more. Many of these sweet treats are perfect for your holiday table.

The Teahouse has also begun serving Metropolis Coffee, a rich and robust blend from a Chicago-based artisan roaster. Visit for more info.

Knapp's Wraps

While you're shopping for holiday gifts at the Sambusco Market Center, be sure to re-fuel at Knapp's Wraps, Burritos and More. They serve freshly made burritos, fish tacos, Southwest cheese steaks, pulled pork, quiche, soups and more. They also offer desserts, pastries and coffees. Open for breakfast and lunch. Knapp's Wraps makes a nice addition to the existing eateries in this neighborhood, including Pranzo, El Tesoros, Ristra, Raaga and Azur.

Le Chantilly Café

Many restaurants have come and gone from the Garrett's Desert Inn on Old Santa Fe Trail. But there's a new kid on the block, Le Chantilly Café, helmed by Laura Shirley, and it's serving up croissants, strudel and muffins, along with salads, quiche, sandwiches, tarts, cookies and other treats. Open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday, Le Chantilly Café is located at 311 Old Santa Fe Trail. Visit for more information.