Best Artisan Chocolate

The magicians of Kakawa Chocolate House say they are on a mission to re-introduce chocolate-—real chocolate—to the people. "Mission accomplished!" you'll say. Kakawa's magical drinking elixirs and hand-crafted agave caramels, chocolates, truffles and ice creams are so perfect they seem like illusions—until you get one in your mouth.

1050 Paseo De Peralta, 982-0388; 1300 Rufina Circle #A4, 930-5460

Who couldn't get behind "everyday indulgences" that range from craft chocolate barks to surprises like "Sierra Blanca" chocolate—white chocolate with tangy lime and slightly spicy chile chocolate? You, that's who. (Speaking of who, Whoo's Donuts is next door. BONUS).

851A Cerrillos Road, 473-2111

Todos Santos Chocolates

A high-end chocolate shop that is as yummy to look at as its chocolates are to taste. The truffles made in-house are of Valrhona, a fancy French dark chocolate, and packaged offerings include some of Europe's finest.

125 E. Palace Ave., #31 (Sena Plaza), 982-3855

Best Asian Restaurant

We're so glad you agree that giant, crispy, flippy, floppy dosas are among the funnest foods in the world to eat. Paper Dosa also ensures they are delicious, with fillings including rich chutney, gooey chile and cheese, and spicy basil. But then, as you well know, everything else here is delicious too—from seasonal soups to Farmer's Market Uttapam.

551 W Cordova Road, 930-5521

Jinja's expansive menu covers the spectrum of Asian food—from Polynesian-inspired drinks to America's favorite Japanese, Thai, Chinese and Malaysian dishes. There's something for every taste at Jinja—your votes prove it so!

510 N Guadalupe St., 982-4321

How lucky are we that we have a place that can transport us to another place and time in mere minutes? To chef Kiko Rodriguez and his creative, delicious takes on Japanese izakaya up Hyde Park Road, we say "Arigato!"

21 Ten Thousand Waves Way, 428-6409

Best Bakery

The Chocolate Maven may be hidden away from Santa Fe's hustle and bustle but it's definitely not a secret. Who would think lurking behind those cold corrugated steel walls would be such welcoming, warm, flaky sweetness? Apparently you think so, and for good reason—the Maven's bakery menu is a beast. We counted 145 items on the baked goods menu alone. Unbutton your pants…or perhaps you already have.

821 W San Mateo Road, 984-1980

Clafoutis' bakery case is a beautiful thing, which is why we probably aren't the only ones who have perused it with the intention of ordering a pastry or two and ended up with five or six.

333 W Cordova Road, 988-1809

Some people give bread a bad rap and these, obviously, are people who have never had Sage Bakehouse bread. This bread is so good that Sage Bakehouse can use words like "wrinkles" and "tang" to describe its offerings and still have us salivating.

535 Cerrillos Road, 820-7243

Best Breakfast

The Pantry started serving up comfort food to Santa Fe in 1948 and still has us firmly wrapped in the hefty hugs that are its breakfasts. So wrapped up that we all couldn't fit in The Pantry's arms anymore and they had to open another one—or…dos? Anyway, the numbers speak for themselves: according to The Pantry you, the people, consume 26 tons of potatoes, 7 tons of green chile and 2 tons of coffee there every year.

1820 Cerrillos Road, 986-0022

The place where the chile term "Christmas" is claimed to have been coined holds a sacred space in the hearts of many a Santa Fean. One, because Tia Sophia's has been starting our days right since 1974 and two, because they don't scrimp on the chile. Or cheese. Or anything else.

210 W San Francisco Street, 983-9880

Oh, hai, Clafoutis. Fancy seeing you here again. Not only do we go all flaky for your delicate and delicious baked goods, but we're also dough in the hands of your breakfast mastery.

333 W Cordova Street, 988-1809

Best Breakfast Burrito

Let us all bow to the altar of good mornings and give thanks for the blessing that is El Parasol's breakfast burrito. Just like with most of El Parasol's offerings, it's simple and straightforward quality that makes a morning brighter. A base of egg, potato and cheese combines with add-on choices including chorizo, sausage, ham and bacon to give your tummy a good morning stretch.

