This week's Top 5 comes from husband and wife food-writing team Bill and Cheryl Jamison, four-time James Beard award–winning authors of more than ten cookbooks, and burger lovers who have lived just outside of Santa Fe for the past 30 years. We spoke to Cheryl—who is responsible for organizing New Mexico's Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail—to get the Jamisons' recommendations for burgers in Santa Fe.
What kind of burger do they prefer? A succulent burger that has a good proportion of crisp surface to juicy insides—although not so juicy that the bun dissolves—and doesn't exceed 10 ounces.
1. Bobcat Bite: The legendary green chile cheeseburger from this family owned and operated restaurant is made of 10 ounces of freshly ground chuck and sirloin. Although it's a large burger, the patty isn't massively thick; it's spread out, giving it a good amount of surface area that's cooked to a crisp on a heavy 50-year-old cast iron griddle. Besides having a great burger, Bobcat Bite is an interesting spot to go to for its "Old West" feel on the fringes of Santa Fe. 420 Old Las Vegas Highway Santa Fe NM 87505 (map); 505-983-5319; bobcatbite.com
2. Bert's Burger Bowl: Like Bobcat Bite, Bert's Burger Bowl is an over 50-year-old family-owned business, but is different for being a '50s-era drive-in that does a thinner fast food-style burger—it's the apotheosis of what a fast food burger can be. The burger to get is the number 6 with barbecue sauce, the green chile cheesburger combo. 235 North Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe NM 87501 (map); 505-982-0215; bertsusa.com
3. Atrisco Cafe: New as of this year, Atrisco Cafe in DeVargas Center has a wonderful green chile cheeseburger made with flavorful grass fed beef raise in New Mexico. Owner George Gundrey, former executive director of the Santa Fe Farmers Market, focuses on using local ingredients. The hand cut fries are also very good. 193 Paseo De Peralta, Santa Fe NM 87501 (map); 505-983-7401; atriscocafe.com
4. Tune-Up Cafe This location was first a short-lived restaurant called Dave's, which then became Dave's Not Here. When Tune-Up Cafe took over this year, they named their burger the Dave Was Here Burger in honor of the previous business. The burger is made of fresh ground beef on a brioche bun with garlic mayo—make sure to add the optional green chiles. 1115 Hickox Street, Santa Fe NM 87505 (map); 505-983-7060; tuneupcafe.com
5. Rio Chama Steakhouse The burger at this upscale steakhouse is available on their lunch menu or at the bar after 3 p.m. Called the Rio Chama Daily Grind, the burger is made of an 8-ounce Angus beef patty, broiled to get a crispy surface, with your choice of cheeses and toppings. Try it with caramelized onions and green chiles. 414 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe NM 87501 (map); 505-955-0765; riochamasteakhouse.com