Santa Fe is a prime location for picnicking. Whether you're parking somewhere off Artist Road to explore the cool aspen and conifer wilds of the Santa Fe National Forest, pulling up to the otherworldly red rocks and blue water of Abiquiú Lake or even just leaning your bike under the trees in the gorgeous Harvey Cornell Rose Park off Galisteo Street, Santa Fe and its environs are basically begging to be explored. And why not enjoy some homegrown food while you're at it and truly have the kind of picnic you can't get anywhere else? Prices for local options in Santa Fe can be pretty steep, but we kept the total under $100 for two people.
1) Todos Santos
Sena Plaza, 125 E Palace Ave., 982-3855
10 am-5 pm Monday-Saturday; noon-4 pm Sunday
No picnic would be complete without a few sweet treats, so for dessert head to Todos Santos, tucked away in the Sena Plaza. Here, New Orleans native Hayward Simoneaux quietly crafts delicious confections from a spectrum of different flavorings and types of chocolate. House-made truffles are $2.50 to $3 each, and boxes can run anywhere from $5 to $21. The flavors include lemon verbena, caramel, toffee crunch, orange peel and two different kinds of peanut butter.
Total: $17.50 for a mix of six truffles, three at each price point
2) Alicia’s Tortilleria
1314 Rufina Circle, 438-9545
8 am-6 pm Monday-Saturday
One of the best spots in town for New Mexican food, Alicia's is also pretty easy on the wallet, so a bag of chips from this unassuming neighborhood tortilleria not two blocks from Meow Wolf would provide a nice counterbalance to some of the more expensive gourmet items taking up real estate in the picnic basket. The chips are $3, made from house-made corn tortillas. Add whipped avocado guacamole and jalapeño salsa for an extra dollar.
3) Cheesemongers of Santa Fe
130 E Marcy St., 795-7878; cheesemongersofsantafe.com
11 am-6 pm Tuesday-Friday and Sunday; 10 am-6 pm Saturday
Featuring over 150 different cut-to-order cheeses and a variety of deli meats, crackers and spreads, Cheesemongers of Santa Fe is an easy downtown stop for picnic items. The counter features selections from smallscale farmsteads, so it rotates constantly.
- Quicke’s Mature Cheddar, aged cow’s milk cheese from England: $29.95 per pound, $7.50 per quarter pound
- Delice du Poitou, soft goat’s milk cheese from France: $14 each
- Mimolette, aged cow’s milk cheese from France: $34.95 per pound, $8.75 per quarter pound
- Persille de Chevre, midweight ash coated goat’s milk blue cheese from France: $34. 95 per pound, $8.75 per quarter pound
- Good Thunder, soft, stinky cow’s milk cheese from Minnesota: $36.95 per pound, $9.75 per quarter pound
Total: $48.25 for all six; average $24.12 for three
4) Bodega Prime
1291 San Felipe Ave., 303-3535; bodegaprime.com
8 am-4 pm Tuesday-Thursday; 10 am-4 pm Saturday and Sunday
This takeout space always features a rotating spectrum of different locally made products, reflecting an admirable commitment to seasonality and sustainability. Expect the range of options to expand as summer progresses, although there are already plenty of dips and spreads made in-house, not to mention a few delicious sweet and savory pastries (think an orange poppy seed scone and pear almond frangipane Danish). Scones are $3.25, Danishes are $4.75. A 12-ounce container of pickles ($7), the tomatillo salsa ($12), the kimchi ($12) or green chile dip ($7) round things out nicely.
Total: $46 for all; $27 for one item at each price point
5) Opuntia Café
922 Shoofly St., opuntia.cafe
9 am-6 pm daily
A big pitcher of iced tea makes for a refreshing respite on a summer afternoon. We picked up our tea leaves from this Baca Street Railyard plant store and tea house, which features a variety of offerings from San Francisco based Samovar Tea. For an herbal infusion, the turmeric spice is made of organic ginger, orange peel, licorice root and turmeric and tastes absolutely delicious cold. A 2-ounce bag is $16. Though the preparation onsite is divine, you'd have to make it ahead at home to have enough to take on an adventure.
6 ) Mucho Gourmet Sandwich Shoppe
1711 Llano St., Ste. G, 473-7703; muchosantafe.com
10:30 am-3 pm Monday-Friday
This tiny little sandwich shop makes some delicious grub for a wide range of people. Those who like a heartier style can choose from a grilled Cubano or a meatball sub, but the lighter El Pollo Mucho features a delicious tarragon mayonnaise dressing, and the vegetarian Avocado Prima has avocado and sunflower sprouts dressed with a mouthwatering Italian herb infused spread. Since all the sandwiches here are $8.25, we'd count this as one of the most wallet-friendly lunches in town.