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Blue Corn Cafe

Your Rating: None
Blue Corn CafeBlue Corn Cafe
Very Good
20 Ratings
Blue Corn CafeBlue Corn Cafe

Type: Bar, Eatery

133 W Water St
Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87501-2136
United States

(505) 984-1800 | map

None provided.

View: Place Reviews
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 20 |  Reviews: 13
Photo of NickThaFish
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of Karibourgeois
3.58/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of mrcraft
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

I wanted to see what New Mexican cuisine was all about since I heard about it during my ride from the airport to my hotel. So, after a few hours walking around the area taking in the sights and sounds, I decided to find a place for lunch and try New Mexican food. Without any prior research, I just picked Blue Corn Cafe after quickly looking at the menu.

I'm not sure what I had today was authentic New Mexican food. It was fine, but seemed like stuff I get back in California. I didn't realize they also brewed their own beer, so I tried their wheat pale ale. The beer was good.

The folks there were nice. I would say the vibe was also nice. From one side of the block near the plaza you walk through a mall like corridor, so you're on the second floor, so there's a nice view to the streets below if you sit by the windows.

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Photo of EarForBeer
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of Icedog
5/5  rDev +28.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Best varieties of beer selections of Ambers, Stouts, and Wheats, with Best of the Best being their Imperial Red: "Midnight Red;" there is nothing close to equal on the market anywhere...

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Photo of hopazoid
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.5/5  rDev -10%

See my review of the Southside Brewery, as the same applies at both locations.

The food is average except for a few gems, like the spicy-as-all-hell green chile stew, and the beer is usually good, though perhaps suffering a bit now that John Bullard is gone.

This location feels less like a chain and more like a lot of nicer dining options close to the Santa Fe plaza, so I suppose you could call it classier. It's a nice place to grab a beer and lunch or to catch some football on a Sunday.

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Photo of amvrana
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of nickfl
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 5

Photo of glorp719
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

We've eaten here before several years ago and at their other location on Cerrillos Rd. We came in wanting a 'New Mexico' meal and were very satisfied with the meal we got. It included iconic New Mexico dishes: blue corn tortillas and green chile. The beers were very enjoyable. My wife had the Atomic Blonde Lager and I the RoadRunner IPA. Hers was pleasant - good balance of hops and enough malt to be satisfying to her taste, which runs to maltier brews. My IPA had a very nice hop crispness with a distinctive, but not overpowering piney/citrus bite. Perfect with the food.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.58/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Dropped in here for a late lunch on 2 Feb 2011.

As with most places in Santa Fe, or at least most of the places we stopped at while in Santa Fe, quite tourist oriented. In a shopping center with at least two overpriced and pedestrian art stores as well as yet another indie toy store. I thought kids were going out of style?

Anyway, fortunately for the cafe it was late lunch and most of the other tourists had already left, because if they hadn't, I'm pretty sure our group would have driven them off. We piled into sort of a window booth type seat with an additional table shoved up to the end of it to accomodate everyone. I had an excellent view of the passers-by in the inside hallway of the shopping center we were in.

Lunch was decent if not extremely memorable. I should have taken notes on the food as well as the beer. I think I had the green chile (again), A had the corn and chipotle soup with a red chile tamale. What everyone else had is completely beyond me. For what it's worth, A's dish was better than mine, if a little on the sweet side.

A says the waitstaff was extremely tolerant with our somewhat unruly crowd. And this time, it was because of the children!

Sixers of the IPA were available for takeaway.

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Photo of DIM
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This place kind of looked like someone from the north was trying to recreate a Sante Fe vibe. It was okay, but had a bit of a cafeteria/family restaurant feel. There were lots of kids and the place was kind of noisy. Not my favorite place to look at, but it was fine. Our waiter, Kenneth, was great. He was both personable and attentive. My only minor complaint was that our dinners arrived before we had finished the appetizer. To be fair though, they were very busy.

The crab dip was Velveeta and chile peppers and should be avoided because of the $8 price tag. I had a bite of my fiance's releno and was very impressed. My chalupas were fine as well. I'm a bad judge of Mexican food. For the most part, I always like it. Maybe you should ignore this part of the review.

I had two beers and both were served at what felt like a few degrees above cellar temperature. Perfect! That is all too rare at a brewpub unfortunately. The Roadrunner IPA was a real treat and the Winter Ale I tried was interesting and ambitious, but came up alittle short.