1833 Cerrillos Road, 995-8015; 298 Dinosaur Trail, 995-8226

OK, another claim for Tia Sophia's is that the term "breakfast burrito" was invented there. Discuss amongst yourselves but really, who cares who came up with the term? You already decided they make a damn fine one.

210 W San Francisco Street, 983-9880

The Pantry offers all the New Mexican standards that you crave in a brekkie B. Plus, now it's possible to order online before you swing by the main drag.

1820 Cerrillos Road, 986-0022

Best Brunch

Your choice here reflects the fact that a great brunch isn't necessarily a heavy one. And, also, that you really, really like Clafoutis. It doesn't hurt that the prices for such succinctly French fare rarely top $10. What a joy to cut through a rich orange sun of egg yolk into the steaming, savory heart of a sanguine Croque Madame for just $7.90!

333 W Cordova Road, 988-1809

That you can literally watch the bread rise through a window in Chocolate Maven's dining room is a hint that what you see is what you get here: creative brunch options that range from savory "eggsadillas" to sweet blue corn blueberry pancakes.

821 W San Mateo Road, 984-1980

Not only does Dolina serve up food with beautiful intention, it does so seven days a week. It has been said Dolina's rich, savory paprikash is so good it could be brunched on all seven of those days. Even so, branch out because every dish on Dolina's menu is an adventure.

402 N Guadalupe Street, 982-9394

Best Burger

Santa Fe Bite

Names and locations may have changed for this Santa Fe staple but…it's back and what has not changed is its damn fine burger. You love the green chile cheeseburger, you love the bacon green chile cheeseburger, you love that you can get beans (two kinds!) with your burger, you love the gluten-free buns, you even love the house-made veggie burger! But what you love most of all is the friendly service that Santa Fe Bite, in whichever incarnation, has also been serving up since 1959.

1616 St. Michaels Drive, 428-0328

The Burger Stand has obviously succeeded in its quest to elevate the common burger. If Best of Santa Fe also had a category for "Best Fries" we have a strong suspicion The Burger Stand would again be among your favorites. Delicious burgers, best fries ever and top-tier people watching: a winning combination.

207 W San Francisco St., 395-8210

Some say the secret to success in the restaurant industry is to keep it simple. This would explain the success of Shake Foundation, because it provides the juicy burger and then lets you go nuts with your pick of simply delicious stuff to put on it. Case in point: Where else can you top your burger with whipped lardo?

631 Cerrillos Road, 988-8992

Best Chef

Ahmed Obo, Jambo Cafe

In the 11 years Jambo Cafe has graced us with its mouthwatering mix of Kenyan/Caribbean/Mediterranean offerings, its jerk chicken, lamb burgers and curry dishes have become almost legendary. As has its chef and owner, Ahmed Obo. In this space last year we wrote, "Each year we start to wonder if we should even have a vote anymore or just hand it over to Obo indefinitely." Perhaps we should—this is his sixth year running in the top chef spot. Asante Sana, chef!

2010 Cerrillos Road, 473-1269

Martín Rios, Restaurant Martín

Martín Rios' reputation for fine chefery is obviously well-known and appreciated around these parts—and beyond. In addition to multiple James Beard nominations, and the creative, seasonal dishes he serves up at Restaurant Martín, Rios and his wife Jennifer are passionate supporters of equines in need at The Horse Shelter.

526 Galisteo St., 820-0919

Kathleen Crook, Market Steer

You voted Market Steer "Best New Restaurant" last year and apparently that excitement hasn't faded. Chef and co-owner Kathleen Crook knows her way around beef, from cooking it to roping it; in addition to being a highly trained chef, she's also a rodeo-roping world champion. Talk about earning her chops!

