15 Best Restaurants in Gallup, NM

This article was written by local contributor Mary Berry & edited by the Travel Lens team.

Best Restaurants in Gallup, NM

Gallup, New Mexico, a city rich in cultural diversity, history, and stunning landscapes, has a culinary scene that is nothing short of amazing.

As someone who has called this place home for many years, I've had the pleasure of exploring the city's restaurant offerings and discovering hidden gems that have become my go-to spots.          

Whether you're in the mood for a traditional Navajo dish or a mouthwatering steak, the city's culinary scene has something to offer everyone.

In this article, I'll share the best restaurants in Gallup, New Mexico.

So, prepare your taste buds for a gastronomic adventure that will leave you craving more!

Oasis Restaurant

Chicken shawarma at Oasis Restaurant

I recently had the pleasure of dining at Oasis Mediterranean restaurant in my hometown, and it's definitely a place I would highly recommend to anyone craving authentic Mediterranean cuisine.

One of the things that sets this restaurant apart is that they make everything homemade, ensuring fresh, clean, and delicious dishes.

During my visit, I had the opportunity to taste a variety of popular dishes, such as falafel, kibbeh, warak enab, and shawarma.

The flavors were incredible, and the portions were quite generous.

For my main course, I opted for the shawarma chicken, which was cooked to perfection and accompanied by a fresh spinach salad.

The dessert options were also a highlight, with fantastic baklava and Turkish coffee to finish off the meal.

And if that wasn't enough, the restaurant also has a variety of Turkish delights and other treats available for purchase.

The ambiance, food, and service all came together to create a memorable dining experience that I won't soon forget.

What truly impressed me about Oasis Mediterranean restaurant, aside from the delicious food, was the cleanliness and attention to detail.

The restaurant has a casual dining atmosphere that still manages to feel upscale and welcoming.

Jerry's Cafe

Cheryl's choice at Jerry's Cafe

I've always been a fan of authentic New Mexican cuisine, and I can say without a doubt that Jerry's Cafe is one of the best places to get your fix in Gallup, New Mexico.

This narrow, cozy diner may be small, with around 28-32 booths, but the portions they serve are incredibly generous, and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming.

During my visit, I decided to try their popular Cheryl's Choice, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint!

The dish was packed with flavor, and the green chile sauce truly set it apart.

I have tried Tex-Mex before, but New Mexican cuisine is an entirely different experience.

I would describe it as a mix of green chilies, eggs, cheese on everything, and spicy sauce.

Just be prepared for some heat – their salsa is no joke!

I also had the chance to try Jerry's famous sopaipilla, which was the fluffiest and most delicious I've ever had.

The customer service at Jerry's Cafe is top-notch, and I felt right at home the moment I stepped inside.

It's worth noting that they don't serve alcohol, but don't let that stop you from enjoying a fantastic meal.

Grandpa's Grill

Ribs at Grandpa's Grill

I had the pleasure of dining at Grandpa's Grill in Gallup, New Mexico, and I must say, it's an excellent choice for New Mexican and American fare.

As soon as I walked in, I could see the staff grilling everything over live, hot Mesquite coals, which added a unique and rich flavor to my meal.

I decided to try their famous BBQ ribs with a baked potato, and it came with a side of refried beans topped with a squirt of BBQ sauce.

I was not disappointed; the ribs were tender and flavorful.

On my second visit, I couldn't resist trying one of their mouth-watering burgers - the Papa Burger with pepper jack cheese and bacon.

It was a perfect combination of juicy, spicy, and smoky.

One of the things I appreciated about Grandpa's Grill was the fixins cart, where I could add the toppings I wanted to my burger.

The toppings were fresh and expertly chopped, making my burger even more enjoyable.

Mama's Kitchen

Burrito at Mama's Kitchen

I recently visited Mama's Kitchen to grab some breakfast.

The moment I walked in, I could tell it was an authentic diner.

I decided to try their breakfast burrito, which was not only easy on the wallet but also incredibly delicious.

The simple concept and perfect execution of this dish left me more than satisfied.

As I sat there enjoying my meal, I noticed that many of the customers seemed to be regulars, a testament to the excellent food and service at Mama's Kitchen.

One thing I loved about this place was the bright and welcoming atmosphere.

The coffee was fresh and hot, and the iced tea tasted fresh as well.

I also noticed that the bathrooms were spacious and clean, with soap dispensers filled - something not all restaurants pay attention to.


Breakfast burrito at Maria's

As a local resident, I have had the pleasure of dining at Maria's Restaurant in Gallup, New Mexico.

There's nothing quite like a hearty breakfast at this small, family-owned Mexican restaurant.

They serve breakfast all day, so whether I'm in the mood for a chorizo and bacon breakfast burrito with sauce or a basic breakfast with great coffee, I know I can always get my fix at Maria's.

Despite being a small cafe in Old Town Gallup, Maria's manages to offer attentive service and a cozy atmosphere that keeps me coming back.

I have tried their delicious breakfast burrito with red chile, which is definitely a must-have every time I visit the restaurant.

