ALY HYDER STARTED SELLING meat pies from a five-foot food truck in Taos Ski Valley during the pandemic. Skiers could enjoy fresh, hot, individually sized meals without even taking off their gloves. They were an instant hit.

“Have you been to New Zealand?” asks Hyder, who grew up there. “There are pies everywhere—in cafés, in bakeries. You go get your gas, and there’s a pie warmer at the gas station. But here, it’s a niche.”

In just a few short years, Hyder moved from the miniature food truck to a full-size model, and then to a full-fledged restaurant, Aly’s A La Cart, a charmingly renovated boxcar with a red facade just north of downtown Taos. For summer, Hyder is redoing the patio and outdoor seating area, where diners will have views across the road to a field that is stunning at sunset.

Since opening the brick-and-mortar location, in May 2023, she’s expanded her menu to include a range of Mediterranean dishes, burgers, fish and chips, soups, salads, and more, as well as a selection of New Zealand wines and New Mexico beers.

Aly Hyder with Guy Fieri. Photograph courtesy of Aly's A La Cart.

Everything is made from scratch, down to the balsamic glaze she drizzles on the gyros. She added her own flair to the popular street food that she ate while living in England but couldn’t find in Taos. “Usually, you get your pita bread, toasted, with tzatziki and meat,” she says. “We add spring mix, diced tomatoes in oregano, diced cucumbers, feta cheese, and house-made pickled red onions.”

A December 2022 appearance on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives has helped fuel Hyder’s success. “It’s very competitive to get on the show,” says Hyder, who taught host Guy Fieri how to make her popular mince and cheese pie, a mixture of seasoned ground beef, spring peas, and melted cheese in a flaky pastry. “I submitted all my recipes and then did an entire day of video interviews,” she says. “I had to buy a second food truck so that I had a space big enough to cook in with Guy.”

The falafel wrap. Photograph courtesy of Aly's A La Cart.

Hyder, who has no formal training as a chef, bases her recipes on what tastes good and sources as many local ingredients as possible. “I keep experimenting with new pie flavors,” she says. “But my staff is too attached to the ones we have.”

You’ll also want to save room for dessert, which includes traditional New Zealand cakes called slices. “At 11 a.m., most people go into cafés and have a cup of tea and a slice—ginger crunch, caramel slice, custard squares,” she says. “It’s just part of the culture.” She’s also making yo-yo biscuits—two buttery soft, custard-flavored biscuits with lemon icing in between. “No one here has tasted anything like this,” she says.

Read more: For more than three decades, this beloved Taos restaurant has offered easy elegance, superb cuisine, and a festive vibe that’s just right for the holidays.