210 Don Gaspar Avenue, 992-6354

Best Chile

No surprise here. The Carswell family has been serving up some of the area's favorite food—and, obviously, chile—for longer than some of us have been alive. In that time, they've achieved a certain level of perfection that keep them packed even at lunch on a Tuesday. La Choza's chile isn't just a favorite pool for food to swim in, it's the base for one of La Choza's most-ordered dishes: chunky, spicy, Vitamin C-packed green chile stew.

905 Alarid Street, 982-0909

Hey, look! Another instance of not being surprised. Being that The Shed is the "mother" restaurant of La Choza, you get the same delicious chile, just in a different setting. One of our favorite places to watch tourists sweat!

113 1/2 E Palace Avenue, 982-9030

Like The Shed and La Choza, Tomasita's has been around a long time and it shows, especially in its chile. It's sort of like you have to have been around at least 30 years to even claim you've got some of the best. Young 'uns: Don't even try to compete.

500 S Guadalupe St., 983-5721

Best Cocktails

We all know the people-watching in this spot is hard to beat, but what also can't be beat is the atmosphere in which Coyote Cafe & Rooftop Cantina presents a cocktail. It's bright. It's fun. It's creative. All the same can be said for the cocktails, colorful ingredients for which range from passionfruit and lychee to watermelon and Pop Rocks.

132 W Water St., 983-1615

Oh, Paloma, dove of our hearts. Not only do you craft a killer cocktail but you make us feel light and free and special while doing so, whether in your immaculately designed interior or al fresco on your cheery seasonal patio.

401 S Guadalupe St., 467-8624

In some hotel lounges you meet the most interesting people. In some hotel lounges you can actually get a real drink. Secreto is both of these, as popular with visitors as it is with local,s thanks to its long tradition of fine mixology/ists.

210 Don Gaspar Ave., 983-5700

Iconik Coffee Roasters
Iconik Coffee Roasters | Katherine Lewin

Best Coffee

Iconik has won our hearts pretty much because it loves coffee as much as we love coffee. Adopters of the third-wave coffee movement, the folks at Iconik serve up a cuppa made of beans that are intelligently sourced, grown and roasted. We like to think we can taste the difference but, really, all that matters is that it's killer coffee. And the food is pretty good, too.

314 S Guadalupe St., 428-0996; 1600 Lena St., 428-0996; 202 Galisteo St., 988-4226

Three busy locations centered in the downtown area keep the brews coming—not just the dark ones, but 33 coffee varietals and roast levels. We love the atmosphere at the Luna building, including the hidden patio. It's super laid back, ideal for enjoying any of Ohori's fine micro-roasted coffees.

1098 1/2 S St Francis Dr. (at Pen Road); 505 Cerrillos Road; 507 Old Santa Fe Trail

Java Joe's has been around since 2002 and in that time it has appeared on this list more than once. You all love the locally roasted coffee, tasty pastries and the fact that Java Joe's sit-down location is a no-frills, great place to simply relax or plan for world domination.

1248 Siler Road, 930-5763; 2801 Rodeo Road, 474-5282

Best Dessert

Chocolate Maven, we see you—again and again on this list, in particular. And why not? You've got so much sweetness to share. You have cake, you have pie, you have cookies, you have chocolates, you have cupcakes, you have tarts, you have cookie dough, you have…all the baked goods. We love that we can order these ahead for holidays and special occasions, making us the most popular people at all the parties.

821 W San Mateo Road, 984-1980

You again! Clafoutis desserts are not only beautiful to gaze upon but they satisfy that yearning deep in our souls. You know, the one every human has for expertly crafted French sweets, whether they know it or not.

333 W Cordova Road, 988-1809

Harry's desserts are the stuff from which sweet dreams are made. The selection isn't huge, but instead a collection of ideally executed standards like sour cream coffee cake, strawberry-rhubarb pie and brownie sundae with hot fudge and caramel.

