How to Spend a Day in Hatch, New Mexico

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How to Spend a Day in Hatch, New Mexico

New Mexico prides itself on its nickname, The Land of Enchantment. And for good reason. This state is bursting to the seams with culture, art, outdoor adventure, and delicious food!

While rarely at the top of people’s bucket list, a visit to New Mexico really should be. Today, we’ll tell you what to do during a day in Hatch, New Mexico.

About Hatch, New Mexico

Hatch, New Mexico, is a tiny town in the southern part of the state. Its population is less than 1,700 and it is 3.1 square miles in size. The closest large city is Las Cruces, which is home to New Mexico State University.  But being small doesn’t mean Hatch doesn’t have a lot to offer. In fact, it people call it the Chile Capital of the world. And considering how much New Mexicans LOVE their chile, this is high praise indeed!

Chile growing is the major driver of the town’s economy. And every year they host the Hatch Chile Festival on Labor Day. The festival attracts close to 30,000 people, which is pretty crazy considering how tiny this village is. If you want to go to Hatch for the Chile Festival, you’ll want to reserve accommodations well in advance.

Like much of New Mexico, Hatch is in the high desert. This means Hatch has hot days and cool to cold nights depending on the season. Average highs in the summer months are above 90 degrees, while the lows are in the mid to upper 60s. In the winter, the temperature often drops below freezing overnight but warms up to the high 50s during the day.

Hatch enjoys 288 days of sun on average and only gets around 11 inches of precipitation every year. So, if you’re visiting Hatch, don’t forget to pack the sunscreen! And be sure to keep reading to plan the perfect day in this lovely town.

Morning

Breakfast at Pepper Pot

Address: 207 W Hall St, Hatch, NM 87937

Menu options: New Mexicans LOVE breakfast burritos. Although no one knows for sure, New Mexico claims to have invented the breakfast burrito in the 1970s. So of course, you can get a breakfast burrito from the Pepper Pot.

We would definitely recommend trying it. If that isn’t your thing though, the Pepper Pot also serves a variety of omelets, eggs, pancakes, French toast, and biscuits and gravy. They also have some more traditional New Mexican choices including chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, machaca, chorizo, and menudo. Also, make sure you are prepared to answer the famous New Mexican question, “red, green, or Christmas” (referring to the type of chile you want on your food).

New Mexican flair: Given the popularity of chiles in Hatch, you really should try something that comes with red or green chile. The Pepper Pot offers indoor and outdoor seating with plenty of space. They also have festive, brightly colored décor that reflects the culture and art in the area. 

Explore the Village of Hatch Museum

After eating at the Pepper Pot, your next stop for a day in Hatch, NM is the Village of Hatch Museum. Although the museum is small, it shares information about a range of historical locations, important people in the area, and so on.

There isn’t a fee to attend, but donations are welcome. It isn’t open on the weekends, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Image Source: Kent Kanouse on Flickr

Afternoon

Eat lunch at B & E Burritos

Address: 303 N, Franklin St, Hatch, NM 87937

Menu Options: Given the name of this restaurant, it is not surprising that much of the menu is made up of burritos. You can also get other traditional New Mexican food, including tacos and enchiladas. And if you just can’t decide, don’t worry! You can get one of several combos and try it all!

New Mexican Flair: This restaurant is locally owned and operated and has been since it opened in 1978. They use only local Hatch Chile and other locally grown ingredients for all their menu items. In the summer months, you can even watch them roasting Hatch chiles just outside. If you like it hot, you’ll love eating at B & E Burritos.

Visit Hatch Chile Express

The Hatch Chile express one of the best places for chiles in the entire world. The founder even created a new type of chile, the Big Jim variety. You’ll know you’re at the right place from the moment you arrive. Hatch chiles are hanging outside the entire perimeter of the building. And depending on when you’re there, they might also cover the entire roof with chiles. The inside will blow you away with the bright color of chiles, which they arranged festively.

New Mexican Flair: This family-owned business is run by a third-generation chile farmer. They have also featured it on the Food Network FIVE times. Pretty impressive for a small operation in an even smaller town.

Stroll Around Hatch Valley Park

About It: The rest of your afternoon is dedicated to a stroll around the local park. The park has a nice walking path, basketball courts, a playground, and tennis courts. There is even a nice green area (a rarity in the hot New Mexican sun) and a gazebo to sit under if you need a bit of shade.

The Experience: After all the delicious food you’ve no doubt eaten; a gentle stroll is just what you’ll be in search of. And there is no better place in town besides the Hatch Valley Park.

Image Source: Jim Legans Jr on Flickr

Evening

Dinner at CRAZY TACO

Address: W Hall St, Hatch, New Mexico

Menu Options: You won’t want to miss the tacos, tacos, and more tacos from the CRAZY TACO. This little food truck delivers big flavor. Although street tacos are their main offering, they also serve up burgers, sandwiches, soups, and even pancakes.

New Mexican Flair: They make all their food to order and ready to go on the road with you. It’s always fun to enjoy street food, and the CRAZY TACO is no exception.

Drinks at Sparkys

Address: 115 Franklin St. Hatch, NM

Menu Options: Sparky’s has a great variety of BBQ, but if you’re looking for drinks, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise. Although their menu offers only non-alcoholic drinks, it is still worth the stop. Where else can you get Green Chile Lemonade?! They also have other fun lemonades (strawberry, mango, pomegranate) with chile so you can get a little more New Mexican zing before you call it a night. Sparkys also offer hot chocolate, sodas, teas, espresso, root beer floats, and shakes.

New Mexican Flair: After you grab drinks, it is time for a photo op! Sparky’s is loaded with fun statues. So, you can get your picture taken next to a dinosaur, Uncle Sam, or even an alien. After all, alien pictures are almost as New Mexican as it gets, even if you aren’t in Roswell. Sparky’s also has a little shop with a variety of fun, touristy apparel to choose from.

Evening shopping at Chile Fanatic

Since we know you’ll be sad to leave New Mexico and its delicious chile behind, you definitely need to make a stop at the Chile Fanatic before you go.

They offer a wide assortment of decorative chiles, raw or dried chiles, chile marmalades, chile powder, chile salsa, and more. If it has to do with chile, the Chile Fanatic probably sells it! So make sure you don’t leave empty-handed.

Where to stay in Hatch, New Mexico:

Hatch RV Park

Address: 509 Franklin St. Hatch, NM

This RV park has 21 sites with full hookups, restrooms, and showers. They also allow pets, although we don’t recommend leaving your pets in an RV in the New Mexican heat. Even though the rest of Hatch is pretty dry and brown (apart from the chiles!) the RV park is tree-lined to give you some greenery and shade to enjoy. The sites are gravel, but park staff nicely maintains them.  

New Mexican Flair: Though the Hatch RV park is one of the few places to stay in the area, you won’t be disappointed. They have many positive reviews and you’ll also get good cell service in the area.  

Hatch Won’t Disappoint

New Mexico is an awesome place to visit. You’ll love the culture, outdoor activities, and best of all, delicious food this great state offers! If you like it spicy, Hatch won’t disappoint. So we hope you love this perfect day in Hatch, New Mexico. 

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