Five great New Mexico roadside cafes

Where to savor roadside flavor
Sharon Niederman

Dave's Not Here. When the yearning for a great chile-verde cheeseburger with homemade fries hits, head for Dave's, a landmark also known for excellent enchiladas and huge hunks of scrumptious chocolate cake. Squeeze into a seat and enjoy. $; closed Sun. 1115 Hickox St., Santa Fe; 505/983-7060.

Harry's Roadhouse. Harry's "square meal every time" philosophy is evident in made-from-scratch beans and ribs, roasted turkey, enchiladas, and chocolate bread pudding. Diners crowd into a converted garage that wraps around a patio. $. 96 B Old Las Vegas Hwy., Santa Fe; 505/989-4629.

Horseman's Haven. The old Texaco station is gone, but none of the regulars at the Haven's spiffy new digs seem to mind. The same mouthwatering carne adovada and blazing green chili still light up a chilly Santa Fe morning and jump-start your day. $. 4354 Cerrillos Rd., Santa Fe; 505/471-5420.

Sugar Nymphs Bistro. Soups made from scratch daily, hand-tossed pizzas, and maple-chocolate-pecan pie make this the place to eat between Santa Fe and Taos. Chef-owner Kai Harper Leah uses local ingredients in her cozy bistro. $$; closed Mon-Tue. 15046 State 75, Peñasco; 505/587-0311.

Western View Diner & Steakhouse. "All that comes from a can here is ketchup and crackers," says Tula Anagnostakos, owner of this authentic Route 66 diner. Since 1941, travelers have stopped for chicken-fried steak and biscuits and gravy. $. 6411 Central N.W., Albuquerque; 505/836-2200.