96 B Old Las Vegas Highway, 989-4629

Best Fermented Food or Drink

Take some smarty-pants chemists who love beer, let 'em loose, and you get Rowley Farmhouse Ales. This small brewery just off Cerrillos Road is big news in the beer world, taking home the most medals of any single brewery at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival. The sour-style ales may be what Rowley is known for in the bigger world, but here at home we love Rowley not just for its fascinating fermentations, but also for offering up an extensive list of international beers and a menu of creative, gut-busting gastro-pub fare.

1405 Maclovia St., 428-0719

HoneyMoon Brewery: Hard Kombucha Brewery

Sunset Magazine called HoneyMoon's hard kombucha "buzzworthy," and you apparently think so too. The Southwest's first producer of artisanal alcoholic kombucha offers its crafts on tap as well as to-go. We recommend both.

907 W Alameda St., Unit B, 303-3139

Barrio Brinery brings delicious fermented flavors from around the world to our little 'hood. From spicy fermented escabeche and tart sauerkraut to puckery pickles in natural salt, not vinegar, Barrio's brined goods pack flavors you'd never expect from vegetables.

1413 B W Alameda St., 699-9812

Best Fine Dining

Geronimo regularly tops your list of favorite places to dine fancy in Santa Fe. Sure, the elk tenderloin is expertly tender and the mesquite grilled Maine lobster satisfyingly savory-sweet, but it's Geronimo's service that makes eating here an experience in itself. Whether you are enjoying a cup of velvety soup in the bar or celebrating with a four-course meal in the dining room, the service is so intentional and authentic you leave feeling like someone special.

724 Canyon Road, 982-1500

In the 20 years chef Mark Kiffin has owned The Compound, he's amassed awards ranging from James Beard to the Edible New Mexico Local Hero—not to mention appearing here as your "tops" a multitude of times.

653 Canyon Road, 982-4353

Sazón bills itself as "an adventure in flavors" and doesn't disappoint. What was disappointing was how long we had to go without Sazón last year due to a fire that kept us apart from chef Fernando Olea and his mindblowing moles.

221 Shelby St., 983-8604

Best Food Cart/Truck/Stand

Beloved for its breakfast tacos and burritos, El Chile Toreado also pleases those looking for less "spice" with Polish sausage and hot dogs. No matter the choice, you're sure to end up with something tasty served by some of the friendliest folks in town. The fact that the most expensive thing on the menu is $8.25 definitely doesn't hurt but still, it's amazing food for the price.

807 Early St., 500-0033

Jambo's a sure winner here with not one, but two Jambo Hapa trucks to fill your need for spicy, smoky jerk chicken, creative curries and island-spiced stews. Also…there's the fries: sweet, cumin and harissa lemon.

Jambo Hapa One, 2010 Cerrillos Road, 473-1269;

Jambo Hapa Two, 505 Cerrillos Road (Luna Plaza), 469-5749

Back Road Pizza is one of your favorite pizza places, so it makes sense you love its big red pizza truck, too! Unfortunately, "big red" is off the streets for the here-and-now that is the COVID pandemic, but we'll all share a holler when she's back on the road delivering delicious slices to our hungry mouths.

Best Frito Pie

We all know Anthony Bourdain, bless his heart, made this Frito pie famous by ripping into it—and not in the way a Frito pie is meant to be ripped into. But Bourdain issued a mea culpa and everyone was back to celebrating the local Five & Dime favorite. Aside from eating the tasty, gooey concoction, one of the best things about this moveable Frito feast is watching other people try and eat it.

58 E San Francisco St., 992-1800

Both of El Parasol's Santa Fe locations serve up a hefty Frito pie with lots of beefy, whole bean chili. While it's hard to say just what makes one Frito pie better than another, in this case it's got to be El Parasol's spectacular red chile.

1833 Cerrillos Road, 995-8015; 298 Dinosaur Trail, 995-8226

What doesn't Plaza Cafe Southside offer? Their something-for-everyone approach extends to the Frito pie, which can be ordered full-on carnivore style with your choice of steak, beef or chicken or—gasp!—vegetarian with calabacitas and beans or Impossible meat. The vegetarians thank you!

