In the Land of Enchantment, the ubiquitous green chile cheeseburger can be found in restaurants, drive-ins, diners, dives, joints, cafes, roadside stands and bowling alleys. It’s the centerpiece of many a party and social function. It’s our favorite fast, casual food. The list below includes my very favorite green chile cheeseburgers, some of which are not on the New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail, but all of which are visit worthy. By clicking on the name of the restaurant for which you wish to know my opinion, you will be magically transported directly to my review of that restaurant.
|RESTAURANT||CITY||WHY IT’S ON THE LIST|
|Sparky’s Burgers, Barbecue & Espresso
||Hatch||New Mexico Magazine‘s “best eats” award winner for 2011 denoting the state’s best green chile cheeseburger. Most piquant green chile of any green chile cheeseburger on this list. A no frills burger for which the chile is grown just minutes away.
|The Shop Breakfast & Lunch||Albuquerque||Albuquerque’s very best green chile cheeseburger (called The Shop Burger) is relatively new to the pantheon of New Mexico’s best, having been introduced in 2018 as part of The Shop’s “Late Shift” menu. It’s now available for lunch every day. Every day is how often I’d love to have it!
|Rockin’ BZ Burgers||Alamogordo||Winner of the 2012 Green Chile Cheeseburger Challenge at the New Mexico State Fair, Rockin’ BZ’s “The Champ” is just one of many reasons to visit the desert hamlet of Alamogordo. Outstanding green chile cheeseburgers aren’t solely the domain of Northern New Mexico.
|Counter Culture Cafe
||Several years ago, we discovered one of the three or four best burgers (the Ambrosiaburger) we’ve ever had at a Big Sur restaurant named Nepenthe. The Counter Culture comes closest of any New Mexican restaurant to duplicate that magic. Better still, you can have it with green chile.
|Monte Carlo Steakhouse||Albuquerque||As with the aforementioned Santa Fe Bite what makes this green chile cheeseburger stand out is the beef, a full third-pound of glorious steak ground into a moist, delicious burger patty. This is Albuquerque’s very best, an exemplar of quality and deliciousness.
|The Owl Bar & Cafe||San Antonio||One of the top ten burgers in America according to Epicurious.com. Likely inventor of the green chile cheeseburger, serving it since 1945. Double-meat, double-cheese, double-green chile is the best. Seventy years of experience making it is really telling.
|Blades Bistro||Placitas||This burger emphasizes beef as in eight to ten ounces of Angus reserve beef, a moist, juicy and delicious beef with the inimitable flavor of steak. Chef Kevin Blades is a seafood savant who can prepare anything well. At the 6300 foot altitude of Placitas, this burger tastes even better.
|The Buckhorn Tavern|| San Antonio
|| Rated America’s seventh best burger by GQ Magazine. Charismatic proprietor Bobby Olguin won green chile cheeseburger throwdown over Food Network glitterati Bobby Flay. He parlayed that win into a short-lived television show, but it wasn’t as big a hit as his burgers.
|El Farolito|| El Rito
|| Featured on Gourmet Magazine, Sunset Magazine, Rand McNally‘s “best of the road” and many other publications. Charming setting in bucolic village draws in guests from throughout the world to this cash-only Lilliputian establishment where the green chile cheeseburger reigns supreme.
|Sugar’s BBQ & Burgers||Embudo||One of America’s top ten drive-ins according to Gourmet Magazine serves one of New Mexico’s very best green chile cheeseburger as well as some of the best barbecue in the state. The drive through the snaking highway is spectacular. So is this burger.
| Benny’s Mexican Kitchen
|| Bosque Farms
||New Mexico’s best green chile cheeseburger according to Frommer’s Budget Travel Magazine. The “Benny King” burger marries green chile and guacamole in an incomparable manner. You’ll want to wash it down with the best milk shake in the Albuquerque area.
| The Frontier Restaurant
||The Adam Bonanza (named for Man Vs. Food Nation host Adam Richman) is a double meat, double American cheese, double green chile, double bacon extravaganza. A single Bonanza exists on the menu, but why have a single when two is better.
|Bode’s General Mercandise Deli & Bakery
||Saveur wrote “Bode’s may make the world’s best cheeseburger: a half pound of ground steak smothered in fresh New Mexico green chiles.”
| El Parasol
||Española||Quite possibly the best green chile cheeseburger in Rio Arriba county. Green chile actually bites back. Best with double meat, double cheese.|
| Home of the Laguna Burger
||Albuquerque||Cooked to order from 100 percent, never frozen ground beef (an 80/20 blend), it is a half-pound of pure deliciousness. Though the Laguna Burger is available in three locations, the very best (by far) comes from The Pit Stop about ten miles west of Albuquerque.|
| Rex’s Hamburgers
||Albuquerque||85 percent lean and 15 percent fat, the time-tested optimum balance for optimum flavor. Real meat, never frozen, formed into a ball and flattened on the griddle with a spatula then allowed to cook slowly to retain the beef’s natural juiciness|
| Harry’s Roadhouse
|| Santa Fe
||Harry’s has such a vast and diverse menu that it’s not known for its green chile cheeseburger, but perhaps it should be. It’s one of the very best in Santa Fe.
| Five Star Burgers
|| Taos, Santa Fe, Albuquerque
||All natural, antibiotic free 100 percent Angus beef fresh ground daily and char-grilled to order with an intriguing selection of condiments to adorn each burger.|
|Spinn’s Burgers & Beer||Albuquerque||Third-pound of fresh ground Angus beef that’s never been frozen cooked medium-well unless otherwise requested, it’s a multi-napkin mound of juiciness and flavor.
|Perea’s Tijuana Bar & Restaurant||Corrales||Charming old-world New Mexican restaurant crafts one of the very best burgers in the metropolitan Duke City area, a juicy behemoth with pleasantly piquant green chile.|