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Santa Fe Nightlife

The cuisine of Santa Fe has become an entity unto itself, so locals and visitors often make dinner the focal point. Several of the noted restaurants in town are within hotels that play live music, while some places have music venues that are part of the dining room. Naturally, margaritas are the cocktail of choice, but exceptional wine lists (some of which feature very nice wines made in New Mexico) are found nearly everywhere.

The Santa Fe scene is more about live music than clubbing. The city has a vibrant and diverse music menu that ranges from singer-songwriters, acoustic bands, blues and jazz to Flamenco, rock and country with a south-western flair.

The city also has a rich programme of cultural offerings, with classical music, theatre and dance in addition to its renowned summer opera. Arts and film festivals bring in world-class entertainment too.

To find out what's happening, check the listings section of the free weekly publications, Santa Fean NOW (www.santafeanNOW.com) and Santa Fe Reporter (www.SFReporter.com).

Bars in Santa Fe

Bell Tower Bar

Santa Fe sunsets are glorious, and there's no better place to watch the sun drop over the surrounding mountains than the bell tower of the La Fonda hotel, the highest adobe-style building in the city. Try a Bell Ringer, their signature margarita, to enhance the romantic view over the city's rooftops. There is a choice of tequilas, wines, beer and spirits too, plus a menu of light fare to nibble on.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 505 982 5511.
Website: http://www.lafondasantafe.com/dining-and-entertainment/bell-tower-bar

Secreto Lounge

Located in Hotel St Francis, a block from the Plaza, Secreto Lounge specialises in premium craft cocktails and wines. Its creative "garden to glass" cocktails are made with combinations of local fruit, vegetables and herbs, and favourites include the award-winning Spicy Secreto and the Agave Way, infused with green chilli. Its wine list reflects ancient wine-making traditions brought to the region by Spanish monks, while the indoor bar has a rustic atmosphere. There's also a seasonal outdoor patio and loggia.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 505 983 5700.
Website: http://www.secretolounge.com

The Dragon Room Lounge

Part of the landmark Pink Adobe restaurant, the Dragon Room has long been a favourite local watering hole. The atmosphere is old Santa Fe, with a kiva (bee hive) fireplace in the corner, trees growing through the roof and art by the Pink Adobe's founder. Mingle with local patrons or perhaps a visiting celebrity or two under the fairy lights on the lovely patio. The margaritas are even tastier at happy hour prices.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 505 983 7712.
Website: http://www.thepinkadobe.com/dragonroom.php

Thunderbird Bar and Grill

Boasting the only deck in Santa Fe overlooking the Plaza, this restaurant and bar is a prime people-watching spot. Check it out at happy hour (1600-1800 and 2200-0000) when $3 appetisers and $5 Margaritas are on offer. The list of over 60 beers (20 on tap) is complemented by more than 100 tequilas, an extensive wine list served by the glass, and speciality cocktails such as Thunderbird Punch and Jamie's Bacon Bloody Mary.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 505 490 6550.
Website: http://www.thunderbirdsantafe.com

Clubs in Santa Fe

Live music in Santa Fe

Cowgirl Santa Fe

In addition to serving great barbecue and regional cuisine, the Cowgirl is one of the best music bars in the city. The nightly live entertainment ranges from top local bands to national touring musicians with the likes of Townes Van Zandt and Patsy Montana among the previous performers. Its superb margaritas and cocktails, dozen craft beers on tap, and sunny patio make this laidback place a local favourite.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 505 982 2565.
Website: http://www.cowgirlsantafe.com

El Farol

Specialising in tapas, El Farol is Santa Fe's oldest restaurant and cantina. The Flamenco dinner show, offered most evenings, sizzles with energy and immerses spectators in Santa Fe's Spanish heritage. An alternative dinner show features the Latin music of Nacha Mendez. Later there are live bands nightly, featuring blues, soul, rock and guitar music á la The Gypsy Kings-style.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 505 983 9912.
Website: http://www.elfarolsf.com

El Meson

Located a block from the Plaza, this restaurant specialises in the classical cuisine of Spain, accompanied by an equally authentic programme of nightly live music. The line-up here is varied and interesting and stands out from other venues in the city thanks to its Brazilian and Caribbean jazz ensembles, trumpet and saxophone players, piano virtuosos and Flamenco guitarists. Guests can also hit the dancefloor for a night of tango dancing.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 505 983 6756.
Website: http://www.elmeson-santafe.com

The Palace Saloon

The red lighting and flocked velvet wallpaper give this restaurant bar an aura of the wild west gambling halls and brothels of the 1850s. Musical entertainment is featured most evenings, with a mix of live bands playing blues, country, rock and acoustic sets as well as club nights such as Trash Disco with DJ Oona. On Saturday afternoons in the summer there is music on the patio and Limelight Karaoke on Thursday nights.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 505 428 0690.
Website: http://www.palacesantafe.com

Vanessie Lounge

A world-class piano bar with live entertainment nightly is the perfect accompaniment to Vanessie's acclaimed fine-dining restaurant. Veteran pianist Doug Montgomery is at the keyboards four nights a week and the venue attracts nationally known artists across cabaret, jazz, soul, rhythm and blues and soulful Americana too. This is a special choice for a memorable night on the town.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 505 982 9966.
Website: http://www.vanessiesantafe.com

Classical music in Santa Fe

Dance in Santa Fe

Theatres in Santa Fe

Lensic Performing Arts Center

The Lensic should be your first stop for sampling Santa Fe's rich array of performing arts. Set in a restored movie palace, the beautiful 1931 Moorish and Spanish Renaissance-style auditorium stages more than 200 events each year, including dance, theatre, music, opera, film and more. It hosts such world-class organisations as the Moscow Ballet, travelling Broadway productions and international vocalists and musicians.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 505 988 7050.
Website: http://www.lensic.org

Santa Fe Playhouse

Founded in 1922, the Santa Fe Playhouse is the oldest continuously operating theatre west of the Mississippi River. It retains its historic location in an adobe building in the Barrio de Analco. Productions range from Shakespeare to comedies and classic dramas. The Playhouse also stages full-length works and readings by new playwrights, as well as Benchwarmers, an evening of eight short plays written by local writers.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 505 988 4262.
Website: http://www.santafeplayhouse.org

Music and Dance in Santa Fe

Culture in Santa Fe

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Featured Hotels

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El Rey Inn

This renovated motor court motel offers exceptional comfort and southwestern style in rooms and suites. It has a swimming pool, patios and gardens within its grounds.

Inn and Spa at Loretto

Sharing grounds with the fabled Loretto Chapel, this 134-room hotel in Santa Fe exudes luxury. It features a fabulous spa, and hosts an Artists-in-Residence programme.

La Posada de Santa Fe Resort and Spa

Spreading over six landscaped acres near the Plaza, this elegant boutique resort hotel in Santa Fe offers 157 rooms in casitas (small houses), a spa and a sophisticated bar and restaurant in the Staab House . Try for rooms with fireplaces and patios, located above the spa.

Las Palomas

A collection of 53 studios and casitas in a historic adobe compound three blocks from the Plaza provide guests with one or two bedrooms, living rooms, fireplaces and mini-kitchens.

Santa Fe Sage Inn

The former Santa Fe Budget Inn has been updated to an attractive facility, but still represents very good value for money. The motel has 154 rooms, swimming pool, computer dataports, in-room coffee and a good downtown location.

Ten Thousand Waves

This Asian-themed spa and bathhouse offers serene lodging in Zen-inspiring casitas or an Airstream trailer restyled as a sleeping car. Amenities vary from basic to more elaborate, with living room, fireplace, TV and balcony.