You have to love a place that feels like a destination but takes just minutes to reach from the heart of Santa Fe. The popular Tesuque Village Market is one of those spots. It sits on a corner in what the locals call greater downtown Tesuque, where the only other businesses are a gallery and another restaurant. The market’s a rustic charmer, a bright and funky mix of Southwestern and Mexican style, that feels like a little vacation break. You might see a horse “parked” out front, or some great vintage truck, and probably guys selling ristras or wood carvings. The bathrooms here may be the only ones around with a sign asking that you not graffiti the Mary and Baby Jesus wallpaper.
IT TAKES A (Tesuque) VILLAGE
Sit at the small bar, in one of a couple of different dining rooms, or on a broad porch. During COVID, the owners expanded into the front parking lot with additional new seating outside under awnings. The space has proven so popular that it’s become permanent, which helps keep the wait time under control. While you can buy some groceries and take-out foods from the market, it functions mostly as a casual restaurant and wine, beer, and liquor store. Conveniently, the market is open all day, every day.
What’s on the Menu at Tesuque Village Market?
The menu’s one of those that seems to have something for everyone. Morning food includes a Benedict, as well as some bagels, burritos, blue corn pancakes, and a “Big Ass” breakfast sandwich.
Lunch covers the classics, from a Cobb or chicken salad to a Reuben sandwich or a green chile cheeseburger. Those are all in my regular rotation here, as are the piquant enchiladas, and — as the weather cools — bowls of posole, tortilla soup, and green chile stew. Grilled New York strip steaks or pork chops, and fajitas with all the fixings, are among the heartier options.
I love the thin-crust pizza here, available after 4 p.m. Typically, I stick with classic margherita, but the sausage is good added to it, too. Despite the wood-fired oven’s massive appearance, it only holds a single pizza at a time. If many orders roll in simultaneously, it sometimes requires a little extra patience. Besides, this is a good place to use the “eat dessert first” philosophy, maybe sharing a piece of scrumptious key lime pie while waiting.
The beer selection has loads of depth, from New Mexico sources and elsewhere. There’s a full assortment of traditional cocktails, too, with several tasty margaritas and a Mexican old-fashioned made with reposado mezcal.
On your way out, as you get ready to travel back to the “real” world, pick up a loaf of green chile cheese bread to extend that sense of a mini vacation just a little longer.
Tesuque Village Market
138 Tesuque Village Road
Open daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Story and photos by Cheryl Alters Jamison
Four-time James Beard Foundation Book Award-winning author Cheryl Alters Jamison is the host of Heating It Up on KTRC and is now the “queen of culinary content” for SantaFe.com. Find new stories about the Santa Fe food scene each week on SantaFe.com.