Maria's is not only known for its mouthwatering food but also its reasonable prices.

Garcia's Sunset Grill

Last weekend, I decided to try out Garcia's Sunset Grill for the first time, and I must say, I was not disappointed.

Not only was the place very clean and welcoming, but the staff was also incredibly friendly, making me feel right at home.

As soon as I was seated, I noticed the variety of authentic Mexican dishes on the menu.

I ended up ordering the menudo, and it was genuinely the best I've ever had.

The flavors were rich, and it was the perfect cure for my hangover.

I also got to taste their homemade tamales with breakfast, which was an unexpectedly delightful combination.

Everything tasted like it was made from scratch with love.

The service at Garcia's Sunset Grill was top-notch.

I couldn't help but notice the fantastic homemade salsa as well.

It was spicy, fresh, and incredibly delicious, which makes me want to go back for more.

Another thing that caught my attention was the mid-century architecture of the building and the covered parking, which gave the place a unique charm.

Genaro's Cafe

Sopapillas at Genaro's Cafe

Whenever I'm craving some authentic New Mexican dishes, I head straight to Genaro's Cafe.

This no-nonsense fixture has been a local favorite for years, and it's not hard to see why.

The generous servings of homestyle Mexican eat, like tacos and enchiladas, always hit the spot, and I can't leave without grabbing a pint of their famous salsa to go.

One of the things I love about Genaro's is that it's a family-owned and operated restaurant.

The moment you walk in, you can feel the warmth and friendly atmosphere.

My go-to dish at Genaro's is their crispy taco, cheese enchilada, tamale, and Posole combo.

I love it smothered in Christmas-style chili – a delightful mix of both red and green chili sauces.

The red sauce is made with Guajillo peppers, while the green sauce features Anaheim peppers, making for a deliciously spicy experience.

I also can't resist their large sopapillas, served with real honey, which is the perfect sweet treat to end the meal.

It's worth mentioning that Genaro's Cafe is located in an underprivileged neighborhood, but don't let that deter you.

This gem of a restaurant is loved by locals, and it's clear to see why.

While the menu features both Mexican and American favorites, I'd feel cheated if I didn't indulge in their enchiladas and tamales.

And, if you're ever in the mood for something different, I've heard their burgers, fries, and chicken wings are delicious too.

Don Diego's Restaurant & Lounge

Chips and salsa at Don Diego's Restaurant & Lounge

On a lovely evening, I decided to treat myself to some delicious New Mexican cuisine at Don Diego's Restaurant & Lounge.

Having been a part of the community since 1985, I have had the pleasure of dining here quite a few times, and it never disappoints.

The restaurant is family-friendly and known for using fresh ingredients in all its dishes.

As I glanced through the menu, I noticed that they had a variety of dishes, including traditional New Mexican and American offerings.

While I was still deciding on what to order, the server brought complimentary chips and salsa to the table.

After much contemplation, I decided to order the shrimp fajitas, which turned out to be an excellent choice.

The onions, red, yellow, and orange peppers were sautéed to perfection, and the shrimp was seasoned just right.

While I didn't indulge in it this time, I've previously tried their green chili with sopapillas, which I highly recommend.

Also, if you're into trying something a little different, their sopaipilla is quite a unique dish that resembles a wet burrito with a thicker tortilla, loaded with filling.

Don Diego's is also known for their happy hour specials, so it's a great place to stop by after work with friends.

Overall, my dining experience at Don Diego's was delightful, and I look forward to my next visit.

Sandra's Place

French toast at Sandra's Place

I recently stopped by Sandra's Place for breakfast, and it truly lived up to its reputation as one of the best breakfast places in the city.

The exterior might make you think it's just a hole-in-the-wall joint, but the bars on the window are definitely there to keep all that flavor in.

I decided to order the French toast, and I was delighted with how tender and egg-flavored it was.

The coffee was also surprisingly good, and the generous portion sizes definitely helped me fuel up for the rest of the day.

While I was there, I also noticed that their homemade biscuits and perfectly cooked bacon and eggs were popular with other customers.

Some of them even ordered the huevos rancheros, which looked very appetizing.

One thing that sets Sandra's Place apart is its attention to detail when it comes to New Mexican cuisine.

They take great pride in their chile sauce, which adds a unique and delicious flavor to their dishes.

If you can handle spicy food, you're in for a treat.

Overall, I highly recommend checking out Sandra's Place if you're in the area and in need of a delicious, filling breakfast.

You won't be disappointed!

Anthony's A Taste Of The Southwest

Burger at Anthony's A Taste Of The Southwest

During my time living here, I can confidently say that Anthony's A Taste Of The Southwest has been my go-to spot for New Mexican cuisine.

This family-owned gem, established in 2005, offers a fun and relaxing atmosphere just off historic Route 66.

The locally sourced ingredients and grab-and-go options make it perfect for both a quick lunch or a leisurely dinner with friends.

One of my favorite things about Anthony's is their complimentary chips and salsa, which is always a great start to any meal.

I absolutely love their chicken taquito plate, complete with rice, beans, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, and sour cream.

