El Meson

4.5
552 reviews
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$30 and under
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Spanish
The soul of Spain in the heart of Santa Fe, El Mesón has been serving locals and visitors for almost twenty years. Born in Spain to a Spanish father and American mother, Chef Huertas, opened El Mesón in 1997 to bring the old-world Iberian cuisine and Andalusian family traditions to the City Different. El Mesón offers two dining options. The full menu is offered in El Comedor, or Dining Room. Large oak tables with soft lighting set the stage for your meal, surrounded by reproductions of classic painters, with the strains of Spanish guitar accenting your palate’s Iberian journey.
On the other hand, if you are in the mood for something lighter and livelier, you will find it in the ¡Chispa! Tapas Bar. Reminiscent of an Andalusian patio, this room features Tapas and Live Entertainment. From Tango, to Jazz, to Flamenco there is a beautiful stage showcasing some amazing talent! We offer a full bar, and Santa Fe's best selection of Spanish Wines and Sherries. ¡Hasta pronto!
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Spanish, Tapas / Small Plates, Mediterranean
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday 5:00pm - 10:00pm, with the bar open until 11:00pm
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Phone number
(505) 983-6756
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
David Huertas
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Marcy
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Parking details
We have one designated handicapped parking spot, and two regular parking spots on property. Street parking is metered until 6:00 pm and free after. Parking is available at adjacent banks after 6:00 pm.
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Entertainment
We have entertainment in our Chispa tapas bar Tuesday through Saturday. Please call us at 505- 983-6756 to make reservations in this room. Entertainment listings are available on line at www.elmeson-santafe.com.
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Dancing, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 552 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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l
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

This place had great, innovative foods. We had six small plates (plus three desserts), so we tried out lots of things. When it turned out the Eggplant Fries were not a winner with anyone at our table - they took them off the bill. The plate was almost untouched, and when they asked if there was something wrong, we were honest that nothing was wrong, it just turned out no one appreciated them. They said "we don't charge for food that no one liked" - I thought was was OUTSTANDING customer service.
It was Saturday night - which turned out to be flamenco night in the bar. That was really loud, but luckily it didn't bleed over badly into the dining room.

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PV
New Mexico
14 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We always look forward to going to El Meson-what more could you want: Spot on service, wonderful creative yet authentic food, and a great wine list that includes perfectly paired wines by the glass.

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I
New Mexico
13 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a lovely experience at El Meson recently. We were treating a friend who had not dined there before. She was quite impressed. The restaurant was full but we didn't have to wait with a reservation. Service was friendly and efficient. The food was excellent as always. Loved it!

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JM
New Mexico
6 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a pleasurable experience. Our go-to for special occasions.

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GM
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful dinner with great service. Will definitely come back!

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CM
Kansas City
3 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

The tapas are very authentic and delicious. Our experience was fine. Our server was pleasant but we did not get greeted for quite some time. The restaurant was very busy. The only hiccup was I received a corked glass of wine but they rectify the issue. I would go back because the food was excellent.

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MM
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The food was great, the service was friendly, and the atmosphere was nice. Seemed a little pricey for what we got, and the bar is limited, but overall it was a good experience.

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OT
Denver
4 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Third time here, but it’s been a few years since our last visit. Food was good, not exceptional this time around. Sommelier was very helpful, and graciously changed out a bottle of wine that just wasn’t our style.

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R
New Mexico
8 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

I guess you can't hit a home run every time. We got to about second base and then never advanced. Sorry. The last time we had a definite home run. This time, not so much.

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FD
Birmingham
5 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The food is very good, authentic and you can taste it is made fresh. Service is very punctual and friendly. Overall a very good and interesting place, that is why we keep going back

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L
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful menu selection, great sangria and excellent service... what more could you ask for? The goat cheese cheesecake was yummy.

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MR
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

The portions were very small, although artfully arranged. My friend’s lamb chops were mostly fat. My duck was good, but there were only 4 small pieces in the plate.

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RH
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful restaurant - one of favorites when we’re in Santa Fe. The paella is our all-time favorite dish and no one does it better than El Meson. Combine that with great desserts and super service, and you have a great dining experience.

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DB
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A dining experience. Food was beyond all expectations. Wait staff are entertaining. We love this place.

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SC
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Superb food, excellent service, beautiful atmosphere, great wine selection. This was an outstanding experience not to be missed in Santa Fe!

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KO
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Some of the best Tapas we have ever had, friendly and well informed service. Great ambiance and many menu options

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LA
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

El Meson was terrific, as always. We always like it. The items on the regular menu are always good, and the specials are usually, well, special. From the specials this time we got a lovely tomato soup and the mussels. Both excellent.

One thing: if you don't like garlic, shop carefully. Many items contain garlic.

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LC
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is a hidden gem. I took a team there for dinner, based on Yelp Reviews. We weren't really sure about a menu where we didn't recognize many of the names or ingredients. But we ended up ordering a few plates per person. The food is here...exceptionally amazing. It was some of the best I've ever had. The quality is top-notch, along with the service. Our waiter was attentive and charming. Can't say enough good things about El Meson.

