The food scene in Hobbs, New Mexico, is undoubtedly influenced by the close-by neighboring country, Mexico and its flavorful cuisine. The small town, nested at the border with Texas, boasts a variety of restaurants from steakhouses and Japanese dining establishments to burrito specialists and Jalisco-style Mexican places. There’s also the choice of classic American vintage cafes and diners serving Southern-style cuisine with Cajun influences, for a wide variety of cuisines and flavors to choose from. Here are 10 of the best restaurants in the area.
Saxony Inn Steakhouse
Restaurant, Steakhouse, American, $$$
This steakhouse is located within the Hobbs Family Inn, on the western end of the city of Hobbs. It is a rustic place with simple decoration but delicious homemade food. Their menu features ribeye steaks and prime ribs with typical seasonings like bourbon, horseradish or the house seasoning, and the seafood options range from lobster tail at market price to red salmon filet. Other dishes not to miss are the Cajun-blackened chicken pasta, the shrimp cocktail or the mushroom buttons as an appetizer.
In a simple interior with a Southern charm, Gator J’s serves up authentic Cajun cuisine for lunch and dinner, and also breakfast choices. You’ll find them on the northern side of Hobbs, near the City Park. The Cajun and Creole cuisine specialties include the all-time favorites like crawfish etouffée, fried catfish and gator bites. If you’re in the mood for seafood, try their sampler platter, which includes catfish, shrimp, alligator bites and other side dishes. They are also popular in town for their breakfast, ranging from salty options, to pancakes and French toast.
Right before leaving Hobbs towards the South, you’ll have to search to find a small, simple spot specialized in burritos. It’s a long-standing place in the city, serving locals for more than 30 years, with a friendly atmosphere. They are only open during weekdays and serve breakfast and lunch burritos. You’ll have to go there and make the queue or call and order in advance, as Nipa Hut is always packed. They make the tortillas on location every day, and fill them for breakfast with eggs, beans and cheese, and for lunch with beef, potatoes, onions and more. Pair them with the red or green salsa and you’ll have what is known as ‘the best burrito in Hobbs.’
Located on the northern edge of Hobbs, Pacific Rim serves Asian fusion cuisine, with a bunch of Italian dishes added to the large menu selection. The place is wide and nicely decorated, with an additional private dining room and a lounge bar area. Expect a creative mix of flavors, from smoked chili to hot and sour and curry for the dishes they offer. Their menu features starters like crab meat and avocado tempura, sushi with green chili, then follows with hot and sour or wonton soups, and for main platters you’ll find everything from grilled salmon with smoked chili to curry shrimps and pork dishes.
A typical old-fashioned place, with a Southern touch, Iron Skillet Cafe serves breakfast and lunch in a venue with a vintage decor. The restaurant is old but well maintained, with dark wood-paneled walls, wooden tables and ceramic decorations all around the place. Their most popular dishes are the breakfast choices, from the pancakes to the eggs and bacon dishes, and they also serve typical American lunch options. Make sure not to miss their homemade iced tea, which is served in a mason jar.
On the outskirts of the city of Hobbs, towards the north-west, the Zia Park Casino, Hotel & Racetrack is located just off the main highway, the complex also offering a fine dining option at the Centennial Steakhouse. The place is perfect for upscale dining, with a classic interior, high leather booths, large paintings on the walls and soft lights creating the relaxed atmosphere. The menu features the best options for steak and seafood with a touch of Mexican-inspired flavor. You can sample their prime ribs, the centennial filet, which is a piece of steak topped with crab meat, or the sirloin steak with roasted pepper sauce. Don’t miss out on their homemade jalapeño soup.
Tokyo Steakhouse is a modern Japanese restaurant in Hobbs, with a contemporary interior. The tables are gathered around typical-Japanese hibachi grills, where the chefs cook the food in front of you. Their menu features all the staple sushi options, from shrimp tempura to spicy salmon, and the stir fried vegetables with either seafood or steak, all accompanied by a side dish of rice. The chefs typically put on a cooking show to the delight of the guests, while freshly preparing the meals.
Located in downtown Hobbs, Casey’s is a classic American restaurant with a vintage feel, as it’s been in business for 40 years. They hold one of the largest collections of Coca-Cola memorabilia in the United States. Expect to find on their menu typical breakfast and lunch dishes, served any time of the day, featuring staple American flavors mixed with Mexican influences.
La Parrilla is a typical Mexican restaurant in Hobbs, offering a kid-friendly atmosphere and a large selection of authentic Mexican dishes to try. Their menu features staple dishes like huevos rancheros, a dish made of eggs and beans, steak tacos, and red chile beef enchiladas, or, if you cannot decide, just go for the combination platter and try out several of them. On weekends they offer live entertainment with guitar and accordion playing.
Taqueria Jalisco is located on the northern side of Hobbs and has a simple interior, decorated with large Mexican landscape paintings. They specialize in Jalisco-style Mexican food, served in hearty portions. Expect dishes like chicken fajitas, enchiladas, burritos and tacos, but also specialties from the grill like carne asada, steak with charro beans, and jalisco fajitas, a combination of chicken, beef and shrimp, with the typical beans, guacamole and sour cream. Wash down these delicacies with imported beers or the margaritas they prepare in house.