The quality of the food is consistently excellent, and you can tell they put a lot of love into their dishes, like their green and red Chile sauce.

I've also tried their Navajo burger with fries, which was beyond delicious.

The frybread was fried perfectly, and the green chili adds a nice zest to the dish.

I've introduced several friends to Anthony's A Taste Of The Southwest, and they've all raved about the food and service as well.

Cocina De Dominguez

Steak burrito at Cocina De Dominguez

I recently dined at Cocina De Dominguez with my family, and we had an amazing experience.

As soon as we walked in, we noticed the well-lit ambiance and the warm atmosphere, perfect for a family dinner.

The restaurant is family-owned, and they have been serving delicious Mexican food for 13 years here in Gallup, NM.

We started our meal with their popular nachos, which came out quickly and tasted great.

For our main courses, I ordered the pozole, which was on point, while my partner opted for a combination plate with enchiladas, tamales, and a steak burrito.

We were both impressed with the food quality, especially the enchiladas that had the perfect amount of red chili.

My friend who joined us had her first fish tacos, and she's now a fan of them!

The service was fast and attentive, making sure our drinks were always full and checking on us to ensure we were enjoying our meal.

Zen Steak & Sushi

Sushi at Zen Steak & Sushi

Last weekend, I decided to treat myself to a nice dinner at Zen Steak & Sushi, a local gem known for its steak, seafood, Asian fusion, and sushi dishes.

Upon entering, I noticed its clean and modern decor, which set the stage for a pleasant dining experience.

The menu offered a wide variety of popular dishes, but I opted for the sashimi, which turned out to be some of the best I've ever had - and I say that as someone who has tasted sushi in Japan!

The chef was super friendly, and we had a delightful conversation while he prepared my meal.

I also ordered a Philadelphia roll, which usually consists of salmon, cream cheese, and avocado.

La Carreta Restaurant

Tacos at La Carreta Restaurant

One weekend, my friends and I decided to indulge in some authentic Mexican food and headed to La Carreta Mexican Restaurant.

As soon as we arrived, we were impressed by their commitment to safety in these pandemic times.

We followed the clearly marked path on the floor and were greeted with hand sanitizer and plexiglass barriers.

Without wasting any time, we ordered a variety of dishes, including tacos, fajitas, menudo, posole, and enchiladas.

I decided to try their handheld bacon egg burrito, which was generously sized and served with Christmas chile, hash browns, and cheese.

At first, it seemed underwhelming, but as I continued eating, the flavors burst in my mouth, leaving me wanting more.

The salty bacon perfectly complemented the mild heat from the chile, gooey melted cheese, and balanced out by the hash browns.

My friends also thoroughly enjoyed their meals and couldn't stop raving about the authentic taste.

Virgie's Restaurant & Lounge

Steak and enchiladas at Virgie's Restaurant & Lounge

As a resident of this town, I've always enjoyed visiting Virgie's Restaurant & Lounge for their delicious Mexican cuisine.

This unassuming, long-running spot has an old-school flair with a menu that perfectly caters to both Mexican food and steak lovers, making it a local favorite.

One of the dishes I particularly love at Virgie's is their green chili enchiladas.

The sauce is always spot-on – flavorful, with just the right amount of heat.

Although I've noticed that their to-go sides of rice and beans could be improved, the price is still reasonable for the quality and quantity of the food.

When dining in, they also offer complimentary chips which are a nice touch to the whole experience.

The service at Virgie's has always been top-tier.

I've never had a bad experience there, and I can't recommend the Sopapilla enough as a side order.

It's true that their American food could be better, but that's not the main reason people come to this restaurant.

As a local, it's great to see that Virgie's has maintained the charm of a 50's-era Route 66 restaurant.

The surroundings and atmosphere make for an enjoyable dining experience.

David's Restaurant

I recently enjoyed an amazing dinner at David's Restaurant and found it to be the best in town.

The modest setting and inexpensive prices made it a perfect spot for a casual family meal.

The service was top-notch and the menu had a great range of options.

Not only did they serve authentic Mexican dishes, but also delicious Italian and seafood options.

In particular, their Italian dishes stood out to me.

The pasta sauce was the best I've ever had, and I could taste that it was made on-site rather than canned.

The shrimp and trout dishes were equally delicious.

The chile rellenos were definitely the best I've ever had, and I eat out a lot!

Although they don't serve alcohol and tend to close early, it did not take away from the overall dining experience.

Plus, the complimentary rice pudding at the end of the meal was a nice touch.

One thing to note is that they do charge $1.50 for refills, but with the generous portion sizes, it's well worth it.

Final Thoughts

Gallup, New Mexico, has a diverse and vibrant culinary scene that I have personally enjoyed exploring.

From the delicious New Mexican comfort food at Jerry's Cafe to the mouthwatering Mediterranean dishes at Oasis Mediterranean restaurant, there's never a dull moment when it comes to dining in this city.

Regardless of your taste preferences, these 15 restaurants showcase the best that Gallup has to offer, and I highly recommend giving them all a try when you're in town.

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