Hatch green chile season is months away, but here in the Valley there are still plenty of options for your green chile fix. New Mexican cuisine is inspired by both traditional Mexican and Native American food, and incorporates green chiles in many of its dishes. Other trademarks are fry bread, stacked enchiladas (topped with egg), carne adovada, and calabacitas (a dish usually comprised of squash, zucchini, corn, cheese, and spices).
Restaurants in Phoenix nodding to the Land of Enchantment range from authentic to inventive, from hole-in-the-wall counter service to upscale sit-down dining, but they all provide great service, charming Southwestern atmosphere, and, most importantly, delicious New Mexican food.
Los Dos Molinos
From the decor to the welcoming hospitality, Los Dos Molinos creates a warm and authentic New Mexican ambiance — and the food lives up to the expectation of a just-like-home New Mexican meal. Chips and salsa are provided upon being seated, as is (perhaps, somewhat ominously) a pitcher of water. The salsa has some heat to it, but if you want something a little stronger, the adovada or machaca are recommended. Appetizers, or botanas, include Mexican pizza, cheese crisps, and cheesy dip or guacamole to accompany the chips and salsa. The signature dish is the adovada ribs, and listed on the menu as "Adam's Favorite" is the flauta plate — both of which are fantastic.
1006 East Warner Road, #102-103, Tempe
Not as traditional as other restaurants on the list, Ghost Ranch is a self-described Southwest restaurant, and the decor and menu suggest a blend of various cuisines, not just New Mexican. However, its namesake is located in New Mexico, and the menu and restaurant are decorated with the New Mexican flag's iconic zia symbol. Featured classics are green chile cheeseburgers, chile rellenos, and calabacitas, and there are plenty of Southwest-inspired dishes on their brunch and all-day menu. The drink menu is notable as well, and includes some non-alcoholic cocktails for those who want something refreshing sans booze.
638 East Warner Road, Gilbert
A family-owned establishment located in Warner Plaza, La Ristra has a number of tasty offerings: adovada short ribs, blue corn stacked enchiladas, and the choice to build your own combination plate or make your burrito into a chimichanga. Its seemingly endless options are ideal for creating the exact New Mexican dish you've been craving. Dessert options include New Mexican classics like sopapillas covered in honey and cinnamon sugar, as well as churro bowl ice cream and Spanish flan. The drink menu is extensive as well, with over 150 types of tequila and a build-your-own margarita flight with 12 different flavors.
New Mexican Grill
3107 South Lindsay Road, #101, Gilbert
This delightful hole-in-the-wall provides quick counter service, so if you're nearby and wanting some genuine New Mexican fare, your craving is mere moments from being thoroughly satisfied. Although it's not particularly spacious, there's still plenty of seating — including a patio during nice weather. New Mexican Grill has a self-serve chips and salsa station set up for the convenience of dine-in guests, and offers green jalapeno salsa, a spicy red chile de arbol salsa, and a mild red tomato salsa.The menu also features classic burritos, tostadas, salad, chile rellenos, chimichangas, stews, and enchiladas.
Original Blue Adobe Grille
144 North Country Club Drive, Mesa
From the outside, the Original Blue Adobe Grille appears small and nondescript — you may overlook it when driving past. Inside however, the space is open and welcoming yet sophisticated. Dishes include lobster tamales, Southwest chicken pasta, ancho chile-rubbed salmon and ribs, and several steak options grilled over a pecan wood fire (New Mexico is one of the top pecan-producing states in the country). The OBAG is not afraid to combine unusual flavors for one surprising and unusual enchilada sauce: the amaretto mushroom cream sauce. Yes, amaretto is exactly what you're thinking, and yes, you really should try this enchilada sauce.
3313 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale
Carlsbad Tavern, named to sound like Carlsbad Caverns National Park in southern New Mexico, has a brunch, dinner, happy hour, and late-night menu for those to enjoy their genuine New Mexico grub at nearly any hour. Street tacos and green chile mac and cheese are available till 2 a.m. just a three-minute drive or 20-minute walk from Old Town Scottsdale. If you're more of a morning person, brunch is available at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Carlsbad Tavern has textbook New Mexican food — machaca red chile enchiladas, carne adovada, green chile burritos — but with some Scottsdale flair. Example, the brunch menu has a build-your-own Bloody Mary option and avocado toast, while entrees include Maine lobster enchiladas and New York carne asada.
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6685 West Beardsley Road, Glendale
Urban Margarita describes its food as elevated, fresh fare with influences from Mexico, Los Angeles, and New Mexico. Urban Margarita offers several New Mexican essentials like green chile cheeseburgers, green chile nachos, and Hatch green and red chile enchiladas. Some other fun selections are Frosted Flake french toast on the brunch menu, and puffy short rib tacos and hatch green chile mac and cheese on their regular menu. Naturally, the margaritas at Urban Margarita are a real treat.
Richardson's/Rokerji and Dick's Hideaway
6335 North 16th Street and 6008 North 16th Street
Chances are, if you've ever asked where to find great New Mexican food in the Valley, one of these three Richardson's restaurants is what was recommended — and for good reason. The food at this trio of restaurants is absolutely top quality and does not disappoint. The red and green chile enchilada sauce are perfect and the tortillas are house-made. The chips and salsa are delicious, with tortilla chips that are crisp and somehow light and three salsa options — two mild and one spicy. The carne adovada is cooked and seasoned perfectly, and the pork meat is so tender that is separates easily with a fork. The three menus share many of the same dishes, including specialties like the New Mexico Platter and New Mexican Surf & Turf.