Along with great green chile burgers, The Owl Bar also has an annual tradition of collecting dollar bills on its walls for charity. Photo by Russell Huffman.

According to our readers, the best green chile cheeseburger in Socorro County is at The Owl Bar & Café, 77 US-380, San Antonio, 575-835-9946, open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Since 1945, the signature green chile cheeseburger at the Owl Bar and Café in San Antonio has been a favorite for locals and tourists alike. Legend has it that Frank Chavez originated the same green chile cheeseburger enjoyed today and served it to Manhattan Project scientists from the nearby Trinity Site. In February 2020, the Owl was formally recognized by proclamation on the floor of the state Senate on its 75th anniversary, citing its legacy and longstanding contribution to the cuisine culture of New Mexico.

On a historical note, the long mahogany bar at The Owl was originally purchased for a mercantile store and saloon owned by the Hilton family in San Antonio. Frank and Dee Chavez, parents of current Owl Bar owners Rowena Baca and husband Adolph, acquired the bar from the Hiltons after a fire destroyed most of the hotelier’s store and saloon.