Thanksgiving in Santa Fe – Where to Eat Your Feast

When I’ve lived elsewhere, Thanksgiving is a day to prepare your meal and eat at home. I once had a Thanksgiving dinner at a Denny’s in Amarillo because all the other restaurants were closed.

But not in Santa Fe. This is a town full of restaurants that love to feed you on holidays, and they go all out on Thanksgiving. I’ve had my turkey at Geronimo, an elk tenderloin at The Coyote Cafe, and several years ago, a gorgeous duck dish at La Posada’s Fuego (which is now known at “Julia, A Spirited Restaurant,” named for the elegant and beautiful Julia Staab, who is said to haunt the hotel and bar).

So if you’re coming to town for Thanksgiving and you prefer a delicious, relaxing gourmet meal in a luxury setting, this is the place to find it.

Prefer a buffet? The magic about Thanksgiving is that you can go back again and again for just one more spoonful of your favorite dish. Here’s a list of the buffets in town:

AmayaHotel Santa Fe, a particular favorite of mine, offers two seatings with the first starting at 11:45 a.m. and the second from 4 – 8 p.m. On the menu you’ll find starters like holiday butternut squash with apple bisque and a harvest Native American salad, along with three others. They’ll have a carving station with turkey or prime rib and a total of five accompaniments like green chile and dried fruit stuffing and roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

And then there’s dessert. Seven different choices from house made biscochitos to maple creme brulee to a flambe and bananas foster station with your choices of toppings. Among other things. I love Thanksgiving, and dessert is my personal favorite part of the meal.

Adults pay $50, Seniors $42 and children plates (12 and under) are $25. Email or call 505-955-7805 to reserve your spot before they’re all snatched up.

La-Plazuela-at-La-FondaLa Plazuela at La Fonda on the Plaza invites you to count your blessings with a sumptuous buffet. Mention is made on the website of their sweet onion and chipotle deviled eggs, an all-time favorite. But their menu also includes such enticing dishes as pan-seared salmon with roasted shallot-taragon butter sauce, the perfect antidote for that one person in your party who does NOT like turkey. The presentation is pretty incredible as well. La Plazuela dresses up their already beautiful dining room (which used to be a patio where all of Santa Fe’s funky locals met each day for early afternoon coffee and cocktails) with ice sculptures and chefs putting on a show for your dining pleasure. Cost is $59 for adults, $49 for seniors and $24 for children. Call 505-995-2334 for reservations.

Want an inexpensive alternative? Or want to grab a meal and a cocktail at the end of the day after relaxing with your family. Del Charro at the Inn of the Governors is open 365 days a year (I know – I’ve been there on Christmas Day for the past three years). On Thanksgiving Day, they offer a three-course meal for only $19. And folks, Del Charro is good at this. Lots of locals will gather there just for the fun of it, and the butternut squash, coconut milk and lemongrass soup along with the roasted turkey and sides and the pumpkin and apple pie will just be an accompaniment to the fun you can have visiting at the bar. The bartender will bring you a perfect martini or a cold beer and you can watch a football game on the screens behind him. Not that this is a sports bar – there are three screens mounted behind the bar, but no sound. This is civilized fun, which a kiva fireplace on the east wall around which you can gather after your meal. Tell them Bunny sent you. (This reminds me – I should write a post just dedicated to Del Charro.)

The Tourism Santa Fe website has put together an additional list full of Thanksgiving meal ideas, as have my friends over at Santa Fe Traveler. Over at, they’ve put together what they call “Thanksgiving 24,” a list of ideas for restaurant meals, home-cooking, Food Depot events, and local recipes. If I think of a few more between now and next week, I’ll post them here.

The bottom line is this: If you’re looking for a special way to spend Thanksgiving without the added long grocery list or the kitchen cleanup, there are dozens of options in our City Different. Be grateful! Enjoy! And then let me know how it went. I’d love to hear what you enjoyed the most. Email me your favorites at


Bunny Terry 505.504.1101

20 Vereda Serena Santa Fe, NM 87508