De Colores Going Strong After Three Decades

De Colores owner Joan Duran. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

By Bonnie Gordon

De Colores Restaurant has served three generations of Los Alamos residents.
Founded in 1978 by Joan and Mel Duran, and operating at the current location for 10 years, De Colores is the longest running restaurant in Los Alamos.
“In April 2013 we’ll celebrate our 34th anniversary and we’re looking forward to celebrating many more,” Duran said.
De Colores is located at the original entrance to Los Alamos at the site of the guard station, which has been incorporated into the restaurant’s kitchen.
The restaurant sports beautiful panoramic views from its east and south windows, and at night the lights of Santa Fe can be seen twinkling in the distance.
Only two minutes from downtown Los Alamos, De Colores is a quiet oasis for lunch, dinner or drinks.
New Mexican food is the centerpiece of the menu and diners will be able to choose from burritos, enchiladas, sopaipillas and quesadillas with a choice or red or green chile.
But that’s only the beginning. De Colores also offers gourmet salads, nine varieties of burgers and chicken, steak, and French dip sandwiches for starters. And this is just lunch.
For dinner, full meals from the grill are added to the above. Choose from chicken, steak or tilapia prepared a number of different ways.
The De Colores Cantina is a favorite Los Alamos hangout. The Cantina opens at 3:30 p.m. and Happy Hour continues until 6 p.m.
Featuring a full bar and a raft of micro-brews on tap and in bottles, Cantina favorites include the homemade sangria and mojitos with fresh-grown mint.
“This is where locals bring their friends,” Duran said. “If we don’t already know your name, we’ll find out.”
De Colores at the Gate. Photo by Carol A. Clark/
Get a snack from the Cantina menu or do your drinking in the restaurant and have a full meal.
Perhaps the two words that sum up De Colores best are fresh and family. The restaurant makes all of its salsas, guacamole and even the chips fresh every day.
From the first, De Colores was a family affair. George, Deborah and Tim joined their parents in the restaurant from an early age, and Tim is now the chef.
Long-time employee Sue Dummer is just like family. Sue has been at her job for 33 years.
“Joan is my best friend,” Dummer said. “I’m a people person and I’d much rather be here than working behind a desk. We have a good time.”
De Colores at the Gate eastward views. Photo by Carol A. Clark/
Whether it’s an old family recipe or something dreamed up by Chef Duran, you’ll enjoy your meal in a friendly, homey atmosphere. If you haven’t been to De Colores lately, it’s probably time for a visit.
De Colores at the Gate is open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-8 p.m., Monday through Friday at 2470 East Road. The Cantina opens at 3:30 p.m.
Call 662-6285 for take-out, reservations, catering and to schedule special events.
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