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10 green chile treats along the Walk of Flame

The Walk of Flame trail in Las Cruces highlights chile-centric offerings from local restaurants.

New Mexico made headlines this year for becoming the first state to designate an official state aroma: the smell of roasting green chiles.

In thanking the bill’s sponsors, State Senator Jeff Steinborn of Las Cruces said, “Our chile aroma is magical and mythical and special and spiritual and any other adjective you can possibly think of,” according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Man roasting green chiles

New Mexico designated an official state aroma: the smell of roasting green chiles. Photo courtesy Visit Las Cruces

“It’s definitely a staple here,” says Lorena Lozano, director of marketing for Visit Las Cruces. The city’s Walk of Flame food trail highlights chile-centric offerings from local shops and restaurants.

Green chile roasting season typically happens around August or September, Lozano says. “And if you’re in Las Cruces or New Mexico in general, you’re going to smell the aroma. And I think for a lot of people here, it’s something that brings back a lot of nostalgia.”

Lozano remembers scooping custard in high school at Caliche’s Frozen Custard for the store’s signature green chile sundae. That creative concoction is just one of our top 10 favorites from the Walk of Flame:

1. Green Chile Sundae

Caliche Frozen Custard green chile sundae

Caliche's Frozen Custard serves a signature green chile sundae.

Where to get it: Caliche’s Frozen Custard

Try the sundae that made Caliche’s famous: a hot/cold combination of vanilla custard topped with green chile marmalade, a cherry, and your choice of nuts. The heat from the chiles is tempered by the sweet, cooling ice cream. Feeling unsure? Ask for a sample first.

2. Green Chile Pistachio Brittle

Green Chile Pistachio Brittle

Green Chile Pistachio Brittle is a buttery treat with a sneaky heat.

Where to get it: Las Cruces Candy Company

This nut-packed brittle comes with a sneaky heat.

You may also like: Where to find New Mexico’s best hot chocolate

3. Green Chile Chicken Wonton Soup and Wonton Appetizers

Boba Cafe Green Chile Chicken Wonton Soup

The green chile chicken wonton soup is a favorite at Boba Café & Cabaret.

Where to get it: Boba Café & Cabaret

Share an appetizer of fried green chile wontons, stuffed with chicken and green chile, with a side of dill sauce.

Soup season calls for a warming bowl of green chile chicken wonton soup, which is prepared with shredded chicken and vegetables like carrots and spinach, in addition to boiled green chile wontons. It’s a local favorite—one Yelp reviewer said it’s “the stuff dreams are made of.”

4. Hatch Green Chile Wine

Wine section inside a store

Hatch Chile Green Wine is a semisweet white wine infused with fire-roasted mild Hatch green chiles.

Where to get it: Local grocery and liquor stores

If you can think of it, you can probably put chile in it. That’s how one enterprising New Mexico winery (Lescombes Family Vineyards) created Hatch Green Chile Wine, a semisweet white wine infused with fire-roasted mild Hatch green chiles that provide a bit of a kick.

You may also like: 7 New Mexico food halls you’ll want to visit

5. Green Chile Beer

Pecan Grill green chile lager

Pecan Grill & Brewery serves green chile lagers along with green chile bar bites.

Where to get it: Pecan Grill & Brewery

As you might have guessed, with green chile wine already in production, a beer counterpart was sure to follow. At Pecan Gril & Brewery, you can order a green chile lager. The food menu is also filled with green chile bar bites: beer cheese fondue with Hatch chiles, green chile pork stew, green chile ranch dressing, and stuffed green chiles. There’s even occasionally a green chile hummus.

6. Green Chile Jerky

Green chile mesquite jerky

Purchase green chile mesquite jerky for your next road trip.

Where to get it: Jerky and More Inc.

Jerky makes a great road trip snack. If you’d like a little smoky heat on your next drive, pick up this green or red chile mesquite jerky. The store also sells a teriyaki version.

You may also like: 7 tasty vegetarian and vegan restaurants in New Mexico

7. Green Chile Chicken Egg Rolls

Teriyaki Chicken House green chile chicken egg rolls

Teriyaki Chicken House serves green chile chicken egg rolls.

Where to get it: Teriyaki Chicken House

At Teriyaki Chicken House, a fast-casual Japanese restaurant, try unique chile dishes like green chile chicken egg rolls and tempura green chiles.

8. Green Chile Lasagna

Waiter holding up a dish at Lorenzo's

Lorenzo's serves Italian dishes infused with green chiles, like green chile lasagna.

Where to get it: Lorenzo’s

Try Italian dishes amped up with green chile at Lorenzo’s: for example, green chile lasagna, green chile fettuccini alfredo, green chile ravioli, and sausage and green chile soup. Combined with traditional meats, cheeses, and seasonings, the chile brings just the right touch of spice to these classic meals.

You may also like: 5 celebrity chefs who are cooking up a storm in New Mexico

9. Chile Bagel and Cream Cheese

Milagro Coffee y Espresso green chile bagel

Try a green chile bagel with a schmear of green chile cream cheese at Milagro Coffee y Espresso.

Where to get it: Milagro Coffee y Espresso

What makes a green chile bagel even better? A schmear of green chile cream cheese, of course. If a day without green chile is like a day without sunshine in New Mexico, why not take care of that requirement first thing in the morning?

10. Green Chile Milkshakes

Sparky's green chile milkshake

Try a milkshake topped with green chiles at Sparky's for a sweet and spicy treat.

Where to get it: Sparky’s Burgers, BBQ, and Espresso

Head to Sparky’s for a green chile-topped cheeseburger or chicken sandwich. Then wash it down with your choice of spicy milkshake: chocolate and green chile or strawberry and red chile. The restaurant also offers a couple of red chile lemonades for extra pucker power.

You may also like: 6 New Mexico food trucks worth following

Bonus bite: Red Chile Brisket

Exterior of Miguel's

While not on the official Walk of Flame, Miguel's serves red chile brisket, a local favorite.

Where to get it: Miguel’s

Miguel’s is not officially on the Walk of Flame, but people love this locally owned Mexican restaurant in Las Cruces—and particularly the red chile brisket, “cooked slow and served fast.” Fill your plate with red or green chile enchiladas, chile rellenos, or a green chile burger, and enjoy the burn.

Cynthia J. Drake is an Austin-based travel writer who loves wandering off the beaten plate. 

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