3466 Zafarano Drive, 424-0755

Best Happy Hour

Why is it called happy hour when really, it's happy "hours?" As in the case of your favorite happy hour-ing spot, this means Monday through Friday from 3-6 pm you're likely enjoying a $4 draft beer or $4.50 house margarita. Considering the Cowgirl also has one of your favorite patios, you've probably put in a lot of happy hours there.

319 S Guadalupe St., 982-2565

The second best thing about the Dragon Room—because obviously daily 4-7 pm happy hour with $5 drinks and 15% off the extensive bar menu is the first best thing—is that monkey chandelier.

406 Old Santa Fe Trail, 983-7712

Santa Feans can do a silly thing assuming all the best food and drink happens downtown. Learn more with happy hour specials at this Southside favorite.

3462 Zafarano Drive, 471-6800

Best Ice Cream/Gelato/Frozen Yogurt

Warning: drool-inducing descriptors coming your way, courtesy of Ecco's authentic, creamy, handmade gelato. What's your favorite flavor? Ours is mango, roasted pineapple, ginger, nutella, espresso stracciatella, saffron & honey, strawberry habanero…OK really, it's pretty much anything Ecco scoops our way.

128 E Marcy St., 986-9778

La Lecheria's small batch ice creams are pure goodness and nothing but milk, eggs, cream, sugar and whatever delicious flavor chef Joel Coleman dreams up. Seasonal offerings are sublime, as are the year-round standards.

101 W Marcy St., 205-1595

For most of us, Baskin Robbins (which opened in 1945) ice cream is a tale as old as time. Not much has changed: The ice cream is still good, they still have all those flavors, and Daiquiri Ice is, thankfully, as popular now as it was in 1977.

1841 Cerrillos Road, 982-9031; 556 N Guadalupe St. (DeVargas Center), 820-3131; 4056 Cerrillos Road, 474-3131

Best International Cuisine

Jambo again, Jambo! Seeing that Ahmed Obo is your favorite chef, and the Jambo food trucks are among your favorites, it stands to reason Jambo's eclectic international flavors would rank up there too. And how could we blame you for thinking so? Jambo brings a different kind of spice to Santa Fe and for that we are all grateful.

2010 Cerrillos Road, 473-1269

Well, fancy seeing you here, Paper Dosa. Although it is no surprise to see how much your delicious dosas are treasured by your community. Thanks for bringing us a taste of Southern Indian food, and for doing it so. dang. well.

551 W Cordova Road, 930-5521

If you've never had garlic gobhi, you need to get over to India House on the double. To all the rest of you who have obviously fallen under the spell of vindaloo and tandoori and korma and masala and saag, we're right there with you.

2501 Cerrillos Road, 471-2651

Piccolino
Piccolino | Joy Godfrey

Best Italian Restaurant

This family owned, family-style Italian joint may be small, but pretty much nothing else about it is: The portions are huge, as is the menu. Getting though Piccolino's menu is an exercise in itself—there are 15 seafood dishes, 17 chicken dishes, and we're betting from among Piccolino's three lasagna choices that the Lasagna Bolloco, a green chile chicken Alfredo lasagna, is one of your faves.

2890 Agua Fria St., 471-1480

Andiamo's Italian-influenced, Farmer's Market-inspired fresh fare is always delicious and always interesting. The seasonal menu is pared-down and intense, which makes it one of those places you just have to keep going back to again and again so you can try it all. You probably do this, too.

322 Garfield St., 995-9595

Twenty-four years in Santa Fe have not dulled your enthusiasm for award-winning chef Matt Yohalem's rustic, farm-fresh Italian fare. And, oh, that wine list!

95 W Marcy St., 984-1091

Best Locally Brewed Beer

It seems fitting that Santa Fe's first and biggest craft brewery is your first choice in local brews. In addition to its popular Happy Camper and 7K IPAs; strangely satisfying Chicken Killer barley wine; and day-drinking pilsners and lagers, Santa Fe Brewing is, of late, branching out with new canned ciders and seltzers. Great tastes all around—to you, and them!