I would have no problem recommending this palce to anyone visiting Sante Fe.

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Photo of schanker21
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped by here on my vacation to Santa Fe. The atmosphere was a little above average if I were here in central Illinois, but in Santa Fe, it was about average. The service was adequate; the guy was friendly but he carded me even though I had already gotten a beer from the bar while I was waiting for the table (he realized that after he asked for my I.D., and I gave it to him without a fuss, but it was still a little weird). My girlfriend and I both had the chimichanga (I had beef, she had chicken) and mine was excellent. She like hers as well. We did recommend the restaurant to some of the other people we were with, and they went there later in the week (they also liked the food).

On to the important part:

I had the Road Runner IPA while I was waiting for my table and for my food. It was excellent. Very hoppy (as expected) with a definite pine and citrus taste coming through. After I finished the IPA, I ordered the Sleeping Dog Stout. I don't think it was necessarily the best fit with my food, but I was a little disappointed with the stout. It had a decent flavor, but it seemed a little weak for a stout. On a side note, their summer seasonals were a Hefeweizen and some sort of wheat ale that escapes memory at the moment.

Overall this place was pretty good. The food was quite reasonable for Santa Fe and I thought it tasted very good. The beer was a little pricey, but the IPA was worth it. I was hoping to go back again and try some more of their beers, but I didn't have the chance.

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Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This review is for their downtown beer bar/tasting room. Located inside of a downtown mini-mall, the place was oriented left-to-right, or vice versa. The bar area was on the extreme right side of the space and the long, snaking bar ran perpendicular to the entryway. The bar top was unique, with logos of their flagship beers against a dark blue background. The d├ęcor was meant to be evocative of the adobes with exposed log beams and soft corners on all of the walls. The menu listed a "Barrel-O-Meter since 1997" with the current count at 7,083 barrels, equal to 14,167 kegs, equal to 1.7 million pints. Ha!

Beers: Six standards - Honeymoon Wheat (5.5); End if the Trail Brown (5.1); Atomic Blonde Lager (5.0); Sleeping Dog Stout (6.0); High Altitude Pale Ale (5.0); and Road Runner IPA (6.5). The seasonals included Hefeweizen (5.1) and Anniversary Smoked Porter (8.8).

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Photo of Domingo
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped off here while wandering Santa Fe over the weekend.
It's tucked into one of the shopping areas surrounding the Santa Fe town square. There's a ton of good food and decent beer around here, but I was looking for something different from the Santa Fe Brewing options that everyone has. There's only so many nut browns and pales you can handle without wanting variety after all.
It's a pretty decent sized restaurant with a full menu of southwestern items. Honestly, there is a LOT of great food in the area, so I'd advise anyone to be pretty picky with where you eat. Based on the menu, it looked good, but nothing jumped out as being really unique or special.
We only had a chips/salsa sampler (we ate @ the Shed, which I recommend FYI) but it was quite good. I won't judge their food based upon this one item, but it's a nice snack. Decor is the standard stucco with southwestern pictures on the wall and blue tile. Nothing amazing, but it's a really clean look. The bar area has several TV's and is generally pretty cozy as it's tucked away from the main restaurant area.
On to the beer, right? They had a separate beer menu with a list of offerings, descriptions, and information on them. That's always a good sign that they care about what they're doing.
In terms of the offering list, they had an alt (unusual!) and double IPA as seasonals. For their normal list they had a Pils (replacing the blonde ale), honey wheat, stout (2007 GABF Gold!), brown ale, pale ale, and ESB.
I tried the alt which was quite good, but not necessarily a favorite style of mine. This was followed by the stout which was amazing. I didn't make a ton of notes, but it was one of the best I've had. The GABF gold was definitely earned. My wife had the honey wheat which was really strange, but in a good way. It tasted a lot like a floral mead moreso than a what beer. The only thing I've had that compares to it was a rose hip ale. I'm not sure how drinkable it would be in the long term, but it would likely make a great pairing with something really spicy or rich. We tried the pils which was spot-on for style and I'm glad it replaced a boring blonde ale.
For anyone staying or traveling in the plaza square area, I recommend doing exactly what we did. Grab a meal at one of the many stellar restaurants in the area, but stop in here for after dinner drinks or a between meal snack. The location is great and the beers are, too. It's worth stopping in for the stout alone. On a cool night, it's tough to imagine anything nicer than that beer.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Total tourist trap.

