Step into a restaurant with a conscientious retro feel: Large black and white photographs of an older Santa Fe hang on the walls, and blue and red neon lighting evinces a divey 1970s aesthetic. The restaurant on the Plaza has been around since the 1940s, and this Southside sister location opened in 2009. The vibe of the Southside joint is as authentically local as anything you'd find further north in the touristy spots, and we could tell from the way customers here spoke that they were mostly locals. We ordered the Santa Fe Frito pie, which came with a bag of Fritos to throw into a cheesy plate of green chile, beans and veggies ($10.95). The owners pride themselves on making everything from scratch, from the buns on the hamburgers ($10.95 for a 6-ounce patty) to the cakes on the dessert menu, and you can taste the freshness. We took our orders to go for a lazy Sunday dinner at home, though if we'd visited on a weekend night, we'd probably have grubbed before heading to a movie at the Regal Cinema across the parking lot.
Plaza Café Southside
3466 Zafarano Drive, 424-0755
Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily