This year's "real" Best of Santa Fe has so many categories we nearly lost our minds keeping them together. Yet, there's more! SFR's editorial staff loves this issue because we get to shout out to some of the places and things we want to add to the mix. No voting here—just us being regular people wanting to live our best lives.
Best place to get kitschy things for the home that no one else has
Not content to simply stock cool stuff from local makers in this hidden-away alcove, proprietress Corey Mansfield also wants to bring her shoppers art from good people. So buy with confidence at NM14, knowing you're not only getting unique one-of-a-kind prints, jewelry and clothing, but the people on the other end of your money (think folks like artist Nik Duran Geiger, soap and incense maker Earth & Anchor and enamel cactus spine jewelry from Mansfield herself) really deserve that lagniappe.
2849 Hwy. 14, Madrid
From October through May, each weekend in the Railyard is one of the most enjoyable indoor flea markets around. Not the kind of establishment where dusty (and, like, maybe vaguely racist) stuff sits on shelves for years, like most antique malls—this is a straight-up event every Saturday and Sunday in the cooler seasons. Find everything from beautiful cowboy boots to neon green ceramic fish to intricate beadwork from local artisans, hawkers and entrepreneurs. Make it part of your weekend Railyard routine. Sorry you gotta wait a few months, but it'll be worth it.
555 Camino de la Familia, 992-0591
Okay, so this stuff isn't that kitschy, but it's definitely not your normal gift-store fare either. Hand-sculpted mugs with handles that are ravens' heads, candles that smell like stuff you've never even heard of, paper puzzle animal heads for your wall—whether the vibe is rustic, international, outdoorsy, old-money or über-classy, this is your stop for stuff that will make your guests do a double take.
322 S Guadalupe St., 699-2760
Best Canyon Road spots you maybe haven’t visited just yet but you really should
1. Hecho a Mano
When former form & concept director Frank Rose decided to strike out on his own, it was kismet that Beals & Co. proprietor Bobby Beals was looking to change up his own game. Thus, with very little difficulty, Rose's Hecho a Mano Gallery was born. The space focuses mainly on prints, from serigraphs to screens to the done-by-hand (hence the name), but you'll also find ceramics, jewelry and more. Recent shows from Santa Fe's Terran Last Gun (Amskapi Piikani) and Dallas' Ben Muñoz were stunning and accessible, and the cozy environs of the space make it feel more homey than stuffy. What'll Rose do next? Probably something amazing.
830 Canyon Road, 916-1341
2. Art House
Carl and Marilynn Thoma (of the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation, natch) have collected art since the 1970s, and with Art House—technically just off Canyon on Delgado Street—they provide a space to showcase pieces from their digital collection. We were beyond blown-away by last year's Digital Artifacts, a small but powerful group showing at the intersection of digital creativity, found and reconstructed media and computer programming. The most recent exhibit, People on the Fly by artists Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau, makes jaw-dropping use of a proprietary algorithm that may help researchers discover new worlds within particle physics. In other words: This is the next level, and the next level is good.
231 Delgado St., 995-0231
3. Currents 826
This summer marked the 10th consecutive annual occurrence of the Currents New Media Festival, Santa Fe's own world-famous month-long June arts gathering. It's as contemporary as it gets, folks, with work in anything from physical, digital, AR, VR, robotic and everywhere in-between. The only real shortcoming, honestly, was its once-a-year timeline—but with Currents 826, a new-ish brick-and-mortar at the top of Canyon Road, founders Mariannah Amster and Frank Ragano can now bring the spirit of the fest on a regular basis with artists from around the world and right here in Santa Fe.
826 Canyon Road, 772-0953
(Alex De Vore)
Best places and days to buy produce that aren’t elbow-to-facehole this summer
This is not an attack on our venerated Farmers Market in the Santa Fe Railyard. We love the farmers and bakers and butchers and the garlic lady and almost everyone else. It's rad that standards for local participation mean every stand is legitimately Northern New Mexico. Yet, there's an undeniable frenzy to the scene on Saturday mornings. So, alternatives are a priority for the summer—and we don't mean in some freezing-cold grocery store where everything is rearranged and you can't find it anyway. During the peak season, we suggest you carve out the time to go to the Railyard on Tuesdays from 7 am-1 pm or Wednesdays from 3-6 pm, or head to the other corner of the city (the Southside) on Wednesdays at the new hospital from 3-6 pm.
Railyard: Farmers Market Pavilion, 1607 Paseo de Peralta
Southside: Presbyterian Medical Center, 4801 Beckner Road
2. Reunity Farm
What Juliana and Tejinder Ciano began as a nonprofit focused on composting has grown into full-fledged food system at the site of the former Santa Fe Community Farm. Reunity Resources is now running the farm near Agua Fría Village and continuing its tradition of donating about 10,000 pounds of produce to community hunger efforts each year. Its neighborhood farm stand is open in-season on Tuesday from 3-7 pm and Saturdays from 10 am-3 pm. Get a "farm card" for $100 and take a 10% discount while you spend it.
1829 San Ysidro Crossing
3. Peach Valley Produce
We practically broke the internet with a story last month about the peach guy moving from the Jackalope parking lot to the one across Cerrillos Road from Denny's. Matt Hauser has been bringing produce from Colorado's Banana Belt right to the Santa Fe's Midtown for four summers now, and local pie makers have been known to line up before he opens. It's not just the juicy Palisade peaches that we know and love, but offerings include all kinds of veggies, sweet corn that you can eat raw right off the cob, green beans, squash, tomatoes and the works.
3600 Block of Cerrillos Road
(Julie Ann Grimm)
Best Places to Boogie because ooooh I wanna dance with somebody, I wanna feel the heat with somebody
If you crave that exhilarating moment of effortless communication when you're totally in sync with someone else and in time with the music, there's few things better than social dancing. Luckily the swing community in Santa Fe is alive and well. Odd Fellows Hall hosts a lesson every Monday at 7 pm, followed by a social dance at 8 pm that is well-attended in the summer by both local and out-of-town talent. The atmosphere is welcoming to new dancers and boasts the occasional live band.
1125 Cerrillos Road, 690-4165
As the only thing close to a real nightclub within driving distance of Santa Fe, Shadeh offers two quintessential nightlife experiences. In one room, have a satisfyingly trashy time dancing to top-40 hits, hip-hop and R&B in one room of the club, while in the other room couples pack the dance floor stepping in time to classic cumbias, bachata and reggaeton. Just make sure you've got a designated driver, an Uber or a room at the Hilton at Buffalo Thunder before you imbibe.
#20 Buffalo Thunder Trail, 455-5555
Rockin' Rollers has never let us down. It's where we learned to limbo at alien-themed little-kid birthday parties, and the first place we went as teens for an unchaperoned weekend bash. Their adult dance skate parties are just as much fun. Put on some skates and let the last two decades melt away as you bop around the rink to nostalgic old-school hits.
2915 Agua Fría St., 473-7755
Best places to practice your Spanish
If you want to stop by and pick up some meat, hot tamales or other groceries and practice speaking Spanish at the same time, this is the place. El Paisano's got very friendly staff and a big selection of candy you can't get at Trader Joe's. The store is open from 7 am to 8 pm Monday through Thursday, until 8:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays and until 7:30 pm on Sundays. Plenty of time to get in there and work on your food and weather nouns.
3140 Cerrillos Road, 429-9105
This program is a good way to get outside with your loved ones and exercise your body and your brain while you stroll and conjugate.¡Vámonos! is a six-month program hosted from May until October by the Santa Fe Walking Collaborative and convened by the Santa Fe Conservation Trust. For this purpose, we recommend joining on the second Tuesday of the month for a bilingual opportunity led by a different interesting Santa Fean each time. Groups leave from the Southside library and head toward the Arroyo Chamiso Trail at 6 pm on Aug. 13, Sept. 10 and Oct. 8.
6599 Jaguar Drive
If you have a baby—or maybe even more than one—and you like books, hit up one of these great event held at the Southside branch of the public library. The program is for babies 6 months to 2 years old and their caregivers. Your little ones can sit on your lap as you read, sing songs and play finger games in Spanish and English. It's totally free every Wednesday from 4-4:30 pm.
6599 Jaguar Dr