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PS
New Mexico
3 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

We were a party of six. We had great tapas and then shared the Valencia paella. The paella was excellent to the last kernel of rice. The waiter suggested two wines in the coarse of the dinner. Both were very good choices that complimented the food. It was a busy Saturday night so at times the attention to our table was a bit slow, but always friendly and professional. All of us agreed we would return.

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AS
New Mexico
17 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

El Meson was very lively on a recent Friday evening. I'll go a step further and say it was quite noisy & we had a difficult time hearing each other across the table. This is not the place for those wanting a mellow ambiance, at least on weekend evenings. We had a few tapas and two types of paella, and everything was delicious. We did find that the seafood (mariscos) paella was not as flavorful as the Valenciana. Don't know if this was a fluke or typical.

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c
New Mexico
10 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

There are many great places to eat in Santa Fe. This is not one of them.

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OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

The food was good, but very small portions for the price.

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OL
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 1

Sorry but this place is not worth the stars it has received. I would not recommend it.

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SL
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Mediocre food with inferior ingredients, poor oils. Indifferent servic, extremely noisy. Graceless and rude hostess. Way over priced.

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OT
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 4

Of the four in our group I was probably the most pleased...but mainly due to the food and service. Pricing was a bit too much. Value was not so good. A small-to-modest serving of padron peppers (which were very hot spice-wise and not palatable for the others) seemed over-priced. The special beef-vegetable stew was great by me, but others thought it too salty and just okay. My best item was the pear/pinon nut salad. My wife's heirloom tomato salad was very tasty (but at the same time too much of the same taste) for a hefty $15. Best item was a modest-sized piece of pumpkin cheese cake which we all shared. Four people had nine items plus the one cheese cake plus three glasses of decent but-pricey wine. Tab came to $175 with tax but not counting tip. Overall a nice enough experience but be prepared to pay.

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MW
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Andrea is the best manager! We always stop at El Mason when we pass through Santa fe. She has become like an old friend to us. She always remembers who we are and treats us as if we are part of the family. The food is superb and we have recommended El Mason to many of our friends that travel to Santa Fe.

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PC
Denver
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

Upon arrival, the hostess was less than friendly, but the live music in the bar area was great while we waited for our table. When we sat down, our waiter came over, but did not introduce himself by name. He was informative about the menu and the specials, and seemed very nice. He brought us our drinks, but then we waited a pretty long time to order any food. As the night went on, the service got worse and worse. He didn't come to our table once to see how the food was, make sure everything was correct, ask if we wanted to order more, etc. The restaurant was busy, but he only had 3 other tables. We asked 2-3 times for a water refill, which we only got once. Each time the waiter came back to our table, he seemed more irritated with us. It was truly baffling - like he wanted to see how poor of service he could provide. All that being said, the food was very good and I would recommend this restaurant to friends. I hope they get better service! It's disappointing that the service had to overshadow the food experience.

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OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

We had dinner in the dining room then moved over to the bar for Flamenco Night (the highlight and very engaging). It was our first year wedding anniversary and no one acknowledged it even though it was all over the reservation. Some tapas were a hit, some just okay. Given it was our one and only 1st year anniversary, this was the greatest disappointment.

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l
New Mexico
9 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

We have gone to El Mason for many years. The food is still very good as is the service. I do not think we will go back for a long time. They have raised their prices for tapas and other items way to high.

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B
Seattle
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently good food. Helpful wait staff who are friendly and engaging

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g
Houston
14 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Chef's muscles are devine!! Don't bother soaking with bread... take the spoon and enjoy the broth! Light but full of flavor and not over salted like everyone else's. We had the special cheesecake with fresh peaches and raspberries which his wife and him made it was great end along with great live music!
Made my last night here a great one!!!

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J
Denver
27 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice variety of delicious tapas. In the bar was live Nuevo Flaminco music. A very pleasant evening. Enjoy!

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j
Dallas
3 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved this restaurant! We have been to southern Spain numerous times and found this restaurant to represent the food in an authentic fashion. I can't remember the waitstaff person 's name but she was fantastic!!!!

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c
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Average food at above average prices. At 6:30 PM in Friday, noise level was very high - glad I was alone, not trying to have conversation. Good wine list.

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PF
New Mexico
14 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

FABULOUS as always! It's hard to keep coming up with reviews as it is always great!

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L
Dallas
23 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great tapas, excellent service and life entertainment!

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JS
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful time at El Meson. Nick was very professional & beyond helpful with special food needs. Mojitos & gazpacho very good. Empanadas with tuna had no tuna flavor. Tortilla espanola, mascarpone cheesecake & flan were excellent. Vegetable paella was good, but WAY over priced: $60 for a small pan for 2 people.

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AM
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Small plates and paella to die for! Chef Huertas really knows what he's doing! The food feels good...it's healthy, fresh, original and always served by charming waitstaff. The ambiance is warm, cozy, a bit European and the entire staff are the nicest people you'll ever meet.

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g
Las Vegas
47 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We've been going to Santa Fe for seven or eight years now and love El Meson--by far the best restaurant we've found in Santa Fe. Consistently excellent.

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NP
Houston
11 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Totally enjoyable with wonderful small bites for two who don’t eat a lot!

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