Visit Tomasita's for Delicious Food and Refreshing Margaritas |

There aren’t very many restaurants in business today that were here in Santa Fe when I pulled into town in 1980. Back at the time, friends took me to a place that recently had moved to the then-scruffy railyard neighborhood. It was defying conventional logic about location, location, location. Tomasita’s, our destination, was in a red brick station house, an outbuilding of sorts to the old unused Santa Fe depot. At one time this had been the terminus of a railroad known as The Chile Line. Today, it’s the busy final stop for the Rail Runner commuter train and the Sky Railway, but no train was running at all some four decades ago.

Georgia Maryol had bought Tomasita’s in 1974, when it was a small café on Hickox Street, in the spot where Tune-Up Café is today. The move to the railyard was considered bold and even risky. In hindsight, Georgia couldn’t have picked better. The railyard is among the busiest areas in town, and the restaurant has only increased in popularity over the decades. Georgia’s son, George Gundry, runs Tomasita’s today.


Tomasita's enchilada plate with red and green chile and sopaipillas on the side.
Tomasita’s enchilada plate with red and green chile and sopaipillas on the side.

The keys to Tomasita’s success are fair prices, prompt friendly service, refreshing margaritas, and consistent New Mexican food blanketed with piquant green and red chile from near Hatch. The same families have supplied the chiles for years. As George likes to say, “We don’t mess with the chile!” The sauces are just a bit of roux, with garlic, and copious amounts of either green or red.

Those sauces blanket most of the dishes. The menu covers the New Mexico food groups — enchiladas, burritos, rellenos, tacos, and more. Of course, there’s carne adovada, along with menudo, a couple of sirloin steaks, and some savory pork chops. For a lighter meal, the menu offers a tostada salad, as well as a chicken salad with a Southwestern-inspired vinaigrette. On Saturdays, I get the daily special of chicos, a toothsome horno-smoked dried corn dish.

Tomasita’s is perhaps as well-known for its sopaipillas as for its chile. Great big poofs of golden fried dough, they can be slathered in the local B’s New Mexico Honey Farm honey or used as a scoop for the savory preparations. I sometimes like to save one to fill with the creamy natillas dessert custard, a recipe handed down from the original cook, Tomasita Leyba.


Tomasita's frozen margaritas
Tomasita’s frozen margaritas

The margaritas are well-loved too. I prefer them on the rocks, but the frozen are the most popular. They are whipped up with a combo of reposada tequila, lime and lemon juices, and house-made sweet-and-sour mix. One of my friends always orders the strawberry version of the frozen margarita. Another signature drink is the Swirl, a fanciful melding of the frozen marg with sangria.

However you mix and match the food and the drinks, it’s an unbeatable combination.

500 South Guadalupe

Open daily lunch through dinner

Cheryl Alters JamisonStory 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 Find new stories about the Santa Fe food scene each week on

Read Cheryl Alters Jamison’s bio here.
This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead

Please Share!

Chef Andre: Inn of the Anasazi’s New Executive Chef
Chef Andre's fried fish at Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi.

I’m lucky that my work allows me to enjoy tasty meals out almost daily. Having traveled the world and dining out for 50 years, it takes a lot for any dish to wow me. Very occasionally, a full meal dazzles on a level of international finesse and imagination. I had one of those rare epiphanies last week when I dined at the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi. If you haven’t been there in a while, Managing Director Lutz Arnhold has … Read More

Heating It Up | Posa’s, a Santa Fe Tradition
Enchiladas red & green, sopaipillas, and cheese tamale red at Posa's in Santa Fe, New Mexico

When I needed 25 pounds of fresh masa for a Christmas tamalada, or tamale-making party, I turned to Posa’s El Merendero Tamale Factory & Restaurant. The masa was spectacular, redolent of roasted corn, with a nubbly texture, perfect for my gang’s 300+ tamales. Part of the reason for the deep flavor is that Posa’s nixtamalizes its own corn, which means they start with whole kernels and treat them in a bath of cal or calcium hydroxide, the alkaline liquid that … Read More

Heating It Up | An Ode to Red (Chile)
Red chile pods

Locals know that when we mention simply “red” or “green,” we’re talking chile. Some years ago, the state agriculture department set out to do promotions pushing the sale of our pungent green pods at harvest time to selected supermarket chains. They succeeded beyond all expectations, creating near-hysteria for “Hatch green chile” nationwide. It’s all well and good that New Mexican chile of any kind has become a hot topic of conversation around the country. I think, though, that our red … Read More

Featured Restaurants