El Farol
El Farol

El Farol

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.elfarolsf.com/
  • Phone: 5059839912
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Sunday: 11:30am - 3:30pm; Dinner: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Spanish, Latin / Spanish
  • Executive Chef: Genevevo Rivera
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: El Farol will bring great food and excitement to your office or home; menus can be customized for the event.
  • Private Party Facilities: Private rooms and patios available.
  • Private Party Contact: Debbie Montoya 5059839912
  • Entertainment: Known as, ". .one of the best bars on earth!" by The New York Times, "This is the place to head for local ambience and flavors of Spain, Santa Fe and Mexico." [June 6, 2011] El Farol is proud to present entertainment seven night a week. Whether it's the Canyon Road Blues Jam featuring the best local and national touring musicians, one of our hot Latin dance nights, R&B/Soul/Funk or, our intimate Sunday evenings of Spanish guitar, you can dance the night away on the dance floor after enjoying the award winning food in the restaurant and cantina.
  • Special Events: Saturday Night Flamenco Dinner seating begins at 6:30pm-7:00pm and show begins at approx. 8:00pm. Beginning Tuesday, June 28, 2011, we feature six nights of Flamenco each week through August 13, 2011. $25 per person show admission. Full dinner menu available separately. Reservations required. Summer, 2011 don't miss our Five-Dollar Friday Night Dinner shows on our back patio featuring saxophonist Trey Keepin and friends. A wonderful way to enjoy live music while conversing with friends and enjoying the wonderful foods and wines of El Farol. For more information, please call El Farol or make your reservations on line now through Open Table.

Getting there

  • Public Transit: Public transit is available on Canyon Road. Call or visit Santa Fe Trails for current schedules.
  • Parking: No
  • Parking Details: The 24-Hour Public Pay Lot is located directly across the street from El Farol. Parking rates as of June 1, 2011 are $1.80/hour or $9/day.
A word from El Farol
The El Farol experience combines classic tastes of Spain, Santa Fe and Mexico with a unique blend of art, dance, flavor and aroma. You will be able to choose some of the finest wines and sherries the world has to offer in an upbeat, rustic 1835 adobe where the walls tell stories of artists, poets, lovers, local history and beauty.
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El Farol reviews from OpenTable diners
53 reviews since June 23, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food3.8
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
74% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (29)fit for foodies (24)neighborhood gem (23)vibrant bar scene (18)special occasion (16)good for groups (12)hot spot (10)great for lunch (8)romantic (8)late-night find (8)notable wine list (6)scenic view (4)great for brunch (2)kid-friendly (2)Show More
  • Used to be Great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Seems like they are trying to cut costs as it didn't appear there were enough wait staff, hostesses were having issues and were confrontational to one another, lost our reservation although they finally provided a table, and food quality not there... Too bad as El Carol used to be great, all the way around....
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wisconsin Traveler
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    We had a great evening with friends from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Vancouver, BC. Food was outstanding as was the setting and service. Would highly recommend if you are traveling near Santa Fe
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Non attentive & wrong ingrediants
    2travelers
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    I made a reservation with a request that I would like a quiet private booth and/or booth with possibly a view. When we arrived the woman at the front desk stared at her computer while checking us in. She then led us to our table and even though the restaurant was not a full house she sat us in the middle of a crowded noisy room. When I pointed out the fact that they sat us in a room with exact opposite description of what I requested the host came back to our table and told my wife and I she heard that I was “making a fuss” about the table we were sat at and that she had a quieter table in another room. My wife noted it was to disruptive to move and that we would just stay where we were seated. The ingredients of our paella dish were wrong.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Dining Balloon Fiesta Weekend
    pamdinner
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    El Farol was a wonderful place for dinner. The crab cake, avocado, & portabello tapas were excellent as well as the Malbec from Chili. The band was great and people were dancing. The drive up Canyon Rd to El Farol is just added eye candy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Huge Let Down
    Ryder
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    My friends and I dined at El Farol on recommendation from a friend. The patio is a beautiful seating area with flowers and vines hanging. Our problem was with the food at the service. The waiter was extremely late to greet our table or take drink orders. Once drink orders were taken, the waiter brought the wrong drinks. Our table did not receive a bread basket until requested, though other tables in the area received theirs without asking. The food was overpriced, however the quality was worse than fast food. One friend asked for ketchup for his Buffalo Burger and received his ketchup about 15 minutes later at which point his already tasteless burger was cold. My $11 caesar salad wasn't bad, but it was the size of a side salad.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Baaad lights
    Dark
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Food was good, show was good, waiter so-so, bass boy was great. Lights in our section were off-and on constantly(45 seconds on- 45 seconds off) due to a problem. No one apologize and when we ask for a candle they just said they only had one :) Was awful, Dark Dark dark...
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Service outstanding. Food a bust.
    Dano
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Freida's service was outstanding. She was very attentive very cordial and it was a pleasure having her serve us. Ordered the Chilean Seabass which came out as some kind of Mystery fish. No way was it Chilean Seabass. It came out as two round globs of some type of fish that appeared to have been thinly sliced and wound up into two cakes and masked on top with leafy seasonings. Might have just been parsley and pepper but I couldn't tell. My wife had the lamb chops which were good. We had the tapas for appetizers two of which were fine but one the chicken curry appeared to have been prepped previously and probably served out of a bowl from the refrigerator. With the exception of the service felt the evening was a disappointment.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent food, excellent service!
    travelbug6269VIP
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Loved the atmosphere. Wonderful service and of course, fabulous food! The scallops in a mango chile cream sauce is outstanding!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014VIP
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    The service started out great and we had a charming waiter, but near the end of the meal it was like we were forgotten in the dining room. We were upset for the fact that we wanted to get another drink in the bar to enjoy the live music for a bit, but after the long wait to get our check and pay, we imissed out on that. Food was outstanding, fun atmosphere and we would totally go back. Will know next time to book table in the bar.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Local
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    I have eaten at El Farol for special occasions many times in the past. I took some friends from out of town. We were very disappointed in the food. One friend barely touched hers; her potatoes were dry. My ceviche was tasteless and fishy. There was a also a fishy smell at the restaurant, even though we dined outside. That turned off my vegetarian friend. Their bread, which I used to make a meal out of, was bland and tasteless. For $38 apiece for three small tapas (not even enough to fill you up), it was a big ripoff. The ambience is still good and the service was fine. But the food is not worth going for anymore.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • disappointing evening
    velogirl
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    I had read about El Farol in several santa fe guides and excited that we could walk to the restaurant from our rented house. we were totally disappointed with the service. we had a reservation, seated and then totally ignored by the staff (there were only 4-5 tables at the time as it was early 630pm so it was not busy), my husband and i left, leaving ample $ for the bread basket and water. i just read another review and see that someone recommended not to go to el farol on monday night after a long weekend. i confirm this as i have to assume that its the owner's night off based on the service we experienced tonight.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great experience
    DesignMaven
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    The food was wonderful. There were 6 of us and we ordered 12 tapas. More than enough and wonderful flavors. The wine was very good and well priced. Efficient service allowed us to arrive at the Ooera on time. I highly recommend El Farol
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • fantastic tapas!
    Cathyb115
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Great selection of tapas !! All we ordered (6 in total ) were delicous .Our waitresses recommendation for wine was spot on ! The desert of Chocalare covered pineapples were pure heaven . Do try it if you have a chance !
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • El Farol Endures
    EOSp
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    I have been eating and drinking here for over forty years. It's chief mark over that time has been inconsistency. Busy in the tourist season, it hires a lot of friendly but inexperienced wait staff. It has served the same tapas for a long time with varying results depending on the night of the week ( don't go on a Monday after a long weekend.) The wine list has, though, actually gotten very good in Spanish wines ( if they actually have what they list.) But I love this place. I finally figured out how to love it-- go with a bunch of good friends -- eat, drink, have fun, and don't pay too much attention to the food as if you were in a dining mecca and hope you have a sense of humor about the staff. It's a great place and I can walk home.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Less than expected
    Sooners
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    We went to El Farol specifically for the paella. The dish was a nice presentation, but lacked much flavor. We felt like the ingredients were cooked separately and were then put together in the skillet before serving us. The skillet didn't seem hot and the food could have been warmer as well.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Satisfied
    Miffed
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    For a later afternoon stroll up Canyon Road - visiting galleries and shops - El Farol is almost at the end and a perfect way to end the day. Prices are reasonable, service was excellent, food is good and sometimes great....
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Satisfying Tapas
    BandN
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Six small plates for the two of us ranging from terrific (pork tenderloin, pear salad) to ordinary (ceviche) with very good dishes in between. Service - friendly and helpful, but inattentive at times. Outdoor dining is not scenic but nonetheless pleasant given quiet street and great Santa Fe evening temps. Restaurant incorrectly cancelled the Open Table reservation and did not act in a timely manner to get the matter resolved.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So disappointing
    LNemVIP
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    We had fond memories of this restaurant from previous visits to Santa Fe. We were so disappointed this time. The food was generally somewhat mediocre. Overcooked lamb, tough to cut octopus, bland complements to cheese dish, dried out carrot cake, slightly stale bread rolls. Nothing like what it used to be. Service was somewhat incompetent and our waitress visited so rarely (each time we had to ask someone to track her down) that we were unable to send the poorly prepared food back to the kitchen. Advice to other returning visitors--try someplace new!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food!
    greatfood
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Food is fantastic. We just order tapas and eat slowly while watching the flamenco show!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food
    NotHard2PleaseVIP
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    Nice food and fun environment. A great place to dine in Santa Fe.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • El Farol
    trow1
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    This was our first visit to El Farol, and we went late on a Wednesday evening. The tapas menu offered a wide variety, and my wife and I picked the "6 tapas for two" option. The food was excellent and plenty of it, and we sat outside under the roof during a brief storm. There was a band playing in the bar, but we sat far enough away to enjoy the music and still have a conversation. We had their house wines, a Spanish Chardonnay and Tempranilla by the glass, and they were both good. The service was very friendly and helpful, but a little slow -- not a big deal. All in all, great food, ambiance and value and we will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pre-opera Dining
    LizzardLaw
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    Seemed like the servers were not really prepared for outdoor service. However, food was very good and special allergy requests were handled without any difficulty.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • 20+ years and counting
    CocZamudio
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    El Farol, the restaurant that introduced us to tapas - or small plates - over 20 years ago, is not in our neighborhood. In fact, El Farol is about a six-hour drive from our home. Still, even with all the great dining choices in Santa Fe, we have dinner there virtually every time we visit. We love Mexican and New Mexican food and Santa Fe provides a wide range of good ethnic eateries for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yet the Spanish dinners at El Farol provide a welcome change with a lighter and more varied cuisine. Service at El Farol is outstanding and the wine list is great. There is live music several nights a week and a city parking lot right across Canyon Road. We recommend El Farol to all our friends and, of course, we'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good for live music
    Camus
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    If you want to hear a local band, this is a great place for that. Do not go for the food. We ordered tapas & they were below average. If you want cocktails & a place to dance this is it!
    Special Features:
    late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Our final evening in Santa Fe
    KSDine
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    We had made reservations through Open Table and we were seated instantly upon arrival. We had afternoon drinks the day before at the bar, so we repeated Mojotos, which the bartender has said were the "best". Our waitress was superb and guided us through the menu of tapas and entrees. Portions were larger than we had expected. All tapas and entrees were very good. We had a great time on our final evening in Santa Fe. This restaurant lived up to our expectations.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Find!
    Nlquilter
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    El Farol lived up to the reviews I'd read before booking a reservation. The food was excellent, the wait staff quietly attentive and the location was delightful. We sat on the front patio and looked out on the colorful, artsy Canyon Road. I will come here again if I am in Santa Fe.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 27 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 23, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance4.2
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 524 reviews are from the El Farol reviews archive.