35 Fire Place, 424-3333; 7 Caliente Road, Eldorado, 466-6938; 510 Galisteo St., 780-8648

In addition to having some of the best people-watching spots in town, Second Street Brewery also serves up rotations of creative beers to pair with said peeping. Also, regarding the Rufina location, two words: tater tots.

1814 Second St., 982-3030; 1607 Paseo de Peralta, 989-3278; 2920 Rufina St., 954-1068

We've already mentioned all the ways in which Rowley Farmhouse Ales is taking the beer world by storm and we love 'em in here in our little town too. The taproom offers up Rowley's fine creations as well as an extensive selection of others from around the world.

1405 Maclovia St., 428-0719

Best Margaritas

How many ways can we say it? Best Chile+Best New Mexican (we're almost there so…) must=Best Margaritas. You can't have one without the other and La Choza has it all. If you can't decide on one of its no-less-than 21 offerings, you can also build your own margarita using one of the nearly two dozen tequilas on La Choza's menu.

905 Alarid St., 982-0909

If we combined all the margaritas we've ever drank in our lives, the total still wouldn't come close to the number of margaritas on Maria's standalone margarita menu. Just close your eyes and point.

555 W Cordova Road, 983-7929

Tomasita's doesn't have an entire menu for its margaritas, but no matter: The six they offer are all delicious. The Grand Gold is a particular favorite because it has "secret" ingredients.

500 S Guadalupe St., 983-5721

Tomasitas
Tomasitas | Joy Godfrey

Best New Mexican Restaurant

See above. Also, if a place has your favorite chile and most of their dishes are topped with said favored chile, then it being your favorite New Mexican restaurant seems apropos. The cherry on top of this spicy sundae, though, is those sopaipillas. Nothing goes better with the best New Mexican food than steamy pillows of fried, doughy goodness.

905 Alarid St., 982-0909

The Shed can't have deep fryers due to its location, but this has never held it back in terms of being a local–and beyond–staple. Since you already sang the praises of its chile in this vote, it goes without saying that its food also hits your high note.

113 1/2 E Palace Ave., 982-9030

And here we are again—one of your favorites for best chile is also one of your favorites for best New Mexican. Like we said before, when you've had as much time to perfect your game as an institution like Tomasita's has, you're always going to be a winner.

500 S Guadalupe St., 983-5721

Best New Mexico Distillery

Most towns don't even have distilleries so how lucky are we that 1) we have enough to even have the option of a voting choice and 2) the choices we have are so dang good. Santa Fe Spirits excels at thoughtfully crafted spirits, many made with local ingredients. The smoky whiskey is a show stopper.

308 Read St., 780-5906; 7505 Mallard Way, 467-8892

Tumbleroot takes distilling seriously and it shows. Its scratch-made spirits are made with 100% organic ingredients and flavors come from the garden or are wild-harvested. You really can taste the difference.

2791 Agua Fria St., 780-5730; 32 Bisbee Court, 780-5730

Taos Lightning. Need we say more? OK, how about the fact that KGB's spirits keep showing up on "best of" lists all over the place—not just here? This small but mighty distillery is one to watch, not to mention one to visit next time you're in Alcalde.

183 County Road 41 (Alcalde), 404-6101

Best New Mexico Winery

Gruet Winery, Santa Fe Tasting Room

Gruet is the granddaddy of New Mexico wineries, growing into a national powerhouse on the shoulders of Gilbert Gruet and his 1984 leap of faith from France to New Mexico. Sure, you can buy Gruet pretty much anywhere in the US, but it just tastes better in the Santa Fe tasting room. For some reason, the sauvage is more savage and the still wines more playful here. Maybe it's the altitude.

210 Don Gaspar Ave., 989-9463

One of the winningest wineries in local competitions, Black Mesa is known for its estate-grown varietals as well as ports and dessert wines. While some wine fanciers will claim New Mexico wine is too sweet, the local experts know there's a reason for that: The spicier the chile, the sweeter the wine.

1502 Hwy. 68 (mile marker 15, Velarde), 852-2820

How one winery can produce so many varietals is mind-boggling. But it does bode well for those who like to have choices, and creative ones at that. While some of Noisy Waters' wines aren't "traditional," per se, they are fun and full of spirit. And the green chile wine is actually pretty good.

219 W San Francisco St., 983-9454

Best New Restaurant

Well, of course! Your favorite best new restaurant is a new old restaurant, which has been so good for so long that it just couldn't hold you all, so they had to build another one. The Pantry Dos is a culinary continuation of the original Pantry, offering all the longtime, down-home, scratch-made Pantry favorites, just in a different location.

20 White Feather (in Oshara Village), 365-2859

There isn't a lot we can all agree on these days but there is one thing: Mampuku serves up a mean bowl of ramen. Whether you like your broth light and floral or dark and sultry, we bet you leave very little of it, if any, in the bowl.

1965 Cerrillos Road, 772-0169

Many fans of the Madame would prefer to keep its flaky pastries, sweet crepes, and rich hollandaise a secret to themselves. But the rest of you just had to go and spill the sweet fillings about this superb French bakery and cafe.

1291 San Felipe Ave.; 105 E Marcy St., 772-0949

Best Patio

There's just something about the patio at La Casa Sena. It's like as soon as you're seated, the world melts away: You can pretend you're somewhere else, forget about all the things you have to do, and just let life slow down for a while. It doesn't hurt that all those trees and lovely landscaping make the air smell sweet and feel 10 degrees cooler.

125 E Palace Ave., Suite 10, 988-9232

If you're already there for the desserts and the drinks and the general ambiance, go outside and get those things on the gorgeous patio. Watch for the hummingbird moths.

96 B Old Las Vegas Hwy., 989-4629

The best thing about the Cowgirl patio is the people-watching and the live music. Even better, watching people dance to that live music. And watching street oglers ogle the dancers.

319 S Guadalupe St., 982-2565

Best Pizza

The folks at Back Road Pizza sure know how to crisp a crust. In fact, the crust is so good, who really cares what's on top? Just kidding. Toppings are just as important and Back Road covers all the bases there too. Speaking of covering all the bases, its gluten-free pizza is the best in town. What else could you ask for from your now nine-years running favorite pizza place in town?

1807 2nd Street #1, 955-9055

It's agonizing to have to order here simply because you have to make such a quick decision then sit there second-guessing yourself as you wait for your pie to arrive. Should I have gone for the Molta Carne or will I be OK with the Motorino? No matter, because you know it's going to be good.

321 W San Francisco St., 986-8700

You know when a place says it's New York-style pizza but then gives you LA-sized slices? Pizza Centro is NOT that place. Big slices, big pies, tasty toppings and one of the best foldable crusts around.

418 Cerrillos Road, 988-8825; 3470 Zafarano Drive, Suite D, 471-6200; 7 Avenida Vista Grande (Eldorado), 466-3161 

Best Sushi Restaurant

Kohnami is just about the biggest sushi game in town—literally, its menu has all the sushi. From combo rolls and hand rolls to sashimi and fried rolls, sushi lovers want for naught. Strangely enough, while sushi is considered a pretty healthy cuisine, one of your most-ordered items is the Heart Attack: sliced jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese and spicy tuna, panko breaded and fried, then topped with eel sauce, spicy mayo and fish eggs.

313 S Guadalupe St., 984-2002

While Izanami technically isn't a sushi restaurant, its chefs are now integrating more fresh, quality fish with sushi specials on the menu. And when they do, you know it's going to be a Grade A bite.

21 Ten Thousand Waves Way, 428-6409

This friendly little joint rolls out some amazing sushi, including dinner specials with multiple types of sushi, sashimi and rolls for those who like to try a bit of everything. Also, Masa Sushi has the best names for their rolls—Balloon Fiesta Roll, anyone?

