A Dining Guide to Fancy, Funky, and Family Friendly Restaurants

Pancakes on the Plaza
      Breakfast Hours: 7am-noon (or when they run out of food!)
      Kid Component: ***
      Parking: Since it's a holiday, parking is free at parking meters!
      Area: Plaza
      We've talked about places where breakfast is available seven days a week, and served all day. We've described restaurants that only dispense this important meal during certain hours. We've mentioned locations that do breakfast just three days a week, or two, or even only on Sunday!
      NOW, we're going to rave about a breakfast that's served merely once a year!
      If you happen to be in Santa Fe on the 4th of July, and are in the mood for flapjacks, step right up! It's "Pancakes on the Plaza!"
      For 30 years, this fun fundraising event has been benefiting programs of the local United Way of Santa Fe County. Tickets can be purchased on site, or at a modest saving in advance.
      The menu is simple: Pancakes, Ham or Vegetarian Sausage, butter and syrup, coffee, orange juice or milk. Even though you might have to wait for a few minutes in an enormous line, the lines moves swiftly and the service is streamlined. Multiple serving setups provide plenty of opportunities for you to pick up your plate of hotcakes. There are rows and rows of tables and benches set up on Lincoln Avenue between the Plaza bandstand and the portal of the Palace of the Governors. There are also chairs in front of the bandstand, and the usual array of Plaza benches. If you enjoy the unpredictability of having your plate in your lap, stake out a patch of grass, preferably under a tree.
      Serving begins at 7 am, and so does the entertainment. If you're an early bird, you might hear the Star Spangled Banner played live by the Santa Fe Concert Band, made more special by the sound of the crowd singing along.
      After we ate, and enjoyed the entertainment for a while, we stood at the end of one of the long tents and observed the pancake production line.
      We also ventured over the annual car show along Lincoln Avenue, where polished antique cars line the curbs, children ride on their dads' shoulders holding patriotic pinwheels, and dogs walk proudly with their car-admiring owners. The car show is not only a great opportunity to see beautiful classic cars, but it offers the chance to talk to some of these automobile enthusiasts about the unique history and events that have touched their vehicles.
      Several arts and craft vendors line the side streets around the Plaza. If you didn't get your fill of pancakes, a food vendor will gladly sell you an ear of roasted corn or a hotdog on a stick.
      Pancakes on the Plaza, a very mellow occasion attended by hundreds of Santa Fe residents, is much more laid back than other internationally recognized events that take place on the Plaza in the summer. Red, white, and blue clothing is much in evidence, along with plenty of wild headgear.
      If you want to see real Santa Feans enjoying the very heart of their city on Independence Day, you'll flip for Pancakes on the Plaza!
      Recommended Reading: Most of the action in Barbara Beasley Murphy's Miguel Lost & Found in the Palace takes place inside the Palace of the Governors. The book is the first in the Museo Kids series.