One of the most popular restaurants in Santa Fe, this restaurant has an interesting history and is loved by locals and tourists alike. The Shed can be found east of the main plaza in almost like a hidden hallway. Look for its vividly colored wooden sign outside the main entrance. The Shed prides themselves on offering the best of Northern New Mexico tastes and hospitality. The restaurant is has been family-owned and operated for three generations.
The Shed is best known for all of their blue corn specialties. Their red chile enchiladas are world-renowned and their margaritas will always hit the spot. Their chile comes directly from the farm and is even cut right in The Shed's kitchen to guarantee freshness.
The Shed was founded by an entrepreneurial couple from Springfield, Illinois - Thornton and Polly Carswell. The two did not have restaurant backgrounds. Polly was a weaver and an artist and Thornton was a professional printer with a local newspaper. They first stopped in Santa Fe in 1949 for a family vacation. While on vacation, they met Dave Steele, who was the ski basin caretaker. Dave was looking to leave the position he was in and offered the job to Thorton. At this time, the Caswells had already fallen in love with Santa Fe and Thorton accepted the job. During this time, Polly would whip up homemade soups and sandwiches for the local skiers and hikers. Her food was so delicious that it became a popular stop and lead to Polly taking a job to run the ski lodge's restaurant during ski season.
After just two years at the ski lodge, the entrepreneurial Carswells were ready to leave and opened up their own restaurant. On July 4th, 1953, the Carswells opened The Shed - a restaurant seating twenty-two people. In its early year, The Shed only served lunch and operated during the summer months. By the 1970s, The Shed relocated to the Prince Patio where they are in today and extended their hours to serve dinner as well as lunch.
Cover photo by Sarah Nichols CC BY-SA Flickr