Perhaps the best-loved restaurant on the hill is Blue Window Bistro (813 Central Ave., 505/662-6305, 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 5–9 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 5–9 p.m. Sat., $15), a cheerful place done up in bright colors. The menu is a mix of hearty burgers and healthier items, such as veggie chili, and the ingredients are all very fresh. It’s great for lunch, too; enormous sandwiches are about $8.
For breakfast or lunch, the rudimentary shack that is The Chili Works (1743 Trinity Dr., 505/662-7591, 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Tues.–Sat., $5) doles out breakfast burritos to junkie-like regulars. An outdoor deck is open in the summer, but most of the year, this is to-go food, heavy on hash browns and chunks of green chile.
The Los Alamos old guard favors The Hill Diner (1315 Trinity Dr., 505/662-9745, 11 a.m.–8 p.m. daily, $8), where the vibe is Early Cold War: wood paneling, checked tablecloths, massive slices of coconut cream pie, and hot dinners such as chicken-fried steak served with your choice of two sides (but there’s a token sandwich with sprouts, dubbed the “Chia Pet”). It’s open an hour later in the summer.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition