Keeping Cool in Santa Fe

Lynn Cline - June 25, 2019

Delicious foods to keep you cool all summer long

Things are heating up everywhere, and not just because of the weather. Between the rising temperatures of summer and the social and political tensions around the globe reaching a near-boiling point, it's a hot time on the planet. Who the heck wants to cook, let alone eat, hot foods?

The good news is that it's easy to beat the heat and calm yourself from the chaos of the world, if only for a short while. A simple, and delicious, remedy for chilling out involves savoring the cold foods of summer. Let the sweetness of watermelon and ice-cold popsicles linger on your tongue, as you relive the lazy summer days of childhood. Slurp the cold delights of gazpacho, made with summer's ripe tomatoes and cool cucumbers and you'll find yourself relaxing into the season. What could be more summery than sipping an old-fashioned lemonade with the clean, sharp bite of mint, or eating homemade ice cream topped with fresh berries? These flavors of summer can be a balm for our heated bodies, and spirits, and you don't have to look hard to find them in Santa Fe. Creative chefs across the city have come up with a dazzling array of delicious foods to keep you cool all summer long. Check our list below for just a small sampling of where to find them.


Executive Chef Kai Autenrieth at Terra, the acclaimed restaurant at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe, has put together some cool starters, including Gazpacho Verde. Terra's version of this classic cold soup that came out of southern Andalusia combines cucumber, tomatillo and celery with an avocado sorbet lime crème fraiche and red chile oil. Cucumber, by the way, is one of the best foods you can consume in warm weather. That's because it's 96% water, making it extremely hydrating, and its thick skin helps keep the interior up to 20% cooler than the outside. Hence the phrase, “cool as a cumber.” Terra also offers Watermelon Fields, featuring one of summer's most popular foods, eaten with or without seeds. Here, Autenrieth offers chile lime-compressed watermelon with radishes and arugula dressed in an agave herb vinaigrette and topped with pepitas.


At Eloisa in the Drury Plaza Hotel, renowned chef John Sedlar has sagely put a chilled soup on his menu, which is devoted to modern Southwest cuisine. His Rio Grande Potato Vichyssoise, paired with toasted pumpkin seeds and Hatch green chile pesto, is a refreshing way to start your summer meal. Did you know that eating spicy foods like red and green chile can actually cool your body down? Depending on its heat, the chile can make you sweat and your evaporating perspiration allows your body heat to escape, ultimately giving you the sensation of feeling cool all over. So there's one more reason to love our New Mexico chile. Eloisa's Burrata and Valencia Orange Salad with frisée e and sherry vinaigrette will also revitalize you from the heat with its citrusy notes blended with the the divinely creamy cheese. Leave room for chocolate mole ice cream, a frozen delight made with mole sesame, pepitas and Mexican chocolate ice cream, or or the bright and invigorating lemon mousse with grapefruit granita, medallions of ricotta and orange curd.

Coyote Cafe & Cantina

On a summer's eve with the garage door-style windows rolled up, the Coyote Cantina is a good place to be.You can cool down from the hot day with a Mexican Shrimp Cocktail, a jumble of prawns, vegetables, valentina and saladitas, or try the Prickly Pear Aguachiles, a Mexican dish that here is made with a blend of citrus-cured shrimp with serrano, green apple and cucumber.

You could also dine downstairs at the fabled Coyote Cafe and indulge in mesquite-grilled lobster tails with house-made sweet corn guajilla papardelle. Sure, it's not a cold dish, but the combo of lobster and corn is like summer on a plate. For a sweet seasonal dessert, the Key lime pie is a cool choice, a creamy, tangy delight dressed up with pineapple sorbet, blueberries and a tropical meringue.

El Farol

El Farol offers a range of cold tapas, including ceviche, a long-loved seafood cocktail from South America that requires marinating and curating fish in citrus juices and spices. Here, the dish is made with wild shrimp, pickled chile, roasted garlic, herbs, citrus, olive oil, and each bite will restore you from the heat. Jamón serrano, a traditional Spanish tapas, combines serrano ham cured for 18-months with capers, herbs and olive oil. Anchovy aficionados will want to order boquerones, a classic tapas of marinated white anchovies, heirloom tomatoes, avocado and herb olive oil. Wash it down with sangria, a thirst-quenching blend of red wine, brandy and seasonal fruits, and you'll be moved to make a toast to summer, whatever the temperature might be.