927 W Alameda St., 982-3334

Best Tacos

The thing about sandwiches is there are just too many choices of bread. And while bread is a delicious and important building block for a tasty sandwich, why bother when you can just have the sandwich of the Southwest: a taco? El Parasol wins here not just for all the delicious fillings one has to choose from—all the meats plus a good veggie selection—but also for its warm, soft, fragrant homemade tortillas.

1833 Cerrillos Road, 995-8015; 298 Dinosaur Trail, 995-8226

It's like the Meow Wolf of tacos. Crazy flavor combos, pretty colors and unexpected ingredients make a stop at Taco Fundacíon always an adventure. Also, the burritos are .

235 N Guadalupe Street, 982-8286

Though it is plenty lovely to eat at Bumble Bee's, there is just something about drive-thru tacos that makes this world a better place. It's nice to show up with tacos for everyone—meat eaters and vegans, alike.

301 Jefferson St., 820-2862

Best Taproom

Second Street is the big winner here, perhaps because of its taproom diversity. There's the down home feel of the original, where you'll probably see someone you know. There's the people-watching potential of the Railyard location, where you may see someone you might want to know. And then there's the Rufina taproom, where you're likely to hear someone you know, or want to know, thanks to its strong live music game. Buy someone a beer today!

1814 Second St., 982-3030; 1607 Paseo de Peralta, 989-3278; 2920 Rufina Street, 954-1068

Santa Fe Brewing has upped its tap room game with the opening of the spacious Beer Hall at HQ but we're still in love with the cozy comfort of the Brakeroom and thankful for options in Eldorado.

35 Fire Place, 424-3333; 7 Caliente Road, Eldorado, 466-6938; 510 Galisteo St., 780-8648

Rowley's taphouse isn't a big space but that's what makes it fun. You kind of have to get to know your neighbors (and, frequently, their dogs), which is what taprooms are supposed to be all about.

1405 Maclovia Street, 428-0719

Best Tea

With more than 150 varieties of tea available, The Teahouse is sure to please even the most pansophic of tea-drinkers. But that variety also makes it a fun place to try new things. Staff are always happy to make recommendations based on your preferences, and we obviously aren't the only ones who get a kick out of placing an order for a Volcano Flower Burst, Hairy Crab or King of Duck Shit.

821 Canyon Road, 992-0972

Oh, Opuntia, we await your re-opening with such thinly veiled excitement! When you are ready in your new Railyard space, we will be ready for your tea culture teachings, good tastes, lovely designs and lots of cacti.

1607 Alcaldesa St. #201, 780-5796

Tea is a beautiful thing and so is this little spot. Not only does ArtfulTea carry over 90 types, it makes some fantastic blends that are fun to take home and surprise people with. Be sure to ask all your dumb tea questions here because they've got the answers.

101 W Marcy St., 795-7724

Best Vegetarian

Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen may be your best vegetarian food, but it's not actually a vegetarian restaurant (it serves sustainably harvested seafood and meat)—it's a healthy eating kind of place. Inspired by world cuisine and what's fresh locally, all dishes are gluten-free, beautiful to look at and even better to taste. Whether you're looking for a yucca root pizza, a paleo wrap—or just have a buddy who can't go without a burger—look no further.

1512 Pacheco St., Bldg. B., 795-7383

When you own a farm and grow amazing veggies, it only makes sense to open a restaurant focused on fresh ingredients. As you all well know, though, Vinaigrette makes something new, specifically, of salad, with creative recipes that take it from a mere side dish to main course status. Bonus: Owner Erin Wade's eco-friendly initiatives should inspire every restaurant operator, everywhere.

709 Don Cubero Alley, 820-9205

Indian food has no need for meat—all those spices turn vegetables and beans into things one never thought they could be. If you're not sure about that, then you haven't been to Paper Dosa.

551 W Cordova Road, 930-5521