W. Park Kerr, founder of the El Paso Chile Company and self-described "ultimate El Paso food insider," labels El Paso's local culinary tradition as "border regional cuisine." It isn't quite Tex-Mex, nor is it authentic Mexican; it has notes of New Mexican and loads of first-rate chile. There are many great hole-in-the-wall eateries in El Paso. Among the recommended restaurants are Kiki's, 2719 N. Piedras St. (tel. 915/565-6713); Jalisco Café, 1029 E. 7th Ave. (tel. 915/532-7174); Mexican Cottage, 904 Texas Ave. (tel. 915/546-9816); and Lucky Cafe, 3831 Alameda Ave. (tel. 915/532-2834). Note: Smoking is not allowed in El Paso's restaurants.

Moderate/Inexpensive -- The local microbrewery, Jaxon's, has four locations: 1135 Airway Blvd. (tel. 915/778-9696), 4799 N. Mesa St. (tel. 915/544-1188), 7410 Remcon Circle (tel. 915/845-6557), and 12111 Montwood Dr. (tel. 915/857-6677). For coffee or a plump sandwich, hit the Seattle-themed Pike Street Market, 207 Mills St. (tel. 915/545-1010), a downtown hangout popular with suits and slackers alike.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.