Touring N.M.

The Best of Southwestern Eats

Mike Moye shows off his Beef Kabob at the Adobe Deli.
Jon Knudsen, January 2018

You may know Southwestern New Mexico for it’s million-acre forests and seemingly endless miles of desert, or perhaps you immediately think of Billy the Kid and hunting mule deer. But if you’re touring the Southwest and lack the inside scoop on where to dine, here are three deliciously wonderful restaurants that you’ll be glad you visited.

Arrey Cafe in Arrey

This local landmark is 22 miles south of Truth or Consequences on NM 187. During lunchtime, workers from the surrounding chile fields and pecan orchards make this the dining spot of choice. You can be sure that any restaurant catering to such a particularly ingredient-savvy crowd must have the rich, local chile to back it up. The highly rated smothered bean and beef burrito costs about $6.50 and their Friday night steaks – a popular option for an evening dinner – run for $13.95. Be sure to come in early as they close at 2 pm on Mondays and Tuesdays, otherwise they’re open from 8 am to 7 pm.

Adobe Deli in Deming

If you’re stopping Adobe Deli at night and are not familiar with the area, you may very well need a GPS. It is located on a country road 13 miles outside of town. The dining room is said to be part of an old schoolhouse and the decor could be described as “man cave” mellowed down with the dusty shellac of fading yearbook pages and ranch house memories. The menu is humorous, the meat is spectacular and if you’re hungry, the portions are big. The T-bone steak meal costs $23.50 and a liverwurst sandwich, $6.99. Dine in for lunch between the hours of 11 am to 5 pm or 6 pm to 10 pm for dinner.

Sparky’s in Hatch

The Hatch Cut-Off, probably the most famous shortcut in New Mexico, connects I-25 with I-10 to the west. It’s a tediously straight route that contains only one sharp corner, and on that corner, sits the famous Sparky’s restaurant. Winner of this year’s Green Chile Cheeseburger contest at the New Mexico State Fair, it is a traveler’s paradise. The GCCC costs $10.49 with a side and a drink. Sparky’s is closed Monday through Wednesday so be sure to grab a table the rest of the week from 10:30 am to 7 pm.

Jon Knudsen is a contributor to and teaches about New Mexico at UNM’s Department of Continuing Education. Email him at


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