Beer is OK, but certainly not the best in Santa Fe. Service was excellent and the bartender was very helpful and friendly. They offered a wide selection when I was there. Just kind of uninspired beers, but nothing was outright bad. Didn't get food this time, but when I first moved there 5 years ago I made the mistake of getting the food. Totally castrated New Mexican food. If you're looking for good New Mexican, hit up The Red Enchilada, The Pantry, Tortilla Flats, El Parasol, OR, if you have to go touristy in the plaza/railyard area, do Tomasita's instead. At least there food is decent and well-priced, aside from the douchiness of the clientele.

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Photo of benito
2.7/5  rDev -30.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I first visited Blue Corn while driving across the country a few years ago before I really new anything much about craft beer, so I was looking forward to going back and seeing if my (generally positive) memories of the place would hold up. They wouldn't.

What can be said for this place is that they have a nice atmosphere--cleanly, mythically decorated in toned-down the traditional Santa Fe style with nice art and good lighting. Also they've got good, if slightly pricey, New Mexican food. I recommend trying one of the combo plates as they give a good overview of what's coming out of the kitchen. Their tacos, enchiladas, and tamales are all well done and have a just-right kick to them.

Unfortunately, the service and quality of beer leave something to be desired. They had eight beers on tap: five (honey wheat, blonde, pale ale, porter, and brown) make up their year-round lineup and three seasonals (IPA, smoked imperial porter, scotch). I sampled the seasonals and the honey wheat, and only the smoked porter held it's own; the others were marred by a metallic, syrupy sweetness that made them cloying. Next time, I'll stick to ordering a margarita with one of their many top-shelf tequilas.

Blue Corn left me with a sort of humdrum feeling--it neither offended nor excited, and in a town like Santa Fe, where good libations and food abound, that's not enough to get me to make a third visit.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

What a damn fine little brewpub in a damn fine beautiful (yet appalingly touristy) city. The blue corn on water street has a killer atmosphere, Mexican or nuevo Mexican to the core with a beautiful outer facade and lovely little tiling inside. Quality of the food and beer is top notch and they know it, and take pride in it! Service was also killer with a quick barman quick to fill up your pint or bring you some scrumptous morsels of new mexican cuisine all for a nice low, low price. The selection of tap beers is great, 5 house staples (brown, porter, pale, golden, and wheat) and 3 or more rotating seasonals (on my last trip they were ipa, double ipa, and bavarian hefe). The pale ales are phenomenal. One hoppier than the next. All dry hopped and an awesome compliment to the fantastically spicy food that they whip up in this fine establishment. Wedensday here is pint night, $2 pints of all of the brews except the double ipa which runs $5 a pint! Still a good deal if you ask me! The food here is phenomenal. Tex-mex, Mex-mex, Nuevo Mexican and more. Fantastically authentic sopaipillas, and other new mexican staples. Try the big and bad number 5 combo with enchiladas, tacos, tamales, and burritos...ouch! Wash it all down with some ipas and sweat off the calories you just took in! One of the best brewpubs i've been to in several months. and in New Mexico of all places! A must-hit brewpub in the sizling southwest! Enjoy!

Oh, and for some added kick try your food 'christmas style' owwww yeahhh!

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Photo of TXHops
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I've been eating at the Blue Corn since I was a teen on trips with my parents. I tried the beer for the first time this year and it's worth a stop. First and foremost, the Blue Corn is a restaurant specializing in what they call New Mexico cuiseine, which the rest of the US would recognize without prodding as Tex Mex. It's better than average, with a nod toward freshness and local chilis, but it is just Tex Mex (whih goes terribly with beer, IMO). But don't let that stop you. The locally-brewed stuff is really good. The 6 or so taps offer the standard light-to-dark lineup (wheat, blonde, pal, amber, porter, stout) with 2 specials rotating. On my visit, an IPA and something less interesting were available. The IPA was heavy on the Amarillo hops and quite tasty overall. In fact, all the beers were quite well executed and very flavorful. The Wheat was an American Style filtered, but with coriander and orange peel, which was slightly unusual and not as bad as this coriander-hater would have imagined. The Blue Corn also has an extensive tequila menu worth investigating. Don't confuse this location with the Cerillos road location on the outskirts of town.

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Blue Corn Cafe in Santa Fe, NM
Place rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 20 ratings