La Cita Restaurant

Tucumcari, New Mexico

New MexicoDiningRoadside Attraction

Hungry in Tucumcari? Look for the giant sombrero. La Cita Restaurant in Tucumcari, New Mexico serves tasty New Mexican favorites tucked away behind a sombrero-shaped entrance on Route 66.

The La Cita Restaurant opened in 1940 on Route 66. Tucumcari was a popular stop for travelers on The Mother Road and became known for its slogan “Tucumcari Tonite” and all the popular Tucumcari motels that came with it. And those travelers were hungry. La Cita offered kitschy charm with its novelty architecture and spinning neon sign along with a good hot dinner to fill up every Route 66 traveler who walked through their sombrero-shaped doors.

The restaurant moved to its current location in 1961, and constructed the 30-foot-tall, 15-foot-wide stucco sombrero-topped entrance along the way. The building and giant sombrero have been painted many colors throughout the years, including pink, yellow, and turquoise. Currently, it is painted in a fiery red, black, and yellow.

Stop outside to see this fun novelty building turned roadside attraction and the bright, rotating neon sign. Go inside for a tasty meal full of local favorites like enchiladas, tamale, and chile relleno, served with red or green salsa (or do “Christmas” style to get both) and a fluffy sopapilla on the side.

Last modified: April 25, 2024
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La Cita Restaurant in Tucumcari, New Mexico Route 66 Restaurant

La Cita Restaurant

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820 S 1st St, Tucumcari, NM 88401

10:00am-9:00pm (Monday-Saturday)
7:00am-2:30pm (Sunday)


Phone Number:
(575) 461-7866

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Photos of La Cita Restaurant in Tucumcari, New Mexico

La Cita Restaurant in Tucumcari, New Mexico Route 66 Restaurant
La Cita Restaurant in Tucumcari, New Mexico Route 66 Restaurant

Know Before You Go

To make the most of your visit to La Cita Restaurant in Tucumcari, New Mexico, here are some things to know before you go.

  • Parking is available along the side of the building. Or, this Route 66 roadside attraction is close to many of the best Route 66 motels in Tucumcari, so park at your room and take a walk!
  • Even if you don’t stop at this Route 66 restaurant for lunch or dinner, stop by to admire the novelty architecture and neon sign!
  • Exploring Tucumcari Tonite? Check out more of the best attractions on Route 66 in Tucumcari, New Mexico.

Where to Stay Near La Cita Restaurant

Complete your travel itinerary and get a good night’s rest with a stay at one of these Route 66 hotels in Tucumcari, New Mexico.

Blue Swallow Motel

With one of the most recognizable neon signs on Route 66, the Blue Swallow Motel is a must-add for your travel itinerary, whether you spend the night or not. The motel has been operating since 1939 and offers warm hospitality, comfy beds, a touch of nostalgia, and a convenient location near everything you’ll want to see in Tucumcari.

Motel Safari

Motel Safari is a classic 1959 Route 66 motor inn. Look for its historic camel sign, Googie architecture, mid-century modern decor, custom furniture, memorabilia, murals, and vintage billboard ads. The hotel also features modern amenities like flat screen TVs, free wi-fi, and “the best beds on the Mother Road.”

Roadrunner Lodge Motel

For a blast from the past, Roadrunner Lodge Motel is a restored 1960s Route 66 hotel with mid-century style and modern comforts. Rooms feature flat-screen satellite TVs, seating areas, and free toiletries. Select rooms play the motel’s private radio station with 1960s music and commercials and a fire pit outside allows visitors to relax and meet other travelers.

Attractions Near La Cita Restaurant on Route 66

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