  • bbss
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Pleasant evening in the back courtyard in spite of the strong breeze. Food was fine, but with one complaint. The bread, though clearly homemade yeast rolls, is completely unremarkable. With tapas, good bread is a must...something hearty and flavorful.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Surprisingly good service
    brodog
    Dined on 4/30/2014
    All 4 of us enjoyed our food, but the quality of service was the real treat!
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Great Date Night
    Sweetness
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    We had just a great evening! Very friendly/fun atmosphere! Our waiter was most attentive and very knowledgable about the wine list. Tapas were delicious. The two Spanish style guitar players were awesome.
    Special Features:
    Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Quintessential Santa Fe
    JohnFliemanVIP
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    John Kurzweg on Wednesday nights can really belt em out.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service, nice ambiance
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    Our first time at this Spanish restaurant. The food was good - we had the sea bass and salmon entrees. The service was excellent. This restaurant is in a very old and charming building, nicely decorated, with a very comfortable feel. You can dress up or come casual and you will feel at home.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth it!
    UConn70
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    Went there for the second time - 1st time was 8 years ago. Still have an excellent menu, everything well prepared. Some of us ordered Tapas, others ordered from the menu. Everyone enjoyed their choices. I had sea bass and it was excellent. Made with capers and yellow rice. The deserts were unusual and delicious. Also had live music starting @ 8:30. Blues band that was terrific; had the dance floor full. Restaurant is on Canyon Rd amongst all the art galleries. Great venue.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nacha is a gem!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 4/6/2014
    Love to hear Nacha Mendez play, and El Farol is a great place to listen to her!!!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and live music
    LBerryVIP
    Dined on 3/31/2014
    Parker the bartender was awesome, makes great Margarita's and knows everybody in town. The food was just awesome, we started with 6 tapas and then I had the sea bass (the best I have ever had). The live music was great and had a few special guest singers. If you like to fish, talk to Parker, get fly fishing guide also! Will be back every time I go to Santa Fe
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Blues Night Tuesday!
    FoodHopperVIP
    Dined on 3/25/2014
    If you are in Santa Fe on a Tuesday and wanting something to do after hours this is the place to go. Great blues music and drinks to make you feel nice. Get there before 8:30 to get a good seat in the bar area, otherwise you are standing.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We had Fun!!
    DMH5050
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    There were 4 of us this particular night and we decided to get the Tapas for 4 (12 dishes). We then shared our meal with each other and we were able to try 12 dishes. We all had a great deal of fun trying all the different menu choices. The lamb and the salads were particular favorites with our group. In addition El Farol offer wine flights, allowing us to try 3 wines of our choosing for $15. Excellent idea. We all agreed that the evening was delicious and fun with all the tastings. Thank you. We'll be back!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Only so-so
    gglau
    Dined on 3/17/2014
    We thought El Farol--since it's been around for so long--would be really good. Instead, it was more of a bar than a restaurant; the food was marginal (one good tapa; several so-so tapas). Won't go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • pricey
    mysantafe
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    It has been about two years since we ate here - usually for lunch. We had reservations for 7pm and we were promptly seated. While they have many choices on their menu, it was difficult to know exactly what to expect. Most of us (6) enjoyed our choices with little disappointment. While the food was good, I rated it 3 star because of the cost. I would go back but only for a special occasion.g
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing!!
    shellthefoodie
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    Service was minimal with exception of bus girl. Saw our waitress when she took order and brought our food. Never asked if I wanted 2nd drink. My husband needed a refill which didn't occur till dessert was delivered. Flourless chocolate cake delish. Mushrooms tasty. Paella was uber bland? Bit dry. Expected uber flavor!? Will not rush back to el farol.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our group enjoyed an evening
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/26/2014
    Our group enjoyed an evening during restaurant week. The food was outstanding and the music made the evening perfect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.