The Best Restaurants in Los Alamos, New Mexico

From tacos to tagine, Los Alamos' foodie scene is guaranteed to sate your cravings
From tacos to tagine, Los Alamos' foodie scene is guaranteed to sate your cravings | © Ian Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Alexia Wulff
30 September 2020

Los Alamos, nestled on the Pajarito Plateau, is home to natural scenery, historic buildings and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. It also boasts a long list of mom-and-pop, comfort-food restaurants inspired by cuisines from all over the world, especially that of nearby Mexico. Read on for our guide to eating out in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Blue Window Bistro

Bistro, American, Vegetarian, $$$
Located in a shopping center down the road from Los Alamos Airport, Blue Window Bistro is a favorite among residents, notable for combining a casual atmosphere with upscale American cuisine. For lunch, diners can tuck into soups, salads, sandwiches and tacos, while at dinner, entrées include burgers, fish and chips, fajitas and enchiladas. Plus, this eclectic joint serves desserts that are on point (think pumpkin bread pudding) alongside a good selection of beer and wine.

Viola’s Restaurant

Restaurant, Mexican, Vegetarian
At Viola’s, breakfast and lunch are king. The menu centers around classic New Mexican dishes such as enchiladas, burritos, huevos rancheros (its signature breakfast dish), green chili cheeseburgers, and carne adovada (New-Mexico-style pork), as well as burgers and sandwiches. It’s a tiny, kiosk-sized eatery, so arrive in good time if you don’t want to wait – although the food is turned out so quickly that queues for tables move rapidly. For the best experience, sit at the bar and watch the staff work their magic. You’ll find Viola’s on Los Alamos’ main drag, Trinity Drive.

Café Sushi

Cafe, Restaurant, Sushi, Coffee, Asian
Café Sushi is considered by most residents to be the best sushi joint in the area – and for good reason. On that seafood kick? Head here for fresh fish, first-class service and friendly staff. Go for one of the regulars’ favorites, the spicy tuna salad, or opt for one of the many colorful rolls on offer. Plus, the servings are generous and the prices unbeatable. But beware: Café Sushi is no longer a secret – get here early as the restaurant usually runs out of fish before the end of the night. It’s located a five-minute drive north from Downtown.

Chili Works

Restaurant, Hole in the Wall, Mexican
Chili Works is often described as a hole-in-the-wall establishment, but this modest joint serves up some really good food. Known for its authentic New Mexican cuisine, Chili Works keeps it simple: pick your meat (bacon, chorizo, or carne adovada are all popular choices), your chili (red, green or both), and state whether you want cheese or not (a fervent “yes” is recommended). Then something magical happens – it’s all stuffed inside a warm tortilla with eggs and hash browns. Grab a table outside or take it to-go, but either way prepare to be wowed.

El Parasol

Restaurant, Mexican
Some food lovers shy away from chain restaurants, but the family-owned El Parasol (which has six establishments across New Mexico) is something special. Since 1958, it’s been dishing out flavor-packed Mexican and New Mexican classics, such as handmade tamales, chiles rellenos, burritos, crispy tacos, homemade tortilla chips and guacamole. Diners can also enjoy typical American dishes such as burgers, Frito pie, fries and chili cheese dogs. The Los Alamos branch is located in the center, just over the road from the Blue Widow Bistro.

Pyramid Café

Restaurant, Greek, $$$
Pyramid Café offers Greek, north African and Mediterranean cuisine in the centre of Los Alamos. It should be top of your list if you’re tired of tacos and hot dogs, offering classic dishes such as moussaka, chicken tagine and gyro sandwiches. There are also plenty of homemade options for vegetarians, including hummus, falafel and vegetable moussaka. To stick with Pyramid’s culinary themes, round off a visit here with a pomegranate tea or a Turkish coffee. Prices are a little more than other restaurants in the area, but worth it.

Fleur de Lys

Cafe, French, $$$

Fans of French culture and travelers with a sweet tooth won’t find a better spot in Los Alamos than Fleur de Lys, a café and store run by French couple Stephanie and Marcel Remillieux. Call in and soak up the Parisian ambience over a morning espresso and pastry, or stop by for lunch, when your menu options will include homemade quiches, cheese platters and a selection of irresistible French desserts. When you’ve finished your meal, linger a little longer and browse the imported pâtés, jams, condiments and spices available in the store.

Ruby K’s Bagel Café

Cafe, Mexican

Founded in 2005 to cater to residents who despaired of ever getting a decent bagel in New Mexico, Ruby K’s is a great spot for breakfast or lunch. All bagels are freshly made on site and are available with an enormous range of fillings and spreads, from the turkey and bacon club to the Veggie Frenzie. In addition to its signature product, Ruby K’s also offers an extensive selection of artisanal sandwiches, homemade soups, salads, cookies, smoothies and pastries. There are also loads of options for vegetarians and vegans, and any bagel, wrap or sandwich can be made gluten-free.

Pajarito Brewpub and Grill

Pub, Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
Pajarito Brewpub & Grill offers one of the trendiest dining experiences in Los Alamos. As well as a constantly-rotating selection of craft beers from local and further-afield breweries, it also provides a modern, creative take on New Mexican classics. Celebrated chef Peter Knaus has come up with dishes that you won’t find anywhere else nearby, such as truffle mac-n-cheese, crispy garlic Romano potatoes and shrimp pasta primavera. The sticky, spicy ribs and enormous burgers are also outstanding. A quiz is held on Monday evenings and there’s karaoke most Tuesday nights.

El Rigoberto’s Taco Shop

Restaurant, Mexican

No frills Rigoberto’s Taco Shop does some of the best Mexican food for miles around. Open for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it offers a selection of powerfully flavored, generously portioned Mexican classics – burritos, enchiladas, tacos and the rest – at extremely competitive prices. You can also customize your dish with homemade sauces – ranging from mild to super-spicy from the salsa bar, and take away or eat in the simple, cheerful dining room. The churros and the chiles rellenos are especially good.

Additional reporting by Mark Nayler

These recommendations were updated on September 30, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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